I wake up with a blast of hot water to the face, my body hangs like an arch as water rolls over my back, waking me up inch by inch. I stumble out of the bathroom, my hair wet and stuck to my forehead, a towel clinging to my waist. I hastily get ready, clothes flying around my room. I’m late, the notion of a home cooked meal flies out the window along with my original laziness.
A fleeting look in the mirror and a measly drive by breakfast is all I can manage. My fingers fly to my hair, coaxing it from its messy nature to a neat blanket on my head. I zoom down the stairs, searching for my sneakers; I quickly put them on, enveloping my feet in warmth. My hands scrabble at the doorknobs and I burst outside, half walking, half jogging. Breakfast time is about to end, I need to stuff myself with as much I can hold before the month of ramzaan can dictate my appetite.
I pull up near the parking lot and I stumble inside. I right myself quickly and I stride over to the counter calmly. The short waiting line catches my eye. “I can do this, I can get there on ti-“. My chain of thought is cut short by an obnoxious loud voice. “Them goddamm muslims! All they’re ever good for is screwing up our lives and filling their greedy little arms with that which isn’t bloody theirs”. My eyes scan the room for the speaker and they land on a large man. His beady eyes are not trained on me, they are aimed upwards, filled with anger and loathing. I follow his line of sight and my vision is obscured by a news headline flashing on the television: “23 mauled in recent ISIS attack”. Anger wells up inside me, not just at the large man, but also at the cruel laugh of fate itself. Here I was, pitted against one who I thought was my fellow brother, blamed for something I never did
I turn towards the man, I bottle up my anger much as I can and say with as sweet a voice I can muster: “My dear friend, I am a muslim myself and I find their crimes as appalling as any of you. Please do not refer to us muslims as a whole when referring to those pigs, not all of us bomb people when we feel like it”.
“I’ll refer to whatever the hell I want! Now piss off with you and your bloody Allah before I beat your black ass!” he spits at me. He angrily sizes me up, glaring at my characteristic beard. I sigh and slowly walk out, my pride and my stomach slowly grumbling. But my wounded ego is replaced by pity, not for myself, but for the large man, that man whose mind is clouded with hatred, and will ultimately regret his callow trait in the course of his life. I climb into my car and slowly pull out of the driveway, leaving behind the café. His words echoing through my mind…..
Our planet is filled with so many wonders of nature. And life is the greatest of them all. Racism is a freak of nature cruelly designed to split us right down the middle. Whether we are black or white, Hindu or Muslim in the end, we are all humans; we are all of the same family. Racism is merely the dagger held by disunity. But, it is our choice as a species, whether to hand over that dagger or not. Look at our beautiful planet; racism seems so insignificant in the face of its glory. No matter who we are, earth is the one thing we all have in common. So let us unite as a species, not to eradicate racism, but to promote unity, as a family and as humans.