A different war
Attacks on Middle Easterners in America
October 17, 2001
I am declaring war on all terrorists. My war will be a bit different
than that of GW's, but it will be war nonetheless. Let me start by a brief
preface and then a short story.
What happened on September 11 is just totally unacceptable. Not to minimize
the impact of questionable U.S. policies -- full support of state terrorism
by Israeli government, for example -- killing innocent men and women, destroying
cities and devastating a country, just because of their nationality is just
We all condemn that and have no sympathy for hose who commit them. Besides,
there are very rare occasions in history where violence has ever managed
to accomplish anything positive, and this will undoubtedly be no different.
Most terrorists also know this, but they have other goals. Which brings
me to my story;
Few nights ago, I went out to buy a slice of pizza. I had spent most
of the day watching the horrific scenes coming from New York on multiple
networks. I was sad, angry, confused and shocked. It was about midnight
and I was hungry. Going out to eat and getting some fresh air seemed like
the perfect momentary escape I needed. This place about four blocks from
my apartment makes great pizza and it's open 24 hours.
I didn't feel like walking, so I drove there. I live in a large urban
center in Southern California and this was yet another beautiful night.
It took a few minutes to get there and I could see a small crowd of people
standing at the pizza place's window, waiting to pick up their orders.
I parked almost right in front of the place and as I started to get out
of my car, I heard a couple of people getting out of the truck parked behind
me. I guess they had watched me squeezing my little car into the small spot
in front of their large pick-up. All I remember next is these two angry,
screaming big guys coming towards me. I honestly can not even recall their
exact words, but remember sections like "your people killed our people"
and "go back to where you came from" and a few other niceties
I am not a small person but I had two large blonde towers within inches
of my face, blocking everything in my view and with my back against my car.
I could not speak a single word. Whether it was shock or just not knowing
how to answer ignorance, I was completely speechless. Part of me also knew
the worst was yet to come, so I was trying to protect myself and look for
an opening to run. Thankfully, it didn't come to that.
Their yelling attracted a group of people hanging inside and around the
pizza joint and more than a few of them were not as quiet as I was. Within
a minute or so, they pulled me away, escorted those guys back into their
trucks (they took off shouting something and showing their middle fingers
at me). The restaurant manager bought me a slice and somebody else bought
a soda. I sat quietly, a bit shaken, ate my pizza and left amidst their
The next three days were a mess. I was still in shock. Maybe even scared.
I noticed myself checking out the occupants of cars around me and even looking
back to see who was behind. I was timid and unsure, both in my demeanor
and my speech.
But today I have declared war and all has changed.
The terrorists who crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center
and the ones that intended to hurt me because of it are not that different.
They are both ignorant. They use force to make their point. Both lack reason
but are obsessed with violence. They thrive on intimidation and insecurity
of the innocent and both are bullies. I declare war on these bullies as
well as the other kind.
The guy who shot and killed a turbaned Sikh a few days ago, kept screaming
he will stand for America as he was arrested. A friend had all his tires
slashed because of his Middle Eastern looks. He is Italian. Two teenagers
got beat up pretty bad, because one is Afghani. This may not be the end
of it. More of us will be targeted by these other terrorists. We will hear
comments, get shouted at and even be harmed. "Their people" are
upset at "our people" and we may have to pay for it.
So, let's all go to war against terrorists. We won't resort to violence
as those cowards do, but let's not let them intimidate us either. Let's
not be scared. Hold our heads up and be proud. We are as much part of this
society as they are. They don't set the standards for us and they certainly
don't judge us based on our heritage, color or religion.
We WILL triumph over these terrorists. Guaranteed.