I’m a on the train from DC to Philadelphia. I am in an aisle seat. I hear a man make an offensive joke (something about terrorism). Another man, who appears to be of Middle Eastern decent looks over with annoyance. Probably because the joke teller is so loud 😒.
I now zero in on the annoyed guy. He’s fidgety. He keeps looking up at his bag. He can’t seem to get comfortable. He keeps looking behind him. I’m worried. Worried that the media has filled my head with so many of their images and ideas of what a “terrorist” looks like. Worried that I am judging this man purely on his ethnicity and nothing else.
I write this with tears in my eyes I’m no better than the fools I unfollow for their daily ignorant posts. The articles I breeze by spewing and promoting hate.
To the young Middle Eastern guy riding the train with his father. Who’s fidgety movements look like a result of something else (autism). Who’s constant Turing around was simply to figure out which direction the cafe car is. I apologize for judging you. For not really knowing if “Middle Eastern” is offensive. I apologize to a fellow person of color for fearing you the way my Black men are feared. Simply because of how the media portrays you.