|A photo I took at Ground Zero in 2005|
By now September 11th has become a symbol of so many things, so many memories and so much pain. It has become much more than a date. It has been made into a justification for war, for hate, for division. I wish that the memory of Sept. 11 would have been used for unity, but 10 years later I cannot make that assertion.
|Blonde highlights...never again|
But this was real life, by my next class the towers were still there..then I saw them fall. It was like a dream, I felt like someone was making this up. I had visited the towers just about a week before, with my tourist minded relatives from Cali who had wanted to visit the WTC. Now it was dust, I saw it become dust right there, it was absurd, it wasn't real..but of course it was real. all of it.
Now 10 years later, I am an activist and have witnessed the ripples of change that have radiated from 9/11; Not just the hate crimes but the groupthink mentality of us "Americans" against them "terrorists". Government policy became openly and enthusiastically racist and Islampahobic. So many of suffered for this, both here and abroad.
|Congressman Mike Honda speaking at the hearing, to left is Commissioner Nitasha Sawhney, California Commission on API Affairs, to his right: Assembly Member Paul Fong, Zahra Billoo from CAIR, and Amardeep Singh from The Sikh Coalition.|
|speakers at the hearing|
I wanted to include a quick passage from the book:
"Dehumanizing, or in this case, de-Americanizing individuals is often the first step toward justifying policies, laws and treatment that would otherwise offend our sensibilities"
On 9/11 I feel somber, sad and a little depressed as I think about the emotions I had watching the city I love suffer and buidings I admired and literally looked up to come crashing down.
It's traumatic for us, but healing does not consist of spreading hate, and we still have a lot of work to do.
I hope we can work together and grow as country because revenge has not worked...at all. Let's try to educate, communicate and speak up, and see if healing, instead of revenge, can drive our communities forward.
And I will end with a quote from a participant, Gurinder Ahluwahlia, at the 9/11 hearing.
"It does get better, it does."
simple but poignant.