By Shanzay Kazmi '18
Content Warnings: Islamophobia, racism
This semester, my WGST professor asked us to create a list of our privileges. Instead, I decided to make a list of the privileges I was never afforded as a Muslim-American. The following is my “privilege” list.
Were you called racial slurs as a child while your teacher did nothing?
Have people ever refused to come to your house because of the “smell” of your homeland’s food?
Do you feel paranoid Googling certain things, whether out of curiosity or for academic purposes, because you worry it could put you on the FBI watchlist?
Did the night of the 2016 Presidential Election cause severe fear and anxiety, prolonged psychological distress when mentioned, disturbing nightmares, inability to concentrate, and/or emotional numbness?
When you are in line for airport security, do you feel the need to act overly friendly and happy (even if you’re on the brink of tears) just so people don’t see you as suspicious?
Are you too scared for your safety to use your mother tongue in public or, even worse, on an airplane?
Have your family members ever been detained for up to twenty-four hours at an airport, just for having the same name and skin tone as a terrorist?
Do you feel scared for your safety practicing your faith at a religious site on major holidays?
When a terrorist attack occurs, do you hold your breath praying that the terrorist doesn’t claim to “share” your peaceful religion? Do you feel you have to constantly apologize for these terrorists’ inhumane actions?
Do you feel like your actions are supposed to represent your entire religious and cultural group? Do you feel angry at the injustice of asking one person to represent billions of people every single day? Do you have to confront these emotions throughout your day-to-day existence?
From March 2018 issue