Perpetual Otherism

Chrissy Tiegen really nailed it the other day, as she often does. In response to Bari Weiss’s disastrous ‘celebratory’ tweet about the immensely talented Mirai Nagasu:

“Immigrants- They Get the Job Done.”

Instead of thinking about the impact of her ‘they’ statement, she proceeded to defend herself by all means she felt were necessary, claiming it was ‘a sign of civilization’s end’ that she could be so criticized for her- let’s be honest here- BS.

All of it was ludicrous. But was it surprising? No.

These are the types of passive aggressive statements we have heard all our lives. I used to push them to the back of my mind, but when I think of them now, they are so loud, they are deafening.

We are tired of being treated as though we are less American because we are not white. I’m tired of being treated like an exotic animal. I’m a person, not a peacock.

Last night at dinner, a friend told me about a man he met on a business trip in Utah. This man was talking about how many people he knew packed ‘heat’- guns, as they felt it was the most appropriate measure to protect themselves and their children. Here are the examples he gave my friend:

What if they encountered a bear while hiking?

What if some man ran into their church shouting Allahu Akbar?

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This was before we learned of the horrific shooting in Florida- the 18th school shooting of 2018. My heart breaks, but I am so angry that these types of irrational fears are what drive our fellow Americans to want to possess guns- fear of the other, fear of bears? Despite the fact that white men have committed more mass shootings than any other group, many persist to believe otherwise. These beliefs outweigh all the sound statistics and data about the danger of guns, to our communities and our children. My heart hurts thinking about it.

It’s time for Americans to take a hard look at why being white makes people more American than anyone who is not. Unless you’re Native American, your ancestors came from somewhere else (the travesty of how we have treated Native Americans is a topic for another blog). Simple as that. Let’s think about intersectionality and NOT be fearful of this concept. Let’s open our minds to learning about and appreciating what our diversity of cultures and creeds brings to our country- because our diversity IS what makes America great. 



Tarul TripathiComment