Ignorance is Bliss, except when it’s Not.

I spent this past weekend with my mom moving into my apartment. That was no easy feat, to say the least. It’s done and I’m happy.

We were bumming around town getting various things for the apartment and what not…during our outings I noticed some odd stares. I’m used to getting stares, it usually doesn’t bother me but for some reason…it hit a nerve this past weekend.

My mom and I are an odd couple. She is tall, blue-eyed, blond, white lady and I’m white but with hijab on….We are a mismatched pair but it works 🙂

I believe that is why we attract odd stares or because we are just so awesome…I haven’t decided yet.

After moving me in, we headed back to my mom’s house to spend a couple of days with family from out-of-town and then start my job on Thursday. Well, last night I met up with my good friend, Tara, to discuss the weekend and just catch up. We went to our favorite hang out, Steak N’ Shake, and sat down. After a while, a group of Latinos came in and were making comments about us. Well, me in particular. They were speaking in Spanish, so I had no idea what they were saying but my friend understands Spanish and she was getting frustrated. I am used to people making comments that I try to let it roll off my back but my friends get defensive.

This isn’t the first time a person from a different minority group has attacked me but I get frustrated because we are both minorities and you should know how it feels when someone makes fun of you. I mean, how is oppressing someone else while you are being oppressed good?

I get the psychology behind it, I just get frustrated. I don’t go around telling Latinos to go back to their countries, or Asians that they are ruining the curve in school or African-Americans that they are gang members. Why? because I know what if feels like to be followed in a store, to get nasty looks, to not be served, to have people make fun of you, and to get stopped by cops. Why in the world would I want to do that to someone else?

If we all did a little less hating and a little more tolerance, I think the world wouldn’t be in the state that it is now.

Oh, and just because I don’t understand what you are saying about me doesn’t mean I don’t understand body language. Now, that is universal.

Have you had an ignorant moment?

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13 thoughts on “Ignorance is Bliss, except when it’s Not.

  1. It’s funny how these blogs leads from one to another and you have a very interesting blog. I guess you couldn’t live in Jordan so you came back. For some reason ignorance/discrimination takes a toll on a person, till this day I remember the time that I was crossing the street in San Francisco wearing my Palestinian Hatta as scarf as I always do in cold weather and this guy crossing the street from the other side stops next to me and say go back to your country, for a moment a froze still, here I am in one of the most liberal cities in the world and still I am being discriminated against. Also, Gottta love the extra security I usually go through in the airports, once I was flying from San Diego to San Francisco, and after I pass the metal detector without it beeping, the TSI agent asks me to step aside for random security check, so I told him so much for random I always get picked, so he replies back Sir, you got the look. I keep laughing every time I remember that airport incident, haha

    1. Yeah, it is funny 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

      You know, there were a lot of things that caused me to leave Jordan but it’s not because I hated it…it just wasn’t the right place for me at this time in my life. I hope to go back when I have more experience and knowledge to really make a difference.

      It’s hard to respond in those situations, you are walking down the street minding your own business and someone just throws you off. I never know how to respond.

      Well, at least the TSA guy was honest! I, surprisingly, don’t get extra security checks that often…maybe I don’t have the look. :/

      I also think it’s great that you can laugh about it now…a sense of humor is what got me through some of the hurtful comments.

  2. I blv we get moments like those each and every day! 😦
    I wanna salute u for being calm and ,, well mature 🙂

    I faced a lot of situations while growing up, as a minority group in Jordan, but it was always good to learn from the exp. 🙂

    H.

    1. Yes, I think we do.

      Thank you! I try not to feed into that kind of behavior…and just fly off the handle. It doesn’t seem to work.

      I’m sure that wasn’t easy, either. I’m glad you were able to learn from it…I think it makes you a stronger person! 🙂

  3. It is much more difficult for women wearing hijab than men here in the US. Some girls I know who wear hijab have been mocked many times with the usual “go back to your country” although they were born in America. The irony!

    I go to coffee shops almost everyday. Sometimes, someone wants to chat and I don’t mind. I actually like it. But before we go on our chat I make sure within the first 2 minutes to let them know where I am from. I do this because I found out some people stop the conversation when they know I am from Middle East.

    But I really have great admiration for Muslim women wearing hijab in western countries. IT IS NOT EASY AT ALL.

    1. Yes, it can be. I just think it depends on the person…I haven’t had that many bad experiences…or I just try to block them out! I know other people who have had it worse….I agree, it is ironic! I was born here and still get that stuff!

      Well, I think it’s good that you are open to chatting with people and just educating them. I think it’s sad when people bolt when they know you are from the Middle East.

      Thank you, much appreciated. I like to hear people encouraging me to wear it and not telling me to take it off and be more “American”

  4. Samar-I am sorry about your experience. I just want to make a couple of observations coming from my role at GV. Is your friend a fluent Spanish speaker? I know O lot of people that “understand” Spanish and they don’t really know. I could “understand” Portuguese but in all reality I am not fluent! I could not understand a conversation in Portuguese or Italian! The second thing-the things that you said about Latinos, Asians and African American are stereotypes so I hope I missed the sarcasm. Many “Latinos” don’t have a country to go back because they were here before the U.S. even existed! I know *sians that hate/reject the sterotype of the model minority, expert mathematicians, etc. I could go in but I won’t. Sorry a group of people from my group made you uncomfortable. There are bad apples in every group but don’t please don’t generalize. I know I don’t.

    1. Alex,

      No, she isn’t a fluent speaker and she admitted to not understanding some of what they had said.

      I wasn’t trying to be rude…I was just saying that other minorities had different stero-types that are atributed to them and I was just pointing that out. I don’t go around telling people to go back to where they came from…I just found it rude that someone was making that generalization about where I came from.

      I wasn’t assuming that every latino is a bad apple…I don’t think that what so ever but I do find it ignorant…regardless of where you come from to make comments like that.

      I also don’t have a home to go to either, as I am Palestinian and my town is gone. So, I can understand the thought.

      I would hope from our many conversations you wouldn’t think I was generalizing…I thought I have made that very clear but maybe not.

  5. I was just trying to understand the comments. My main concern was that a person that was not fluent would be “translating.” I do know that you are a very caring person, I was just trying to understand.

    1. I understand what you are saying…and I hope that you don’t think I was being insensitive to this issue…I know mistakes could be made but it’s not the first time it has happened.

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