Prejudice is prejudice no matter what you look like, no matter where you go in the world. It always has a familiar feeling of painful alienation. Somebody always has it. It’s like a disease that spreads and it keeps on giving. Young or old, female or male, brown or yellow. We all have a form of it, some more than others, others less. The one thing I know for sure, it’s generally hurtful and in some way and it keeps us all in a prison.
I have a friend who was born in Palestine and moved to the US at 17. He became a citizen, raised 3 amazing children, had 3 thriving business, and is deeply loved and respected by the community. He is the kind of a person who has a sincere heart of gold, would help you in a min, and give you the shirt off his back. He has the true American spirit and is an immigrant, a middle eastern immigrant.
Tonight he shared a story of how he took a holiday back to Palestine for a family wedding and the things he went through. No one should experience anywhere, but it the same all over the world. Seeing what he went through on his journey to this wedding was the very refection of what we are all buying into, here in the US. Our liberties are being taken away. Worse, we may be giving them away.
It saddens my heart to think that most people just want to live life, enjoy it in relative freedom, laugh, celebrate and love, but prejudicial games are afoot and non-stop these days.
They have us all so afraid of each other we are willing to put up walls, fight over what team is their favorite, or kill someone over their own sacred religion. It makes no sense.
We have to get to a place beyond those markers, those labels, these things that are so precious, that we will kill our own brother just to be right about something.
This is how prejudice works. You give someone a little power and a different viewpoint and they decide to make your life a living hell or even kill you because you look from a different perspective. Sometimes this happens simply because you look different.
It’s no great surprise when you see how power corrupts and can turn us into bigots.
I know I am preaching to those of you who can see it clearly, but we need to get beyond this spin cycle.
Back to the story. So normally, to get to his hometown in Palestine it usually takes 16 hours door to door. But because of hate and prejudice it took him over 48 hours to get to his hometown.
He had to pass through 4 borders. The first issue started while on US soil in Chicago where they profiled him for his color, pulling him and his family out of a line to ask questions and search him.
The second, was landing in Jordon, they gave him the what for because of his American passport and Arabic voice. So, they made them sit in the airport for 6 hours and made them give them $200. This shady business kept them there until after midnight. Finally after all that, the cab driver was going to charge them $100 for a 30 min ride.
They then made it to the border, everyone packed into the car and what was next? The Israelis!
The Israelis proceed to grill them for a few hours then finally let them go. Next stop, the Palestinian border. Here, my friend said to the guy, “look, I am tired” and border guard said “No problem you are free to go.” HUH!? Now, my final point. Prejudice can be for you or against you. It’s still prejudice no matter how you look at it. I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever get away form it… as we are all humans. Just be aware of it in all its insidious manifestations.