HATE BEGETS HATE
My last list of the night. Thinking about 9/11 as I think of Paris and Beirut.
- •I am seven years old and I wake up to the news that the towers have been hit.What towers? What hit them?
- •In New York.I know New York. Everyone knows New York.
- •By terrorists.What are terrorists?
- •I write about it in my diary.Years later I will find this and wonder how I could ever have been so naive to believe this was the first terrible thing to have ever happened to the world.
- •I cry.I don't know why. Maybe because everyone else is. Maybe because I can hear the sirens through the television scratching at my soul.
- •I go to school.Our teachers try to tell us what's going on. Bad people, my teacher tells us, have done a bad thing.
- •I am told we are safe.I believe this. Teachers know all, after all, right?
- •My best friend is called a terrorist.My best friend. A seven year old who was also born in Australia, but is a Muslim of Afghani descent. It is her birthday in five days, and mine in thirteen. We are as close as can be.
- •My best friend is bullied relentlessly.By other seven year olds. She does not wear a hijab, she does not pray in front of us, she plays the same games as us.
- •My best friend cries.She's scared. Teachers try to soothe her. They know better. Do they?
- •We go home.The news is showing the same footage. There will be no afternoon cartoons today.
- •I ask about my best friend.My mother wonders if she is okay.
- •I wonder if she's okay, too.Before I return to whatever seemed to matter more in that moment.
- •I still wonder.On days like today when fingers are pointed before the facts are known. When the peaceful majority are lumped with the violent few.
- •I hope she's okay.Enough people are hurting today.