The anniversary of 9/11 is a study in white hypocrisy.

Scratch that — it’s not even specific to white people. Any person of any skin color can fall prey to this. I hope everyone’s taking notes on this open case study.

You’d think America would have the decency to focus on the lives of those who were lost in the attacks — and on their families. To encourage unity in the face of a horrific tragedy. Instead, the names and faces of the victims are used to fuel America’s bloodlust for Muslim and Middle Eastern lives.

In case your hatred was dying down, 9/11 is your time to recharge. You can turn on the TV and be swarmed with images of how the enemy attacks us. Blood and rubble everywhere. A horrific scene, a scene that never should have happened.

Unless it happens in Afghanistan, of course. Or in Iraq. If a Middle Eastern baby has to grow up without a mother or father, well, they deserved to die. They deserve to be blockaded and starved for decades. They deserve to be occupied by armed forces. They deserve to be bombed under a drone-struck sky. They deserve torture. They deserve to be killed by American soldiers for fun.

You know, Muslims often feel like they have to stay silent on 9/11. Like they should be walking around in shame for something they have no involvement in whatsoever.

On 9/11, let’s remember that this was a tragedy for American Muslims as well. And it’s an ongoing tragedy for us. We pay with our sense of safety, our self-worth, our confidence, our children’s and siblings’ right to not be bullied by their classmates and teachers. We pay with having to answer to bigotry at every level.

I could write a full article on the number of hate crimes Muslim Americans face every year, ranging from bacon on doorsteps to arson in mosques to straight-up murder. But today I’m going to focus on the microaggressions.

Like the fact that in schools all over the country, teachers and other students have no problem with making 9/11 jokes at Muslim children, calling them terrorists and “Osama bin Laden,” gaslighting them for standing up for themselves, openly supporting the bombing of Middle Eastern countries, being told that they make others feel unsafe, acting as if these kids should suffer for something they had no control over.

Apparently, we make you feel unsafe.

People sit back and consume this hatred on a day-to-day basis. Of course some of them will be so overcome by it that they pick up a spray can, or a gun, or a military uniform.

Because killing Muslims out of anger overseas is entirely legal. In fact, you’ll be honored for it.

We could’ve come together as a nation after 9/11. We could’ve worked to stamp out hatred. We could’ve poured money into aid and community relief efforts and focused on healing, not revenge, because tragedy pains every single one of us.

And yet most of America — especially white America — decided that the way to fight terrorism is through more terrorism. In doing so, America is creating even stronger terrorist organizations, formed by people who have been bombed and killed by U.S. troops for decades.

Is that what we call respecting 9/11 victims? By creating the opportunities for more people to suffer?

TL;DR: The anniversary of 9/11 is a study in hypocrisy.

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Writer, videographer, artist, and nerd. UNC-Chapel Hill, Class of 2020 (unfortunately). http://www.safaahmed.com/

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Safa Ahmed

Safa Ahmed

Writer, videographer, artist, and nerd. UNC-Chapel Hill, Class of 2020 (unfortunately). http://www.safaahmed.com/

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