Dear White People: I’m Done Apologizing for Who I Am
Dear White People,
How has your day been? Good, I hope, because after reading this letter, you may never have another carefree day in your life. I have been on-guard, and you have been on the lookout. But you don’t have to wait, because anytime is the right time for you to strike at me. I am fed up with it. After reading this letter you better keep your guard up, because I have been on the lookout too. I have been waiting for the right time to strike out at your conscience. I will wake you up, open your eyes to this new worldwide oppression. Your enclosed lives are not as enclosed as you think. Nothing is ever kept secret forever, and when your secret is out, there is no telling what may happen next.
Not only do I have to live up to the social expectations of a being a first-generation Pakistani-American hijabi Muslim woman, but I also have to put up with all of you, everyday. Despite the presence of Bill Gates and Jacqueline Mars, I still doubt the idea that you all know what it means to have a thought-process, or filter.
When you forcefully pulled my hijab up in the bathroom after school, despite me already saying “no” to your request to see my hair, did you feel any remorse?
Do you think before you ask people of color where they are really from? Do you feel embarrassed when you ask Muslim women whether or not their parents forced them to wear the hijab? When you forcefully pulled my hijab up in the bathroom after school, despite me already saying “no” to your request to see my hair, did you feel any remorse? When you asked me, with a straight-face, to have my Snapchat handle so I could send you a picture of my hair, were you joking? Why is it that 99.9% of the time that I experience micro-aggressions, it is at your hands? Did you even consider that the reason I wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers was that my immigrant parents didn’t know what it meant to have a “sleepover?”
How dare you embrace my culture but not me.
Why is it that everything I have mentioned previously has happened to me, because of you? And to the teachers that roam the halls with my classmates: Why is it that you see it as your right to tell me that the two black men at Starbucks should have known better, and it was their fault that they were arrested. For what? Being Black? Why did you see it as necessary to preach that abortion is sinful when you, being a white man, have no experience of womanhood.
Just because you have not experienced oppression does not mean that it does not exist.
Did you really think I would nod my head in agreement while you stated that white people are affected by racism? The creators cannot be affected, by definition. They are not allowed to be affected. Why is it that it took me crying in front of a group of people tasked to be counsellors to notice that everything was not all unicorns and rainbows for minorities at my school?
I love representation. I am capable of representing me and my people when the time is right. Little do you know, that being your “poster-child” only discourages me. I have seen your creative thinking. Lying to your audience of high school applicants by placing the face of a Black or Brown girl on the walls around the school, as if to say that you support us. I have no voice, but I have my picture on the wall. Ask yourself, really, do you support us?
But don’t feel at an advantage because of my cowardice. I will never bend to your ignorance again.
Just because you have not experienced oppression does not mean that it does not exist. Your reverse racism has no place in my world. This system of oppression cannot go against its creators. And being oppressed is not a competition, so don’t compare my life to your white feminism. All women and men are equal for you, unless they are a person of color. Unlike the many innocent-until-proven-guilty cases, I must automatically assume that all of you are guilty until proven innocent, racist until a decent conversation occurs, and ignorant until wokeness is confirmed.
I have a white side because of you. This side that shows no pride about my culture was instilled in my life since the day I met your kind. It doesn’t feel as weird to put you under this title, because the ways you have approached me is almost animal-like. You don’t think before you act, but you know exactly what you are doing. I am fearless, but I am still scared of you. But don’t feel at an advantage because of my cowardice. I will never bend to your ignorance again. I will never hang my head in shame again. I will weaken your ego, and I will finally wake you up from this nightmare of the centuries.
So tell me, are you awake now?