Like attack a mother walking down a Boston street with her infant daughter.
Or use the news and social media to circulate images of a teenage Boston Marathon spectator the public deemed "suspicious."
Or search the locker of a 10-year-old boy who repeated his classmate's question, "Does that mean Yusef is going to blow up the school?" when he was confused by it.
These incidents, all of which have occurred after the Boston Marathon bombings, are stark reminders that racism, xenophobia and religious prejudice are very much alive in the United States.
Talk about a throwback to the days after 9/11, when several Arab-operated stores in my neighborhood were attacked because the public associated the owners and workers with terrorism. I am concerned about the prejudice non-Christians and Arabs of all ages will bear the brunt of in the coming days.
Traumatic experiences can bring out the good in people or they can bring out the worst in people. Unfortunately, it often brings out both at the same time. For all of the people who showed kindness after the Boston Marathon bombings, there are people who are using the tragedy as an excuse to feed the notion that all Muslims are evil terrorists, which is NOT TRUE. In fact, Islam is a religion of peace.
Whether or not the bombing suspects are Muslim should not affect the way our nation's people view all Muslims. And, yet, it does.
People are forgetting that terrorists come in all colors and from all religions--white, black, Jewish, Christian. Yet, no one went around verbally and physically attacking white people after the Unabomber was apprehended or the identities of the perpetrators of the Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut massacres were revealed. Instead, they were viewed as "lone rangers" who acted out of deranged ideas of activism or were spurred by mental health issues.
Stories like these make me nauseous and particularly worried for the lives of people like my son's biological father, who is a Muslim Yemeni-American, and my friends of color who supposedly "look" Arab. And I am left with the question, how can we change a collective consciousness to more accurately reflect the truth about terrorism?
What's your take on the racist reactions to the Boston Marathon Bombings?