A Young Boy Writes About His Experiences With Islamophobia and Racism: “At that age, I didn’t know how to react so I just smiled.”

A photo of Sarsour’s son’s essay on his experiences with Islamophobia and racism. From Sarsour: ‘His teacher commented on the paper and wrote “I am sorry this happened to you. Tamir, you have tackled very significant issues in your writing – I can feel your passion and writing from the heart is the best way to go.”‘

Linda Sarsour, Palestinian-American Activist recently involved in the passing of the CSA in New York, posted this piece on her blog. It’s a piece about the impact of racism and Islamophobia on youth in America. In it, she includes excerpts from an essay her young son wrote for school – an essay in which he reveals some of the ways he’s been affected by racism. I encourage you wholeheartedly to read the full thing. The most heartbreaking part (to me) is included below:

“Sometimes my culture is portrayed as the evil culture. But we are probably the most down to earth people anybody would know. One way people have put me down is only knowing my people as “The Terrorist”. A Second way is that they won’t let us speak on our behalf. My last reason is because my experiences show people are ignorant.

My first reason is many people portray Muslims as terrorists. None of us are like that. One time in the fourth grade I got an extremely challenging question right. Nobody else got it. So when the teacher said I was right a kid shouted “He is going to use an equation to build a bomb.” At that age, I didn’t know how to react so I just smiled. But now I knew I should have been angry.

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