Thursday, April 19, 2007

Racism and prejudice are everywhere

Recently in the US a famous caucasian radio show host was fired for comments he made about a university's women's basketball team.

I was in the guidance counselor's office one afternoon and I heard a Somalian student say to his friend "Go to class n****r." I will not write the word because it's one of the words that should never be said to anyone. The student was unaware that what he said was bad, and that I heard him say it. Needless to say I verbally tore the student apart. I told him that if I said that to him, he would be on me in a second. The student agreed with me. When the guidance counslor, an African-American, heard what the student said, he also gave the student a piece of his mind. The guidance counselor and I are from the same area of the US and we told the student of our intolerance to use language like that.

The student was later in the library where I asked him to repeat to his friends what he said. When he did, a girl, also Somalian student in hijab turned to me and said "But it's ok if we say it to eachother." I said "No it's not okay for anyone to say it even to each other. How are people ever going to treat you with respect and dignity if this kind of talk is repeated. We need to set good examples not bad ones."

These students are mainly from Canada and Great Britain now living in Egypt.

Islam teaches us that all human beings are the same, regardless of the color of our skin.

These students seem to forget the basics of Islam.

Ma'salaam,

~Marian

5 comments:

Cairogal said...

While I'm not an "Oprah Head" she had a great panel on her show about this. What you said sounded a lot like the message of that panel: if the African Americans cannot respect one another, how can they expect anyone else to? Don Imus is an idiot, that much is true. The problem is that hip hop culture is slowly becoming African American culture. You can't call women "bitches and hos" and then expect other people not to use the same terminology.

Marian said...

I cannot agree with you or Oprah more. I also am not an "Oprah Head" but when it comes to racism there is absolutely zero tolerance. Unfortunately the hip hop culture is bleeding into other cultures. Many of the Egyptian boys in the high school think that all Americans are like the hip hop culture. It's quite sad.

Cairogal said...

Yes, you're absolutely right. Hip Hop and African Americans are one in the same to many kids outside the US. I was teaching a group of college kids in Dubai of various Arab nationalities, and it seemed the Sudanese kids had a particular attachment/connection to the Hip Hop culture. One kid could not even say his name or properly conjugate a verb, but he could say, "Miss! (pointing to his jeans w/ some words embroidered) G-Unit!" Of course, I had to go home and figure out what the hell he was talking about! But apparently G-Unit is Nelly's group. He knew Nelly well, and tragically, Bud Light. Sigh. Could America export two crappier items besides Nelly and Bud Light?!

Marian said...

Embarassing isn't it when that's what people outside the US think all Americans are like.

Cairogal said...

Completely...it's even worse when they think they immitate it.