from the archives......five years ago come Monday
Back when I struck out on my own I moved to a part of midtown just off the Plaza, back then it was full of hippies and students and all around freaks. The section of buildings I lived in was called the UN by those of us that called it home. A cat could throw a stone five times and every time he’d hit a person of a different nationality.
In the years I lived there I learned a lot from those people back then. I learned that Backgammon was a game of skill and not of chance. I learned that just because you’re gay or you call your god by a different name doesn’t make you any better or worse. And most important of all, I learned to be tolerant of other races and cultures.
Two good friends I made back then were from the Middle East. The girl was the daughter of a rich factory owner in Iran and was going to school here in town. Her boyfriend was some sort of minor royalty back in Saudi Arabia.
All her life she’s had servants that did everything for her, so her boyfriend and me turned into taste my cooking test dummies since she now had to do for herself. Not only was I eating traditional Iranian cooking, which I knew shit about, but I was eating cooking from a chick that didn’t know what fuckin end of the stove to put the pot on.
But hey, she was a sweet little girl and we bucked up and ate her shit and told her it was good just to see her smile and swell up with pride. These people among others were my friends back in seventy-nine when the Ayatollah lost his fuckin mind and decided to hold fifty two Americans hostage for four hundred forty days.
This turned into the first time that I experienced racial hatred directed at someone other then myself or other black folk or a Native American. It didn’t matter if they were from the Sudan, Iran or Saudi Arabia, one of the US’s oldest allies. To the ignorant muthafuckers that lived around us they all fell under the blanket term “sand pounder” or “raghead” and they were all considered the enemy.
And of course I was called a camel fucker and a nigger commie because I remained their friends throughout all the madness. The reason I’m sayin all this is that you cannot haphazardly assess blame toward everyone you see from the Middle East.
The United States did this to the Japanese during the Second World War and it was wrong. You must remember that these people are Americans also, and they’re hurting as much as the rest of us. We are all Americans and we share in the pain of what happened.
Just because they don’t look like you don’t make em your enemy. Remember unless you’re an American Indian ain’t nobody here from here, and look what’s been done to them. Be careful with your hate and who you direct your hate at. This is what terrorism does. Peace
"and the monkey flipped the switch"