Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Dream in Doubt

last night, PBS' Independent Lens premiered "A Dream in Doubt." The episode/film tells the story of an extended Sikh family (common thread = 3 brothers) as they deal with extreme hardships during the days immediately after September 11th, 2001. Actually, "hardships" puts the situation lightly... you see, two of the brothers from this Indian immigrant family are murdered basically because of their appearance. Yes, it is a simplification, but two killers — hellbent on an enraged revenge for 9/11 — murdered these two american citizens simply because the socially-loaded turbans and beards worn by the brothers somehow signified "Al-Queda" to the killers. As the film goes on, you learn that more violence came to this group of immigrants — another friend of the family is murdered under similar circumstances, and yet another family friend receives a string of life-threatening phone calls and visits to his home.

i just now typed the words "race relations in america will continue to be very complex and difficult to comprehend for a long time to come," but a more direct comment might be "what the fuck is wrong with our country?"

the worst part for me personally about all this is that i have to deal with this brand of hate and distrust daily. i work with people who frequently use the phrase "towel head" and i've heard a lot of bigotous rhetoric about neighborhood gas station owner/operators. sometimes i feel as if i'm surrounded by a severe lack of intelligence.

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