“X” is for Xenophobia

Posted Nov 8 2009, 1:14 pm

I was on the treadmill Friday at the gym, watching the coverage of the Ft. Hood shootings on the overhead TV’s, when the woman walking beside me said something about ragheads.

I don’t know this woman well, but we’ve gone to the same gym for 7 years and I’ve always liked her.

My jaw dropped. “I can’t believe you just said that.”

“It’s not a mean thing,” she said. “It’s just a way of referring to a bunch of people from the same part of the world.”

I stared at her for a minute.

“It’s a way,” I said, “of taking diverse people from a single geographical region and painting them all with one paintbrush.”

“It’s not mean,” she said again.

“I’ve heard the same thing about ‘nigger’ and ‘faggot,’” I said. “And I don’t buy it.”

(Note: Those of you who know me only in Blogworld may be saying, “I can’t believe you just said that.” Those of you who know me in Liveworld won’t bat an eye.)

Muslim physicians staff and fund our Thursday night adult walk-in clinic. Because of their kidduth khalq, (an Arabic phrase that translates, roughly, to “good deed”), we see over a thousand patients a year who would otherwise go without care. And those generous doctors and nurses are there to treat, not just Muslims, but anyone who shows up.

So please don’t ever say “ragheads” to me.

Even if Glen Beck says it’s all right.

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