Please Don’t Give up on Your Core Values, Please Don’t Break My Heart

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The world seem so polarized now, it’s like a battle where people are confused between what’s good and what’s evil – yes, I use these terms even though I know the reality is more nuanced than that – and how I hear people speak nowadays I’m reminded of darker times, when some people are less of value. I thought people in my beautiful country of Sweden would never let me down, but maybe I was wrong.

I don’t think I’m speaking from out of a shielded, dark room somewhere. I was a humanitarian aid worker for many years. I was in Peshawar, Pakistan, when the infamous school massacre happened. I was in Syria when the Banyas massacre took place. I used to work in a women’s shelter where I met victims of sexual trafficking. I’ve once worked with elderly Jewish people in Sweden who survived the Holocaust. I’ve heard of all sorts of horrible things people do to one another when their disconnected from their feelings of empathy. Still I’m so bothered by what I hear sometimes, intolerant and insensitive things that people say. And what have come to bother me more is when people that I believed had decent values and were educated and aware (this doesn’t necessarily go together), don’t stick with them.

It’s so easy to claim you’re humanitarian, a someone who believes in equality, but some people cannot stick with this when they’re confronted with ignorant people. As if ignorant people holds some sort of power over less ignorant ones. What’s in their power? Well, here’s something I have to tell you: when people don’t stick to their core values, it breaks my heart.

I deal with this on a regular basis. The society as I experience it, my own little corner of the society, has become so much more openly aggressive towards people with a lower status in the society, the different ones, the ones who don’t belong to the majority, than what I was used to. I’m gotten so used to it that I deal with it the same way I do when a relationship ends. I lock the door, stay in all night and crack open a whine bottle to numb the feelings of betrayal and despair. I give calls to my sisters and friends who put up with listening.

It breaks my heart if I see you listen to an intolerant, slightly racist comment, and you nod as if you agree when I know you don’t.

It breaks my heart when you happily go out and party with girls who just dropped negative things about immigrants, or minorities, or both, when you qualify for both of these categories and you pretend you don’t care.

It breaks my heart when you so much want to make friends that whatever these friends will say, you keep quiet and hang out with them.

It breaks my heart when you defend your loved one who keep saying intolerant things just because he’s your loved one, even though I know you deep inside don’t agree; when love and the dependency that follows takes over sanity.

Today is such a day again. I feel betrayed by my society, that I thought was better, was truthful, would never let me go. I lock the door and switch the lights off. Reach for a glass in the cupboard, keeping the wine bottle near. It’s going to be a long night.

Photo credit: upvenue.com

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“You Need a White Cock in that Mouth” – Emails from My Haters

Do you like my blog and my ideas? Not everybody does.

The experience is new to me since I haven’t been attacked like this before and it’s a different thing knowing about people’s prejudices and to experience them first hand.

A response on Facebook to my blog post “Can I like this page if I date Arab men?” told me I should keep in mind that whites are probably the least racist in the world. I asked the person – no first or last name and the profile picture was the Swedish flag – to back up the statement with some verified research, and received the following answer:

That’s not needed. We let all nonwhites into our country. And now the original population in all the immigrated countries starts to grow tired of the ungratefulness we are given in return. We have the right to become angry and complain. Same thing as if you would receive a guest who didn’t liked the food you cooked and he/she should just demand a lot from you.” (The original population in Sweden is not whites but Sami, but Mr No name might not have been very attentative during his school years.)

Another commenter, self-proclaimed American, found our Arabic-Swedish network’s Facebook group and only the idea of our network seemed to drive him nuts (he’s not the first one). He posted a hateful message on the wall on how Sweden could let in Arabs, which I as a moderator removed. Immediately the reactions came in private emails:

So much for free speech (sic). Fuck you too! 89% of the rapist in Sweden are Arab. Shame on you and all ARab women. No self respect!

Answering and explaining why I had removed his wall post only exaggerated his anger, part of it steemed from the belief that I too am an Arab (one part is translated from Arabic written with Latin letters):

All people living in America Turkish Malay Indian Pakistani Persian… only Arab bastards cause trouble. Also why do you people FORCE your daughter to wear hijab? You can’t teach them modesty first? No wonder they go out and keep boyfriends on the sly. Arab bitch… Are you Lebanese? All Lebanese are bitches Your mother too is an Arab animal. You need a white cock in that mouth. You wish you were white and worship us whites.” (Who was it that was supposedly a rapist by the way?)

So this is obviously the kind of comment you can receive if you belong to an ethnic group not everyone seems fond of. What else could you face as a minority if this is the response I get on my according to me quite harmless commitment?

My reply to the man before I blocked him:

Hello Mukhter! I am 100% white and I suggest you find other people to share your ideas with as I don’t find hate very appealing:)

More comments like these are surely to come, but I won’t let hate set the agenda.