Many Americans feel that they are much more patriotic since the terrible terrorists acts against our country on September 11, 2001. After all, aren’t they displaying the American flag proudly in front of their home? Haven’t they even gone the extra mile to show their patriotism by displaying the flag on their cars, clothes, and anywhere else where they feel it will be noticed?
Unfortunately, not only does an act of this nature bring out the best in people, but it also brings out the worst in people. Some of the same people who boast about what great patriotic Americans they are, are negating those words by their unkind acts against other Americans. It is amazing how soon we forget the lessons of our past. We read about how Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps, all of their possessions taken away, because people feared them after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Since we are removed from the emotions that were prevalent during those times, we think that Americans reacted in a very unjust way. We were right. Not only were the Japanese Americans proud of their country, they demonstrated their patriotism by fighting for our country even though America had turned her back on them and imprisoned their families.
Today the national news reported that two brothers of Middle Eastern descent tried to fly on an American airline. So many people on the plane refused to fly because of their fear that these men could be terrorists, airline officials had to remove the men from the plane. After an attack on our homeland, it is only human to have some fears and concerns. People after World War II feared the Japanese and anyone who looked Japanese, even if they were Americans. Now it’s easy to see that not only were those fears unjustified, but they also did a lot of damage to our country by allowing us to build up walls between Americans. Since the terrorist attacks, we are seeing threats against Americans who are descendents of the Middle East. Many of them fear for their lives.
It is probably impossible to not experience any prejudice at all. We have all experienced people judging us, even hating us because of our race or religion. Due to past experiences we’ve had, we may notice that when a certain type of person walks in the room, we fill uneasy. There isn’t anything wrong with that. That’s a natural human response. On a much larger scale, soldiers experience that same uneasiness, even fear for their lives, when they go into battle. They too could choose to let their fear get the best of them and desert their country; or they could choose to overcome their fear and do what is best for America, stay and fight. We need to overcome our “fear” and do what is best for America. We need to show the world that America has always been and will always be a land where all people are treated equally.
Many people are donating blood, money, clothes and their time to help restore our country. These people and more are asking, “What can I do to help?” What you can do is to reach out to people and let them know; that you’re glad they’re here. If you were on that airplane, would you have stood up and defended the two men? Would you have invited them to sit in the seat next to you? More than anything else, what you can do to help this country in this time of crisis is to be a friend to all Americans. Many people fantasize about how heroic they would be if they saw that someone’s life was in danger. Many Middle Eastern Americans’ lives and quality of life is in danger.
Will you be their hero?
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