Walking into the busy corner store, I get my chips, my drink, and get in line. The store, there for years, owned by an American family. The store is crowded, people everywhere.  There is a loud Hispanic man at the front, shirt unbuttoned, missing teeth, unshaven. He snarls at the cashier, and loudly yells, “So, what’s it like to be a Muslim in America today?”  Everyone freezes, gasps, and is embarrassed for the man,
out of ignorance, -controversy…
The crickets quit chirping for the reply.
“It is wonderful for me, I am an American before I am a Muslim”, he says “and it is much better than being an American in Iraq! I can tell you that!” Everyone laughed and agreed. He concluded, “ It is not America’s fault,...everyone knows that all Muslims are not terrorists,...the problem is that all terrorists are Muslim….I hate terrorists!” he smiles and laughs it off. 
I being a white woman dug into my soul. Wanting to relate, to feel him bleed red as I too bleed red, I gained perception. I realized most serial killers are white. I fully understood. Though a bit too big, I stood there in his shoes and thought, “I hate serial killers.” What I learned from it all?
That he was Muslim.
 I had always seen a kind man, without label. 
That evening, needing milk, I walked to the corner store…..

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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