“I’m used to the idea of being looked at, but I’m not used to actually being looked at.”
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Transcript for The Ultra Evil Eye
Discrimination here is difficult because most people are too afraid to say or do anything. If you’re going to have real problems, it’s probably going to be in like, bigger cities, but in Valpo, you know… Twenty years ago, like, before I was born, there were like, no Muslims here. And now, it’s like, the community’s huge, you know, and like, you can’t go to the mall or go anywhere without — I can’t really, without meeting someone I know, you know? You know, I’ve never been in danger in any way. I used to kind of get more like, looks and stares. Comments? Most people are too afraid. The times when people have done that, they will say something, and then they were in a car, so they drove off. So, it’s very cowardly, like don’t even give me a chance to respond, whatever. Honestly, anyone who’s going to say anything, it’s not worth my time to, you know, get angry. I don’t like to get angry ever. But yeah, I mean, I’ll just kind of respond as respectfully slash, you know, firmly as I can.
The typical one is…ok…I don’t generally use this comment… ‘F— you, terrorist!’ That’s like, you’ll typical what you’ll get. Most people are not very creative in their comments. It’s like the same thing over and over again. So, that’s the one you’re going to get most. That’s because they know nothing about the religion aside from its supposed link to terrorism which they don’t realize is completely false, so. Most of it is staring. Like, the ultra evil eye that I get. You just—you get used to the idea of being looked at. Which is sad, because I’m used to the idea of being looked at, but I’m not used to actually being looked at, and actually like, you know, it’s always kind of weird like when you know someone has their eyes on you. A lot of times it’s out of curiosity. Most of the time it’s easy to tell between the two. But you know, like, I just — there’s really like — if they’re curious and they come and ask, I’ll talk, otherwise, like, there’s not much I can do. I smile and wave at anyone who’s staring at me if I catch them doing it, and then naturally they look away, and I just kind of laugh it off, but I don’t react. I don’t think it’s a good idea to react very strongly towards that because usually people who are trying to get — they’re trying to get a reaction out of you. So I tend to just be as polite as I can when I’m responding, and a lot of times, you know, if someone’s like, staring at me, and then I kind of smile at them, they’re like, ‘Oh hey.’ They smile back at me, you know. I’d say, yeah, staring is like the biggest thing, but it kind of comes with the territory, you know? That’s probably what I deal with most.