“We’re all fundamentally the same and our differences are trivial, and I disagree with that wholeheartedly. We’re fundamentally different, and we have an unbelievable amount in common.”
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Transcript for On My Own Terms
I was joking with my brother the other day. Being raised Muslim was an education in being a liar. *laughs* What I mean by this is just like when you go to school, public school in Valparaiso, Indiana you know? You had this American existence, and when you go home you have this um cultural and religious existence, and they are two very different entities. Very different entities, and neither is compatible.
It’s not necessarily a problem with Valparaiso University in particular, but um this isn’t a system of multiculturalism Valparaiso has embraced. It kind of garners attitudes that we’re all fundamentally the same and our differences are trivial, and I disagree with that wholeheartedly. We’re fundamentally different, and we have an unbelievable amount in common.
It just seems like a play on words there, but really it affects your attitude in how you see and how you embrace things. Um, and like I do experience racism on campus, but when you say the word racism you think the ugly connotations to it. Um, but you know if I go to a college get together I sometimes I do notice people being extra nice to me because I am different and like that’s a form of racism, positive racism. It is kind of silly like, like sometimes I feel appreciated because of what I am, and it’s certainly nice, but what’s more important to me is an individual, as a human being, is who I am.
Um, frankly, I’m still figuring out what the role is of my identity, Indian, American, ex-Muslim, second generation American. I meet new people all the time, hang out, it just kind of happens. Always in the first conversation, the question of my origin always comes up. Like I’m totally open, totally comfortable talking about race, ethnicity, and religion, but I just want to be, I want to bring it up on my own terms on my own accord.
And when someone asks me, either out of curiosity or the uglier side maliciousness um I just feel like they’re viewing me though this singular lense and I feel marginalized as an American.