Thursday, June 09, 2005

terrorists found close to home and a paranoid mother

"F*** the police!" has been my mantra ever since I was a young'n stealing packs of Big League Chew from the local AM/PM. But I have to say "Thank the fuzz!" for arresting suspected terrorists in Lodi, CA. I'm from Stockton, just south of Lodi (I never thought I'd use Lodi as a point of reference) and my mom's a bit old-fashioned and paranoid and demanded that I shave my goatee since I'm Indo-Fijian (born in Fiji but of Indian decent) and people might think I'm Muslim. My mom worries they'll mistake me for a Muslim, thus mistaking me for a terrorist all because of my mistake of growing facial hair which worries my mother that I'll become the victim of hate crimes or racial profiling. (I don't think I've been racially profiled yet, even though I've recieved tickets for dumb stuff and I'd like to blame it on my skin color, I have to admit that traffic laws and I don't mix well.)

I love my mom and though she may seem a little crazy, there's actually validity to her wacky demand. Hate crimes against southeast Asians, especially Sikhs, rose tremendously just after 9/11. Here's an old Sept. 2001 article from CNN detailing the 300 hate crimes in less than a week. Ignorant people will believe that every southeast Asian is a terrorist and aim hatred in our direction, there's no stopping that; racism ain't goin' anywhere, ma. And I don't know how the guys were caught in Lodi, but if it was through racial profiling, then at least some good came out of it.

Oh, and I still hate cops.

-Zoneil Maharaj.


At 8:19 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Americans are famous for being ignorant about other cultures. I suppose it would be easy to mistake many Indians for middle easterners, but to mistake Sikhs for them takes a real idiot. I would have thought the American public would have learned something from the Vincent Chin case. In case you don't know, Vincent Chin was a Chinese American that was beaten and killed by two men who supposedly lost their jobs because of the Japanese takeover of the auto industry. Now no one deserved one. But it just underlines their stupidity that they ended up killing an Asian who wasn't even Japanese in descent.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Joe Caggiano said...

If you can't follow the traffic and other laws please don't be so quick to think it's racisim of any kind.Your mother is right clean up your act and make yourself more presentable at the very least. That may at least keep others opinion of you a good one in general.

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