I’ve tried to avoid the news from Boston this week. I just can’t listen to horrific news any more, I’m not trying to be naive, it just aches me in ways that are discomforting. Today, it couldn’t be avoided looking at a city that is shut down, trying to capture one violent criminal.
I think about people all over the world who live in violent areas where it isn’t safe to go anywhere and in some cases not even safe to be at home! Not just places in Mali or Congo, but in Chicago, ATL and Indy as well.
The day the bombing happening I was speaking with a student here from Bangladesh and he was so excited to be going home during the summer. It will be his first Ramadan with his family in years. His one hesitancy in going home would be his return to the US and going through customs because of his name. Although neither he nor his identical twin brother have ever faced any difficulties, he knows people who have, because of their color. Later that evening when I mentioned the bombing to him, he stated that coming back will be even worse if the bombers are Muslim.
I think of these students when the press tries not to say these terrorists are Muslim. They are struggling right now not to draw conclusion. Buried in the conversation on NPR was in interview with a women who knew the two suspects for years via the schools they’ve attended in the US. They’re not new to this country!
I worried somewhat about the safety of Arab and Muslim students here as events unfold, but then I remember how little too many college students know of current events. Gen Y doesn’t watch TV, I wonder how they do get their news? What news sources are in their FB or Twitter feeds? Do they stop to visit Yahoo news when they go online? Do they look for trusted sources for local, national and global news? How do they grow their awareness of the world around them? Do they, like me sometimes choose to bury their heads in the sand?
I don’t want to send money or books to Boston. I want to do something to keep my corner of the world safe and free from cruelty, harm or danger.