My son was initially hospitalized right before the 9/11 attack that year. He was to spend the next year and a half in a coma and his first day in the hospital was 9/1/2001. The date is important because I decided to share something with you all …something that I am now ashamed of but back then I didn’t know any better.
You see I slept in the waiting rooms of the ER and was forced to leave during medical rounds and some times the only thing to do was watch TV. Since it was at the time of the 9/11 attacks, the channels of choice were all breaking news and updates. I watched as the media displayed “terrorist suspects”, I heard all their stories about being at strip bars the night before, carrying the KORAN every where…I would see attacks, bombings, anti-American… Muslim people around the world saying “f---- you America” I mean anywhere you looked you would see it.
Then I began to see news at home innocent people of the Muslim faith getting attacked terrorized in their homes in their places of worship. I saw people of the SIKH faith (who by the way does not get along or to put it mildly are not on the best terms with Muslims) get attacked called names treated badly simply based on appearance.
Now granted I was not in the best frame of mind…but I will say this …my mind was BOMBARDED with scary images on both sides…people acting out fear.. and ignorance ..nothing but hatred…. I was also being asked for ID every time I entered the hospital and randomly at various places…Every time I heard an airplane I would cringe….I think without going into more in detail you all understand my frame of mind. I later heard the so called confessions and did not question how they received their evidence. You see I was too scared to ask logical questions.
Well one day in the hospital cafeteria there sitting across from me was a man with four women all wearing black abayas (the long robe they wear to cover them from their neck down) and black hijabs (the veil they wear that covers their head and most of their face so that only the eyes are exposed) I want to tell you all that I was gripped by terror right then. I am so ashamed to say this but the truth is…right then I wondered if they wanted to bomb the children’s hospital. I thought I am not leaving my son and I guess if those are their intentions I am about to die with him.
In retrospect I now realize how controlled by the media I was. At the time I knew nothing of the Muslim faith and the fact is… I found the women covering up from head to toe exposing only their eyes, freaked me out. I was openly ignorant of the religion and the culture and therefore easily manipulated into fear.
I am not that person any more, I see things for what they are not what I am told. What I don’t know I investigate and do my best to come to a fair conclusion based on the evidence I uncover. I want to say this because I believe this still happens today. The media controls our opinion the real criminals fly under the radar and we are victims of our Perceptions. In my state of mind I may have been easier to manipulate but I take responsibility for my mistake.
I also have to wonder what is being said in other countries…who controls their media…and is it not possible that they are just as, if not more, manipulated by biased media? By more I mean, for these people it is real life…they have only to see the soldiers kill innocent people for reasons the soldiers themselves do not even know… and yet we expect them to LOVE US? If you can honestly place yourself in these peoples shoes, would you?