Sunday, January 3, 2010
When I first heard of this terror attempt, I was disappointed but I wasn't going to allow it to affect me. I'd even made light of it. Then the gravity of the incident dawned on me when I was on a cab ride in Times Square, NYC and saw "Nigerian" and "terrorist attack" in the same sentence. My heart sank instantly.
After reading this article, my heart sunk even lower. I never considered the hard time that my family and I could face when traveling or when interacting with people ignorant of Nigerians. I knew that a new stereotype would come from this incident.
We're already known as 419 scammers, dating sites scammers, and/or simply cab drivers. I never cared for those labels because I know that the majority of Nigerians are hardworking people. I know that the majority of Nigerian immigrants and their children are strivers and thrivers. Even though the media and anti-immigration bigots want to label us as "con artists" or "rank-and-file," I know that isn't the case.
So, to my fellow Nigerians, and those in the Muslim community, I ask that you do not allow the actions of Umar F. Abdulmutallab and his ilk to have you hang your head in shame nor walk with your tail between your legs. After all, the Arab and/or Muslim Worlds do not and neither do Americans. You are an INDIVIDUAL. If any bigot tells you otherwise, be sure to correct them ;-)