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minor re/visions of 9/11

September 11, 2015

I remember the day, 9/11/2001, like it was yesterday.

I was a student in New York City. I’d been living there for a while at that time—I was still adjusting to being in the big city. I was a Native kid,…

On this particular morning—September 11—I remember hitting “Snooze” in the morning time and going back to sleep. When I passed back out, I remember dreaming about a plane, a small crop-duster in my dream, hitting a small building and falling to the ground….

It was undoubtedly a tragedy. But September 11th wasn’t a surprise, at least not for Native people and many people of color. No, Native people were already well aware of ….

[the need for] rectification for the Marias Massacre, for the Sand Creek Massacre, for Wounded Knee, for North Tulsa/Black Wall Street, the Mankato Mass Hanging, the Red Summer of 1919, Joe Coe, Emmett Till, Internment Camps of Japanese, Chinese Exclusion Act, Slavery, Jim Crow, Genocide, Forced Tubal Ligation of Native Women, Tuskegee Experiments, etc., etc., etc….
Gyasi Ross, “The Day White Innocence Died: An Indigenous Take on #September11

“Keep your head low.” My mother said those words to me sometime after Sept. 11, 2001. It left me baffled and confused at the age of 10. What did my being Muslim have to do with an attack that turned buildings into ash and rubble more than 700 miles away?

I accidentally smashed my thumb in my mother’s Corolla door on the first anniversary of 9/11. She insisted I still go to school even though my thumb had already begun to turn the hues of a Turbo Rocket Popsicle. I was dressed for the occasion, I thought. Red ribbons complacently swayed with my pigtails, red shirt and blue jeans making my white belt pop….
Mahjabeen Syed, “The pain of growing up Muslim in post-9/11 America

A peculiar silence had consumed the usual commotion of my elementary classroom when my teacher Ms. Rubin rushed into the room in the early hours of September 11th, 2001. Her face had lost its familiar tones of vibrance, and her hands were clapped to her mouth.

“The Twin Towers have been hit,” she chokingly announced.

The events of 9/11 profoundly impacted my childhood. I recited the pledge of allegiance every morning, yet I was singled out for my brown skin. Our neighbors shunned my family and I was frisked without fail upon every visit to the airport. I feared for my family — not from terrorism, but from the patriotic zeal that plagues this country.
Chiraayu Gosrani, “The real post-9/11 United States

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2015 10:45 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Kurk. I have long been at the point where horror at the violence inflicted within or by the US in the wake of the 9/11 attacks significantly outweighs the horror of the attacks themselves. It was helpful to see this posted on 9/11.

  2. September 17, 2015 8:21 pm

    Thank you, Victoria. (I probably should have given credit to Morris Young for his title: )

  3. September 18, 2015 6:51 am

    And I think none of the writes quoted here are surprised at what happened, days after 9/11/2015, to Ahmed Mohamed in school in the USA.

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