When the Towers Fell.

2년 전

Every year the pictures roll out. Captioned with "Do you remember where you were on 9/11?" and "never forget".


It's always people talking about how they were at work when it happened and they rushed home to hold their families a little tighter. How scared they were.

I will never forget where I was when the towers fell, but not for the horror of that event. It was the horror that came after it.

I was in middle school. I was 13.

When the televisions switched on, I was standing in the locker room. We were changing out to go play basketball or do physical assessment. Something that passes as "Physical Education". We didn't go outside that day. Instead, everyone sat in silence and watched.

I remember thinking;

"Why the fuck are they showing this to kids?"

I remember watching bodies tumbling out of the buildings like ragdolls as countless kids were called to the office to go home. Their parents had come to pick them up.

I looked around and locked eyes with two sisters that were on the bench next to me. The only two girls in our school that wore hijabs. All three of us had tears in our eyes, but all three of us said... absolutely nothing.

As the days went by, reports rolled in, kids took advantage of the situation to have extended holidays at home. At some point, things were kind of normal again. Classes became classes again. The student bodies were back, refreshed from playing video games in their pjs.

And I thought... nothing much had really changed.

It was lunch time. Me, being the not-fan of people that I was, would always take my lunch outside of the cafeteria. I used to hang out with "the freaks" (I know, go figure) and our lunch area was a picnic bench under a huge tree. I remember it was pizza day. Not because it was tasty. But because that is what I spent the rest of the day covered in.

It was usually a little rowdy outside, especially at lunchtime. But when I rounded the corner, I knew something was... different. It was angry yelling. Not "bored teenager that has no volume control" yelling.

I walked up to the table, sat my food down, and I looked at my friends. Then I looked where they were looking.

The two sisters were standing in front of an angry mob of kids wearing camo, the "rednecks". The older sister was holding the younger sister's hand while these kids screamed at them.

"TERRORISTS!"

"SAND NIGGERS!"

"GO BACK TO YOUR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY YOU MUSLIM PIECES OF SHIT!"


I will admit that for a moment I just... stood there.

I had never seen anything like it in my life. Even in my racist small town. These were kids. Where did they learn those words?!

And then I saw hands start to come up. I saw mob mentality in children my age. I honestly didn't even think and started to charge their way. I was followed by some of the other "freaks". We saw food start to fly, and we ran. We lined up between the sisters and the little budding blossoms of racism. Myself and another girl embraced them to make sure they were completely sheltered because we knew that the trays could come next. Maybe rocks, who knows.

In the end, myself (since I was intimidating in size even at that age) and some of the bigger guys took after them until they sort of disbanded.

I remember thinking... where the fuck are the adults?

I will never forget how they cried.

I had never even thought twice about their hijabs or religion, in fact, I knew so little about the Muslim religion because I was disinterested in all religions it never even occurred to me. I just thought they were modest. Or it was like... a yamaka but for ladies?

We took them back to our table and cleaned them up where pizza sauce had gotten to them. We were used to not fitting in, so we always tried to protect and take care of others that didn't, either.

The whole group went back to the cafeteria to get water and heaps of napkins while the rest of us stood guard. Everyone cleaned themselves up in silent contemplation.

It was this epiphany that the world, because of one day, had changed. And not in a good way. These girls had done absolutely nothing, and people hated them. That is a heavy realization for 13 years old.

I wish I could say that this was the end of it, that we chased the hate spewing bullies away (which we did, whenever we saw shit in the halls). But the girls left maybe a week or two later.

I couldn't blame them.

And I would never forget.

Because for the last 17 years, that hatred... that is still there and is as strong as ever.

It hasn't faded away with a whimper, or with acceptance. Blind, blanket anger and bile and racism is rampant and now, it is embraced.

It's excused away as other things. Like protection of our borders. Saying that anyone coming through could be a terrorist. Bans on Muslim countries. We are protecting ourselves.

But I will remember.
I will never forget that I saw children taught to hate. These children are in their 30's now.

I was there when the towers fell. I was there when people started hating Muslims overnight for something they had fucking nothing to do with. I was there when CHILDREN were terrorized by "True Blue Americans". I was there... when they were chased out of school. For their religion.

I was there when hatred was born.

And I will never forget.




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Being a middle school kid is pain enough without 911 disturbing the "peace". I was out of the country back then and couldn't believe what I was seeing on the news. I had some idea of the ripple it would cause but hoped it would unite people in love.

Misfits always feel out of place because they are actually the only ones who have the guts to follow their convictions in spite of pressure to give in to a norm.

This post was upvoted for being original and creative!
Keep up the excellent work! Thank you for being a supporter of the Creativebot.
Much love. <3

Effffffffff I adore you. Just had to get that out there.
I have a student this year who wears a hijab. My first ever.

And she is the freaking sweetest. This is only her second year, but she is busting her butt to learn English. She stays after class EVERY DAY to make sure her work is correct and ask questions. I don't know that I've ever met a language learner who was so dedicated to getting it right. I am so proud to know her. To get to teach her.

·

Thanks so much for shilling this post! I would have missed this beauty if you hadn't :-)

I'm pretty speechless right now.
Thanks for sharing this episode.
17 years are a long time. And right now there's a growing number of Teens and Twens questioning the inhumanity of the Third Reich even. To a growing extent they're spreading on Steemit too.
As if nothing at all has been learned. :(

  ·  2년 전

Thanks for sharing this story, you got under my skin.
I find it really amazing that despite being marked as freaks, you guys managed to set up a community of you own and defend each other. In my school, we never managed to do this.

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well that certainly speaks of courage @stitchybitch

i don't think hatred was born that day though, just latent and given an opportunity to come out, its standard in people to be afraid of whatever is unknown, as far as i can figure out it dates back to primal instinct , fear of the dark even, the core stem of the brain, everything unknown might be a danger. Sapients are said to have evolved

but i doubt that ... not much beyond iThings really, technology is evolving but humans havent, not for over 100.000 years (the dot is a comma in some places i hear)

I can't say i live in the most worldly town either but on the other hand it takes only a few fanatics to make everyone look bad and those are in ample supply in some places ...
we've had our share here with sharia for belgium , bombing of the airport, the metro, reaching all the way to Paris where they shot up a nightclub full of kids. (bataclan) , six guys with kalashnikovs and what do you get ? every stasi in europe blaming the others because it wasnt "their fault"
even more so i wonder why no one blames the bushes and before because it didnt start at 9/11, it started in afghanistan when they were battling the commies and basically created al qaeda (as an opposing force to the russians) by training and sponsoring them.
vae victis and history is never written by the loser

situation in london isnt making things better either, i sometimes feel muslim should clean out their own a bit so not everyone looks like a terrorist to most people but i think they're just as afraid as everyone else.

i try not to get in the middle, which isnt hard b/c i always stick to myself in the past years but its hard in the middle of people who know it all

its not comparable to the scale of 9/11 but i dont think you can "grade" a tower versus a night club full of kids by number of corpses or something like that

my previous residence i had plenty of all kinds of friends , i should say acquaintances as i went to school there studying socio-cultural work and there was people from everywhere, thats a bit hard here, "us" sticks to themselves and "them" stick to themselves heh

and me, i dont get more social by the day here either

i remember exactly where i was on 9/11, a friend mailed me from work like OMG SEE THIS and i was first like WOAW, ive never seen a hoax that elaborate with special effects, must have watched it ten times before i started believing it was real

its gotta stop somewhere, one way or another but with the growing nudge to the right here in EU i fear it might be the other way first :/

I'm so glad you shared this and the way you shared this: it was a pleasant read despite the ugliness of the subject. I'm from the Netherlands and here it's much the same as in the rest of McWorld; the hatred is alive and kicking and everywhere nationalist populists grow in elections because of "borders" and "terror" and "mind the Muslim threat" and other bullshit meant to sound as if it's for our protection...

Thanks for reminding us, @stitchybitch, of the birth of hate.

check this out Stitchy B. :

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/knit-map-of-space

for some reason i had to think of your writings when i saw that

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Oh, Stitchy. Another shitty story from a brutally shitty time.

Here, it was a guy walked into a convenience store and without a word blew the clerk away. 9-12.

The clerk was the owner of the store, he was afraid for his employees so he worked the night shift.

He was a Sikh. About as far from a Muslim as you can get. The guy didn't even know who he hated, just that he did. It makes me incredibly sad to this day, As does your story.

Thanks for telling it.