Would you feel safe: Ignorance reaches new levels in America


Here is the story: A man in a flight from New York to California made a 40-second video of a Sikh man sleeping seated next to him and put it on the Youtube with the caption “Would you feel safe? Flying with Osama Bin Laden”.

The Sikh man wasn’t even aware of what is happening around him as he was asleep. The man making the video did not try to hide his identity as well.

Ignorance prevailing in the minds of some US citizens touched a whole new level of absurdity. Since the California shooting, a Gurudwara was vandalized, a 12-year-old boy was arrested in Texas for joking that he has a bomb and now this.

America is proud of the fact that they were the first modern democracy with a constitution providing rights in the history of the world.

Where are those rights? Where is that famous inclusive nature of the American society? These incidents are the examples of ignorance, stupidity, fears and racism prevailing in the society that champions itself as the custodians of human rights, equality and free thinking.

This has reached to such a level that it feels nonsensical to even talk about it. It is like you scold a kid for doing something but that kid keeps repeating the same again and again, and one day you get fed up so much so that you give in and start feeling stupid to say the same thing.

The man who made the video received a lot of duly deserved flak on the internet but does it even matter? Does it even teach anyone that it is wrong to assume someone a terrorist because of his colour, beard or looks? No, it does not, because if it would have, it wouldn’t be happening repeatedly.

Stereotyping has, over the time, become such a habit for some of the American citizens that it is not going to go away that easily. It is like their burger and coke.

It is amazing that the whole country like India is branded intolerant because of a shameful and stupid incident that the world media starts writing editorials about it and, on the other hand, America retains its greatness even after the series of ridiculous incidents of hate-crime and mass shooting happening almost daily.

But then they are right, they are America, the great north, and as the “thing go south, it loses its shine”. What do we know? We are hardly 70 years old, we have just six Nobel winners. Only nine Olympic gold medals, even Michael Felps has more.

However, these criteria were created by the western world.

Edward Said, in his book Orientalism, explained that this whole theory of considering which society is greater was built on beliefs and customs of the Western world.

The problem lies deeper as we, as a society, have an inferiority complex and that is why such things keep occuring. Through the cultural imperialism, the west has managed to sustain its hegemony over the developing world.

It is a different debate whether globalization is just Americanization or not but it is for sure that this racist, ignorant absurdity has to stop. The equal treatment should not be just in papers or theories but in practice as well.