While I was waiting for my son to finish class, I read this article in the Village Voice about the Mosque being planned to be built near Ground Zero. Although the article leaned towards self-righteousness in singling out New Yorkers who are socially intolerant towards Muslims, I must admit that the sentiment is common. Whether it's right or wrong is not the question - it's how we deal with it.
You can't rightfully ask a person to trust someone who is trying to kill them. And that's what it boils down to.
Yes, it's ignorant. How could discrimination survive without generating fear? But it's always different when it hits close to home.
I saw the Twin Towers after they were attacked and it was...disturbing. Despite the crowds of people - the streets were uncommonly silent. In essence, it was a wake - that strange ritual Western culture has of viewing a dolled up corpse. Only, there was no fixing up the carnage of the World Trade Center. So typically New Yorkish - it is what it is.
As a Japanese American, I too, have had my share of dealing with racism, discrimination and just ignorance in general. It sucks but what can I do except try to be a bigger person and learn how to deal with it? In school, I had to deal with people taunting me about Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor!
All I can say is, people need time to forgive. The bigger the atrocity - the longer it's going to take. And as wrong as it is for New Yorkers to be wigging out over a Mosque and to be judging all Muslims on the acts of a few fanatics, you can't deny them their fears.
One day the time will come where we won't be labeling all Muslims as terrorists. Until the destruction of the Berlin Wall, all Communists were...well, Commies. Now, they are allowed to exist in peace and even make our toothpaste and fill it with lead but you know, that's just me saying it.