Elizabeth Stuart, Hope College 2018
“They are not those whose home is Europe”- Talal Asad
Reading through these two readings caused me to be depressed again for a few minutes at the fickleness of humanity. Maybe I have a higher belief of how humans should interact and behave with each other. Even though I grew up in the ultimate “white bread” community, my little neighbor hood was extremely diverse. To one side my neighbors were Spanish. Across the street we had an old Texan couple, an Indian family (first generation children), two different sets of French families, some English families, as well as a German family down the street. I had two different neighbors on the other side of me through my childhood. One was a Jewish family, and the other was a Muslim family who I was super close with. Now for a small Michigan city this is a highly diverse neighborhood, and we got along really well. Of course we were nosey, and constantly trying to “get the scoop” on the goings on of the neighbor hood. But we were strong together, and I miss the sense of unwavering community that they provided.
So with this as my up bringing I simply do not comprehend why some people do not welcoming diversity into ones life. The thought that people are scared to live in contact with other religions just seems like such an exhausting way to live. If this fear is strong enough that you are driven to pass a law preventing little girls from going to school dressed in a way that they believe is right, and that they are probably most comfortable in. How is that a way to exist?
I just come out of these readings more confused about the ability of mass fear to take over a collective of people.