Friday, March 20, 2015

Letter to Pine Bush High School

I, like many others today, stumbled across an article about the Pledge of Allegiance recited in Arabic at your school. I thought it was a beautiful idea that students would be allowed to share their language and cultures with the rest of the student body through reciting their loyalty and commitment towards the U.S. I guess the school disagreed because of the immediate apology that was issued.
I think the apology teaches individuals that diversity is ONLY OK in some cases. How do you think the Arab students felt? Or the other students who come from homes where other languages are spoken? Their voices aren't important, they should forget where their families have come from because it's offensive to intolerant parents. Diversity is OK if you're not Arab, or Afghan, or Pakistani, right? What a disgusting and un-American message to be spreading to our children.
The fact that families who had loved ones spend time in Afghanistan were offended by this shows me that MORE cultural educations need to be done in this school. Arabic is not the language of Afghanistan. Why were Jewish parents offended? Have they heard the stories of Arabs protecting Jews during the Holocaust? Or other stories of Arabs and Jews working together? I think this conversation could turn into something extremely valuable for the students of this school, and this entire community!

You have the power to create change - it's right in your hands! You have the power to unite communities. It's not by issuing apologies or press release, it's about issuing knowledge and love and talks of inclusion. It seems that the student body at your school is divided. Why was an Arab student made to feel excluded and now probably targeted for his/her race? It's truly saddening that a school cowardly gives in to intolerance of parents and ignores the best interests of the children.
I'm not Arab, but I am different. I look a little different, and I feel a little different. I represent multiple races and my ancestors fought for this country's foundation. Would someone know just by looking at me? Absolutely not. But I will tell them why I look the way I do at any chance I get. I share my cultural experiences because I don't want little boys and girls to grow up in a world of misunderstanding and hatred towards different.
Your Vision talks about "a global and changing society", but the board's apology for promoting dialogue about the changing society contradicts that vision statement. Please consider promoting cultural understanding at your school. It will change lives.
Thank you and all the best for you and your community.​
Anisah Khan
Freelance Superhero 

 *This was a letter in response to Pine Bush's apology after a student recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic.
Articles on this can be found here and here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This is Strong

Today I'm wearing my "THIS IS STRONG: Mudderella" t-shirt to support Futures Without Violence and to remind myself of my own self-worth. There are so many warning signs for an unhealthy relationship that you may not recognize until it's too late. If something doesn't feel right, don't ignore that feeling. A healthy relationship should feel GOOD to be part of. If you feel inadequate, guilty, or like you're walking on egg shells all of the time, chances are you are not with the right person. If you've stopped telling your family and friends about the person you're with because they're convinced he's an asshole to you, chances are you're not with the right person. If you need help leaving an unhealthy relationship, because it's often extremely difficult to leave despite what people say, it's OK to seek professional help.

Samirah sent me this article on some of the characteristics of a manipulator. I highly recommend reading this and similar articles on signs of manipulation and abuse.

And the article talks about guys, but I think it's important to note that girls can be just as manipulative as men.

"Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the 'hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me' variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome." -cassiopaea

The article can be found here. And yes, I've linked it three times in this post because it's THAT important.
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