I was sitting on the bus. As we approached a temporary stop, I saw a tall, skinny brunette shivering as she waited in the cold. The bus stopped, the door opened and she stepped in. Right behind her, two girls wearing a burka ran up to the bus. Judging by their attire I’m guessing they were two young muslimas. Not that I’m in any way an expert..
At this point it’s important that I make my stance clear on a few pertinent topics. I’m not generally fond of organized religion. And don’t get me wrong here! I have the utmost respect and admiration for how we, humans, have organized ourselves throughout the ages. I just feel that, at this point in our evolution, we should be beyond any set of rules that needlessly restrict our basic humanity in favour of some vague promise of an afterlife. Of course we should love and respect one another! That part I obviously agree with! 🤗
I also find religions to be generally quite scary. When masses mobilize it can be wonderful but it can also be quite frightening. Therefore all core belief sets should be closely analysed.
Aside from this, I also must admit that I too have seen the ‘muslims are taking over the world’ videos that circulate the net. And the prospect of that being even remotely true kind of scares me. I know about the Koran and I realize that most of its teachings, similar to the ones promoted by the Bible, are far from kind or progressive. I just began rejoicing about Christianity fizzling out into a more tolerant and ecumenical religion. I’m really not prepared to start taking steps back. 😰
However, it’s important to remember that regardless the religion, there will always be fundamentalists. And yes, they are frightening! This because you never really know what teachings the actually took to hart and the ones bent on doing harm are impossible to spot at first sight. But the rest of us actually have nothing to do with them! Why should so many suffer on a daily basis for the wrong doings of the few?
To get back to the story at hand…
The bus driver basically told the two Muslim girls to go take a hike. He said they should walk back to another temporary stop because this one wasn’t his to serve. 😳
The people on the bus started murmuring, some in favor of the drivers behavior and others against. One girl even laughed out loud. Maybe she was nervous…
Now, I don’t think the man was lying. Legally he didn’t even do anything wrong. And yet, what he did was not ok! It was racist, mean and discriminatory. He so easily made an exception for the brunette, he could have just as well made another for the two girls. To add insult to injury, right about when he turned them away it began to rain. And even than, he didn’t budge.
The bus drove off… Before I properly processed what had happened we were at the next stop and me and my girls got off the bus.
As we were walking home I couldn’t stop thinking about the incident. Even now I can’t really believe that it actually happend. It all seems like a distant dream…
Why wasn’t I more alert? Why didn’t I put the driver in it’s place? Would me defending them have matterd? Or would he have thrown me off the bus as punishment for speaking up? Why didn’t anyone else do anything?
Less than 60 years ago people of color have fought hard to even be allowed to sit on a bus! How is it that we have forgotten this?!
The reason I am sharing all this with you today is because I, too, believe that fostering communication about these subjects is key. It is the first step in helping minorities get the respect they deserve.
I admit that I’m most likely somewhat biased and maybe even racist but I am willing to make a change! Are you with me?