Today’s giving is for two students whose home was vandalized on 9/11, but I need your help.
My prior three posts were about the compassion and spirit of service that has grown up in America in the ten years since 9/11.
But tonight I received some disturbing news
While so many people around the world were engaged in remembrance and service, a despicable act took place.
My friend who is a teacher in a local high school informed me that on 9/11, two of her students’ homes were egged. There was spit and graffiti on both front doors.
The students are of middle eastern descent.
I, as an American, and a human am embarrassed, and outraged that such bigotry and hatred continues to go on. Especially on a day already laden with so much sadness.
If you feel as I do, please add a comment to this post giving your support to these students and I will pass them along to their teacher.
I could not prevent this from happening, but I can tell those students that I am disgusted by such an action and that I welcome them with open arms.
Who will add a comment to this post and say to these students – You are welcome in my community!!!???
To my friends in my community, whose homes were vandalized on 9/11, please know that I welcome you into my town and my neighborhood. I deplore the acts of those who see only through the warped lens of bigotry and hatred. You are respected and welcome.
How sad…God created us all- each one of us unique and wonderful! Thank you Eric for standing up for your neighbors! You would be welcome here also!
Dear Eric, What a great journey you are on. The only way to combat this kind of action (the eggs on the housese) is with love and caring and giving. I spend part of each day promoting peace, person by person through International Exchange. I volunteer with AFS, American Field Service Intercultural Exchange. We have 59 exchange students in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon this fall–here to promote peace, person by person; family by family; school by school. It is through the children understanding and compassion will be born. Many of us spent September 11, 2011 at Interfaith Memorial Services and we ended the day with a candlelight vigil at the Beaverton Fountain–home of Washington County Peace Vigil. We must all follow your lead by giving, forgiving and acting in respectful, compassionate ways to all humankind. Harambee! (Pulling together in time of need.) ubuntu (the essence of being human) We are all in this together! Sally Ann
Wonderful! Peace is indeed organic, and inclusive. Thank you Sally Ann.
I’m so saddened by this story. I hope that our friends who were on the receiving end of this awful act know that the majority of people would be shocked and saddened by it. You are certainly welcome in my community!
Thanks Cat. Kids don’t need to be treated like that.
I just delivered a baby for a Muslim couple. My first meeting with them I asked what I should do to be respectful of their religion. They were actually a little insulted by that I think and asked me to please just treat them like everyone else. So instead we have talked about movies, kids and food. A universal language. It is sometimes hard to see past the outward signs of our differences but people are all the same in the end. My advice to the students is that most of this country’s citizens are simply interested in the things they love and just an angry, vocal few are concentrated on their hate. It is the same as any other country, culture or faith.
Well spoken Tammi. Thank you.
I’m embarrassed by this, too. We are a nation of immigrants, and I personally welcome you to our community. E pluribus unum (Out of many, one) used to be our unofficial national motto. The cowards who did this to you need some lessons in civility, history and respect. Please know that for every coward who would do something like this, there are many of us who know that diversity makes us stronger.
Thank you Steve.
I thank you and commend you for your compassionate response to such an insensitive act. No human being, especially our youth, on our great planet should be subject to bigotry. Eric, i share my comment in the spirit of what we refer to in Africa as, ubuntu (the essence of being human)! Our humanity is bound up in one another for we can only be humans together. I am because you are and you are because i am. So when we dehumanize another, we dehumanize ourselves. There is an unbreakable umbilical cord that ties us all as human beings and because of our shared humanity, i want to say sorry to those innocent young people. Remind them that they are LOVED and welcome with open arms! Only together, can we find sustainable peace and celebrate our Oneness! Eric, thank you for your compassion.
Lou, that’s beautiful. Thank you.
A note to the families: I am saddened and angered that such an atrocious act would happen in our community. Please know that this is not representative of Americans as a whole. The anger this act showed should not have been directed at your innocent family. I am so sorry your family had to suffer. You are welcome in my community and in my home.
– Melissa Winger
Very well said, Melissa. Thanks.
When I was about seven years old I tripped on the pavement in front of my house and hurt myself. I don’t actually remember the fall, or the pain. But I vividly remember my classmate and neighbor Toni coming over to ask if I was OK. I lashed out at her, yelling and hitting until she cried. I didn’t know how to manage my pain and embarrassment, so I blamed someone else; someone completely innocent.
Though most of us grow past this (I hope I have!), some few still seek to blame others for their own pain and confusion. I am so very sorry you were subjected to this pointless and thoughtless act. It had nothing at all to do with you.
Know that you are loved as a friend and fellow participant in this wondrous, if at times confounding, human experience. I hope your faith in humanity has not been too deeply wounded and that it recovers soon.
Robert, you most certainly have grown past it. Thank you.
You are doing an amazing job of welcoming these kids, not only into your life, but our lives as well. It is sad and disturbing that they are being targeted for something they have no connection to. September 11th, 2001 was a day of great tragedy for everyone in this country, regardless of skin color, nationality, or religious beliefs. Unfortunately, a select few felt that retaliating against innocent people would, in some way, provide them with the satisfaction of revenge for the tragic events that had occurred. The victims shared in the national grief, outrage and horror, but, because of their appearance, they also became targets of violence.
To the victims in this case: you are a part of this community, you are one of us.
They are one of us, indeed. Thank you Chandni
I feel so sorry to hear that such thing happened. It’s sad that these things in one way or another still occur, and it can’t be seen how painful and inhuman it is. I would like to thank you again for keeping up such an amazing and being a person that only brings positive sides to our international and national society.
From the other side of the world (Albania), I wanted to share my sorrow with this family and say I am sorry this had to happen to you. I am sure this is not an american-representative behavior and I am happy that you can find such welcoming and grateful american people so ready and willing to help.
Nice, Marisa. Falimnderit.
I too, am very sorry to hear about this story. No one should be victims of bigotry at any time. I am a Filipino and many of us have also experienced discrimination. There is never any excuse for such acts. I am hoping that those people who have caused you harm will eventually learn tolerance and acceptance.
I hope so too, cheriep. Thank you.
Thank you for allowing us an opportunity to speak directly to these students and their families. Whatever cowards performed those actions to your home, do not represent what I and my family believe. We are all human beings and should be treated with respect and dignity. Please know that you are welcome as friends and human being into my life and dialog and mutual respect is the only way we will ever understand and respect each others differences. I open the door for that possibility.
Thanks for this post Eric. I am very disturbed that this happens in our back yard to children and their families in our community. It is an illegal act born out of ignorance. I don’t have to imagine how or what I would feel in a similar circumstance. I know through friends and family that this still happens in 2011. With all the wealth we possess, a very few behave in such a way that diminishes the value of our communities. What is needed is to reach out to the victims and make sure they know that they are welcome in communities, and we are sorry for the ignorant action of others. Also, we need to show compassion to the perpetrators of actions such as this because they are ignorant. Justice must be served and we must show that the world is best served by compassion and kindness.
To the victims:
I am very sorry for the ignorant illegal actions of hopefully only a few people. You are welcome and loved in our community and that hopefully this is an isolated incident. It is through you, your families and all who live in our community that all of us gain great value. Thank you for choosing to live and go to school here. We are blessed and I care about your well being!
To the Perpetrators:
I am very sorry that you have not learned that by your acts that you degrade our community. I hope that you are identified and justice is served. I suggest that as part of your punishment you will perform community service so you will have the opportunity to learn the true value of people who may or may not be like you. You are entitled to your opinions. I challenge you to change them. If you cannot change them, please don’t act out against your neighbors. Always know that whether you accept it or not, that someone in our community ( I ) cares about your well being too.
Thank you for pointing out that views and actions can be changed. That is an important lesson for me to hear again and again. Thank you Ken.
Eric, thanks for passing on these comments of support to the students who endured this ignorant attack. It must be very frightening to be the target of venomous ignorance. Please know that there are many good people in this country who value your contribution to our community. It’s so sad that sometimes the most hateful voices are the loudest. I will remember to make my voice louder, so everyone can feel supported and valued.
You have been heard. Thank you, Sue.
To the people who did this: When you don’t love yourself, you lash out at other people to make yourself feel better. Except it won’t make you feel better. Eventually you will realize that through your actions you are destroying your own character. And ultimately your character is what truly makes you who you are. The only way to have good is to be good and to love and respect others. If you want to love yourself, you have to mirror that love to other people. Treating people with disrespect and outright hatred is more damaging to yourself than to them.
To the students and families that were a target of someone else’s insecurities: I’m so sorry that this happened to you. Please do know that there are many, many, many more people who love you for who you are than the few that choose to mirror their issues to the world. Spend your energy on these people, and not on people that don’t deserve your time, thoughts and energy. You are loved by many. Cherish those people and the moments you have to spend with them.
To focus our energy on the people who support you and not those who criticize you is powerful. Thanks Cathey.
This is such a late post, but tonight at 8:00 at PSU, the Muslim Educational Trust is hosting a film and then dialogue between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. http://www.metpdx.org/files/Out_of_Cordoba_Flier.pdf I wish these families could attend, just to see how many of us are working proactively to eradicate this kind of bigotry. I would like to know if these hate crimes were reported. Beaverton’s Chief Spaulding and Mayor Doyle are working very hard to make Beaverton a city where all are included and welcomed as active participants and members of the community.
Thank you Karen.
I do not know if these crimes were reported. My understanding is that the kids did not want to stand out of fear of standing out. My hope is that they were.
I’ll forward on your comments even though time is getting short. If nothing else, passing along this information may be a good future reference for these families.
To everyone who has commented on this post, thank you!
I want to let you know that with my wife’s help, we formatted up the blog post & comments and printed them nicely. Then my friend presented them to her students.
I am told that the student’s were touched.
Thank you, again. We made a small difference.