I felt the need to do another post about my last post (which was about a perceived threat of terrorism I had on my flight to Bali; I deleted it). The only comment was by some anonymous person (I don`t know why he/she wouldn`t reveal his/her identity). This was their comment:
`I think if all it took was one scared white girl to have me watched for an entire flight, i would start looking suspicious too. Might change my mind about being a peaceful middle eastern dude as well. Treat everyone like criminals and guess what they start acting like?`
I see the person`s point. I said that I felt bad for the guy in the end. But I think the point that I was trying to make is that you can`t be too safe on a flight. I thought I might be preventing something horrible from happening.
I admitted that the fact that he was Middle Eastern made me more scared because it`s true. Our media has made us afraid of certain groups of people, and I never thought that I would let myself be one of them. I wish I could have explained all of this to the guy, but I didn`t know what to do. It was a really terrifying moment for me. I couldn`t believe that the flight attendant wanted to put the man in handcuffs so quickly .
The man probably had nothing to do with terrorism at all. He was just a man on a flight with his brother whose name sounds a lot like a word that I associate with terrorism because of what I`ve been taught. I can`t imagine what it was like to be him. But what are you supposed to do when you hear something like that? I guess I could have waited to see what might happen before I freaked out and told the flight attendant, but what if there was something to what I heard? I figured the flight attendants would question him to see what he had to say about the whole `jihad` thing, but they didn`t say a word to him, and I was too shaken to talk to him.
I feel bad for the man, but I still think that what I did wasn`t totally in the wrong. I really do believe that I would have reported anyone acting suspicious on a flight, regardless of who they were. (Now whether or not you construe someone pacing up and down the aisle saying a word that sounds like `jihad` as suspicious is another thing.)
And I hope that I didn`t make a peaceful man into something else because of my actions. I hope that maybe he can forgive me for being afraid. Our cultures are so different that I have no idea if he knows the kind of distorted news and fear mongering we are fed in the U.S.
I will be more careful in the future to not jump to conclusions about people I don't know.
Thanks for your comment, anonymous person. What would you have done in that situation?