Anniversary marks time to move forward from hate


Sept. 11, 2001 was a tragic day, and as a nation we will always carry the pain and sadness with us, particularly the people who suffered personal losses. People grieve at their own paces and individual grievance really has no end point. However, as a whole, we have lost sight of who we are as a country. Now, we need to look back at the past ten years and see that, as a nation, it is time to move on from the anger that is dividing both our country and our world.

As we learned in Health 1, the Kübler-Ross Model, also known as the five stages of grief, splits the grief process into denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. As a country, we went through the process together.

First there was denial. No one could believe what they were hearing. The towers are not really gone. It must be some sort of off-color joke.

Then the anger came. It started out as anger at the terrorists, but then grew into anger against the Islam culture as a whole.

And rather than moving on to acceptance, the anger stayed and morphed into hate. Our nation views Muslims in a negative light. We have developed a stigma against an entire culture.

When people get on a plane and see someone wearing a turban, they feel unsettled. When people pass women in hijabs, they judge. We do not make an attempt to understand their culture because in our minds it is an ugly thing that we associate with violence and pain.

In the most obvious example of this racial profiling, people objected to about building a Ground Zero Mosque. Muslims are racially profiled left and right, especially when it comes to any type of security. A pastor burned a Kuran. From unconscious stereotyping to extremist behavior, there is no denying our country’s negative view on Muslims, which has even grown violent

According to The Washington Post, two years ago in Texas, a 13-year-old boy broke the jaw of another 13-year-old boy, simply because the boy was Pakistani. This incident is one of many, and by no means the worst. Violent acts of hatred such as this one spring from the deep-seated anger that our country refuses to move on from.

When you think about it, Sept. 11 bears a remarkable resemblance to another day in history, Dec. 7, 1941. On that day that will “live in infamy,” the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, killing thousands of people. Immediately after, the nation rallied together and thrust itself into World War II.

The nation also developed a hate towards anything Japanese, to the point where Japanese-Americans were taken from their homes and put into camps. Imagine what the world would be like if that hate still ran rampant through our country today.

It would have formed an ingrained hate of one culture against another. It is the same hate that will form if we do not move on from our anger against the 9/11 terrorists. It is the same hate that those terrorists felt for us that led them to do what they did. Hate begets hate and soon, if hate is all that is left, all there will be is pain.

There is hope amidst the hate. Bettina Gray, chairwoman of the North American Interfaith Network, reported increased activity between different religions after the attack, according to the New York Times. Communities are arranging events such as potluck dinners with people from other religions in an attempt to understand rather than just blindly hate. As students from a school with laughable diversity, this is an example we could really learn from.

Again, 9/11 was a tragedy that will resonate with us forever, but as a country we need to move on from our anger. We need to look to the future, instead of dwelling on the past, and utilize the unity we have built from that day towards something positive rather than negative.