Powerful stuff. Beyond powerful.
[I've typed out the whole thing to make it easier for people to quote. Check it out. It's beyond brilliant.]
"Do you know what it’s like to represent the billion human beings everyday you walk out of your house? To be looked at as the representative of an entire world religion. A world religion! Do you know what that’s like? It’s exhausting. And it feels so heavy. Sometimes, it makes me angry. And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of not crossing some unknown rule of gender interaction to prevent folks from having to see them saying see, “Those religious girls? They’re freaks!”
I’m tired of not going to class because I didn’t do my assignment. And if I don’t say something incredibly brilliant, my silence will be attributed to me being inherently oppressed by my religion, men, clothing rather than the fact then I didn’t do my homework because I was screwing around on Facebook the previous night like 90% of my class.
I’m tired of carefully picking outfits. Colours, accessories, silks everyday for public relations purposes to ensure that I look approachable yet modest, rather than withdrawn and oppressed when really, some days, let me tell you, it’s so much easier for me to throw on my linen shawl and black abaya over my pyjamas.
I’m tired of putting on my patient understanding face every time some idiot asks me, “What do ya’ll speak over there?” and “Why do you people hate us?” and “Is Islam and the West at war?” instead of saying hello. Do you not see me? Do you not happen to see that im standing right here in front of you and I’m not holding a sword?
I’m tired of wanting to curse but don’t when some guy cuts me off on the highway and laughs through his window or asks my friends while waiting for ice-cream “Where ya’ll from?” And after my friend responds Brooklyn he says, “Listen, don’t fuck with me! When I ask you where you’re from don’t fucking tell me ‘Brooklyn’! You tell me where you’re from!”
I don’t respond because I’m scared..’cause everyone is watching. I don’t want people to think there goes another angry Muslim cant control their temper, so emotional. ‘Cause its not like that at all. I’m not another angry Muslim. I m not a bad example, hell I’m not a good example.
I’m just not representation. I’m a human being and my name is Linda.But when I do break and say, “You know what? Fuck you! What the fuck is your problem asshole? Where the fuck are you from?” - It’s has nothin' to do with my religion."
-- Linda Sarsour