I once asked my father
if it was ok not to go to daycare anymore. He smiled and asked me, “Why?”
I still have trouble giving him straight answers. So he watched one day as a group of white
children pulled his son from the monkey bars.
Screaming. I still have calluses on my hands.
I still have a hard time letting things go. The teachers explained to my father that this
is how children play. [20 years later this is still how we play].
So he pulled me from their care and put me in a church
where I learned that Jesus still has calluses on his hands
He still has a hard time letting some people go. Growing up in Texas
One learns to practice patience Practice repetition patience
Patience makes perfect. The best gift I get for my birthday every year
is a telephone call from my grandmother. I remember walking with her through department
stores as people would stare. I remember getting very angry because I was
taught it was impolite to stare. I was always taught that is not the purpose of a hijab. I believe this is the reason why people have
stopped wearing their faith unless it can be conveniently concealed under their shirt.
Maybe if people don’t stare Then God won’t either. Growing up in Texas
One learns to practice patience Practice Repetition patience
Patience makes perfect I was made fun of for being Mexican,
until 9/11 then it was Arab or terrorist,
I’m not Persian that country no longer exists Iranian-American is an oxymoron
Muslim-American a paradox A girl asks me, “where are you from then,
Amir?” I answer, “Well, I was born in Iowa.”
She then says, “oh really, is that in the middle east?”
A boy approaches me In a high school hallway
And says, “If you were from Afghanistan I’d beat your ass”
The three words I should’ve said Were “I love you”
Instead I said “wish you would”
It was then I understood how your patriots act.
If the French gave us the statue of liberty in 2003
we would have given it back because they didn’t go with us to war in
When the French did give us the statue of liberty
we gave her back because at first she was black
Save diversity for a skittles package, but even then we all pick our favorites
We like our borders like our picket fences. WHITE WASHED. A red boy is forced to take a white name.
Black Slaves paint a white house. Public schools teach that it is important to assimilate,
so a yellow girl’s parents do the same. But how will they ever learn how to pronounce
our names if we keep changing them? Do you think people naturally know how to
English is neither phonetic nor forgiving That’s why I take comfort when a boy named
Cassius Molds his last name to Ali in an attempt to
salvage his identity. The ring is the only
time he faced a fair fight. If black is the culmination of all colors,
then why do we keep trying to stir this melting pot white?
My name is Amir Safi
I still have calluses on my hands. I still have a hard time letting things go.