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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-25-07 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
Edited on Thu Jan-25-07 11:32 PM by Bonobo
Background: I am Jewish, living in a very progressive town...

It was the day after Israel started bombing Beirut last year... I felt horrible, shamed...

I went to the park, I think it was a Saturday... a beautiful sunny day. I saw a large picnic of Middle Eastern people. The men were gathered around a hookah and seeing it, I felt myself wishing I could be there with them and somehow bridge the horrible gap that I felt between us and assuage some of my guilty feelings...

I approached them nervously, not knowing how they would react and I asked them if I could try the hookah. You see, I had watched how carefully they had drawn fresh water for it from the pump and it all looked so beautiful and interesting (I hadn't smoked a hookah since college -he he)

They were so friendly and soon passed the hookah to me in turn. I drew in the delicious, citrus flavored smoke as everyone asked me how it was. I felt very warmly accepted for the brief time, and asked them where they were from. They were all Lebanese...

I didn't want to risk spoiling the mood by telling them I was Jewish, but secretly and strongly wished that I could have and that right there, I could have bridged some distance...but I was afraid...afraid of their reaction and of making a scene (would they wipe down the pipe with alcohol or burn it now?)
Still, I apologized for the horrible thing that was happening to their homeland and wished them well and thanked them profusely for sharing.

Looking back, I am regretful that I felt I couldn't share with them my true identity as a Jew and I wished I could have apologized as a Jew to them.

Isn't that a beautiful, but sad story?

How easy it is for misunderstanding and dislike and distrust to fester, even among good folk...
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  -I've had some really racist feelings today and I don't like the feeling. Jamastiene  Jan-25-07 05:18 PM   #0 
  - A lovely Middle Eastern man  ayeshahaqqiqa   Jan-25-07 05:20 PM   #1 
  - As a man of Eastern descent (Indian)  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 05:21 PM   #2 
  - Y eah.  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 05:22 PM   #4 
  - I'm creeped out.  Karenina   Jan-25-07 05:25 PM   #10 
  - Did not mean for it to be creepy.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 05:54 PM   #30 
  - I think the "creepiness" some are feeling...  Hatalles   Jan-25-07 06:19 PM   #60 
  - I don't think you should delete the post  bananas   Jan-25-07 06:34 PM   #73 
     - You've apparently got some concerns about DU administration.  pinto   Jan-25-07 07:57 PM   #91 
        - No, my concern is with DUers  bananas   Jan-25-07 09:15 PM   #102 
  - heh.. I think I would find it creepy too...  SayWhatYo   Jan-25-07 10:42 PM   #110 
  - A really cool guy from Morocco tried to sell me a cool hookah in Cambridge  WindRavenX   Jan-25-07 05:22 PM   #3 
  - I've found that sterotypes are  DanaM   Jan-25-07 05:23 PM   #5 
  - I Still Find The Premise Disgusting, Regardless.  OPERATIONMINDCRIME   Jan-25-07 05:24 PM   #6 
  - All people are known to hug.  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 05:25 PM   #7 
  - I realize you are trying to make it better, but  Book Lover   Jan-25-07 05:25 PM   #8 
  - I can't generalize really, as I only know one Middle Eastern man, but my coworker from Jordan  blonndee   Jan-25-07 05:25 PM   #9 
  - I hope no one is offended that I responded to the OP.  blonndee   Jan-25-07 05:30 PM   #12 
  - You're probably still within the time window to self delete this post  Mandate My Ass   Jan-25-07 05:28 PM   #11 
  - I doubt the OP sees this as a bad post.  Rosemary2205   Jan-25-07 05:34 PM   #15 
     - Correct n/t  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 05:37 PM   #17 
  - Pretty hair is the positive likeable point you can think of?  DemExpat   Jan-25-07 05:32 PM   #13 
  - Nice hair. It's like saying "nice picture frame"  Mandate My Ass   Jan-25-07 05:57 PM   #33 
  - It is olive oil, soak your hair in it for about 1 hour every night, then shower with  Nimrod2005   Jan-25-07 05:32 PM   #14 
  - Ya know after 9/11 some people tend to think of middle easterners as the enemy  angstlessk   Jan-25-07 05:36 PM   #16 
  - There are a couple of really beautiful ME women at my school  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 05:45 PM   #22 
     - I live in a neighborhood  Karenina   Jan-25-07 05:53 PM   #29 
        - All too easily.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 08:27 PM   #95 
  - Let me shook you up  StClone   Jan-25-07 05:37 PM   #18 
  - Interesting study. I wonder if some people are predisposed to  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 05:47 PM   #23 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jan-25-07 05:39 PM   #19 
  - Interesting counsel n/t  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 05:42 PM   #20 
  - In fact, I think I shall not screw myself, thank you just the same  Book Lover   Jan-25-07 05:43 PM   #21 
  - Thank you for discounting my post based on race.  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 05:49 PM   #24 
     - Let me return the gesture by thanking you for telling me to screw myself  Book Lover   Jan-25-07 05:51 PM   #27 
        - Apparently...  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 05:54 PM   #31 
        - Your support for the bad words is noted.  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 05:59 PM   #37 
           - Which bad words?  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 05:59 PM   #38 
              - Oh, is that what hurt your sensibilities?  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 06:03 PM   #41 
                 - It doesn't hurt my sensibilities, fuck no.  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 06:04 PM   #44 
                    - Because you just equated the F word with racial slurs.  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 06:09 PM   #49 
                       - I equated the "fuck" with bad words.  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 06:12 PM   #52 
                          - Really? How so?  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 06:14 PM   #54 
                          - It's "good words."  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 06:16 PM   #57 
                          - LOL  MonkeyFunk   Jan-25-07 06:15 PM   #55 
        - Too late.  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 05:56 PM   #32 
  - I'm confused as well as amused by this one.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 05:50 PM   #25 
     - If you thought about calling him a bad name,  BuyingThyme   Jan-25-07 05:53 PM   #28 
     - That's to the point enough.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:03 PM   #42 
     - Let me try to explain  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 05:58 PM   #36 
        - Obviously, it came across incredibly wrong, but I only wanted or intended  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:18 PM   #58 
           - Don't feel bad, as I said above your intention was  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:27 PM   #67 
              - I guess GD has turned into the Lounge today.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:29 PM   #68 
                 - and there is no finer instrument  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:31 PM   #69 
                    - All the way around my elbow, I tend to travel.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:42 PM   #80 
  - Fine, but how do you feel about cavemen?  Blue-Jay   Jan-25-07 05:51 PM   #26 
  - Best ad campaign EVER.  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:01 PM   #39 
     - That's my favorite one as well.  Blue-Jay   Jan-25-07 06:18 PM   #59 
  - What the fuck does "Middle Eastern" mean?  Lord Byron   Jan-25-07 05:58 PM   #34 
  - I thought it meant Virginia, and in that region. No?  jobycom   Jan-25-07 06:07 PM   #48 
  - funny, some silly broad posted a ridiculous thread today, so i wanted  sundog   Jan-25-07 05:58 PM   #35 
  - .  Mandate My Ass   Jan-25-07 06:02 PM   #40 
  - point very well made. nt  crispini   Jan-25-07 06:21 PM   #63 
  - !  nam78_two   Jan-25-07 06:31 PM   #70 
  - Were they sugar tits?  fujiyama   Jan-25-07 11:40 PM   #117 
  - BRAVO!  TorchTheWitch   Jan-26-07 07:11 AM   #122 
  - That's not the right approach to ending racism.  jobycom   Jan-25-07 06:03 PM   #43 
  - Let me attempt to offer some advice.  Lurking Dem   Jan-25-07 06:04 PM   #45 
  - Thank you.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:11 PM   #51 
     - Think of it as a journey.  Lurking Dem   Jan-25-07 06:16 PM   #56 
        - Thank you again.  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:19 PM   #62 
  - What a strange, eerie thread.  MonkeyFunk   Jan-25-07 06:04 PM   #46 
  - OK I just laughed up a lung  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:06 PM   #47 
  - LOL!!!  Garbo 2004   Jan-25-07 06:19 PM   #61 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jan-25-07 06:10 PM   #50 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jan-25-07 06:23 PM   #64 
  - LOL.  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 06:24 PM   #65 
  - oh. dear.  WindRavenX   Jan-25-07 06:33 PM   #72 
     - This has turned into my favorite thread this month  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:35 PM   #77 
        - Hey, at least it turned out productive.  Bornaginhooligan   Jan-25-07 06:36 PM   #78 
           - I'm bookmarking this bad boy  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:38 PM   #79 
  - OP is woman, unlike what you automatically assumed. n/t  Hissyspit   Jan-25-07 09:40 PM   #105 
  - Today's lesson: Don't be vulnerable at DU lest you regret it.  94114_San_Francisco   Jan-25-07 06:12 PM   #53 
  - Thank you. It's a shame that I may have to ask for a deletion  Jamastiene   Jan-25-07 06:27 PM   #66 
  - I don't think people were upset about the OP's dilemma  jobycom   Jan-25-07 06:32 PM   #71 
     - Between stimulus and response  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:34 PM   #74 
     - Isn't the OP choosing to follow her better nature?  94114_San_Francisco   Jan-25-07 08:47 PM   #97 
        - I was referring to joby's good choice not to respond in anger  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 08:51 PM   #98 
           - Got it!  94114_San_Francisco   Jan-25-07 08:59 PM   #99 
     - Not all of us enter these personal epiphanies with a fully formed resolution.  94114_San_Francisco   Jan-25-07 08:35 PM   #96 
        - Well  jobycom   Jan-25-07 09:41 PM   #106 
           - Having a laugh at the OP's expense is the "superiority trip".  94114_San_Francisco   Jan-26-07 02:29 AM   #121 
  - I was once mugged  mdmc   Jan-25-07 06:34 PM   #75 
  - One of the best friends I have had is of Persian descent (Iran)  mmonk   Jan-25-07 06:35 PM   #76 
  - I don't want to doubt your good intentions  nam78_two   Jan-25-07 06:44 PM   #81 
  - I work with several Iranian people in my department  Mandate My Ass   Jan-25-07 06:58 PM   #84 
     - Very true.nt  nam78_two   Jan-25-07 07:03 PM   #87 
     - In Hindu culture when someone visits your home  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 07:17 PM   #89 
  - Gee, my black roommate sure had a big weiner!  slj0101   Jan-25-07 06:54 PM   #82 
  - STOP  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 06:56 PM   #83 
  - They have nice goats...  SayWhatYo   Jan-25-07 10:49 PM   #112 
  - !  Blue-Jay   Jan-25-07 07:01 PM   #85 
  - My Iranian friend has a nice prayer rug, and a black guy I know has a sweet grill :) (nt)  The Straight Story   Jan-25-07 07:02 PM   #86 
  - I know an Asian guy with a huge mechanical pencil!  Susang   Jan-25-07 08:18 PM   #93 
  - Susan, is that you?  burythehatchet   Jan-25-07 08:21 PM   #94 
  - Oh, you are going straight to hell for that one!  DesertedRose   Jan-25-07 10:46 PM   #111 
  - I think racist feelings are pretty common.  SmokingJacket   Jan-25-07 07:04 PM   #88 
  - Just try not to prejudge individuals that you meet  Truth Hurts A Lot   Jan-25-07 07:18 PM   #90 
  - ROFLMAO!!! As if they differ in any substantive way from other men....  BlooInBloo   Jan-25-07 07:58 PM   #92 
  - This is so strange...  AbbyR   Jan-25-07 09:05 PM   #100 
  - Culturally speaking, among those who immigrate to the US  treestar   Jan-25-07 09:10 PM   #101 
  - Middle eastern men are like anyone else. Some nice, some not so nice. This seems racist.  uppityperson   Jan-25-07 09:27 PM   #103 
  - The only people who have ever assaulted me have been "white" men.  uppityperson   Jan-25-07 09:30 PM   #104 
  - I think we all have a bit of racism in us, now matter how progressive we are...  BlueStorm   Jan-25-07 10:00 PM   #107 
  - when in college, I was an attendant for a paralyzed man, he taught me that  Lerkfish   Jan-25-07 10:17 PM   #108 
  - My husband has pretty shiny black hair and great olive complexion  spacelady   Jan-25-07 10:37 PM   #109 
  - Thank you for being tough enough to air your weakness here.  Bucky   Jan-25-07 10:50 PM   #113 
  - GREAT PERSONAL STORY. PLEASE READ.  Bonobo   Jan-25-07 10:56 PM   #114 
  - I think the solution is to avoid generalizations.  athena   Jan-25-07 11:36 PM   #115 
  - They're human, just like us, and deal with the same things we do in life.  Zhade   Jan-25-07 11:36 PM   #116 
  - I like shiny hair, too!  La_Fourmi_Rouge   Jan-26-07 12:11 AM   #118 
  - If You Knew an Angharad, She Might Have Beautiful Black Hair, Too  REP   Jan-26-07 01:48 AM   #120 
  - it's called HENNA, they dye their hair regularly  JCMach1   Jan-26-07 12:16 AM   #119 
  - I'm sorry for you...  Everybody   Jan-26-07 08:22 AM   #123 

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