Dear WTSA Community: Each of us have our own experiences, insights and stories about 9/11. Many of you know that I’ve spent the bulk of my time in movement work focused on issues affecting South Asian, Muslim, Arab and Sikh communities in post 9/11 America. On the 16th anniversary of 9/11, I wrote a personal essay on the toll of trauma on activists and organizations. I’d love your feedback or thoughts if you have a moment.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I probably haven’t dealt adequately with the impact of September 11th on my own life. In the days that followed 9/11, I had sprung into action, and I’m not sure that I ever stopped. Over the following decade and a half, I have borne witness to a litany of crises targeting our communities. I am not the only one.”
Here’s a piece I wrote marking the 13th anniversary of September 11th and reflecting on the impact of the post 9/11 climate on South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities. Incidentally, the picture that appears on this blog is from September 18, 2001 at a gathering of peace at the Japanese American Memorial in Washington, DC:
I came of age in post 9/11 America like many other people around the United States. On September 11, 2001, I was working as a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and living close enough to the Pentagon that the smoke burning from the building was visible from my apartment balcony in Arlington, Virginia for days. It’s safe to say that I felt, as so many did around the nation, that everything changed on September 11, 2001.
For me, the months that followed were a call to action. Like others of South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh backgrounds, the post 9/11 climate in the United States motivated me to become deeply involved in addressing bias, profiling and hate violence through a racial and immigrant justice lens. Today, on the 13th anniversary of 9/11, I join many around the country to reflect upon my memories of that day, to think of those who lost loved ones, and to take stock of life in post 9/11 America.
Please head over to Race Files for the rest of the piece and feel free to comment and share feedback there or here.