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The Words

Spoken word on microagression and discrimination Pakistani-Americans face.

The words, the words. They come, they go. They rise, they fall.

They have the power to trap you. The words. They encircle you like a noose, interlaced with the stigmas that have wounded the Pakistani-Americans of this country.

The words. The words that echoed in your head as you fell asleep at night, taunting you into thinking you were unworthy of the American dream.

Terrorist. Outsider. Alien.

The words that pounded at your heart when you saw your brother get stabbed in the school bathroom for fitting a racial stereotype.

Terrorist. Outsider. Alien.

The words that hounded you as you walked through security at the airport, unreasonably searched and foul-mouthed because of your last name.

Terrorist. Outsider. Alien.

The words that plagued you as a Florida man declared his business a Muslim free zone. Echoing an era when businesses proudly displayed signs reading, “No dogs, negroes or Mexicans allowed.”

Terrorist. Outsider. Alien.

Words interlaced with a history of bigotry, hate and ignorance.

The words.

They hurt,

They wound,

They dishearten,

They crush,

The words.

They agonize,

They batter,

They cripple

They excruciate.

The words.

They heal.

The words can heal.

We can use the words to penetrate the hearts of those

who are ignorant to the beauty of our country, the beauty of our people,

the reason we feel pride when we hear it’s name.

Compassionate, Relentless. Brilliant.

The words that you used to describe the strife of your single mother as she came to a foreign country to educate herself and build a better life for you, the true American dream.

Compassionate, Relentless. Brilliant.

The words you speak when you walk across the stage as valedictorian of your class, proving that you are so much more than can be defined by a racial stereotype.

Compassionate, Relentless. Brilliant.

The words you hear when your friends spend their Ramadan providing meals to the homeless, when they are often hungry themselves.

Compassionate, Relentless. Brilliant.

The words, the words. They come, they go. They rise, they fall.

We can redefine the words that have plagued us, taunted us, minimized us.

We can eliminate the harshness of those words, and introduce our own language.

Because at the end of the day, we know what the words don’t.

That only one word matters-

Relentless.

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About Komal Junejo (51 Articles)
I am a 24-year-old Pakistani-American pursuing a career at the U.S. Department of State. I am currently studying for the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) in hopes of becoming a diplomat within the Public Diplomacy sector.

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