When the Brown Ones Get to High School
My worry for them is as they get older their Arab names and Middle-Eastern looks will begin to be an issue. They love computers as much as their big brother; I’m sure the younger of the two will be constructing stuff with as much enthusiasm as he now dismantles things. They will want to participate in science fairs and STEM classes and one of them might one day bring a project to school to show a teacher.
When one of those brown boys, those brown young men, brings his reconstructed laptop or an Arduino motherboard or something bristling with wires and soldered connections, will he be met with oohs, aaahhs, and accolades, or with suspicion and handcuffs? Don’t tell me it can’t happen. It just did.
When one of my brown boys with an Arab name decides he wants to get a pilot’s license like his brother, will he be turned away?
When one of my brown boys creates an app for making Minecraft more interesting for Muslim kids, will the FBI come knocking at the door because in their mind this could lead to radicalization?
If one of my brown boys grows out his beard and wears a kufi all the time, will his classmates in high school turn away from him or look at him with fear? Will he have to pretend to be a hipster to justify the beard and wear an ironic beret to cover his head?