Dear White People,
I have something to say. This morning I did not wake up to prove to you my right to exist. I did not wake up to answer your questions about where I’m ‘from’ or where I’m ‘from from’ and to explain to you why my families country of origin is not found on a map. I did not wake up this morning thinking, hmm, I should really let everybody know whether I’m more American or more Arab, or to prove to you my patriotism. I am not a walking political newscaster, here to answer to you at the drop of a hat questions about distant brown people. I am not a monolithic brown girl. No I don’t speak Afghani and no, it’s not the same as Arabic. I don’t give a shit about Saudi Arabia, and I cant point to you the exact page in the Qur’an where it says it’s okay to beat your wife. This morning I woke up and went to work. I answered your questions with a semi smile about ‘my’ God (wait, who is Allah then?), and my hijab, and I answered your questions about hummus. I do not exist merely for your questions. I am not an embodiment of whatever answers I give you. I am pissed.
I don’t have an identity crisis, or maybe I do. But no, you don’t have the right to know every facet of my being. Sometimes brown people are allowed to just ‘be’ too. Dear white people, you are not the standard to which I define myself. I did not wake up this morning to be interrogated, and I don’t care if you’re at ease with any of my answers. You do not have ownership over my existence. With or without your acceptance, I exist. I’m tired of trying to prove that.