why is it that many people assume if you're working on behalf of one peoples' cause, you must automatically be AGAINST another?
this has been a stunning day in black-and-white thinking for me.I tend to live in the grey zone and love everyone, so this polar opposite business of 'you must be against X if you're for Y' blows my mind when I encounter it.
earlier today, I was chatting with a beautiful Israeli man at a party, and somehow it came up that I speak some Arabic. he was surprised, and asked me how I came to know Arabic.
I mentioned that in my youth, I used to be an activist in the Arab-American community (countering discrimination against Arabs in the media, film, and tv), working with Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians, Iraqis, etc., and I got tired of not understanding my friends' conversation, so I studied Arabic at UCLA for an intensive summer.
so immediately, this man said, "Ah, so you were working against the Israelis, right?" and it was so absurd to me, I just kind of laughed. (I genuinely love everyone, on all sides of that conflict and every other one in the world.)
I replied: "No, I was working to combat negative stereotypes of Arabs in US media and entertainment, ie, like how Arabs were often shown as 'bad guys,' terrorists or what-have-you."
he just... couldn't.... get it.....
although I'm guessing my beautiful recitation of Hebrew prayers later in the conversation helped smooth over the awkwardness of the moment?