16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
At what point did I scare you?
Wearing a headscarf in America right now feels like a target. A target for attack, a target for ridicule, a target for people to tell you why you are offending them in a public space. At what point were you scared of me? Tell me please. Was it before I had the scarf on, just me being there with my almond eyes and full lips? Is that what scared you? Or was it after I put the scarf on, was this what triggered your fear?
I had a man tell me when I was working at The Olive Garden in North Carolina that he could not work with me because I triggered his PTSD. He was in the military and had gone to Afghanistan multiple times. But the thing was, at that time I had no scarf on my head and no defining Arab attributes accept my face. My body. and what ever else triggered him. Was it the way I moved, was that too Arab for him?
So in this piece I ask, at what point did I scare you?
© Naima Nazouari-Hill.
All rights reserved.
||May 21, 2018, 2:25 p.m.
||Canon EOS REBEL T5i