I went to the post office Friday which has to be my least favorite thing to do, but remarkably the line wasn't out the door. There was only one couple at the counter. a Muslim couple, and they were having a communication failure with the postal clerk. She couldn't understand where they wanted to send their package and their English wasn't the best, so she started yelling louder as if they were deaf instead of confused. I thought I heard them say Saudi Arabia, but she didn't acknowledge any such thing because listening wasn't her strong suit. She gave them a piece of paper to write down the information and when it was indeed Saudi Arabia, she told them to step out of line to fill the necessary forms out. A glimpse of her nice side finally started emerging which seemed to take much longer than necessary.
While I watched all of this unfold in front of me, I wondered if the shoe were on the other foot how in the hell I would mail a package from Saudi Arabia to Kansas.
That night I was watching the local news and there was a story of a 24 year old medical student who went out for a jog and hadn't come back. He was not carrying his cell phone or wallet and due to his age he wasn't likely kidnapped, but he'd been missing for a whole day and his parents were distraught with worry. He lived at home in an upscale neighborhood with no obvious problems. The family was of middle-eastern descent and his mother sobbed when she talked of him. I couldn't imagine where her mind was going in this confusion of a missing son.
Buried in today's paper was a very short story of this missing jogger found dead. Off the trail, no obvious signs of trauma but an autopsy is pending. Page six? Two nights earlier his family sat on the couch in front of a news camera and begged for help to find him. The outcome of the biggest crisis in their life ends on page six?
Would the story of this kid be more breaking, more urgent, more front page if he were white? I'd like to think not, but we daily separate who is worthy and who is not, who deserves courtesy or immediate help and who gets yelled at or dismissed for not understanding............as if God has personally assigned Americans his chosen people and therefore immune from doing unto others.
Be it mailing a package or going for a run, it must require nerves of steel and a daily dose of bravery when you decide to make a life in the land of the free.