Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We Will Not Be Silent

About a year ago, an Arab American architect, Raed Jarrar, was detained by Jet Blue and the TSA at JFK Airport because he was wearing a tee-shirt that had Arabic lettering and the English translation, "We Will Not Be Silent" underneath.

To hear more about Jarrar's story, go to these following links:

You Tube


Essentially, Jarrar was not allowed to board the airplane until he put on a different tee-shirt over the one that read "We Will Not Be Silent." The phrase originated from a student resistant group in Germany in the 1930s, The White Rose, and this slogan was used in a newsletter to protest against Hitler's regime and institutionalization of fear and anxiety and xenophobia. It is a rallying cry of protest against a government who is not listening to the needs of its citizens--who is acting unilaterally and losing credibility and respect from the international community.

Sound familiar?

If you want to learn more about the group who produced the tee-shirts (they gave Jarrar one, which is why he ended up wearing it, not thinking it would provoke the reaction it did) go to the link for Artists Against the War here -- you can also order a tee-shirt for yourself.

I don't know if I can get one in time for my trip to the PacificNorthwest, and it's probably not the smartest thing to do. But it's a very small act of resistance, and once I get my tee-shirt, I will be wearing it out and about. Then again, it's very different for me to show up at the airport wearing this tee-shirt than for someone who looks like Raed Jarrar (and with his name and his accent). But still, if we don't resist these small acts, what will happen when the larger ones happen (or are happening)?


JoAnna said...

Which language are you getting?

Jennifer said...

I'm going to get the arabic one. I figure, in some ways it's the most relevant and provocative. Plus, from a totally shallow/aesthetic pov, I think arabic script is beautiful.

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