9/11 are the two numbers that can make many Americans shudder.
Whether one watched the Twin Towers fall in real time or they were a child when the attacks occurred and learned about them years later, they have been affected by the actions of terrorists who hijacked four planes on Sept. 11, 2001.
However, one group of people faced with the aftermath of 9/11 on a daily basis are overlooked often.
The terror attacks that occurred were carried out by “Islamic extremists.”
Since that day, most Muslims have had to spend a portion of their lives convincing the world that those extremists do not represent the entirety of the more than 1 billion Muslims in the world.
Every day, people of oppressed groups feel as though they need to prove they are not terrorists or thugs or any of the other stereotypes.
Sophomore Morium Akter is among the Muslims who feel an accusing tone the rest of the world some use with Muslims.
Akter said that she feels as though many students of color who attend Pitt-Johnstown do not feel welcomed here.
People of color, people of queer identities and women are almost always grouped together instead of sharing the privilege that their straight, white, male counterparts have of being seen as individuals.
Simply put, when a white person (straight, white men especially) commit a crime, all white people are not associated with that crime in the way that minorities are.
White people may never know the agony of being judged for an action they were not a part of.
“It is scary to live in a society where you are seen as the bad guy when your people are the ones (who) are suffering,” Akter said.
It is not the responsibility of Muslims, people of color, nor any other group of people to justify their existence to the rest of the world. It is one’s own job to acknowledge and challenge his or her biases.