Post-9/11 world

GRACE: I'm going into the Ville, want to come?

SAMIRA: No thanks I'm good.

GRACE: Are you sure? I thought you said you needed new jeans, we could stop by the Gap.

SAMIRA: No, I don't really feel like it, but have fun.

GRACE: Did something happen?

SAMIRA: Why would you think that?

GRACE: You always want to go to the Ville. You like the break from campus.

SAMIRA: Not this time I guess.

GRACE: Did something happen?

SAMIRA: Something?

GRACE: Samira, I'm your roommate, you can tell me.

SAMIRA: I thought you were my friend.

GRACE: Also your friend.

SAMIRA: Fine. I was walking into the Ville the other day, and some guys drove by and shouted "Sand Nigger" at me.

GRACE: Why would they do that, people are the worst.

SAMIRA: And then when I was in CVS, the store clerk kept watching me.


SAMIRA: No idea. But it made me uncomfortable and I don't feel like going back.

GRACE: It just doesn't make any sense, why would the CVS clerk watch you like that.

SAMIRA: Duh, because he was suspicious.

GRACE: Suspicious of what?

SAMIRA: I'm brown Grace.

GRACE: So am I.

SAMIRA: This is a post-9/11 world, I look too Arab.

GRACE: You look Arab? Since when?

SAMIRA: I love you, but you're not helping.

GRACE: I'm serious. I don't think you look Arab.

SAMIRA: You'd be the only one.

GRACE: You're just tan.

SAMIRA: You know, considering you're Korean, I thought you wouldn't say ignorant shit like that.

GRACE: Sorry but you've never looked particularly brown to me. I mean, of course i know you are, but phenotypically you're just so pale.

SAMIRA: Story of my life, too brown to be white, too white to be brown.

GRACE: I wasn't saying that.

SAMIRA: Basically you were.

GRACE: No, I mean. I wouldn't automatically peg you as being from that part of the world.

SAMIRA: In this small town, you're the only one.

GRACE: I guess?

SAMIRA: Anyway, I don't want to go, I'm done.

GRACE: Samira.


GRACE: Ok, but text me if you want anything.

SAMIRA: Yeah, ok.

Asha SundararamanComment