Bomb Squad Investigates Dark-Skinned Man Recycling Paper

A poet decides to throw out some old manuscripts:

Upon my departure, he called the local police department and told them a man of Middle Eastern descent driving a heavily decaled white Beetle with out of state plates and no campus parking sticker had just placed a box next to the trash can. … Because of my recycling, the bomb squad came, then the state police. Because of my recycling, buildings were evacuated, classes were canceled, the campus was closed.

That man in the parking lot didn’t even see me. He saw my darkness. He saw my Middle Eastern descent. This is ironic because though my grandfathers came from Egypt, I am Indian, a South Asian, and could never be mistaken for a Middle Eastern man by anyone who had ever met one.

I ceased to be a person when a man I had never met looked straight through me and saw the violence in his own heart.

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