The Burdens of Identity 

I don’t really know how to start this but the more I think about my actions and reactions to things, I realise how much I feel burdened with responsibility. The responsibility to represent my religion, race, age and, in some rare circumstances (I’m thinking Uni haha), northerners.

I don’t know, I just feel like I constantly have to prove that I’m normal and nice, that people who look like me are normal and nice. It’s strange but every time I feel like someone treats me different because of my race or religion, I always find myself hoping that my friends (mainly my white friends) don’t do that when they come across new people who share my physical profile. I always hope that I had some sort of effect on them, that I showed them that people who look like me are normal and that it’s okay to approach us and make conversation. That we feel just as lost and scared in new situations as they do. That we’re also looking to make friends. It’s weird because I feel responsible for how I portray myself because I feel as though, ultimately, I am representing my community. And this is something I feel like, in England, a white person never has to go through but all BME groups do.

I might be wrong, but do white people (in England), ever feel responsible for representing other white people? Do they feel like they have to prove that white people are clever, or funny or like certain types of books or music? Do they feel like their actions will determine someone’s views of all white people?  I might be wrong, maybe it’s only me who feels like this. Maybe it’s not just applicable BME groups, I don’t know. Also, is the ‘responsibility’ I feel real? Do people really form their thoughts on minority groups based off of one person (that is, if they don’t come across many)? I just thought it would be interesting to share. Hopefully if you have any relevant experiences or feelings, or even questions,  you can share them in the comments too. They don’t have to be race/religion related, anything that’s part of your identity really say for example, a disability. Just anything.

 

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5 thoughts on “The Burdens of Identity 

  1. Safiyah says:

    Great post, very interesting topic. I can definitely understand what you are saying sister and as a white person this is something I only truly realised since I reverted to Islam. Because I wear hijab people don’t think I am white/British, they assume I am from a Muslim country (I’ve heard a wide range, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey etc). I definitely feel the responsibility of representing Islam. I’m wearing hijab, they know I’m Muslim so I try extra hard to be nice and friendly so that people don’t think Muslims are scary or whatever stereotype they may have in their mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • communicatingmythoughts says:

      Thank you for sharing your experinces, I’m glad you found my post relatable! 🙂
      Yes I feel exactly the same! Your experience must be so interesting (and difficult at times)- to go from having everyone assume you’re just like them (as in white and non-muslim) to them assuming you’re ‘other’ because of the addition of the hijab. It’s strange how something so little can change so much for them and for you. I guess we’ve just got to see it as a good thing and use this ‘responsibility’ to change things for the better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Safiyah says:

        It’s interesting and has definitely opened my eyes to many different things. Although it may be difficult sometimes I’m just grateful that Allah guided me. I always felt like I didn’t relate to most people if you know what I mean. Exactly like you say we just have to try and use it in a positive way. The best way to call people to Islam is through good character 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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