You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers
hatred is a universal concept. an incident at a california taco bell makes this point. a form of south asian hatred was on display.
taco bell is a fast food chain that has long been popular for those who do not eat meat. those with dietary restrictions, religious or non-religious, can enjoy in their wide variety of vegetarian offerings which include bean burritos, nachos and tostadas. thus, it is not surprising that a hindu person may patronize the establishment.
it was reported that a sikh man went on a diatribe against a man he perceived as hindu. he was recorded saying “‘b****, this ain’t india! you f***ed india up, and now you’re f***ing america up.’ it was also alleged that he repeatedly urged the hindu customer to order a beef taco which would be against his religion. he also allegedly said, “you’re disgusting, dog. you look nasty. don’t come out in public like this again.'” dailymail.com this insults were over an extended period of time.
the hindu man harassed, mr. krishnan jayarama, displayed courage, composure and wisdom in his reaction. he stated ‘i didn’t see a point of me trying to engage somebody who’s hell-bent on picking up a fight and wanting me to engage,’ he said. ‘he was so close to my face. he was throwing his dollars on my face. he was spitting everywhere.’ dailymail.com instead of trying to go to his car, he stayed in the restaurant and called the police. the man was arrested and charged with a hate crime. also, mr. jayarama was critical of the employees for not intervening.
in sum, while this episode was in america, it was one of hate derived from bad relations in another country. america should not consider itself exclusively owning the hatred problem. in the dailymail article, in a caption for the video, it erroneously identifies the hater as “white.” was this some subconscious assumption or a simply mistake. hatred is a universal problem. as such, the master of the universe was fully cognizant of humanity’s need for instruction on this manner. thus, the pronouncement “love thy stranger” is one for both the good book and good practice. this small story is actually one which is most important to be shared and discussed in classrooms. mr. jayarama’s expert read and reaction to the situation is one to be admired and followed. there are individuals who try to bait others into violence. his actions perhaps saved himself and others from serious bodily injury.
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