I often forget how small-minded and stupid people are. Maybe because I surround myself with people who are open-minded and willing to accept others I’m naive to the ways of the world. On Sunday night I volunteered through work to take calls for donations for the relief effort in Pakistan. The night was slow, but we raised a good deal of money. Sadly, my first call really upset me.
I answered the call and the woman on the line started into me. She wasn’t calling to donate money, but instead to tell me how upset she was about asking Canadians for money. Apparently we here in Canada are a Christian country and asking us for money for the Muslims is despicable since (in her words) “they have done nothing but brought terrorism to us. They’re horrible people.” Instead, she argued, they should be asking other Muslim nations like Dubai, Afghanistan, India and Saudi Arabia for money since they’re all rich (don’t even bother commenting about the religious make up of those nations or if one of those is actually a country…. look at the source).
I began to argue with the woman, but soon realized that it’s pointless to argue with someone like this. Finally, after years of experience I’ve learned to stop arguing with someone who is never going to listen to what you have to say, especially if they’re not going to change their hurtful point of view. Instead I just hung up.
I tried to make a few comments, but why bother. People like that infuriate me, I can’t believe that they exist. But they do, actually I probably have people like that (maybe with slightly different beliefs) in my family.
It was sad, this woman didn’t know who I am. She didn’t know if I was Muslim or Christian or whatever. She just had such a deep hatred that she had to call up this donation line to tell us how she felt we were so stupid for asking Canadians for money.
We weren’t forcing anyone to donate. But the fact of the matter is that what is going on in Pakistan is a horrible situation. Tens of millions of people have been displaced and are suffering from the devastation of the floods. There has been much less fund raising done for the cause than Haiti or Katrina or may other natural disasters, much has been speculated that because of the preconceived notions held by people they’ve been afraid or reluctant to give to a nation that is so closely associated to “terror.”
Like I said, the whole situation made me sad. It’s maddening that people could be so ignorant and close-minded but also that she felt the need to actually call us to tell us. Why not just change the channel and bitch to her friends? This all really upset me, maybe I had thought that this kind of thinking only existed in the United States and with members of their “tea party.” I mean this is melting pot culture, we celebrate the diversity of our nation. To call us a Christian country is technically right… if you’re going by stats regarding the most popular religions (I did manage to tell her that I was Canadian, but in no way a Christian), but I was insulted that this woman would think that people who were Canadian would feel this way.