Chicago Woman Gets Spit On For Being Muslim. Here's Her Response

December 13th 2015

The past few weeks have seen a rise in anti-Islamic attitudes in the U.S.—perhaps in response to the attacks in San Bernardino this month, perhaps motivated by the political rhetoric of Islamophobic politicians—and one woman's story of discrimination is going viral.

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Sharareh Delara Drury, an Iranian-American writer based in Chicago, wrote a sobering account of her experience last week, when a man yelled racial slurs at her on a bus and told her that she was not welcome in the country. The Facebook post has been shared by more than 75,000 people.

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"Today. On a crowded bus. On Michigan Avenue. On my way home from a great job in a city in a diverse country that I was born in. A man screamed at me. Called me a sand ni**er. Told me I was the problem. That I need to get the fuck out of his country," Drury wrote. "I may have been wearing my scarf higher on my head than usual because it was cold out. I may have somehow looked suspicious listening to Spotify. I am half Iranian, so maybe it was my skin or my eyes."

Drury described how, after five minutes, nobody spoke out in her defense, even as she asked the man to leave her alone and threatened to call the police.

"Then this man spits at me. A man in a suit and tie. Like anyone else I'd see," Drury continued. "He spits at me and looks at me with these regular eyes now filled with anger and tells me to get the fuck off the bus, do what I'm told, because this isn't my country. This isn't my place."

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At that point, Drury screamed, telling the man to back off. Other passengers got involved and notified the bus driver, who then kicked the man off the bus. Drury wrote about how this experience was not at all unusual for her—even as an American citizen, born in Boston, who does not practice Islam, even as a woman whose father was in the World Trade Center on September 11 and survived.

She added:

"Days and weeks and years after that horrible day, I have been told somehow me or my mother's family are the cause, that we are evil and going to Hell. That Iranians, that Middle Eastern people, that Muslims are less than human. I am a mixture like so many in this country today."

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