Sept. 11, 2001 unfortunately does not usher the memory of Mike Piazza’s famous home run to this day. The date itself is a grave one. New York City’s climate changed. No more were the days that sports could be the biggest news in the States, as tragedy would force itself to be observed.
In my eyes, the terrorist attacks in New York City revealed that this country has a long way to go in terms of accepting each other’s differences and respecting the opinions of others.
Sept. 11 showed us the power of ignorance. I was only six years old at the time of the attacks. I remember the faint screams in the hallways before lunch and being pulled from school. I was in the first grade.
The next time I saw a kid with brown skin was in fifth grade.
Fast-forward to today, and we have issues addling minority groups. A black man selling CDs is shot in his chest outside a gas station, but a white man who rapes a girl behind a Dumpster can can be released from jail in three months. When a man sits down due to his beliefs about a song allegedly about slavery, most think that he is too privileged or does not understand the black plight because “he cannot understand what I face and what other black men and black people face on an [everyday] basis,” said former NFL safety Rodney Harrison.
What we should learn from 9/11 is that we must understand each other and not ignore our own ignorance.
What makes America great in my eyes is that we have not only freedoms but the means to discuss our freedoms openly.
The issues that we face today will not be easily fixed. They will not be issues that we can talk about for one day and mitigate. But as sports are an open door for dialogue, we must walk through that door with athletes to compromise on those issues.
So as I reflect on 9/11, I do not want to simply understand and remember what America has gone through. I would also like to look forward to America’s progress in terms of understanding and listening to its different voices.