February 1, 2023

We all know what happened. It was a major turning point in my life. I was homeless and living in Portland, OR. I was housesitting for a friend that week and woke up to watch the Price is Right only to see the attacks. Over the next few weeks I saw open minded Portland turn bigoted and angry. I heard hatred spewing forth from the mouths of people that didn’t know what they were talking about. I saw fear in the eyes of people turn into hatred and prejudice. On this day five years ago, I painted bedsheets to say, “Drop bread, not bombs, no retaliation. Enough are dead.” and hung them on major roads. I watched motorists stop their cars, pull down my makeshift signs, rip them to shreds, and stomp on them. It was then, seeing the ignorance and fear and violence of mainland America that I decided to leave the land of endless roads and come to Hawaii. Hawaii never had that burning hatred or ignorant violence that showed itself on the mainland after September 11th, 2001. Not like it was on the mainland. And so, there is my story, of how 9-11 changed my life, my views, my home.

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