Discrimination In Arab-American Culture

1632 Words 7 Pages
The human psyche often has an easier time categorizing all things in binaries rather than recognizing that most things do not fall into such rigid categories. Although it was evolutionarily beneficial to separate things such as plants as poison or non-poison, such categorization is non-effective when trying to describe the human race, which is inherently nuanced and multi-layered. The ineffectiveness of this system can be seen in the media’s portrayal of the Arab region, which is often reduced to the role of non-A. Within that, many varying ethnicities and religions are vastly simplified or even erased, such as the many Jews and Christians who live in the region. Because of the media’s continued use of negative characterization of all Arab …show more content…
This can be seen the proportion of hate crimes and the extreme policing people of Arab ethnicity face within America. In the aftermath of 9/11, many felt that Arab-American’s could not be trusted, which led to an “erosion of the protections of legal citizenship in the name of national security, and concerns about the compatibility of Arab as an identity with American as shared values” (Baker, 2009). Because of these doubts, many Arab and Muslim American’s faced increased “policing, profiling, and vigilante violence,” which is often subversively supported by the media and its negative portrayal of Arabs (Joseph & D’Harlingue, 2008). The wave of vigilante violence can be seen in the hate crime statistics measuring between 2003 and 2011, in which hate crimes perpetrated against someone based on religion doubled from 10% of all reported hate crimes to approximately 22%. Similarly, hate crimes based on ethnicity rose in between those two periods, but only by about 5% (from 25% to 30%) (Sandholtz, 2013). Beyond that, there was a drastic increase in antiterrorism policing and a lack of law enforcement response to Arab or Muslim complaints. Many Muslim’s who had previously chosen to wear traditional dress were told to “stay off the street” by police officers; and some who reported crimes were “dissuaded from pressing charges by [officers] expressing sympathy for, or naturalizing the rage of assailants” (Bornstein, 2005). This anti-Arab and anti-Muslim policing and profiling has not only led to many false arrests but also contributed to the general belief that Arab-Americans are a highly volatile population which needs to be policed for the common

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