By Steven Salaita
A refined account of anti-Arab racism in present day the United States and its position in supposedly 'liberal' groups, specifically considering September 11.
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Extra resources for Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes From and What it Means for Politics Today
He bore out this sentiment repeatedly by providing me, in the best tradition of Arab hospitality, everything I needed to continue loving my origin. You can imagine, then, the heartbreak I felt upon returning to the United States and being reminded of a fundamental truth about Amo: that he was a terrorist. Amo never blew up buses or kidnapped tourists. He owned no Katyushas or bombmaking equipment. By all accounts, in fact, he was the best type of pacifist, one who didn’t proselytize about nonviolence but never engaged in a violent act during his life.
Yet the most upsetting thing about the discourse is not that it implicates DeLay as a racist because he reduces an entire people to the category of “evil,” but that it implicates American society as racist because that discourse arises within the framework of acceptable debate at the highest level of government. Obviously, the belief that Arabs must be “hunted” because they are “evil” and “uncivilized” can resonate with an audience Salaita 01 intro 43 11/1/06 16:31:30 44 ANTI-ARAB RACISM IN THE USA only if that audience has already dehumanized Arabs and might therefore find it strategically viable to murder them indiscriminately.
He owned no Katyushas or bombmaking equipment. By all accounts, in fact, he was the best type of pacifist, one who didn’t proselytize about nonviolence but never engaged in a violent act during his life. According to many of my American peers, however, Amo was still a terrorist because he was an Arab. I should make a confession before I continue with a discussion of how the word terrorism functions today in American society. I despise the word. I think the word is overused zealously and carries with it a racist undertone and a startling ability to dehumanize those at whom it is directed (which has a lot to do with its current overuse in the United States).
Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes From and What it Means for Politics Today by Steven Salaita