I have had to deal with this since I was a child. First in school and now as an American. I have seen a lot of hostility against Americans since the onset of 9/11. I am one who does not like to overgeneralize or stereotype people. I know what is feels like on the receiving end. So when I hear people criticizing the American people for what the Bush Administration has done regarding our country’s reputation and our hard work to be a super power yes I get pissed.
America is the land of opportunity and is the melting pot of the world. There are so many wonderful nationalities here…I love that I can walk down a street and see people from all over. In college I was active working with international students. I think being around people from different walks of life is a privilege and a wondrous opportunity to learn from one another. What hurts is that when I was traveling to the Middle East some friends I know told me not to mention my nationality since people are starting to hate Americans. Just sad.
Unfortunately, it appears that we Americans are being labeled as war mongers and plain sadists. Makes me sad.
Of course there is the racism I see against Arabs and Muslims. Reminds me of WWII when people were angry with the Germans here and the Japanese (internment camps for the latter).
Since the horrific terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Security concerns have understandably increased, but so too has racial profiling, discrimination etc. In the early aftermath of the attacks some Americans that were understandably outraged and horrified, even attacked some members of the Sikh community where at least one was even killed, because they resembled certain types of Muslims, with beards and turbans. Various people of Middle East or South Asian origin have faced controversial detentions or questionings by officials at American airports. This web site’s section on the war against terror has more details on these aspects. http://www.globalissues.org/HumanRights/Racism.asp#RacisminNorthAmerica
I wish that we could focus on the oneness of humanity, in working together to bring about more positive contributions to science, medicine, the social services….nice dream to have…..
STRATEGIES TO REDUCE RACISM:
Why is it important to reduce racism? This may seem obvious. Racism is bad, so of course it should be reduced. But there are more thoughtful answers to this question than just that.
1. Racism impedes or prevents the recipient of racism from achieving his or her full potential as a human being.
2. Racism impedes or prevents the recipient of racism from making his or her fullest contribution to society.
3. Racism impedes or prevents the person or group engaging in racist actions from benefiting from the potential contributions of the recipient of those actions.
4. Racism increases the present or eventual likelihood of retaliation by the recipients of racist actions.
5. Racism goes against many of the democratic ideals upon which the United States and other democracies were founded.
Racism is illegal, in many cases.
In other words, there are both moral and sometimes legal reasons to act against racism. There are also strong pragmatic reasons as well. Racism can harm not only the recipient of the racism, but also the larger society, and indirectly the very people who are engaging in the racism.
What’s more, some important new research suggests that in some cases, racist actions can cause physiological harm to recipients. For example, a recent review of physiological literature concludes:
“Interethnic group and intraethnic group racism are significant stressors for many African-Americans. As such, intergroup and intragroup racism may play a role in the high rates of morbidity and mortality in this population.” (Clark, Anderson, Clark, and Williams, 1999).