When I took American History in high school, the course covered major themes, including civil rights for women and minorities, mainly African Americans. We were taught the negative effects of racism and how the civil rights era gave birth to civil rights for minorities.
However, since 9/11, there has been an increase in racism against people from the Middle East. I remember going to airports and seeing a Muslim in the security line. Eyes would turn, and you can tell people were thinking, “Is he a terrorist?” just because of his race.
My guilty pleasure is the CBS reality show, Big Brother. Week 1, one houseguest called someone a “beaner.” Many of the other houseguests pounded on him like wild animals. The man apologized for his comments, but one houseguest flamed him on the live show. The racist man was voted out week 1.
The same houseguest who flamed the man who used the slur "beaner" on the live show called a Lebanese man a terrorist, because he was from the Middle East. All the houseguests who had turned against the "beaner" commenter kept quiet when the woman called someone a terrorist. She’s done it many times, although CBS has requested she stop. Regardless of how I feel about the Lebanese man, it hurts me that none of the houseguests said a word about the woman’s "terrorist" comments, which she has never apologized for. Whether she means it as a joke, I don’t know or care. It’s unacceptable either way.
What I mean to say is that Middle Easterners are taking a hit for what a few members of that group have done. Just because the man is Lebanese doesn’t make him a terrorist. I can’t begin to understand why people seem to think all Middle Easterners are terrorists.
I am a white woman coming from a privileged background. I can’t walk in the shoes of anyone from a minority who bears the burden of discrimination. Still, I’m disgusted by how people treat this minority.
I don’t know why so many Americans are uninformed about Middle Easterners and I don’t get why people think that Middle Easterners are horrible just because there are terrorists from the Middle East. It’s sad, because in American History class, I was told how our society has progressed and we are no longer (for the most part) racist against minorities. It just feels like we are going backward.