Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Anti-Arab Racism in the USA

An Interesting and informative book that speaks of anti-Arab Racism in the USA, where it comes from and what it means in politics today.

It highlight the American exceptional-ism Steven Salaita experienced growing up on Appalachia (on the Virginia/West Virginia border) where there weren't many immigrant families.  He explains how he (Christian, Jordanian, Palestinian, & Latino) was never quite American enough for the folks in town, his classmates, & teachers.  How they ridiculed even the food he brought to school in his lunchbox, calling stuffed grape-leaves, little pieces of dodo.

Whenever the subject of terrorism was discussed in class, Steven was always singled out and asked about his own opinion of the subject, always assuming that an Arab will have a view that is vastly different from that of the other White Americans in the class. And that was even before 9/11.

Another vivid memory that Steven writes about is how, when he accidentally kicked a soccer ball into his xenophobic neighbor's yard, this neighbor screamed at his father about his damn Arabian children.

The book also exposes the extent of Anti-Arab Racism and its connection to the Zionist lobby in the USA, especially in academia & the media. I was most upset reading how Edward Said's death was received and covered in the popular media in the USA. 

Steven Salaita is Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Tech. To visit his website, click here.

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