Saturday, January 21, 2006

THE POST 9/11 CLASSROOM...continued...



THE PROBLEM:
Stereotypical Images of Bombers and Belly Dancers

Although its origin is unknown, it is purported that there is an ancient Asian proverb that states: “May you live in interesting times.” Considering today’s turbulent events, Arab Americans who emigrate here from Southwest Asia (more commonly known as the Middle East), may find that these times are a little too interesting. Arab-Americans have a culture and history unfamiliar to Americans and this unfamiliarity sometimes breeds mistrust and contempt. After all, if you are Arab-American during today’s times, you may find yourself referred to as barbaric, ruthless, and violent. Some folks will swear that you live in the desert, ride camels, and harbor terrorist thoughts. Then there are some who may be more overt in their disdain and call you by the names of ‘camel jockey’ or ‘sand nigger’. Unfortunately, these prejudicial attitudes can leak into the classroom via textbooks, movies, children’s misconceptions, and teacher bias.

...all rights reserved...to be continued...

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