How does it feel like to be a problem? Many would answer this question in different ways. Everyone has experienced “being the problem” in different ways. However, in terms of race, the answer to this question was similar among most African Americans. Living like they are a problem, consists of a majority of their lives. Different documents ranging from 1903 to our present day in 2015 mirror this same ideology. People such as W.E.B DuBois, Anne Moody, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama, expressed the same concern. Many people in our society, past and present, see being African American as a sign of inferiority. Race shouldn’t be the distinguishing factor between people. Moody, King, Obama, and DuBois all show that the fixation on race was a debilitating problem and appealed to their audiences for action to break free of these prejudices by trying to identify the problems and recommending courses of action.
The day September 11, 2001 stands out in the minds of all Americans, not only because it changed the course of history, but it affected the daily lives of America’s people. Whether they encountered the events first-hand in New York City, or they simply watched the iconic World Trade Center fall on television as the events unfolded, the assaults of 9/11 have left a permanent stain on the lives of America’s citizens. Individuals such as my father, Kurt M. Thomas, have vivid recollections of exactly where they were on the day of the attack. However, the retention of this event is not the only result of these events, for Dad’s experience as an American citizen who lived through the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is one that reflects the pervasive apprehension that many Americans have towards the future of the United States and its relations with counties of the Middle East as a result of the fear experienced that day. His recollection expresses the nativist concern and fear for oneself and one’s nation that many Americans articulated throughout the course of history.
A well known philosopher, poet, sociologist, and historian, W.E.B. Du Bois has made many contributions to society and affected many lives. Theses marks Du Bois left on this world were not only monumental because of his progressive beliefs, but because he belonged to a group enveloped in prejudice, racism and second-rate social location. In his essay, Double Consciousness and the Veil, Du Bois discusses what it is like to be a Negro in the early 1900s (Du Bois). Using poetry, personal accounts, and historical facts to support what it is like to be a problem in America or a Negro, Du Bois constructs a solid
With the American people showing ever increasing interest in Muslims since the attacks on America, it was inevitable that this would change the way Muslims would be viewed in the United States. The 9/11 attacks - carried out by nineteen Islamic extremists - have no doubt changed how Muslim-Americans are perceived in this country, and those feelings have simmered for 15 years now. Even though a stigma against the Muslim American community had been growing in the US because of wars and conflicts, the attacks on the world trade centers in New york marked an era that ushered in mass stereotypes and disenfranchisement for Muslim Americans (Bakalian, Anny, and Mehdi Bozorgmehr). According to Mehdi Bozorgmehr and Anny Bakalian, an Associate Director and Mehdi Bozorgmehr is Co-Director of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at the Graduate Center, immigrants from the Middle East are familiar with stereotypes and discrimination in the United States. In backlash 9 ⁄ 11, they examined the harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes committed by individuals against members of the targeted communities or people who look ‘‘Middle Eastern.’’Islam has established a niche in America. Estimates vary, but there are about 4 million Muslims in the United States and Canada. Although a major portion of this community is made up of immigrants, there has been a steady increase in the number of Americans accepting Islam (History of Islam). According to Karine Walther, an Assistant
W.E.B Du Bois “The souls of Black Folks” touches on issues of the black community and being considered a “problem”. African Americans are not only considered a problem in today’s world, but also in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. W. E. B Du Bois once said "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." (p. 13) Being a part of the black scholar community one has to understand the difference between complexity of blackness and black genius. As a member of the black community one should not feel as though we are the problem, but the solution to an issue.
Expectations were met with severe disappointment for most blacks in America following the Civil War. Rather than gifting African-Americans with the freedom they dreamt about and fought hard for, the Emancipation led to an achievement of an ambiguous status in society, which created a larger problem of race that W.E.B Du Bois discusses in The Souls of Black Folk. In order to introduce this problem, Du Bois employs the use of a metaphor that compares the post-war life of Blacks in America to being stuck within a Veil as most held distorted images of self and self-worth. His use of the Veil metaphor emphasizes the severity of the “Negro Problem” in an attempt to convince white Americans that, in order for real progress of American industry and culture to take place, the problem must be solved.
In this tedtalk, Melissa Boigon, who studies Islam and its relationship to the Arab-Israeli conflict, talks about how Islamophobia has become more of a fear of Arabs over the last 10 years. She thinks that has to do with the connotation to terrorists groups such as Al-Qaeda, and the way middle east conflict is portrayed in The United States today. She also discusses how American Entertainment portrays Arabs, saying that it's propaganda in the form of entertainment.
In chapter 1 of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, Du Bois helps the reader get a better understanding of the struggle of black folk. Du Bois spent his childhood away up in the hills of New England. He would exchange visiting cards with the children in his schoolhouse, until one girl refused his card. It dawned on him that with certain suddenness that he was different from the others, he felt shut out from their world. Early in the chapter, Du Bois asks the question, “How does it feel to be a problem?” This is another way of asking, “How does it feel to be a Black person?” He talks about how being a problem is a strange peculiar experience for him for he has never been anything else. Double consciousness comes from African Americans
David Eggers, in Zeitoun, shows a story of a Muslim American family living through many challenges. After 9/11 Muslim families, like the Zeitouns, face many problems living in America. Eggers wants to inform other Americans on the situation of Muslim living in the United States, present day. People who are uneducated about the Muslim religion need to be informed on how similar lives are of other people all around the United States. These people throw out stereotypes and aim judgments wrongly at the Zeitoun family. Unjust treatment of the Zeitoun family is a cause of assuming and stereotypes. In this biography, Eggers helps inform his readers about
The August 1897 issue of the Atlantic Monthly introduced Du Bois to a national audience when it published his article "The Striving of the Negro People”. He begins this article with what he calls “the unasked question” he continually encountered: “How does it feel to be a problem?” Meaning: how does it feel to be black in America after the end of the
As a country, the United States has propagated an image of a "melting pot" of all human ethnicities. One of the many groups of people who have chosen the United States to be their home is that of the Arab Americans. This ethnicity typically describes those of ancestry from the Middle East, but this group can have a wide range of religious and cultural beliefs from different countries. Often Arab Americans are perceived to all have similar appearances, however phenotypically they can range from "people with blonde hair, blues eyes, or kinky hair and dark skin" (Alimahomed, 2011). The experience of Arab Americans changed drastically after the September 11th attacks on American soil in 2001. This paper attempts to explore the effects
Social-systemic violence, segregation, micro-aggression, exploitation, and the violation of civil rights are just a few examples of the impacts of this unsettling problem. George Fourlas wrote an article detailing the complex, dangerous, and deep-rooted discrimination that Arab-Americans face. Fourlas says, “Beyond micro-aggressions that attempt to undermine one’s understanding of one’s ontological status and thus ultimately insult, the racialization of Middle Eastern peoples in the United States also justifies various forms of overt violence” (109-110). Throughout this article Fourlas argues that the racialization of Arab-Americans is “rooted in the repetitive treatment of certain peoples as objects of war to be degraded, exploited, dominated, and destroyed” (101). Clearly, it is obvious that this racially fueled discrimination is not only an, but a very apparent form of violence and ill-treatment as well. Racial profiling causes Arab-Americans to question their own identity, creating a plethora of questions of one’s own character and morale. The way racialization in the United States has been amplified over the years has built a foundation for these issues to develop
The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 was a tragic event for all Americans, including Arab Americans. Due to the fact that the nineteen terrorist who hijacked the four planes were Middle Eastern Muslims, Arab Muslim Americans were suddenly viewed with suspicion and became the victims of discrimination and hate crimes. The 9/11 terrorist attacks were a dual tragedy for Muslim Arab Americans. Arab Americans died in the attack, were part of rescue efforts, and worked bravely at Ground Zero among other Americans. Sadly, they got very little recognition, very little time to mourn because they quickly became the target of hate crimes and discrimination. Despite, being part of the American culture for generations, after the 9/11 attack Muslims
These attacks were a changing point in American society because it brought out racism and discrimination against Muslim and Islamic people.For example,the author discloses,”I know America has a right
This survey reveals that the problem with the Islam faith is not racial: The Muslim people are welcomed, the Islam faith is not. The violence that has been perpetrated against America, whether executed or planned, has brought to fruition religious persecution not seen since the persecution of the Jews in W.W.II. This “trust no Arab” attitude has brought shame to the Constitutional intentions of freedom of religion intended by our forefathers, and has set religious tolerance back 200 years. Looking at media representation of Muslim Americans prior to 9-11, it shows religious diversity in America, depicting Muslim America as just another religious community seeking to advance and protect their interests, not unlike other Americans. After 9-11 the media portrayed representations of threat and fear, creating boundaries between Muslims and other Americans. Such depiction transforms the identity of Muslims and American religious pluralism (Byng, M. pg. 3).