This is a letter from an Arab-American guy to an Arab newspaper, very interesting because it raised a very good issues about racism (Arabs vs Arabs and Arabs vs African-Americans), since I don’t live in the US so I don’t have any idea about the background of the problem but I could see that his argument can fit even here in Europe.
Greetings and I hope you are well and in good favor…………….Having lived in the U.S. for the past 24 years………
It remains a solid fact that as Arabs we became very comfortable with our hypocrisy in believing that we practice high measures of a higher moral code while in reality our social ways and practices are the very antithesis of the moral standards we advocate. I dearly wish that you could write about Arab racism, specifically Arab against Arab racism that is based on color of the skin, and Arab racism against non Arab minorities of the U.S. This phenomenon though rarely spoken about is one of the biggest social maladies that we commonly and overtly practice as Arabs both in the Arab world and in the Diaspora. Here in the U.S. for example one often finds Muslim Arab Americans advocate the principles of Islam, and call on people to adopt this great faith, however, any Muslim of dark color could tell you that the common practice of “separate but equal” is the socially accepted norm among white Arab Muslims when black Arab Muslims or black none Arab Muslims are considered.
Yet in most Arab American circles an observer would note our excessive criticism of American society as one in which anti Arab racism prevails. Our criticism of American society as a racist one became particularly evident ever since 9/11, and while it remains a solid fact that Arab Americans became feared, hated, accused, harassed, interrogated, and feared in American society post 9/11, it also remain a solid ironic fact that the multitude of Arab Americans still practice covert and overt acts of racism against African Americans in particular despite our bitter brush with racism after 9/11.
It is well known to the African American communities that Arab Americans have the same superiority complex which European Americans had in the past. We Arab Americans choose at free-will not only to disassociate from the African American communities, but also contribute to some great extent to the destruction of these communities. Note for example that the majority of the liquor-store small businesses in the economically depressed African American neighborhoods are owned by Arab Americans. It is worthy of mentioning that most of the Arab American owners of these liquor stores view these communities with a loathing eye of contempt and choose to reside away from these African American neighborhoods on whose destruction they contribute!
It must be noted for the sake of fairness however that it is the Muslim Arab Americans who adopt and practice racism. It is rather ironic that post 9/11 we as Muslim Arab Americans became more concerned with the various elements of bigotry that is directed towards our communities with out ever having the courage to face-up the racism that comes out of our own communities in particular one that is directed towards African Americans. Having lived in the U.S. for a long while now, I can say with accuracy that I have witnessed American society take very positive legal and social measures to do away with racial discrimination. But I have also witnessed that among the very first things Arabs acquire when they come to America is racism.