In the United States there has always been a “problem group”, a race, ethnicity, or religion, that Americans unite against. It seems that for the people of our country to be united, we have to have a common enemy, or our “problem group”. All of this from the outside seems petty, kind of like the mean girls of a high school. They are at the top of the food chain, and they make the racial stereotypes based on events that occur from few individuals of a race or religion, but everyone else buys into it because they don’t want to be the “problem”. However this way of thinking just causes negative effects, because the few individuals who really did the crime are not still here, in our country, to take the blunt of the abuse now directed at the race of people. Making people, such as the Arab and Muslim Americans apologize time and time again for acts they did not take part in or condone in any way eventually will produce negative counteracts on their part. People who are bullied in high school by the mean girls often become depressed and they want to do something, they want to make them see what they have done. In this way they either turn to self harm or worse to the harm of others. Some kids bring guns to school, because they have lost care for their life and they want attention from the people who hurt them; for them to feel the pain that they caused. If we reflect this onto the social groups that the “mean girls” of American society are bullying with incessant taunting and distrust and fewer opportunities in education and careers, then we can get peaceful people who gave up on being treated fairly. These people who had never before done anything against America now have a hatred towards the people, the “bullies”, and turn towards terrorism and violent acts that they had already been blamed for by the citizens of this country and a racial stereotype.
This is a dangerous cycle, especially in the age of terror that we are in today. Arab and Muslim Americans can’t be judged just for being, well, Arab and Muslim Americans. There are plenty of Arab and Muslim Americans with amazing characters, who are doctors, teachers, brilliant scientists, social workers, people who want to give to society, who we trust our financial savings, and even our lives in.
Terror attacks, such as the attacks on 9/11, still remain in our minds to this day because of the incredible shock factor and horror caused on that day. No one should forget the terror of that day and who is responsible, but no one should generalize an entire population because of one group of radicals. The bombings in Boston reminded us of this subject. Currently there is stress about North Korea bombing the United States with nuclear missiles, and when the bombs went off yesterday the two groups America immediately turned to were the Arab and Muslim Americans and the North Koreans. However it could have been an American who bombed the race, because there is no possible way to look at an explosion and know the ethnicity of the person who placed the bombs there with the intention to cause harm to hundreds of people. After all the bombs didn’t result in many casualties, instead most of the shrapnel was sent low towards the legs and cause many amputations of the lower extremities. This was seen as a failure by the bomber, but maybe that is what they intended to do. The culprit could have been a disgruntled racer who couldn’t make it into the marathon and wanted to harm all the people that were better than them. After all, what would a runner miss more than their legs? And what torture would be worse for them than to continue living, but never walk or run again?
Why wasn’t that theory brought up? Why did they immediately switch to radical Arab or Muslim terrorism? Regardless of the group who caused the Boston Bombing this act is terrorism, it doesn’t have to be caused be a Middle Eastern person to be called such. Everyone has felt left out and as a “problem” at one point in their lives. Because of our knowledge on this subject we shouldn’t continue to blame a group for everything and do everything in our power to make people of a certain ethnicity feel left out. We should help them and make a distinction between Muslims and terrorists.
After all we’ve all experienced Mean Girls.