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Constructing The Enemy Essay

871 words - 4 pages

Embarking on a journey to the land of opportunity was, in the eyes of many immigrants, the most viable step in constructing a new life of freedom and equality. America had become the trademark utopia- a place where one could find acceptance and work, to begin a family and achieve success: the American dream. However, not long after immigrants began pouring in did they start to feel the welcoming gates of America close on them. Acts were soon passed that discriminated against unfavorable ethnicities entering the US, which fueled resentment among Americans. Whites began to dehumanize unwanted immigrants, capitalizing their differences to spread prejudices thus creating their enemy (Memmi 190). ...view middle of the document...

After building his family and business, Zeitoun loses everything he has earned based solely on his appearance.
In addition to racial profiling, Middle Easterners were furthermore dehumanized as they lost all of their rights. Unlike other perpetrators being held in the same facility, Zeitoun and his fellow Muslim friends were held in a cage, separated form all others. Also unlike other American prisoners, Zeitoun and his friends were held without reason, bail, trial, a phone call, and others; simply being Muslim denied them of their American identities. Every time Zeitoun begged a passing guard for a phone call, the response given was, “Phones don’t work… you guys are terrorists. You’re Taliban” (222). As disaster struck, Middle Easterners are denied all rights they have been given as American citizens, and were no longer human in the eyes of their government, corresponding to Stein’s gatherings. Being prior victims of America’s stereotyping, especially following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the government acts on feelings of betrayal still fresh in their minds. Although middle easterners had no involvement with the hurricane, the government saw it as an opportunity for foreigners to attack, and therefore acted on their suspicions, depriving citizens of their most basic human rights.
Hurricane Katrina did not only evoke the xenophobia of immigrants such as Middle Easterners, but highlighted the discriminatory treatment of African Americans as well. “Trouble the Waters” shows the struggles of living through the hurricane and its disastrous effects on Kimberly Roberts’ hometown, the 9th ward. As residents of New Orleans began to evacuate, those living in poor...

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