Arab Americans, Affirmative Action, and a Quest for Racial Identity

By Tamer, Christine | Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, Fall 2010 | Go to article overview

Arab Americans, Affirmative Action, and a Quest for Racial Identity


Tamer, Christine, Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights


I. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................... 101

II. THE WORST OF BOTH WORLDS ...................................................... 103

A. Post 9-11 Racism, Hate, and Discrimination ...................... 105

B. Discrimination, Racism, and Overt Acts of Hate on Campus ............................................................................... 106

III. OFFICIALLY WHITE; REALISTICALLY BLACK ................................ 108

A. Check it Right, You Ain't White! ....................................... 112

B. The Mark of Blackness ....................................................... 114

IV. RACE-BASED AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND WHY ARAB AMERICANS SHOULD BE INCLUDED .......................................... 117

A. Arab American Students on Campus .................................. 121

B. The Campus Quad and Beyond .......................................... 125

C. Getting Outside the Box ..................................................... 126

V. CONCLUSION .................................................................................. 127

I. INTRODUCTION

"If I see someone come in and he's got a diaper on his head and a fan belt around that diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over and checked." - U.S. Congressman John Cooksey of Louisiana, September 17, 2001(1)

Sand nigger, camel jockey, towel head. Disloyal, threatening, foreign. Billionaires, bombers, belly dancers. Fundamentalist, extremist, militant. Dune coon, raghead, Mohammedan. Dirty, derelict, vermin. Terrorist.

Historically Arab Americans2 have been negatively stereotyped in a variety of ways. Today, Arab Americans have essentially been "raced as terrorists."3 The classification of Arab Americans as officially "white" in the census, while society perceives Arab Americans as socially "black," is problematic. It denies a group that is historically and presently suffering discrimination the benefits and protections of minority status, as well as the benefit of official recognition as a way of conferring identity. The main argument of this Note is that undergraduate colleges and universities should recognize Arab Americans as a minority for purposes of their race-based affirmative action programs since Arab Americans contribute to the diversity rationale as set forth by the Supreme Court. The purpose of this Note is not to analyze the pros and cons of affirmative action or the diversity rationale, but rather to argue that as long as such affirmative action programs exist, Arab Americans should be recognized as contributing to a race-based diversity rationale.

This Note first briefly outlines the recent history of discrimination, racism, bias, and stereotypes against Arab Americans, with a focus on discrimination and racism in the context of colleges and universities. Next, this Note describes how society perceives Arab Americans and why classifying Arab Americans as white in the census is both arbitrary and harmful. Then, this Note argues that Arab Americans have essentially been given the "mark of blackness," rather than a so-called "white privilege" in today's society. The Note goes on to discuss the diversity rationale for affirmative action as articulated in Grutter v. Bollinger, and to describe how enrolling a critical mass of Arab American students can contribute to diversity. Finally, this Note calls on colleges and universities to recognize Arab American students by giving them their own race "box" on college applications for purposes of their affirmative action programs, even if the census still officially classifies Arab Americans as white.4

II. THE WORST OF BOTH WORLDS

"Arab spokesmen similarly argue that the Arab world is being branded anti-American because of the extremism of a few. But that's nonsense. In that world, hatred of the U.S. and antisocial international behavior are nearly universal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Arab Americans, Affirmative Action, and a Quest for Racial Identity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.