After Oklahoma City: Looking for Someone to Blame

By Younis, Hania | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September 1995 | Go to article overview

After Oklahoma City: Looking for Someone to Blame


Younis, Hania, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


After Oklahoma City: Looking For Someone to Blame

By Hania Younis

My co-worker asks me, "You don't feel as badly as the rest of us, do you?" It is three hours after the Oklahoma City bombing. She asks me this question because I am an Arab American. We are both engineers for the federal government and work near Seattle.

"What do you mean? It's horrible!" I catch my breath as I realize we're talking about my loyalties and not the hundreds of lives lost and devastated. "But," I say, "if you mean do I feel more sadness than if this had happened somewhere else in the world, then no, I don't." She looks at me coldly, as though I have no sympathy.

I think about other recent tragedies: women in Bosnia begging not to be raped, whole villages of Guatemalans tortured one by one and killed as their families watched, Kurds pulling in lungfuls of poisonous air, and Iraqi families bombed in their homes. I think about my friend's adopted Palestinian son, found in the rubble of the building in which his entire family was killed.

"Besides," I say, "many people will assume that Arabs are responsible. And whether or not Arabs did this, it just reinforces the stereotype that Arabs are violent."

The television is on all day in our conference room. People drift in and out, watching for as long as they can. There's no evidence yet, but the newscasters still give two possibilities. The first is retaliation for the raid on the Branch Davidian compound. They also say there's been an anonymous phone call from someone claiming to be in Hamas. A man walks in and asks for an update and another immediately states, "Someone from Hamas claimed responsibility." His eagerness to blame this crime on Arabs saddens and frustrates me.

On television a distraught man asks, "Why Oklahoma City? We're good people here." I wonder what cities he thinks are filled with bad people, or what building anywhere in the world would be a more fitting target. All the interviews include statements like "not in America" and "these are innocent people." As though only we deserve to go unscathed by violence. Only we should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The news stations flash back to the World Trade Center and the barracks in Beirut. They want to make a connection early, just in case there is a connection.

When they mention Beirut someone says, "But these weren't soldiers." No, they weren't, I think. But would this be any less tragic if they were? And do we never kill anyone but soldiers? Are our "surgical strikes" so moral and precise that we never leave a scar, neither on others nor ourselves?

So many people still believe that Arabs are violent by nature.

That night my father calls at 11 p. …

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

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

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.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 article

After Oklahoma City: Looking for Someone to Blame
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.
    Sign up now 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.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.