Who is an Arab American? These are ethnic groups that trace roots back to Arabic speaking countries in North Africa and the Middle East. These nations can be summed up to 22 known all Arab speaking nations from Asia and Africa. Examples of Arabic states with heavy presence in the US include Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Egypt. During the 19th century, Arab immigrants started arriving in the US. The current groups of Arab Americans are descendants of these early immigrants.
Another large group of immigrants migrated later after the Second World War following a restriction period in the US. In the present, most of the Arab Americans are native born and bred Americans.
According to Wingfield &Karaman (1995), presently, here are well over 3 million documented Arab Americans with nearly 90% of these living in the urban areas. In terms of demography, education and employment, nearly 80 percent of Arab Americans hold high school diplomas, 35% hold college degrees and about 65% of the Arab Americans adults are in the US work force (Widner & Chicoine, 2011).
They work in professional, technical, managerial, administrative or sales levels and fields and earn an above average household income. Most of these Arab Americans are Christians contrary to popular beliefs and stereotypes (Seikaly, 2001).
According to the Census in the United States, Arabs are classified as white like the vast European majority (Widner & Chicoine, 2011). However, the Arab Americans receive the same treatment as other minorities in the US in comparison to the European Americans. This research paper will investigate how the Arab Americans are treated in the US today.
The research will also explore on what kinds of discrimination the Arab Americans experience.
Since the 1970s, Arab Americans have continued to receive negative stereotypes that have quite blossomed in the American popular culture. This has been fueled by public ignorance and foreign policies that usually gives inaccurate data and information regarding the Arab American population in the United States. Even in the popular film industry, Arab Americans are portrayed as the villains or mostly terrorists who are greedy and selfish. The media however is not the only place prejudices and stereotypes are found. Other institutions have gone ahead to discriminate the Arab American population using stereotypes and other forms of inaccurate information to draw a bad picture of this group (Widner & Chicoine, 2011).
Through the years, clashes back in the Middle East and African states that speak Arabic have invited hostile responses against stores owned by Arabs and mosques. Prominent politicians and activists of the Arab descent were subjects of FBI racial profiling and investigations regarding the Iraqi terrorism in the United States, over the cause of the Gulf War. Hate crimes continue to be on the increase following the Oklahoma bombing and the September 11 attacks. After this period, anti terrorism policies in the workplace and aviation profiling have to a large proportion affected Muslims and Arabs in general (Widner & Chicoine, 2011).
This racial profiling in the workplace and in the security procedures of several industries have resulted in the violation of rights where ne is dismissed or rejected in a job largely due to their ethnicity. These actions that result in singling out of individuals of the Arab descent have resulted in ignorant views and stereotype within the public with regards to Muslims and people of the Arabic descent.
It is very essential to acknowledge the differences in how Arab Americans are treated especially in the realms of education as well as the workplace. The treatments the Arab Americans receive are mainly due to stereotypes that only serve to worsen situations. Workplace discrimination affects earnings and consequently the economy. As Seikaly (2001) points out, an individual action is very important as much as a person since both may have adverse effects on a whole. It is a sad affair to know that in the present day and age, Arab Americans still receive discrimination in the work place. This will automatically have negative consequences not only to the victims but also to the culprits.
According to Widner & Chicoine (2011), mistreatment of the Arab Americans bears effects on their productivity. The productivity in the workplace is imbalanced and the health aspect becomes shaky. In terms of education and employment, it is worth noting that the Arab Americans are way ahead of the native European American statistics as nearly 80 percent of Arab Americans hold high school diplomas, 35% hold college degrees and about 65% of the Arab Americans adults are in the US work force.
These statistics are better than any other minority groups living in the US today. This shows that a larger percentage of the Arab Americans are in the US labor force. Discriminating this group is therefore unhealthy for the whole US economy as it has consequences on their productivity. Even though cultures are different, the society should learn to accommodate everyone in their environment. An individual should be defined by who they are and not on the basis of their ethnicity or the color of their skin.