Should Be Suspect
the Sept. 17 issue you published a letter by a College senior which
included as a statement of fact that mobs of up to 200 people
had attacked Arab-American cab drivers in New York City. As it turns
out, these incidents appear to be imaginary. Presumably, some others
may be as well. As a New Yorker it is hard to not take offense at
such allegations indeed, this is probably the city where
such a thing is least likely to take place, and not only because
of our ordinary diversity and egalitarianism but particularly because
of the events and aftermath of Sept. 11. I point this out not to
detract from the
highlighting of freshly inspired anti-Arab acts around the country,
which after all is not diminished by limiting ourselves to the truth,
but only to insist that we make every effort to maintain our critical
thinking on the issues and our skepticism of the spin doctors every
nationality and cause is now rolling out in full gear.
This is a very difficult time for the entire country and clearly
not less so for Arab-Americans and those who are mistaken for Arab-Americans.
Let us not make things worse with hysterical accusations, whomever
the target may be. Trading on such misinformation can only serve
to polarize us and occlude our understanding of events, endangering
our ability to take right action.
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