"Do I Look Like Public Enemy Number One" Answers

Do I Look Like Public Enemy Number One?
Responses by Justus Eapen
English B2

Probing Content
#2 Lorraine Ali recalls spending summer vacation in Baghdad. She tells how she rolled cigarettes to sell at the market and struggled to communicate in a language that remains foreign to her. Ali recounts numerous images in which her culture was demonized and generalized against. She explains that her time in Iraq opened her eyes to Arab culture and the fact that not all Arabs are Terrorists or religious fanatics.

Considering Craft
#1 In paragraph five of the essay Ali describes herself as an all American girl. One who “wore short-shorts, ate Pop Rocks, and listened to Van Halen”. This image is one of purely American culture.   She then contrasts this image with a description of her father explaining that he “…swam in the Tigris River…did accounting on an abacus…and watched Flash Gordon movies projected on the side of a bakery…” These two portrayals clash so violently that it leaves the reader wondering how they could be confused.
#2 Ali uses herself as a case-study. She explains that she is the exception that disproves the rule. She grew up living an American lifestyle while appreciating her father’s Arab culture. This perspective also allowed her insight that the majority of Americans don’t receive. She notices the obvious degradation of a culture while the average white American simply accepts it as truth.

Responding to the Writer
One cultural group who has never been able to escape the stigmas of its past has been the Germans. They’ve been dealt a bad hand, not only do they have to deal with all the residual guilt of what they’re nation accomplished but also with the evil eye of their neighbors. Even to this day, more than six decades later, Germans are paying for the sins of Mein Fuehrer. Its one thing when you’re culture is discriminated against on the basis of being the victim; it must be a completely different story when you were the...