Historical Report on Race

Historical Report on Race
Joshua Jock
Ethics/125 Version 8
May 21,2013
Instructor:   Okey Nwachukwu-Udaku

Arab Americans trace their ancestral roots to several Arab countries. Lebanon is the homeland of a majority of Arab Americans, followed by Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan. The Arab world consists of 21 countries that span from North Africa to the Persian Gulf.   According to the 1990 census, there were 870,000 persons in the United States who identified themselves as ethnically Arab or who emigrated from one of the 21 countries that constitute the contemporary Arab world. Previous estimates by scholars and Arab American community organizations placed the number of Arab Americans at between one and three million. The discrepancy is partly due to the standardization of Arabs in the United States, leading many to conceal their ethnic affiliation. The traditional suspicion of Middle Easterners toward government authorities seeking information of a personal nature compounds this problem. These two factors, along with standard problems in collecting census data, probably explain the discrepancy between the estimates of scholars and the actual census count. Considering these factors, a revised estimate likely would place the number of Arab Americans in the range of one to two million.
The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent backlash against persons perceived to be Arab, South Asian, or Muslim, produced a heightened interest Arab American studies. This increased interest, however, often reduces the rich and diverse experiences of Arabs in the U.S. to the circumstances of September 11th and its aftermath. Our approach to Arab American studies displaces the post-September-11 gaze with a focus on diverse local, national, and global events that have inspired Arab immigration and displacement to the U.S. and shaped Arab American engagements

with racism and whiteness within different historical contexts. Our research and teaching...