“After 9/11, Everything Changed”
It’s true. Most of us have not only heard this said, but we have said it ourselves. After 9/11, everything changed. How so, you ask? Many of our attitudes towards people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions have changed. Many of us have changed where we stand on the issue of immigration. We, as a country, as Americans, have changed in ways we never thought possible. Certain questions I need to address in analyzing this issue are: Do we have a greater sense of unity as Americans now or not? Does this sense cross racial, ethnic, and gender boundaries? Also, I will analyze if being afraid has made us xenophobic (having a fear of anyone of foreign origin).
Since September 11, 2001, many things have changed, including our attitudes towards people of different backgrounds than ourselves. In an article written in The Iowa State Daily at Iowa State University in 2002, which is published in our book, Experiencing Race, Class, and Gender in the United States by Robert Fiske-Rusciano and Virginia Cyrus, the issue of the statue of the three firefighters raising the flag at ground zero is raised. The original photo, which we’ve all seen, is three white firefighters at ground zero raising a flag. Some people thought that a statue should be made with a white firefighter, a black firefighter, and a Hispanic firefighter, to honor all the different firefighters who died that day. The families of the firefighters who were in the original photo were upset about this. But the major point stressed in this article was that no matter what, the statue should be there to honor firefighters, politically correct or not. Just wondering, but why isn’t anyone complaining about there not being a muslim firefighter? Interesting. What is stated in the article is that no one should be complaining about the race of these three firefighters. This memorial is meant to serve as an honor to ALL firefighters who died that day, whether they were white, black, Hispanic, Asian, or any other race.
I think after September 11, 2001 first happened, we as Americans had a greater sense of unity. You saw it. I mean, every house had a flag flying, there were flags on everyone’s cars, people were nice to each other much more than they normally would be. However, it’s as though this unity was fake. Within a month or so, everyone went back to their everyday lives. Gone were the times of not beeping at someone if they cut you off on your way to work. Petty fights resumed. And yes, our sense of unity did cross racial and ethnic boundaries. There are muslim Americans. What happened to them? They were tortured. They were beaten up. Some of them were even killed. It was hard for some people to remember that it was just a small group of Muslims who had attacked us so horribly. And the people they showed on television cheering? The one percentage. But it didn’t matter. These people who might have...