Similarities of Racism Against German Americans and Islamic Americans

9 September 2016

As it was during the World Wars, where Germans were automatically assumed to be Nazis just because they identified as German, after the 9/11 attacks, Arab and Islamic America were automatically assumed to be terrorists. It seemed that, in both cases, it was a generally accepted and believed idea, that heritage and ethnicity drove everything about a person as an individual, whereas that was not the truth at all. Even more than decades later, German Americans are still considered “Nazis” and Muslim Americans are still addressed as “Terrorists.

Universal blame for the terrorist attacks and for the World Wars was placed on all those who identified as either of these groups. Not only were both judged as such, and faced insults and offensive slurs and everything in between, but they were also incredibly feared and banned from entering certain areas such as businesses, etc. German heritage was deleted all together from the Untied States, which certainly had an affect on those that had said German heritage, but Islamic heritage as well.

Both of which had to be hidden all together from public eye to be saved from prosecution. Since both were feared, both were placed on surveillance, etc, and were more likely to be the subject of investigation for anything as minor from common police affairs to large governmental ones. Civil rights were more or less ignored or deleted for both of these groups in both time periods. Although physical attacks were more common for German Americans during the era of the World Wars, Muslim Americans also faced physical attacks.

These attacks were typically done by “pure” Americans and unlikely to be by any other, and included beatings, stabbings, vandalism of property, and the like. Because of the restriction placed by laws and such on physical assault, etc, during the time of the 2000’s, physical attacks were not as easy to be carried out or lacked proper prosecution. Although there were cases in which investigation on attacks on Muslims had less priority, they were still more prosecuted than anything that occurred during the World Wards against German Americans.

The problem with America is that the society of the country tends to place generalizations on those who identify with a group that have threatened or harmed their country in anyway. America is a place of pride and patriotism, and often that can have ill effects on others, especially minority groups. Both German Americans during the World Wars, and Islamic Americans post-9/11 were victims of such ill effects, often in very similar ways. Sources; Elver, Hilal.

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