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When you fail a test, you immediately blame the teacher. It is always that the teacher didn't teach you that question, the teacher made the questions confusing, or the teacher hates you and graded it harshly. Rarely,do you look at you bad test grade and say “that was my fault. I didn't study or pay attention in class. I will try better next test.” This blame game is played by everyone and on a big scale where a tragedy or disaster happens the American people as a whole tend to be experts at this game.
Some people think that after trajistes that people will join, and to an extent that is true but in reality they are joining together towards a common enemy. That common enemy just happens to be people easily targeted. You can see AMericans turning on each through Pearl Harbor, at the end of the vietnam war, and after 9/11.
While reading the stimulus packet I focused in on SOurce D and Source E.
From Souce D I used the fact that Americans, after 9/11, discriminated against muslims very harshly. In the article it showed that Americans want to help save Muslim womens from their culture, but in reality the article pointed out how little they know about Islam and there is no help needed. From Source E I used the fact that even though first handed accounts can't be used for factual information on what happened in history, they still give insight on the way people were feeling.
These first hand experiences show the emotion at the time and reveals how stereotypes were made and how people viewed tragedies. After the bias or prejudice towards a certain group starts in the unconscious mind. This is called implicit biased. “We are not even aware that they exist, yet they can have a tremendous impact on decision making” (Staats). Everyone has it, so there is no escaping it.
This implicit bias shapes there interpretation of situations and who is at fault. Another form of bias that is used unconsciously is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is “the unconscious tendency to seek information that confirms our preexisting beliefs, even when evidence exists to the contrary” (Staats). This explains why when a tragedy happens the already existing implicit bias that was in the unconscious in brought out. People need someone to blame for the horrible tragedies and if they already have prejudices about a certain group, they will find the proof that they need to blame them and to convince others that they are responsible for the disaster. Once they have the support from others they can efficiently incriminate a whole race/group.
A good place to tell where these prejudices formed is through first hand experiences. American historian, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., wrote, “The true traits of the principle persons and their relationships, of the movement of the masses are often better described by witnesses than recorded by posterity” (32). If a document was written many years after the event had happened, it misses the bias and prejudice which was a part of that time period. To really understand what it was like to live in that time you had to know what people were feeling. People are writing their experiences before they know the outcome. In a way it is unbiased bias.The bombing of Pearl Harbor was the first time war had been brought to the United States. It has been the first time American blood has been spilt on its own territory. After the bombings happened the United States went into a frenzy. OF course since the bombings were done by the Japanese, Americans declared war on Japan and entering into WWII. Troops were sent over to fight, but in America there were bigger problems.
The average American looked at Japanese Americans as enemies. “Some 112,000 “Japanese”--two-thirds of them American citizens--were sent to internment camps, where they spend much, in some cases all, of the war”(Graham). Japanese Americans who were citizens had their rights of ...that they were promised, taken away because of suspicion. Americans had to blame somebody for the bombings and since the Japanese Americans were of the same nationality of the people that bombed them they were easy targets to attack. It was easy for people to join too because of the influence of the media. One soldier who was ordered to round up Japanese families said, “I liked the Japanese families I worked and played with on our isolated ranch, but my image of Japan itself and of “the Japanese” was shaped by the moves, the print media, the comic books of my era, and by a savage attack on Pearl Harbor.”” (Graham). Before the war as this soldier stated, there were no problems with Japanese Americans.
They were able to coincide peacefully. However, through the media the image of the Japanese were twisted into “shadowy, slant-eyed, obviously sinister, and murderous” (Graham). The media was able to bring out unconscious bias towards Japanese which allowed for Japanese internment camps to be created and not questioned.Another example on unrightfully placing the blame was after the Vietnam War. After the veterans from Vietnam War came back they were greeted with… Many people didn't want to be in the war because they didn't look at it as their problem. SO when the veterans came back they were and easy scapegoat. People took their anger out on them. The media spread all over the news of the losses and bad things that were happening at war. THese things had been happening in previous wars but the media wasn't in it. Once people saw what the soldiers were doing even though that was war they took their anger out on them.
The media allowed people to be given a false reality of what was happening overseas. Because people aren't always had the access of knowing what happened at war they were falsely basing their opinions on something. THey are hypocrites for rejoicing when WWII veterans came back but then… when vietnam veterans came home. Americans were not thankful at all and didn't take into account what they had to go through. Blamed for the war they had not started. Told they deserved their fate. The news media had continued to flame the public opposition to the Vietnam War by broadcasting distorted and biased accounts from the battlefield. The soldiers were blamed for the war and not winning the war. a group that citizens should be wary of and avoid. Veterans had felt that the American people had turned against them. Vietnam war is known as the “first televised war”. Media coverage rough the horrors of military combat into living rooms.
Didn't take into account what the soldier had to go through. A more recent example of Americans unrightfully placing the blame on others is after 9/11 all Muslims were looked at as terrorists. We as a society started associating anyone who wore turbans as a terrorist. This fear and dislike towards Islams is known as Islamophobia. Following the 9/11 attacks “the FBI reported a 1600% increase in hate crimes against this group in the year following 9/11” (Saedi). Before 9/11 there was no reason to hate Muslims but as soon as the tragedy of 9/11 happened, because they were of the same religion they became discriminated against. The media didn't help stop this islamophobia wither, if anything it helped increase it. “Many newspapers make liberal use of terms such as fanatics and extremist, in addition to terrorists to describe individuals from the Middle East” (Saedi). The media has increased the suspicions and are bringing people together to fight against them. Since the Americans believe wholeheartedly that Muslim men are all terrorists they also belivet hat Muslim women need help to be saved by them.
When an American looks at a burqa, they don't see “portable seclusion” or “mobile homes” (Abu-Lughod). They see them as something they are forced to wear to hide themselves because that is what the men say to do. Americans don't look at it as a choice. The 9/11 attacks have clouded their judgement to look past the past and look at things as how they are. This just shows how unwilling Americans are to learning other people’s cultures and focusing on other people’s choices. The entire religious group of Muslims were not responsible for 9/11, nor were the Vietnam veterans responsible for the Vietnam war, nor were the whole Japanese nationality responsible for the bombings of Pearl Harbor.
None of these groups were responsible for the things they were accused of but still went through the hatred and discrimination the American people threw at them because they were outnumbered. Because of them being easy targets, they were looked and still looked at as outsiders who now we are teaching our children to act the same way. Through peer influence and media, these kids are being in a world of already prejudice that they will learn to accept. Our perception of who is the enemy has been warped by our unconscious bias as shown through events through history.
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