Salon is running an AP story headlined “Arab-Americans fear backlash” in its sidebar of wire stories. Apparently the headline writer didn’t bother to read the article, because it lists several anti-Arab-American hate crimes that are already happening. That’s all Salon’s carrying on the topic of hate crimes; apparently it doesn’t warrant further analysis (though I hope the morning edition will prove me wrong).
Meanwhile, the major news media keep replaying the same footage from yesterday of Palestinians celebrating the attacks; Salon, not so liberal that it can’t add fuel to the fire, began its story on the topic with the lead “In Jenin, they know a good terrorist attack when they hear about it.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the outrageous claim that these Palestinians aren’t representative of all Palestinians, certainly not all Arabs or Muslims. Yeah, that footage really happened, people are really doing that, and it’s fucking awful, but anyone who has had a few months of journalism knows that it’s all in how you frame the story. How astoundingly trite to be saying all this. I hope that I’m preaching to the choir.
By the way, there are plenty of other reports of anti-Arab-American retaliations coming in that haven’t been reported by the major news media. Tamara spotted these (and other) posts on the Bust bulletin boards:
two afghani guys in the san fernando valley in CA were beaten severely…
a Muslim centre in Montreal was hit with a fire bomb. It was on newsworld.
amidst all the horror, 5 kids (presumably of arab descent) in my hometown of oakville, ontario were beat up at school. i was so disgusted to hear of this- like these kids had anything to do with what happened in the US yesterday.
These reports are unconfirmed, as far as I could tell. I would be thrilled if they were untrue. Nothing will ever justify what happened on the 11th, and nothing justifies what is happening now.
Update: Two mosques in the Dallas, Texas area were attacked. One was a rock through a window, but the other was a shooting. Apparently the attacks occurred at night, and no one was hurt. It gets worse, though. The AP is reporting that crowds are protesting outside of an Illinois mosque, an Arab-American community center in Chicago was attacked, a man attempted to run over a Pakistani woman in a parking lot in Huntington, New York, a man in a ski mask attacked an Arab-American worker at a gas station with an assault rifle in Gary, Indiana, and on and on and on.
Another update, Thursday night: Salon has posted a new lead story, giving prominent coverage to the anti-Arab and anti-Arab-American backlash.
Update, Sunday: The Austin paper is reporting that a Pakistani-owned gas station in southeast Austin was attacked, probably with a Molotov cocktail, though investigators haven’t specified what was used. Luckily the “fire-setting device” missed the store, and no one was hurt. In Mesa, Arizona, however, an Indian Sikh gas station owner was shot and killed. Sikh men generally wear beards and Turbans, making them prime targets for the misdirected anger of kneejerk bigots; as a man quoted in the story said, “we look more like bin Laden than the Muslims do.”
Update, Sunday night: Just received an e-mail about this. A Pakistani man was shot and killed in a Dallas, Texas, suburb. The story also mentions that a mosque in Denton was firebombed.