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All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

December 4, 2004

Written by C.N.

9/11/01: Tragedy & Devastation

Originally posted September 2001

Words cannot adequately describe the suffering and devastation that occurred on September 11, 2001. Hijacked jetliners crash into the two World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. I personally feel very sad about the senseless loss of life and my sincere thoughts, condolences, and metta go out to all those who are affected by this tremendous tragedy.

As the investigation progresses, it looks more likely that extremist terrorist groups, almost certainly linked to Osama bin Laden, are to blame. That may be true and if that is the case, as much as anyone else, I support efforts to bring those who are responsible to justice in a democratic and civilized manner. Nonetheless, in addition to grieving for the victims of this attack, I cannot help but also feel a sinking feeling in my stomach about how some people are already reacting to these events.

In the midst of rubble, the American spirit remains © Graham Morrison/Associated Press

Specifically, there is already hostility, vandalism, and acts of physical violence being directed to Arab Americans and anyone else who is perceived as being Arab or Muslim. Unfortunately, Asian Americans are also being targeted in these ignorant and misguided acts of “backlash.” As tragic proof, two Asian American gas station owners have already been shot to death by someone who apparently mistook them for being Arab. There have also been numerous incidents of other Asian Americans being physically attacked as well.

In the strongest terms possible, I urge us as a nation not to repeat the mistakes of the Japanese American “internment” after Pearl Harbor and condemn and scapegoat an entire racial/ethnic/religious group for the alleged acts of a few. In the heat of this moment and our angry feelings for retaliation, let us not resort to fear, ignorance, and prejudice and discriminate against those who are innocent, had absolutely nothing to do with these events, and are grieving for the victims just as we are, merely because they are somehow “associated” with the suspected culprits.

All of us as Americans need to take a stand against this hatred. Prejudice and discrimination continue when ordinary citizens like us silently accept the consequences of racism perpetrated against others. Let us remember that the United States is supposed to be “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Let us as a nation all rise to the occasion, in every sense of that term.


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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "9/11/01: Tragedy & Devastation" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2004/12/tragedy-devastation/> ().

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