In Zinn’s chapter, “The 2000 Election and the ‘War on Terrorism’” he discusses the U.S government’s reactions to the 9/11 attacks and describes fundamental changes to American foreign policy that could be the change needed in the War on Terrorism. I thought an interesting point was that it has been clear throughout history that violence could not defeat terrorism, but the U.S decided to do that anyways. The common theme throughout many of these historical events was present here too, the government went to great lengths to control the flow of media showing the horrific effects of their bombings. Zinn brought up the question that perhaps if the U.S changed their foreign policies to create more peaceful relations with other countries, then who would hate us and want to hurt us? I thought this was a very powerful moral question that addresses the power hungry attitudes of America in the global community. This seems like an easy solution that comes with large consequences and sacrifices that many would be hesitant to give up.
Mariam Elba’s article about Islamophobia describes how this has been a part of the U.S legal system and culture. I was surprised that from 1790 to 1952, the Naturalization Act required whiteness as a condition for citizenship. An immigrant had to prove that they were white in order to be considered for citizenship. I thought it was interesting to look at the different views among the Presidents. Bush created a good Muslim versus bad Muslim attitude. Obama had positive rhetoric toward Muslims, but his policies differed from these ideas. Trump believes that all Muslims are bad. These extremely prevalent leadership roles reflect and influence the beliefs of the U.S as a whole. They are endorsing negative stereotypes that have been entrenched in society for many years. How will we be able to defeat these stereotypes and disconnect the Muslim identity with terrorism?