Do I Look Like Public Enemy Number One, By Lorraine Ali

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Equality For All It’s the 21st century and our nation consists of many different cultures, race and religions. However, racial discrimination still lives on amongst every ethnicity. When my grandma left the Philippines for San Francisco in 1956, white Americans instructed she were to have no aspirations beyond being a good wife and mother. She came to America not knowing one word of English, therefore people assumed she was dumb. She was never given the privilege to work hard and become successful, all because she didn’t speak English. The essence of being successful is said to be financially independent, own your own business, and have a PhD to name a few. Nonetheless, not many people fall into this category because it requires a lot of schooling and dedication. Therefore, to be more then what is expected of you in highly valued in American culture. Throughout the course of history, the public stand amid discrimination, prejudice and even racism…show more content…
In a short story by Lorraine Ali called “Do I Look Like Public Enemy Number One,” she evokes every struggle she went through. “ ‘ You’re not a terrorist, are you?’ That pretty much was a stock question I faced growing up. Classmates usually asked it after they heard my last name: “Ali” sounded Arabic; therefore, I must be some kind of bomb-lobbing religious fanatic with a grudge against Western Society” (60). Even students in elementary were aware of who the enemy was. Ali recalls, “In elementary school, we forced smiles through taunts like, ‘Hey Ali, where’s your oilcan?’ ”(61) Intuitively, Ali was recognized as part of a culture America love to hate. Her goal was to be more then what was expected of her. She focused on humanity and not terror to bridge a gap between the two different cultures, establishing an identity that not all Arab Americans are

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