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Copyright (c) 2002 University of Michigan Law School
Michigan Journal of Race & Law


Spring, 2002

7 Mich. J. Race & L. 441


Bill Ong Hing*


"USA! USA!": An Introduction to De-Americanization
Within hours of the terrorist attacks of September 11, Americans of Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian descent found themselves targeted for acts of hate and racial profiling. In a suburb of Chicago three hundred protestors, many waving American flags and chanting "USA! USA!" marched on a mosque. One 19-year-old demonstrator exclaimed, "I'm proud to be an American and I hate Arabs and I always have." 2 In Huntington, New York, a 75-year-old man tried to run over a Pakistani woman in the parking lot of a shopping mall. He then followed the woman into a store and threatened to kill her for "destroying my country." 3 In San Diego, a Sikh woman was attacked by a knife-wielding man, shouting "This is what you get for what you've done to us." 4 A Sikh family was followed out of a restaurant by two White men who screamed to the family, "Go back to your country." 5 Soon, arrests were made of individuals who were racially profiled, and by October, over 1,100 suspicious individuals, mostly Arab Americans, were detained, without access to family or counsel. 6 By November, the Department of Justice developed a list of five thousand Middle Eastern men, between the ages of 18 and 33, who were to be "voluntarily" interviewed. Although the men were supposed to have entered on non-immigrant visas after January, 2000, numerous reports indicated that law enforcement officials were also contacting lawful permanent residents and ...
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