Hiring minorities in the workplace is a topic that is uncomfortable, yet relative for discussion. It appears that Arabic people face discrimination in the workplace at a high level, especially since September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers fell. I have experienced such racial oppression myself through my friend when we both applied for the same job. 

When I applied to work at a tire repair shop in Chattanooga, I asked my friend, Ali, if he would be interested in working with me. He was eager at the opportunity since his father used to have a repair shop of his own, and he was already experienced from what his father had taught him. Therefore, the chance to work at a place that was high paying and allowed us to work together seemed like the perfect opportunity. However, due to my friend being of Arabic descent, I did not know the implications that would have when we both submitted our applications at the same time. 

Upon talking to the owner of the store and discussing our employment with the managers, I noticed that they did not talk to Ali as much. They mainly asked questions to me and would turn to Ali occasionally for the occasional “second-hand question”. This was odd, especially since Ali had even discussed with them his knowledge of tires and cars. It was clear he knew what he was talking about and he would be a major asset to the business, but it is something that I did not notice until we were getting ready to leave. The next morning I got a call from the repair shop and they said they would hire me and thought I would be a great fit for the business. However, they did not hire Ali. When I asked Ali if he got a call, he said he never received one. 

It did not occur to me at the time, but when I worked there my first week, I overheard several conversations amongst the managers making fun of Arabic people. I began to connect the comments they were making with Ali not getting hired, and I came to the realization that this was simply none other than a racial discrimination that happened before my eyes. This was the reason that my good friend did not get hired even though he had years of experience over myself. In fact, I even made it clear to the managers that I would need a lot of teaching, and they still chose my employment over Ari’s. 

According to a literature review conducted by Sidanius and Pratto, “white applicants are 24% more likely to be hired than ethnic minority applicants. In the Netherlands, job applicants of Arabic origin are more likely to be rejected by prospective employers and have higher unemployment rates than host nationals” (Eva Derous, Hanna-Hanh Nguyen and Ann Marie Ryan). This not only exemplifies the harsh reality of racial discrimination in the world, it also highlights a major issue that simply because of the skin color of a person, they are not likely to obtain a job as much as a white person, therefore putting them in danger of being unemployed and less able to be financially stable. Since the terrorist attack of 9/11, Arab Americans have experienced more work discrimination and do not have a large chance of getting hired. “The amount of discrimination complaints filed by Arab Americans in 2003 tripled that in the pre-September 11 era”.

I think that the way to combat this racial issue is simply to spread awareness and hold the employers accountable on who they hire. For example, there should be no discrimination based on race or religion, and these actions should be reported. 

Latest posts by Stephen Morgan (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *