After the tragedy of 9/11, Arab American stereotypes morph from harmless convenient store owner to new American nigger. The Simpsons’ Apuh is suddenly nowhere near as funny
There really needed to be more said here. The convenience store owners were not usually Arab (though some were), generally, they were South Asian, most often Indian American. “Apuh” (it’s spelled Apu, no “h”) is an Indian American, and is depicted as Hindu on The Simpsons. Also, on the order of 50%* of Arab Americans aren’t Muslim, they’re Christian. Like the governor of Indiana, or Ralph Nader. In other words, a disproportionate amount of prejudice directed against “Arabs” is actually directed against Muslims who dress visibly in a way that marks them as Muslim, no matter their ethnicity, and South Asians who are more visibly non-white than most Arabs, especially Sikhs who “dress like Arabs.”
It is possible that the author of the above piece in The Root knows all this, and he was simply pointing to the fact that Indian Americans and South Asians generally are perceived as Arab, despite reality that they aren’t. But this detail should probably have been stated explicitly, since broad swaths of the public are totally unaware of this.
* The usual assertion is that the majority of Arab Americans are Christian, but the data I’ve seen suggests to me that there is a strong likelihood that sometime in the teens of the 21st century a majority of self-identified Arab Americans (as opposed to those with some Arab ancestry) are likely to be Muslim.