Re the Sept. 26 Opinion article No wonder Ahmed was handcuffed: I’m as interested in perception and the concept of dehumanization as the next person, but I had to scratch my head over this one.
Professor Nour Kteily and scholar Emile Bruneau assessed dehumanization by showing “1,065 American participants” photos of humans and concluded that Muslims are the most readily dehumanized group.
The finding is sad, if not surprising. But exactly who are the 1,065 Americans they picked to look at the photos?
Were they black, native, Nation of Islam, white, perhaps Jewish? Or Asian, military, Christian, atheist, LGBT, Southern? Were they Muslim? Each is as American as the next.
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And many of these Americans readily dehumanize a variety of their fellow Americans, not just Muslims. But that is a messy, uncomfortable study for another day. For now, I just want to know what flavor of American looked at the images and felt threatened, so that this study can tell us what it means to be American, let alone Muslim.
Jordana A. Hart,