Chechnya

In light of the egregious Boston Marathon Bombings I came across this interesting article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/study-majority-of-americans-not-informed-enough-to,32124/.  This article explains the heritage of the two bombers, whom are of Chechen decent, and how Americans lack proper knowledge of Chechnya, which in turn, inhibits their ability to “stereotype the alleged terrorists.”  So, first and foremost, what is Chechnya?  In a nut shell, Chechnya is a Muslim republic located in the Caucasus region of South-western Russia.  If Americans were to know this tid-bit of information, a multitude of Muslim stereotypes could be made, particularly linking the two bombers to Al Qaeda.  According to Dr. Tim Kinane, “Our research shows that, while many Americans would like nothing more than to make sweeping, insensitive generalizations about these two individuals based purely on their ethnic identity, this process is largely impeded by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans truly know next to nothing about Chechnya, including even the very barest details of what or where Chechnya is.”  This quote disturbs me for two reasons: 1) we Americans can be so ignorant, especially when it comes to world affairs; 2) the fact that many Americans would blindly stereotype the bombers because they are Muslim.  Why as a people are we often so ignorant about what is going on in the world around us, and why are we so willing, and even have an instinct to make stereotypes?

 

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2 Responses to Chechnya

  1. cmiller2015 says:

    Will, I hate to tell you this, but The Onion is a satire site.

  2. Will says:

    Mr. Miller, I am well aware of this. Unfortunately that blog post is not the one I intended to post. The following is the proper version of my blog post:
    In light of the egregious Boston Marathon Bombings, I came across this article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/study-majority-of-americans-not-informed-enough-to,32124/?ref=auto. Although this article comes from a rather sarcastic source that makes a lot of social commentaries, the article does highlight the Chechen heritage of the two bombers, and how American’s lack of knowledge inhibits their ability to stereotype the bombers. So, first and foremost, what is Chechnya? Chechnya is an independent Muslim republic located in the Caucasus region of south-western Russia. If Americans were to know this minuscule amount of information, rash stereotypes would likely be made concerning the Bomber’s connection to Islam. According to Dr. Tim Kinane in the article, “Our research shows that, while many Americans would like nothing more than to make sweeping, insensitive generalizations about these two individuals based purely on their ethnic identity, this process is largely impeded by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans truly know next to nothing about Chechnya, including even the very barest details of what or where Chechnya is.” This quote, although it is comical and is probably not representative of real research, does actually hold some truth and thus disturbs me for two reasons: 1) we Americans are so ignorant when it comes to foreign affairs and what is going on in the world around us; 2) we Americans are so willing to, and even have an instinct to, make absurd stereotypes. Why is this true of so many Americans?

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