Simmel’s interpretation of the “stranger” as someone who is with the group, but not of the group, immediately brought to my mind Middle Eastern and Muslim people in America after September 11. Although Middle Eastern and Muslim people continue to participate in our society and remain a part of our “group”, many people have alienated them since 9/11 and even stigmatized them based on their appearance, religion, and what was done to the twin towers. As a result of people’s ignorance, actions, and feelings towards Middle Eastern people and Muslims, especially in the time right thereafter 9/11, many of them felt like they were part of a group in which they didn’t belong to or wanted to actively participate in. I’m sure many wished they could just disappear.
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- Nicole Hala