Deciphering the Stranger

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Deciphering the Stranger: The Role of the Foreigner in British Literature America, the strongest, most powerful nation in the world, the bright beacon and heroic savior of a free planet, is, today, nearly crippled by fear. Although this statement might sound unpatriotic or deliberately inflammatory, as if, by saying it, I was merely attempting to send out and charm a false thread of panic through the masses, I assure you that it is neither of these things; it is true. However, if, for whatever reason, you cannot recognize this truth, I encourage you to pay a visit to your local airport; heck, if you're going there anyway, you might as well try to board a plane to some sunny, smiling climate, thousands of miles distant from Pennsylvania, this cold place of exile. For if you do this, you will see, first hand, the paralyzing fear which rushes through the veins of this great nation, at present.

As you walk the long, high-ceilinged circuit to your plane, you might be stopped several times, and, like a criminal, searched for anything that might be used as a weapon. As you make your way through customs, your personal space will be violated, and a team of experts will scrutinize your appearance, scan your luggage, and, if, need be, administer a full-body cavity-search upon you. Yet, however terrible this ordeal might seem, it is unquestionably worse for those who do not fit the right profile. In other words, if you are not a white, well-dressed, Christian-looking man or woman, chances are that you are not going to have a very pleasant experience at the airport.

But why? How is this possible in America, a country that was built upon foundations of equality? Although we might expect to find this type of prejudice...