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English 121 Grading Standards

The following essays were written as final exams. Students had 75 minutes to complete them. They provide insight into the English Department's expectations for English  121 students. The writing prompt appears below in italics.



Write an essay in response to the following question. You have 75 minutes to complete your work. Write your essay in the booklet provided. Be sure to make detailed reference to the text of the essay to which you are responding. Include internal parenthetical references including author and page numbers. You may refer to your annotated essay, handbook, and dictionary.

In a well-organized and well-developed essay of 500-700 words, respond to Verhovek's "Once Appalled by Race Profiling, Many Find Themselves Doing It." Begin with an introduction in which you summarize the article's main ideas. In the rest of your paper, evaluate the responses to racial profiling that Verhovek describes and explain how people should respond to this issue.

To see the article students read, click here: Verhovek



The article "Once Appalled by Racial Profiling, Many Find Themselves Doing It" is a compulation of responses to racial profiling against Arabs after the Sept. 11th’s tragedy. People of all different ethnic backgrounds have been racially profiled against at one point or another; recently many of these minorities have found themselves doing it to others. Most of these people feel badly about their feelings, but they cannot seem to help the feeling of discomfort while in contact with an Arab.

The people quoted in this article have different views on racial profiling, whether or not they have been racially profiled. Ron Arnold, for example, feels "it’s wrong," but admits to casting a wary eye on men who look of Middle Eastern descent. Adrian Estala feels the same as Arnold about racial profiling, but also claims he would be anxious about sharing a flight with Arab-looking men. Estala recognizes how he feels is wrong because "People’s civil liberties are being tarnished, compromised. That’s not what this country is about" (Verhovek 1).

Americans have mixed feelings on whether or not law enforcement should allow "suspicious looking" Arabs to board a plane without searches or interrogation. Virginia Hawthorne states, "It’s not right, but it’s justified." Her comment reflects on the belief that the hijackers involved in the September 11 attacks were of Arab descent (Verhovek 1). Leslie Brenaman agrees that the subjects being profiled should understand and accept it. "They shouldn’t be offended," and "They shouldn’t take it personally after what’s happened," she says (Verhovek 1).

Wali Khairzada had to make the decision not to take his father-in-law to the airport because Wali is of Afghan descent. It saddened him, and it saddens me as well. He feels he had to "stay away" because he knew he would be "checked there far more thoroughly than the average person." On the other hand, many people have come to him offering support, which may help, but even this is racial profiling of a sort (Verhovek 2).

Ashraf Kahan, a 32-year-old from Texas, was ordered off a flight because of his appearance. He was on his way to his brother’s wedding in Pakistan and missed it as a result of the pilot’s actions. Khan is "depressed about the whole situation, the way they’ve treated me, like I’m some sort of criminal" (Verhovek 2).

Not only have Muslims been profiled, but Hindus and Sikhs have also faced some attacks. There has also been vandalism to Mosques ( Verhovek 2). It seems to me that we , Americans, are making our own minor terrorist attacks against people who look different than we do. The fact that someone has different color skin, or dresses differently does not qualify him or her as a terrorist. The country needs to be wary of suspicious actions, of course, but it must not deliberately hurt others as a revenge for what a group of terrorists has done.

A poll taken just after the attacks showed that Americans supported special security measures aimed at those of Arab descent. Many of those polled added that they hoped the "need" for racial profiling would be temporary, while others were firmly against racial profiling and said there was no justification for it (Verhoven 2).

Special measures do need to be taken, but not only against Arabs. As LaVonne James stated, "They should interrogate everybody the same way… you just don’t know. The little old grandma from Sioux City could be carrying something." ( Verhoven 2). She is exactly right. Anyone can learn to shoot a gun and partake in terrorist acts. The color of one's skin does has nothing to do with the ability to cause harm.

There is also a difference of thinking and acting. You should trust someone until they give you a reason not to trust them. Being of Arab descent does not qualify as a reason not to be trusted. Tina Wells says, "I wouldn’t change the way I behaved. I wouldn’t not get on a plane. It would just be wrong." (Verhoven 3) Put yourself in the shoes of Arab-Americans. If you were of Arab descent, wouldn’t you feel horrible if everyone treated you badly just because of the way you looked?

It is obvious that the attacks on Sept 11th have caused much more than death and sadness because innocent people were killed. There is a sadness generated by the loss of respect for and the lack of acceptance of people of other races. At this point in our history, being suspicious is natural, but to discriminate against Arab-Americans unfairly is just wrong.

Anyone can be a terrorist no matter what color, creed, race or religion. Americans need to keep each other safe from outside harm, but they should not respond to security problems by creating hardships for their fellow citizens.



After the terrorist acts committed on September 11, many people now cast a wary eye on Arab-American men. This is unfair to the innocent Arabs, but at the same time, it is justified for Americans to take precautions. Sam Hoe Verhovek raises this issue in his essay, "Once Appalled by Race Profiling, Many Find Themselves Doing It."

First, it must be difficult to be an Arab American. If they must fly on a plane, they must face special interrogations or searches. One man, Wali Khairzada, couldn’t even take his father-in-law to the airport because he was afraid of the interrogations he would face. He states, "It makes me feel sad, but I feel I should stay away, I would be checked far more thoroughly than the average person" (Verhovek 2). As you can see, this situation must be depressing for innocent Arab men. It must be just as humiliating for Arab men to be kicked off of planes because other passengers and the pilots are afraid to fly with them. One man, Ashraf Khan, missed his flight, as well as his brother’s wedding, because of the pilot’s action. Khan states, "I am really depressed about the whole situation, the way they’ve treated me, like I’m some sort of criminal" (Verhovek 2). He is just one of the many innocent Arab-American men who is being treated like a terrorist by many Americans.

But, at the same time, Americans do not know who to trust. If the Sept. 11 highjackers were able to sneak into our country, how do we know that there aren’t any more hiding under innocent men’s faces? We don’t know. And this is why it is justified for Americans to take precautions toward Arab-American men, especially in airports. It is also understandable for Americans to feel uncomfortable if they are on a plane with an Arab male. Jermaine Johnson, 19, states "I would not feel comfortable at all if an Arab-looking person sat next to me on a plane. I would be nervous, I mean right now it could be anyone and that’s not good if they sit next to you on a plane" (Verhovek 3) Would you feel comfortable in his situation?

The most important question facing us is "How should this issue be treated?" The answer is–very carefully. It is a matter of common sense that Arab men are searched in airports and major buildings. It is also understandable that Americans cast a wary eye on these people. At the same time, we should keep in mind the feelings of these men. We should not become racist, because not all Arab men are terrorists. They are innocent Americans too, who love Americas just as much as we do. We just have to keep our guards up because it is impossible to know for certain who is a terrorist and who is an innocent man.



Many of us would agree that racial profiling is wrong; however, as described in Verhovek’s essay, it can present interesting chalenges. For instance, Ron Arnold a black American, who has been victimized by racial profiling, admits that he has also engaged in it. The article detailes other examples of people caught in a dilema where, knowing that profiling is wrong, they justify its use because of the circumstances following the September 11 violent attacks.

Adrian Estala an Hispanic, is quoted by Verhovek, he is "absolutely against "racial profiling" and says that it is a "fundamental violation of liberty", yet he has a problem sharing an airplane flight with Arab-looking men.

Verhovek cleverly shows how different the perspective is when viewed by Naleem Salem, a second generation American, who leads the Arab American Association in Toledo, Ohio. He is quoted by the author saying "think what it really means. People’s civil liberties are being compromised. That’s not what this country is all about." This statement addresses the heart of the issue, which is the relationship between the act of racial profiling and whom it is addressing--in other words, the victim. It becomes obvious that when one is subjected to profiling there is no question that it is wrong.

For further evidence, Verhovek turns to Leslie Brenaman, a retired graphics designer, who is white. She says, "They shouldn’t be offended…They shouldn’t take it personally after what’s happened."

The illustrations are many, the patterns are similar. I should point out however that at the heart of these statements is fear that is the motivator. The thing that has changed the opinions of those who are not the victims of profiling is their great fear of Arab-looking men due directly to the great loss of life and property on Sept. 11. This fear, then, is understandable, but it is not excusable.

Racial profiling is really about racism, however, in these examples it is not the typical hatred that is associated with racism but the fear, and it this case the fear should be associated with education and training.



Pointing the finger has become an ignorant Americans way of life. We live in a world where blame is usally assesed within certain perimiters. For example, if you are African American, chances favor you as a thief. If your religion is Jewish, chances are you tend to be very money hungry. If your nationality is polish, chances are your dumb. If your beard exceeds common brooming length, and your head is wrapped in a towel, chances are your a terrorist. No matter where your roots originate, there will be some weak-minded individual ready to assume your guilt and place blame accordingly. Everyone including Americans are guilty of racial profiling, therefore, we must unite together and find a common solution to rectify our faults.

Given our nations apparent state of alert, its real easy to assume that air travel would be open target for racial profiling. For example, "I would not feel comfortable at all if an Arab-looking person sat next to me on a plane. I would be nervous." (VERHOVEK pg 3). After the terrorist attack we all feel a little uneasy, and sit anyone next to an Arab-looking person, you can bet anxiety levels will be elevated. Whenever you challenge a persons way of life, you can bet fear and anger will place your ethnic background into a frenzy of racial profiling. So, on September 11, the Arab-looking terrorists has opend the relm for further ridicule and racial profiling. Yet, some people try to stay open minded towards racial profiling. However, some find it hard to see the inner beauty of the guilt ridden. Again, regarding the incident in New York, people find it rather dificult to redirect there anger elswere. "Others said they were consciusly trying to put aside any snap judgment based on race." "I think it’s just wrong to do anything like that, even with what’s happened," said Vividiana Chareste." (VERHOVEK pg 3). My assesment has the Arab-looking male forever inferior towards the air traveling passenger. The damage is done and the racial profiling cycle has begun. The Arab-looking male innocent or not is branded for life. This holds true also for others whose stupidity led towards tragedy. You need only one action nonfavorable to the public eye, and the social public eats it up and begins to dish out the racism.

I feel the most disturbing factor lay’s upon the innocent individual. For example, "Ashraf Khan, 32, was ordered off a Delta Airlines flight while bound for his brother’s wedding in pakistan, said he was distressed by the pilot’s action, which the airline said it was investigating" "Delta offered a later fight, but by that time Mr. Khan had missed his connecting flight and the wedding." (VERHOVEK pg 2). Now, sad to say but Ashraf was victomized by his Arab-background. The one bad apple (ARAB) spoild the bunch. For the rest of his racialy profiled life he can thank the idiots whom attacked the innocent New York civilans. In addition to missing his brother’s wedding, Ashraf is now blacklisted and will always be focused upon during any travel attempts.

We have one life to live, so why waste it racial profiling it away. Granted there will be no solution to the issue at hand, we should look light-hearted on those innocent. Guilt by assosiation is just plain ignorant. We have to look deep within ourselves and serch for inner harmony. We cannot racialy profile all who walk the same path. We must rise above and focus on everyone as an individual, not as a group within the profiling cycle. Everyone is unique and everyone hurts, so think before you place blame and put this issue to rest.



The essay "Once Appalled by Race Profiling, Many Find Themselves Doing It" by Sam Howe Verhovek first tells about the Americans that once were the minority, but now are being racist against the Middle Eastern people. Then he tells about the Arab-Americans that are being profiled against in America. Then he speaks with varyes of people, and gets their points of view.

I have being profiled all my life. I know how it feels when you are singled out of a group, just because of the color of your skin. Although, in this case I feel mixed emotions against the Arabs or people of Middle Eastern descents. On one hand I feel just like "Mr Estala is, absolutely against racial profiling" (1). But, also feel that since we do not know who who had done this terrible act on America, and the only thing that we do know is that they are of Middle Eastern desent. In this I beleve that their should be extra precautions when people of an Arab backgroup enter a plane of a government building. I believe that all Americans, eventhough it goes against our consition, are acting "for the sake of national safety." (2) We as Americans are trying to make sure that this can never happen again. We also want to bring justice to all that has caused our nation pain.

I think all people should be fine with the idea of being checked out at a gate when about to enter a plane. Because they know and everyone on the plane with them is knows that they are safe. I think if you have a problem with this you are wrong. What is wrong with trying to be careful as in such a case as in "Minneapolis when three men were denied permission to board a plane," (1) I would proable be upset, but it was for their own safety. They later were accepted on another flight.

I disagree with LaVonne James she stated that "everyone should be interrogated the same" (2) that is hard to do when you know that their was only one group that had done wrong. If it was an Hispanic group that had brought trady to America then I would aspect that their would be only profiling against them.

I think that all Americans should not profile against anyone. But for the safety of all Americans we should keep our comments to yourself, and remember that many Middle Easterns have been here just as long as we have.