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The Arab Mind

Why are most blacks, unless forced by dire necessity to earn their livelihood with ‘the sweat of their brow’, so loath to undertake any work that dirties the hands?

I think we can all take it for granted that a book promising to explore that question is unlikely to find itself on a present-day curriculum approved by the US government. Certainly, one hopes that the insights the author may bring to bear on the subject are unlikely to become the basis for public policy in the inner-city, in Subsaharan Africa, or elsewhere. As this old but still relevant Brian Whitaker article notes, however, the exact same question, asked of Arabs rather than blacks, appears in Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind which continues to be influential in some quarters of the US government and in neoconservative circles. Also, “In the Arab view of human nature, no person is supposed to be able to maintain incessant, uninterrupted control over himself . . . once aroused, Arab hostility will vent itself indiscriminately on all outsiders.”

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