The Obama Edge
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|Rachel Leven||May 31st 2012|
|Arab American National Museum|
The Commerce Department is considering naming Arab Americans a socially and economically disadvantaged minority group that is eligible for special business assistance. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) petitioned Commerce earlier this year to ask that Arab Americans be made eligible for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which helps minority entrepreneurs gain access to capital, contracts and trade opportunities.
The petition also said studies indicate that Arab Americans have seen their earnings decrease since Sept. 11 compared to other ethnic groups, and have been subject to harassment and racial profiling while receiving “few prime government contracts.”
The ADC wants any “American who traces his or her ethnic roots to one of the countries in the Arab World, including Algeria, Bahrain, Djoubti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen” to be eligible for MBDA services. Palestinians would also be included.
MBDA services are now offered to African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Spanish-speaking Americans, American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, Hasidic Jews, Asian-Pacific Americans and Asian Indians.
Rachel Leven writes for The Hill, from where this article is adapted.