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Re: [casi] Who thrives on this war?

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

In a message dated 3/28/2003 3:43:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

"I feel that you are spot on in your assertion that African Americans'
historic mistreatment at the hands of this cabal lies at the root of the
alacrity with which they have shown solidarity with the latest unwilling
inductee into the "White Man's Burden" club. "

The US still hasn't come to terms with how it has attempt to exterminate
Native Americans for their land, much less its treatment of
African-Americans, has as a so for it to even begin to question its
'collateral damage' view towards Iraqi people

In the US in particular, the pro-war discussions have been heavily centered
on angry expressions about 'sand niggers' and 'dirty arabs.' The America
Online message boards regarding the war include discussion that makes it look
like a KKK discussion group and its critics.

If this is a war to liberate the Iraqi people, why is it so easy to dismiss
Iraqi civilian death as 'collateral damage' when the US/UK forces do the
killing?  When Sadaam is accused of the killing only then it is 'murder.' Why
are the racist comments made about Arabs by the pro-war people?  How can you
respect people enough to liberate them but disdain their entire culture? You
can't hate them but want to liberate them - the motive for this war, as most
of us know, isn't about liberation.

Why is it that if Iraqis fight to protect family and country they are 'evil
arabs' but if they quietly submit to UK/US invasion they are acceptable? Why
are the Blair - Bush teams so callous in their double-standards of how
American lives are more valuable than Iraqi lives? If it is a war to liberate
an Arab nation, why are so many Arabs afraid in the US? Why are Iraqis who
fled Sadaam being questioned (harassed) by the FBI?  If the war is about
liberation, why are American leaders talking about occupation and how they
will decide if the UN will be 'allowed' to participate post-war in Iraq. What
happened to the Iraqi people?

Anti-war people are accused of not caring about Iraqi civilians, but I don't
hear this kind of hate for Iraqis, all Arabs coming out of the anti-war
group. Actually it is more the pro-war rhetoric than the anti-war team
overtures which are driving masses of people of color to resist the urge to
NOT get arrested and go out in the streets.

The pro-war slogans sound like the rallying cries for the calvary going to
take out a 'hostile camp' of Native American villages or the drunken cry of
hooded 'patriots' going to snatch someone for a lynching.  It is a rallying
cry for domination that I hear, not talk of liberation, and I know that kind
of talk well.  I see the anger at anti-war protesters as "race traitors" -
even the stupid person whose email I forward to the list - yammered on about
me watching my back and some imagined role I have in preventing some 'entity'
from defeating Sadaam.

And now this African-American muslim accused of  'fragging.'   Reminiscent of
the vietnam era where it was common, many of us at home figured he just got
tired of all the racist talk, the religious bigotry in the conversations and
snapped.  I don't agree with it, but as history tells you have to be really
sure that someone is 'brainwashed' enough to accept sitting among all that
racist talk before you give him access to weapons. This man sparked further
the 'racial flames' because he represents the fact the many African-Americans
are considered 'potential traitors' because our criticism of the US in this
manner didn't just start with the plans to attack Iraq.

Vernon Jordan, the African-American lawyer and friend of ex-President
Clinton, gave a college graduation speech in which he said

"Yet a cursory view of black history suggests that none of this is new to
black people. War, hunger, disease, unemployment, deprivation, dehumanization
and terrorism define our existence. They are not new to us. Slavery was
terrorism, segregation was terrorism, the bombing of the four little girls in
Sunday school in Birmingham was terrorism. The violent deaths of Medgar,
Martin, Malcolm, Vernon Dahmer, Cheney, Schwerner, Goodman were terrorism.
And the difference between September 11 and the terror visited upon black
people is that on September 11, the terrorists were foreigners but when we
were terrorized, it was by our neighbors. The terrorists were American

Black Americans hold America’s values dearly. At times, it seemed as if we
were the only ones who did. When this nation was in the grip of racism and
segregation, it was black people who reminded America of its basic values of
freedom and democracy. It was black Americans who helped America close the
gap between its beliefs and its practices.Now that America is warring on
terrorism, it is black people who remind America that we know terrorism well.
We know that dangerous rhetoric can lead to acts of lunacy that kill
innocents. And we know that the surest defense against terrorism is
affirmation of America’s basic values ... The values we have learned in our
churches ... The values we have fought and died for in America’s every war,
even in segregated armies."

I have an aunt in her 80s, who is not especially educated about world events,
not following every detailed dicussion on the war, but is asking if Arabs and
Muslims are experiencing more attacks across the country. Why? Because is old
enough to have heard enough of the "dangerous rhetoric" - and to have seen
what it can do when carried by angry mobs of "patriots" - and she is afraid.

I get an email from some sick freak who attempts to inspire a 'fear' in me to
silence what the fascist identifies as my 'anti-american' sentiment.  I don't
know exactly what reaction the fascist thought it would bring, but I expect
that the reaction wasn't the one expected.  Silly email terrorism? Traitor to
whom? Some of us never had a day in our lives where we had any question that
our role, as articulate by Vernon Jordan, was to speak out against injustice
no matter what President, what group of government officials,  no matter what
KKKabal of people demanded otherwise.


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