The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] In a message dated 3/28/2003 3:43:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 citizens... 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. N _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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