Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Citizens of the empire and how their war machine works

GUEST: Nadia Tonova, Director of the National Network of Arab American Communities and the Take On Hate Initiative, talks about civil liberties, human rights the rise of Islamophobia.

Nadia was articulate and insightful about racism directed at Muslim Americans. Once we got into the international area, she returned to her group's focus, community organizing. Specifically, she did not want to comment on the wholesale slaughter of Palestinian children in Gaza as an example of how Muslim lives don't matter when it comes to US foreign policy objectives.

Nadia did say that Muslims in America felt under attack and were not willing to risk a great deal in the face of massive discrimination. It is easy for me to say that Muslim organizations should risk more in connecting racism to the US and Israeli occupation of the Middle East. I don't risk very much identifying US imperialism as a major source of Islamophobia in the world. 

I would risk much more if I were black or Muslim and living in America. MLK probably lost his life by equating racism against blacks in the US to racism against Vietnamese peasants in Southeast Asia (Riverside Church speech). But until the citizens of the empire realize how their war machine works, there is little hope for real change. 

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