Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The empire and its racism will be washed away

Guests: Susan Smith, who hosts a biweekly program on WVKR called From Ferguson to Palestine, and Sahar AlSahlani, who serves on the boards of Religions for Peace (UN-affiliated NGO) and the Council of American Islamic Relations, will talk about the rise of Islamophobia and what can be done about it.

Susan Smith and Sahar AlSahlani went beyond the usual warnings about racism in America. There is the history of ethnic cleansing of indigenous populations that created our country. There is the long tradition of pitting one group against another, both in politics and in the workplace. Finally, there is the wealth created by centuries of slavery.

Were does the Empire fit in? Can the US expect to rob 1.6 billion Muslims (concentrated in the Middle East and Northern Africa) of their oil and other natural resources without eventually paying a price? To maintain America's endless war against this region, US citizens must learn to hate Muslims in the same way any invading and occupying country uses racism to support war crimes committed abroad. Empires thrive on hatred. 

Listening to our two guests, all this becomes an exercise in logic, rather than an expression of animosity. With America's history and its present commitment to endless wars, there is really no other way to keep the empire's citizens from rebelling. 

Maybe when the rebellion does come, both the empire and its racism will be washed away, along with the power of the white elite that has lived for centuries on the backs of people of color. 

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