Speak Out against racism

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Reference: Issues: September 17 - What RPCVs can do: Speak Out against racism
By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 7:32 pm: Edit Post

Here is an email we received urging us to speak out against racism.


PLEASE SEND THIS ON... THANKS:

I am not Muslim. I don't think I will ever be
one. I am not Christian, nor Jewish, nor Buddhist. I
distrust all organized religions, as a general rule.
This doesn't mean I think that all people associated
with religions are inherently stupid or evil - nor do
I think that "people of religion" should be unjustly
persecuted.

In the wake of the destruction of September 9th,
there has been a gradual building of racist thought,
speech, and action. We have gone from a nation that
wanted to end racial profiling to one that embraces it
whole-heartedly. On NPR, for example, an airport
office was interviewed about the recent upsurge of
incidents where people who look Muslim are detained.
This officer essentially said "To Hell with the ACLU,
we need to stop those people."

Those people. Them. Not Us. The others. We can
tell that they are worse than us because they have a
different skin color. A different religion. A
different belief system, a different culture. These
are the bad people, and they must be destroyed,
enslaved, massacred. It's strange how the rhetoric
and principles alleged to Osama Bin Laden are being
embraced by America, by white America.

On a Bangor, Maine radio station on the morning of
the 25th of September, two morning DJ's joked about
"the towel heads". If they had said wop, chink,
wetback, or nigger, people would have been up in arms,
burning the DJs in effigy. Yet, this was ok
.
In one interview, a civil liberties lawyer stated
that now isn't the time to be PC. That the backlash
and abuse of civil liberties is understandable and
that we just need to ride it out. A spokesperson for
the Arab Defamation League (I believe that was what it
was billed as) said that while it was expected and
even comprehensible to have this "racial profiling"
line crossed, he hoped that the line would be put back
in place as quickly as possible.

That will not happen anytime soon. With Ashcroft
pushing Congress to pass a bill in lightning speed
that will shred parts of the Bill of Rights, racial
profiling will be standard operating procedure. The
new bill attempts to make the detaining and expulsion
of non-US citizens quick and dirty.

The bill also allows for wider use of wiretapping,
not only with US based law-enforcement agencies, but
with non-US agencies as well. The bill, in effect,
states that if a foreign law enforcement agency uses
wire-taps, even in a non-Constitutional manner, the US
should be able to use that as evidence in court. With
that, what is to stop the FBI from asking Interpol to
come and do all the wire-taps they want? It won't be
illegal.

Thoughts of the movie "The Siege" keep flashing
through my head. This is the ultimate case of life
imitating art, because we aren't that far away from
sending all Middle Eastern looking people into
interment camps, from establishing curfews, from
dictating when and where an individual needs to be.
We have already come to the point where bags are being
searched by people going into plays and sporting
events, what's next?

Why did this not happen after the Unabomber was
caught, after the Oklahoma City bombing? Why was
there not a backlash against the Angry White Male?
The incidents of white men being pulled over by cops,
of beatings based on blond hair and blue eyes, of
blood being thrown on white Christian churches did not
rise. We did not feel unsafe going to Wal-Mart,
where a rock might be thrown at our heads. We did not
try to hide, nor did we expect to need to.

So why do Arab Americans?

What one person did, what one small group of people
have done (and it is small, even if it's a thousand
members, when compared to the US, to the World) should
not turn us into an even larger nation of bigots.
This should not give free reign to hate, should not
give generalized racism validity.

Most people will not agree with me. Much of the
population seems to be willing to do "whatever it
takes" to stop the terror and make them feel safe.
When that actually happens, "then they've already
won," as Denzel Washington's character pointed out.

I am not Muslim, Christian, Hindu. I am an American,
and in the last weeks I have been proud of the way
people have come together, regardless of the various
and sundry identifiers of people. I have seen great
good, and I have seen unity. Now, however, I am
seeing hatred and fractionalization. As deeply
saddened as I am by this monstrous tragedy, I am even
more concerned for the potential societal
repercussions.

Sincerely,
Jason Edward Fink
Portland, ME

By MarcM (c-67-183-118-224.hsd1.wa.comcast.net - 67.183.118.224) on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 2:01 pm: Edit Post

Maybe you should stop "goruping" people in such ways as "Arab-Americans" and "African-Americans". Isn't that a form of seggregation and bigotry? Your isolating yourself form them.

Maybe it's the "Arab-Americans" job to see what their "religion" of Islam is preaching and to see what not only people are doing in the name of their religion but that members of that religion who are looked upon as spiritual leaders are endorsing.

Don't look at me and say "Islam is a religion of peace" while Clerics in multiple countries are endorsing the destruction and annhilation of entire countries and their people.

That's a sign that maybe they need to denounce their religion and form a new one to get away from the lunatics.

The world wide protests, wait I'm sorry "RIOTS", in response to the mohammad cartoons are proof enough that their insanity and violence is NOT isolated to just a few extreme groups and people.

Why didn't it happen after the unabomber was caught? Because the unabomber WAS a single man who was NOT speaking on behalf of nations and millions.

Keep using your extremist alarmist "predictions" along with your circular logic and you probably will form a following, much like Osama Bin Laden does.

By jasonefink (c-24-18-46-109.hsd1.wa.comcast.net - 24.18.46.109) on Friday, October 13, 2006 - 5:16 pm: Edit Post

My alarmist predictions? Which ones are those - the wiretapping issues? When I wrote this, I had no idea that the US government was already involved in illegal wiretapping for the "safety" of our country.

Or perhaps you were meant the potential fractionalization I wrote about. The media has done that for us, with the whole Red/Blue state thing.

It could be that you were reading the part about racial profiling. I have a number of friends with names that are straight out of the middle east, and they are not allowed to print out boarding passes before going to the airport. They are forced to show up and be manually checked in.

Maybe you thought that security lines & procedures couldn't get worse - when was the last time you were able to take a bottle of water on the plane? I take that back, those restrictions have been lifted, and you can take 3oz bottles on the plane with you.

Wait, I know, you were probably thinking I was going too far by mentioning internment camps. I'm sure the CIA black sites & Guantanamo Bay are cool recreation areas.

I honestly don't mean to be snide, it's just that things seem to be getting worse that I had originally thought, not better. I don't know what you are referring to when you say circular logic, either, as I don't think my thoughts were portrayed in that way.

I would also like to point out that those riots over the cartoons should not be taken as the feelings of all Muslims. Let's say that a million (and that's being generous) Muslims rioted. Out of 1.1 billion Muslims in the world, 1 million is less than 1% of the total population. This would be like saying that neonazis represent all Christians.

Should we tell all Christians that they should leave their religion because of the actions of white supremacists? Or should we, perhaps, try to work together to stop the hatred & violence rather than bash, shame, or vilify those who have nothing to do with it?

As far as grouping people goes, while it is segregation (as this means "the removal of certain parts or segments from a whole or mass"), it is not bigotry, per se. You can segregate populations without doing so in such a way as to be intolerant to that populationís race, religion or creed. As an MD, I have learned that there are certain medicines that work better for people of one racial background than another - am I bigoted because I segregate these groups and offer them different alternatives?

When looking at race and racial conflicts, I don't think it's wise to put on blinders and say that race doesn't exist.

As far as the Unabomber acting alone - I am in complete agreement with you there. he did act alone. But Timothy McVeigh worked with Terry Nichols, and they both had strong connections to anti-US government militias.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Richard Jackson (this quote is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin as well)

By Coo (fl-69-34-1-66.sta.embarqhsd.net - 69.34.1.66) on Saturday, June 16, 2007 - 9:42 pm: Edit Post

my thinking on the situation is that no one can honestly say that they are one specific nationality that went out in the beginning of time no one person is one particular race like myself my mom is what most consider african american and indian and my father is a jamacian indian so what am i a mutt as we all are so when you think of it no one can hate a race when they have a little of it in themselves.


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