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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Four Years From 9/11

Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of 9/11. In that time, we've seen a complete degradation of civil liberties and an unofficial war declared on this nation's Arabs and superficially similar. Fueled by fears of terrorists (brown, but not otherwise) Americans have announced their willingness to sacrifice civil liberties, personal freedoms and the Constitution for a mere facade of safety. In July, much of the Patriot Act was made permanent despite incessant criticism of the bill's unconstitutionality. Meanwhile, from gaudy over-the-top displays of patriotism to endless reiterations of the distinction between melanin and terrorism (usually to no avail), affected communities of colour have been forced to respond to repeated bigoted White American attitudes of automatic Middle Eastern guilt. Others blame the victims for this re-make of minority oppression, claiming that the innocents lost to the West's War on Terror should know better than to call attention to themselves. After all, de Menezes should've been smarter than being brown and riding a subway. And his advocates should know better than challenging the powers that be and all their friends. We've seen Bush and his cabinet lie, an unjust war in which soldiers died, and the victims of WTC blatantly exploited to further the GOP agenda. Four years from 9/11, I look back and find myself disappointed but not surprised at how far America has fallen. This morning, I read a testimonial by a photography student of colour, and his excessive encounters with the law for committing the ultimate crime of ... completing a photography class assignment. This man's story is powerful and moving; anyone who thinks America is on the right track in fighting terrorism should read what he has to say. Every person of colour should be aware of our position as putative or actual targets in the War on Terror. As an Asian American, I can't help but see the similarities between the distrust of "them" as terrorists and the distrust of Hispanics as lazy illegal immigrants, blacks as refugees, and of us as Perpetual Foreigners. This is not a war against extremist al Qaeda members, this is a war by Bush and his cohorts against all of us -- to divide and Other-size us. I'm tired of listening to African Americans describe Hispanics as a plight on Tucson, I'm tired of listening to Hispanics characterize Arabs as jihadists, and I'm exhausted by Asians who eye black "gangstas" with suspicion. Four years from 9/11, it's time to step up: we as people of colour have yet to unite against the 'terrorists' (according to the government, "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives") who would divide and control us. Four years from 9/11, this should be our contribution to the War on Terror. Don't let there be a fifth.

5 Comments:

Blogger jose said...

Totally agree. As a major event leads factions to believe they will have an easier time to push their agenda, so apparent does it reveal that agenda. The War on Terror is simply the current marketing strategy for the constant neocon agenda.

9/11, meet Katrina, you're being used to push this:

"Republican leaders in Congress and some White House officials see opportunities in Hurricane Katrina to advance longstanding conservative goals like giving students vouchers to pay for private schools, paying churches to help with temporary housing and scaling back business regulation."

Bush has already suspended the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act using rebuilding Katrina as an excuse.

I'm more concerned with civil liberties, but like you said, these events are used to further the existing agenda which encompasses many more issues. Nothing new except the PR/propaganda and the rate at which the American population allows the reversal of everything we'd accompished in the past hundred years.

Sad. Totally sad. I'm not sure if history will look upon this as a reactionary decade due to the people, or a manipulation due to the Administration.

9/10/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Kaede said...

Thanks for those links, Jose. I've passed them on.....

9/11/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous alicia said...

School vouchers, church influence and laissez-faire business...now Bush has appointed associates Halliburton and Bechtel to rebuild New Orleans just like they were chosen to "rebuild" Iraq. Thanks for all the links, Jenn and Jose. It could have been a nice world.

9/11/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger vicissitudinaire said...

Hi! I discovered your blog in the RBJ forums, I really like your political stance and entries concerning such things, they're very thoughtful. Methinks I'll check back on you on a regular basis from now on.

9/13/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

hey vicissitudinaire (... i'm not sure how to make that a nickname. ^_^)! thanks for visiting my blog and taking a look at my stuff! hope to see you back here soon...

9/13/2005 10:57:00 PM  

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