Sep 24, 2001
Violence against people of foreign descent in the U.S. has soared since the terrorist attacks of September 11. People who look even vaguely like they might be of Middle Eastern descent have been particularly at risk of attack. The FBI admits that at least three murders may have resulted.
Hundreds of people who appear Middle Eastern have been violently attacked at their homes or businesses; thousands have been harassed in the last two weeks on the street, in their neighborhoods or at work.
Of course, Bush makes the disclaimers that not all people of Middle Eastern descent or Islamic faith are terrorists or terrorist supporters. But the overall impression given since the first hours of this tragedy, first by Bush’s cabinet and then by media reports is unmistakable: foreigners are out to get us.
The most directly disgusting prejudice displayed by a politician was the statement by Louisiana Congressman John Cook during a radio interview. Cook said that anyone wearing “a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper” ought to be “pulled over” for extra questioning at airports.
No matter that other politicians say they are shocked or even disagree. Cook is merely going along with President Bush who has declared he wants bin Laden and other terrorists dead or alive – in other words, Bush is calling for execution on the spot of “suspicious people.”
In his speech to the nation, Bush also said that every other government in the world has to either declare itself in support of a U.S.-led war against terrorism, or be considered on the side of the terrorists. If other governments hesitate about going to war the U.S. wants – which certainly is to extend much further than a few terrorists, then by Bush’s logic, they are presumably eligible for immediate military attack by the U.S.
But Bush’s tactics don’t originate with him. The U.S. government, with their lap-dogs in the media, have been blaming “Arabs” for decades. Far away people who were supposedly Arab – and not like us, even though millions of Americans are of Arab descent – had somehow harmed American drivers when gasoline prices went up. Yet nowhere did the blame ever rest squarely with those who set the prices through their control of sales, production and distribution: the big oil companies.
Who does this bigotry serve? Only the capitalists. They would like us to accept the slaughter and death our sons and daughters in the military will have to carry out against anyone they choose to brand as terrorist.