October 4, 2011

The "Negro" of the New World Order.

As of late, I have had a renewed interest in African American speeches, discourses, articles on Race and Racism.

I believe that Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the logical continuation - Libya (as the gate to Africa) have been the trigger.

I am unhappy with the current Arab/Muslim discourse on invasion and occupation. I am searching for a more comprehensive framework in which to make sense of this string of "liberations" that has befallen us since 9/11 (official date).

I can't, in the space of a blog, get too much into the history of colonialism. I am assuming you have at least heard about it, and it happened not too long, by the way.
Instead, I want to use the discursive framework of African American thinkers and juxtapose it to us. By us I mean - us, Arabs and Muslims.

This by no means, lessens whatever discrimination African Americans still face today in White American society, but it does however, provide me - me, the discontented Arab Muslim Woman - the necessary "tools" to make sense of my own reality, and to include it in the overall "struggle", that the first slaves of contemporary history (contemporary in history means: since the formation of the modern nation state) started in the West.

In so doing, I am also attempting to bridge a gap, more like an abyss, between the West and myself. For in so doing, I am able to identify and recognize elements within Western society, whose struggle for liberation I can include in my own. And "hopefully" vice versa.

Furthermore, I believe that African Americans and African Europeans(to a lesser extent) (African European ? - it just hit me!)are just about the only group to articulate consciously and eloquently what Racism (in its deepest sense) is all about. This is not to say that other ethnic minorities aren't - but it is to say that Blacks in the West, are the pioneers of and for the Liberation discourse.

But there is more...

The discourse of Liberation also provides me with the necessary concepts to call things by their names. For example in this absolutely brilliant speech by Malcolm X on Uncle Tom - which he called the "house negro" probably in a visionary insight, referring to Obama, I too have my own house negros - they are called in my lingo the puppets of the occupation. They are the Afghan, Iraqi, Libyan equivalent of the American Uncle Tom.

Having said that there are qualifications I need to make here :

At some point, me and Black Americans need to part ways. For, I argue, that their struggle for the end of discrimination stops where mine starts...meaning : they struggle for the end of discrimination, while We struggle for literal Survival. In some way, am arguing that they are BETTER OFF today than an Iraqi, Afghan or Libyan is in his own country . In some way, am arguing that they have gone past survival and are into recognition, while we are still stuck in Survival.

Yes Survival - bombs and the nature of bombs (think DU), occupation, loss of families, loss of friends, loss of livelihood, loss of homes, loss of basic services, exile, destitution, and the rest...is called SURVIVAL, surviving the New World Order, into which my fellow black Americans and Europeans (still a shock to say that!) are already part of.

For, make no mistake, not every Black is a conscious Black. Nor every Muslim is a conscious Muslim, nor every Pakistani, or Afghan or Arab is a conscious one either. They are still Uncle Toms. Well adapted ones, well integrated and more or less well accepted. And they are not a few, there are thousands of them out there. They have become part of the White System. As Cornel West rightly remarked to the effect - when the Immigrant arrives here, he is struck when he learns that the founding fathers (of Freedom and Liberty) were also slave owners. A whole post is needed on this White "duality" - a political, cultural, ideological, schizophrenia that is very much at work today.

Let me define here, for Justice and "Objectivity's" sake. When I say White -- I am not referring to skin color alone. That is way too reductionist, simplistic and also unjust. Even though, these people have Zero notion of Justice, it does not matter what they have or don't have, it does not matter what they can or cannot conceptualize, I as a Muslim (even though am a pariah in my own "Muslim Community") am bound to think and act with Justice (Fairness).

Hence, by White, I mean - a political, social, economic, ideological, cultural, historical construct that has to do INITIALLY with skin color but is NOT limited to it.

Hence the question is not whether there are good Whites or bad Whites out there, or good or bad Blacks out there, or good or bad Arabs out there, or good or bad Muslims out there, the question is - Who has the power, who pulls the strings and who is the puppet ?

Or to borrow some of the wordings from Malcolm X - who is the Negro on the plantation field today and who is his Uncle Tom ?

P.S : the title of this Blogpost can be understood either way...