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    Invasion of Iraq: When is Prisoner Abuse Racial Violence
    Posted on Tuesday, May 25 @ 16:22:13 UTC
    Topic: Torture
    Tortureby Sherene Razack
    May 24, 2004, www.zmag.org


    My stomach contracts and I feel a deep chill in every pore of my Brown skin when I see the prisoner abuse photos. I know that this is about racism. So why are so many publicly reluctant to say so? Or is it that we can't get our words into print? Only a few people have noted that the photos remind them of prison abuse and police brutality of Black and Brown men in North America, and of American military and covert operations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Vietnam and elsewhere. Most of these writers are non-Western with the notable exception of Washington Post staff writer Phillip Kennicott.

    Not mincing words, Kennicott maintains that "these pictures are pictures of colonial behavior, the demeaning of occupied people, the insult to local tradition, the humiliation of the vanquished." Using the words of Aime Cesaire, Kennicott actually names the abuse "race hatred." The Egyptian writer Ahdaf Souief declares that the abuse reflects the "deep racism underlying the occupiers' attitudes to Arabs, Muslims and the third world generally." John Pilger calls it "modern imperial racism. " Recalling Vietnam, and the way that the My Lai massacre is remembered only as a rare incident of exceptional violence, Pilger predicts that prisoner abuse in Iraq will come to be seen the same way, as exceptional and unconnected to the national project of dominating racially inferior peoples. Two weeks into the scandal, the exceptional violence argument rules the day and the word racism is not even uttered as a possible contributing factor. Full Article

     
    Related Links
    · More about Torture
    · News by ZeberuS


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