Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No Mr. Charlies

Seems a lot of people are missing the obvious when it comes to the attack on Charlie Hebdo, even when they come oh so close by identifying it as "France's 9/11." 

No, I don't mean that "9/11" was an inside job.  I mean that 9/11 was so perfect that if it hadn't have happened, it would have been an inside job; that if it hadn't have happened, the bourgeoisie would have invented it.   

I mean that if we're going to talk about "France's 9/11," the issue to discuss is the purpose to which 9/11 was put.  The purpose was war, war spending, militarization, and the incredible boondoggle, the transfer of wealth from the so-called "national treasury" to the pockets of the security contractors, the military suppliers, to the corporations specializing in  kidnappings, tortures, assassinations.

And in all this talk about racism, and Charlie Hebdo  not being racist because "it attacked all religions and religious fundamentalism," we're ignoring the purpose racism serves.
Racism in its social manifestation expresses a relation of power.

To illustrate, a cartoon in the US of a black person, wearing overalls, eating watermelon, shuffling and saying "massah" is racist; not so for a cartoon showing white people wearing khaki pants, polo shirts, and running down to the mall to eat at Chuck E. Cheese pizzeria, and catch the director's cut of The Sound of Music.

Back in the day, there was an argument made by some claiming the Nation of Islam in the US was "racist" because their publications referred to "white, blue-eyed devils."

I didn't think so.  Those references were not "racism" because the Nation of Islam had absolutely zero power over the social relations that were the material basis for racism in the US. Those references were a response to, a defense against the institutionalized, programmatic attacks on African-Americans.

The relations of power, and to power, are fundamental to racism.

So...so that when the Danish newspaper publishes the cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb for a turban, that is indeed "racist;" and the cartoon about the doctor informing an expectant Moslem father "Congratulations, it's a bomb" is racist. 

The relations of power are such that the bombing that's really going on, the "dominant" so to speak mode of destruction is the bombing of people who are in the main Moslem.

Now you and I may agree  that the bombing isn't being done because they are practitioners of Islam, but that point might be lost on those having to endure daily bombings, and in particular lost when there is no class-conscious movement, on an international basis, opposing these bombings; engaging in the struggle against the system perpetrating these attacks.

Hebdo's cartoons fed, they reproduced, the dominant relations of power-- the relations that include white phosphorus being used, and with impunity by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza; the one that has capitalist intelligence agencies arming militias, encouraging their "extra-judicial" actions in order to buttress the characterization of those practicing Islam, and/or of those speaking Arabic,  as "savages," "brutes;" the relations that has the US torturing "suspects" who are Moslem; the very same relations, back in the day,  that had General John "Black Jack" Pershing executing rebels in the Philippines and burying them in pits with pigs. 

Say all you want about cartoons of the pope being naked and fucked in the ass.  Doesn't matter, and doesn't count.  Nobody's launching cruise missiles against the Vatican; killing hundreds of thousands of Catholics just for being there.

Our tasks are 1) to expose and oppose the "institutional policies," domestic and international of capitalism, that are used to categorize Arabs and/or Moslems as "enemies." 2) prevent the manipulation of events and reactions by the bourgeoisie and their state to further and expand these policies-- i.e. using "unity" or "shared values" as a stepping stone to further militarization 3) conceding nothing to, and identifying as reactionary, the ideology and practices, of fundamentalists who use the type of attacks against Charlie Hebdo as advertising, for recruitment.

January 13, 2015

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