Monday, December 13, 2004
The Blind Spot at the WSWS
I commend Bill Van Auken On his piece "
A British newspaper noted how American forces view Iraqis as "|ntermenschen." As a white settler state, genocide of native peoples of the continent came along with the founding of the country. The mindset that allowed for the carrying out of this genocide, as well as the enslavement of African peoples, has been handed down from generation to generation amongst most, if not all, white ethnic people in the country. This not to say that racism cannot be challenged and minds changed, but that the "peculiar and malevolent element within the conduct of this
It seems to me that in its rush to defend those who voted for Bush, particularly in the so-called 'Red States', WSWS ignores that those who voted for Bush did so based on his appeals to their bigotry and xenophobia. To claim that these voters were simply confused and mislead or voted for Bush in the absence of a real alternative, is to say that these folks do not have a mind of their own. This is to say that rather than being led this way, they can be led that way. Of course, the point is that either way they are to be led and that for the most part they are not active agents themselves. Historically we know this not to be the case as their great great grandparents, great grandparents and grandparents personally engaged in genocidal acts (i. e. The Trail of Tears,
No, those who voted for Bush did so willingly and cognizant of what they were getting. To claim otherwise is to ignore a long history of white near unanimity on issues of race and to deny people their freedom to choose. Moreover, by claiming ignorance as an excuse for these folks it also implies that they should be somehow absolved for the actions of the man they help put in office as well as the consequences of their own bigotry. Recall that ignorance is exactly what ordinary Germans claimed when directly confronted with the crimes of the Nazi regime following W. W. II. Can ignorance be rationally claimed with crimes of such magnitude? Has it never occurred to WSWS, or much of the liberal Left for that matter, that perhaps the likes of Bush et al rather than being just a few bad apples at the top of the cart are really representative of what is inside the whole cart (or at least, arguably, half of the cart)? White folks have been benefiting from the 'wages of whiteness' for a long time now and for many, particularly in the so called Red States who apparently only benefit mostly from a psychological standpoint, this will continue. Rather than rationalizing and absolving the behavior of these people, many of whom may be irredeemable; it makes more sense to accept that they made exactly the choice they wanted and that we need to instead work with those who can be moved however few in number. It is clear to the rest of the world, even if not to some of us, that rather than being a captive audience, at least half of the American population is down with Bush's program. They are not simply dupes, even if they are not too bright. They are willing partners in the destruction of other peoples lands, the robbing of their resources and in genocide.