Beware of "String'em up" mentality in current crisis
by Hector Carreon, La Voz de Aztlan, Los Angeles, Alta California, Cuacuahtzin Column, September 13, 2001
In the aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington D.C., we are hearing disturbing cries from hatemongers calling for "blood". The cries could easily be dismissed if they were coming from the fringe elements of U.S. society, but the fact that they are coming form U.S. congresspersons, senators and even the president makes this "round'em up" and "string'em up" mentality particularly disturbing. This is an ominous and dangerous development not just for U.S. ethnic and racial minorities but for the whole international community as well.

The fact that many of our elected federal representatives could not even point to where the West Bank is located on our world map should be equally disturbing for all Americans. We presently have a president who flunked Diplomacy 101 at Harvard and who is probably relying on calling his dad for instructions on what to do next. Make no mistake about it, my fellow Americans, what you have witnessed on television and the Internet concerning the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is actually a total failure of our U.S. foreign policy.

As a Vietnam War veteran, I can recall another U.S foreign policy folly that cost us dearly in terms of human lives and societal divisions that still remain unhealed. I thought that we had learned a lesson but the current talk at the national level makes me think that we have not. I can also remember other foreign policy follies concerning South and Central America whose consequences have not yet fully manifested and the one developing in Columbia bears close watching by all Americans who love freedom. Why does the world hate us so? We must look into our own policies towards other cultures, religions, and national groups for an answer. We must look into who is running our U.S. State Department and for whose interests.

Our racist attitudes against the Arab peoples is no coincidence. It is a matter of national policy and of what we are learning through curriculums in schools systems throughout the country and through the mainstream media. The Arabs and Muslims have been demonized. Last night, I heard a comment on a national radio station that "Allah is evil". Unfortunately, this is what many Americans believe because of years of mental programming through biased education and media propaganda. This kind of mentality is the same as when us Mexicans are called "spics", "beaners" and "wetbacks" and Black Americans are called "niggers", "koons", or "mayates". The kind of hateful racial frenzy being presently agitated against American Muslims and Arabs is no different than the one that was whipped up against Mexicans in 1930 Texas and against Blacks in the post slavery South that culminated in lynches and in "stringing them up". Already we are hearing reports that a school bus carrying Muslim school children was attacked with stones and three little kids where killed in Australia.

We certainly do not want a "tit for "tat" situation here in the U.S. as it is presently in the Holy Land. New Yorkers have now "tasted" what both Palestinians and Jews have to endure on a daily basis. There is no doubt that our foreign policy in the Middle East has contributed to the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Is not our support of Zionism too high a price to pay? Why are we supporting an Israeli apartheid policy that has made all of Islam our mortal enemy? If all our elected federal representatives studied the situation in Palestine carefully, they will see that what is occurring to many Palestinians is morally reprehensible. They however are either too ignorant or too cowardly to speak out against this present day holocaust against a people.

What we need is honest, moral and courageous national leadership which is unfortunately lacking. We presently, have people like Congressman Condit of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and a mainstream media that divert us from the real world issues through focusing on things like "Where is Chandra Levy?" news coverage. But most of all, we need Americans who are well informed and not just interested in watching, basketball, football and soap operas on television.

As minorities in the U.S. seeking an equitable voice, let us braise ourselves for a wave of repression against our civil rights unprecedented in contemporary history. The blood thirsty hatemongers are on the loose, but with God's help and protection, we shall all prevail.

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