Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Re-posting an email to pagbabalikloob listserve:

We already know the race and class discussions around the country surrounding the slow response to Katrina's victims. Today my young African American student hit the nail on the head: "Many of the people who couldn't afford to leave NO were probably on welfare, and so perhaps if they had all drowned it will be less drain on the government coffers so the authorities didn't act quick enough to save them."

When I think about this, it also makes me think of the rhetoric about immigrants crossing the borders illegally (Minutemen!) or it makes me think of Pat Robertson calling for the assasination of the Venezuelan president who dared to criticize the US. It makes me think about government foreign policy, military interventions needed to open markets, the need to rein in "banana republics," the need for "full spectrum dominance" as the American Project for the 21st century. These are all the things that the Empire needs to do in order to protect the global order it has put in place. As the Empire goes around the world rearranging the periphery, the Center collapses (what happened in NO) as the resources are all spent on those far outposts of the Empire. I think what happened in New Orleans showed this vulnerability of collapse from within and the first victims of that collapse are the poor and people of color.

I think there are may be some in this listserve who will not agree with these connections I am making. Many actually do believe in the projects of the Empire and therefore support the current administration's policies and perspectives. To a certain extent this shows the global racial hegemony that has been achieved by the far right...this ability to convince so many of us, i.e. people of color, that the projects of the Empire also benefit us somehow.

Even though we like to believe that the colonial and imperial periods are over and Filipinos and Fil Ams today no longer have colonial mentality -- it is still very much an illusion. I think that we demonstrate our colonized mentalities when we unquestioningly go along with imperial projects.

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