Friday, July 27, 2012

Africans as "flood," Palestinians as "demographic threat": Ruth Marcus’ vulgar racism in Washington Post

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Africans as "flood," Palestinians as "demographic threat": Ruth Marcus’ vulgar racism in Washington Post
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Wed, 07/25/2012 - 12:35

Only when it comes to Israel do “mainstream” American commentators permit themselves to indulge in the kind of racism Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus treats us to when she writes:

Israel faces a demographic threat to the Jewish state from its fast-growing Arab population, even without a deluge of African refugees with no religious ties or political loyalties to the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that “60,000 infiltrators are liable to become 600,000 and lead to the eradication of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Not one mainstream commentator in the US has dared argue that white supremacy in the United States faces a “demographic threat” from Latinos because California and Texas have become “majority-minority” states, or had truck with the notion that the US faces “eradication as a white and democratic state” just because most babies now born in the US are non-white.

Marcus also has the chutzpah to write that Israel is a “country founded as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust.” Is she really unaware that 750,000 indigenous Palestinians were forcibly expelled and they and their descendants not allowed to return so that this “haven” could come into existence amid the ruins of Palestinian cities, villages and countryside?

True, Marcus declares the violence against and denigration of Africans now so common in Israel as “unacceptable” and “unsettling” but doesn’t object to the underlying premise of a “demographic threat.”

In her view and that of the Israelis she channels, Palestinians – and Africans – are inferior beings. The ongoing catastrophe caused to Palestinians due to violent Zionist colonization of their homeland is unworthy of mention and Palestinians and Africans are a “threat” merely because they live, breathe and – like all other humans – reproduce.

It is language directly reminiscent of the rulers of apartheid South Africa.

The question then is, what kind of “democracy” is “threatened” by the mere births of the ‘wrong’ kind of babies? And what would Ruth Marcus say if Jewish babies were deemed a “demographic threat” in any country?

The United States has no shortage of racism and nativism, and in large parts of the country anti-immigrant sentiment.

But we don’t talk about babies of the ‘wrong’ color or ethnicity or religious background “eradicating” the country or its democracy and we should not acquiesce when politicians use such language.

And those who do are rightly labeled as indulging in the type of vulgar racism that ought to have been banished along with Jim Crow.

Post Script: The only criticism I'd have of this article is that Jim Crow is being reestablished in the United State through so-called "anti-voter fraud" laws and immigrant racial profiling. Also, check out the book "The New Jim Crow," by Michelle Alexander.

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