Sunday, February 13, 2022

Eugenics and Ethnic Cleansing Are a Global Threat

Two weeks ago, I was privileged to be part of an oral history interview with Jose Francisco Avila, a writer and activist who has helped organize a global movement highlighting the history and culture of the Garifuna people, a group of mixed African and indigenous ancestry exiled from Caribbean Islands to coastal Honduras, Guatemala and Belize several centuries ago who now have a sizable presence in several US cities. One of the issues Mr Avila raised was the discrimination that Garifuna people faced in central American countries who prided themselves on their mixed race population. "Mestizaje," the dominant ideology of these societies, Mr Avila insisted, was infused with "anti-blackness" and until this anti blackness was openly confronted, Garifuna people, would remain second class citizens in Central American societies and vulnerable to discrimination and displacement. When Mr. Avila made this powerful statement, I immediately started thinking about several current trends in US society, especially the attempt to build a border wall to halt Latin American and Caribbean immigration and the effort to purge school curricula of materials exploring systematic racism in US History. Both of these movements were driven by an effort to preserve white/European dominance in a society becoming more racially mixed. Combined with what Mr Avila described, they showed the global character of movements to which promote ethnic cleansing and a striving for group dominance defined along ethnic and racial lines Then, only a week ago, when Whoopi Goldberg got in trouble for arguing that the Holocaust was not "racial" because both the executioners and victims were "white," another bell went off in my head, made louder by communications from my friend educator/activist Jeff Canady. Canady pointed to articles from the European press showing how anti-vaccine protesters in Europe were blaming vaccine and mask mandates on Jewish scientists and financiers ( led by the omnipresent George Soros!), using racialized images of Jews straight out of the Nazi playbook. The point here is that ALL ideologies and political movements which base their policies on purifying populations on the basis of race or nationality, and demonizing, discriminating against, and murdering other populations based on those same criteria, are rooted in the same flawed concepts of human identity, and are profoundly dangerous. In the long run, those who tolerate and endorse anti-blacknessthose who tolerate and endorse anti-Semitism, those who promote forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples, and whose who promote division of nation states along ethnic and racial lines, are creating a world which pits neighbor against neighbor, divides families and communities and puts us all at risk It is time for us to take a stand against all political ideologies rooted in Eugenics. These world views are as much a danger to our safety as Climate Change and the Pandemic

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