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[Nettime-bold] Re : Reflections on American injustice by Edward Said 2 Nettime

>This never got posted the first time I sent it 

- - 1 of myriad of companies adjusting to demands of citizenz worldwide.

eczam!n !t - no dz!ng
on dze akzual tazte ov betra!l ! = !nz!zt emfat!kl!

vol!z!onl !ron!e = ganz zpektaklr ncezt paz +?

>so am trying again, j.

je prศfหre. ou!. 

= perz!zt + !nz!ztz zvp


must not now disappointed be for great sorrow is yet 2 kome.
4 you __.. and i . 

earlier disappointments have ceased for the moment.
and vows never to be caught off guard are made.

situate self on the vaguest `\tik` plane imaginable.
the totally exterior. regretfully put off for far too long.

      ordnung  -/ d!zpl!n
        d!zpl!n \+ ordnung

17.hzV.tRL.478 - camille claudel aussi


18      .
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 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – า – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – า – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – า – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – –  



                                                     |  +----------
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                                   \\----------------+  |  n2t^P      
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                    - indelible traces on said troubled image\inations.

 k^Pntent !d :baz!n.ov.atrakz!on

>Al-Ahram Weekly, 24 Feb. - 1 March 2000
>Issue No. 470, Cairo, AL-AHRAM established in 1875   
>Reflections on American injustice
>By Edward Said 
>   A few days ago the third United Nations official in charge of the oil for 
>food program in Iraq, Jutta Purghardt, resigned the job in protest, preceded 
>in the same sense of outrage and futility by the two men who had filled the 
>post before her, Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, both of whom had also 
>resigned. So terrible are the results of the US-maintained sanctions against 
>that country's civilian population and infrastructure that not even a 
>seasoned international humanitarian official can tolerate the agony of what 
>those sanctions have wrought. The toll in human life alone on a daily basis 
>is too dreadful even to contemplate; but trying also to imagine what the 
>sanctions are doing to distort the country for years and years to come simply 
>exceed one's means of expression. Certainly the Iraqi regime seems largely 
>untouched by the sanctions and, as for the Iraqi opposition being cultivated 
>by the US to the tune of $100 million, that seems pretty laughable. A profile 
>of Ahmad Chalabi, that opposition's leader, that appears in a recent Sunday 
>supplement of the New York Times is intended I think to balance the actual 
>disaster of US Iraq policy with a portrait of the person supposedly battling 
>for the future of his country. What emerges instead is a picture of a shifty, 
>shady man (wanted for embezzlement in Jordan) who in the course of the 
>profile says not a single word about the sufferings of his people, not a 
>single syllable, as if the whole issue was just a matter of his grandiose 
>(somewhat silly) plan to try to take Basra and Mosul with 1,000 men. 
>  Purghardt's resignation may bring the matter of sanctions back to awareness 
>for a little while, as may a stiff letter of objection sent by 40 members of 
>the House of Representatives to Madeleine Albright about the cruelty and 
>uselessness of the policy she has defended so vehemently. But given the 
>presidential campaign now underway, and the realities of American social and 
>political injustice over the years, the sanctions against Iraq are likely to 
>continue indefinitely. The Republican contender George W Bush has just won 
>the South Carolina primaries by basically appealing to the most hard-headed, 
>stiff-necked, reactionary and self-righteous segment of the American 
>population, the so-called Christian Right (Christian, in this instance, being 
>an adjective rather woefully inappropriate to the sentiments this group and 
>its chosen candidate habitually express). And what is the basis of Bush's 
>appeal? The fact that he sticks up for and symbolises such values as applying 
>the death penalty to more people than any other governor in history, or 
>presiding over the largest prison population in any state in the US. 
>  It is the organised, legalised cruelty and injustice of the American system 
>that many of the country's citizens actually cherish and, in this electoral 
>season, want their candidates to defend and support, not just the cynical 
>machismo of its random acts of violence like the gratuitous bombing of Sudan 
>or last spring's sadistic offensive against Serbia. Consider the following: a 
>recently released report reveals that, with five per cent of the world's 
>population, the US at the same time contains 25 per cent of the world's 
>population of prisoners. Two million Americans are held in jails, of whom 
>well over 45 per cent are African American, a number that is 
>disproportionately higher than the black population itself. (The US also 
>consumes 30 per cent of the world's energy and ravages a rough equivalent of 
>the earth's environment). Under Bush's tenure as governor of Texas, the 
>number of prisoners rose from 41,000 to 150,000: he actually boasts about 
>these numbers. So in light of this contemporary savagery against its own 
>citizens, one should not be surprised that the poor Iraqis who undergo 
>long-distance starvation, absence of schools and hospitals, the devastation 
>of agriculture and the civil infrastructure are put through so much. 
>  To understand the continued punishment of Iraq -- and also to understand 
>why Mrs Albright was so "understanding" of Israel's totally unwarranted and 
>gangster-like bombing of civilian targets in Lebanon -- one must pay close 
>attention to an aspect of America's history mostly ignored by or unknown to 
>educated Arabs and their ruling elites, who continue to speak of (and 
>probably believe in) America's even-handedness. The aspect I have in mind is 
>the contemporary treatment of the African American people, who constitute 
>roughly 20 per cent of the population, a not insignificant number. There is 
>the great prior fact of slavery, first of all. Just to get an idea of how 
>deliberately buried this fact was beneath the surface of the country's 
>official memory and culture, note that until the 1970s no program of 
>literature and history paid the slightest attention to black culture or 
>slavery or the achievements of the black people. I received my entire 
>university education between 1953 and 1963 in English and American 
>literature, and yet all we studied was work written and done by white men, 
>exclusively. No Dubois, no slave narratives, no Zora Neal Hurston, no 
>Langston Hughes, no Ralph Ellison, no Richard Wright. I recall asking a 
>distinguished professor at Harvard, who lectured for 30 more or less 
>consecutive weeks during the academic year on 250 years of American 
>literature, from the Puritan 17th-century preacher Jonathan Edwards to Ernest 
>Hemingway, why he didn't also lecture on black literature. His answer was: 
>"There is no black literature." There were no black students when I was 
>educated at Princeton and Harvard, no black professors, no sign at all that 
>the entire economy of half the country was sustained for almost 200 years by 
>slavery, nor that 50 or 60 million people were brought to the Americas in 
>slavery. The fact wasn't worth mentioning until the civil rights movement 
>took hold and pressed for changes in the law -- until 1964 the law of the 
>land discriminated openly against people of colour -- as a result of a mass 
>movement led by charismatic men and women. But it bears repeating that when 
>such leaders became too visible and powerful -- Malcolm X, Paul Robeson, 
>Martin Luther King preeminently -- as well as politically radical, the system 
>had to destroy them. Be that as it may, there is a Holocaust Museum in 
>Washington, but no museum of slavery which, considering that the Holocaust 
>took place in Europe and slavery here, suggests the kind of priorities that 
>still govern the official culture of the US. Certainly there should always be 
>reminders of human cruelty and violence, but they should not be so selective 
>as to exclude the obvious ones. Similarly, no museum in Washington 
>commemorates the extermination of the native people. 
>  As a living monument to American injustice, therefore, we have the stark 
>numbers of American social suffering. In relative but sometimes absolute 
>terms, African-Americans supply the largest number of unemployed, the largest 
>number of school drop-outs, the largest number of homeless, the largest 
>number of illiterates, the largest number of drug addicts, the largest number 
>of medically uninsured people, the largest number of the poor. In short, by 
>any of the socio-economic indices that matter, the black population of the 
>United States, by far the richest country in recorded history, is the 
>poorest, the most disadvantaged, the longest enduring historically in terms 
>of oppression, discrimination and continued suppression. This is by no means 
>about only poor African-Americans. A recent television documentary about 
>black opera singers in which I participated displayed an ugly picture of 
>naked discrimination at the very highest levels. Just because a singer is 
>black, he or she is expected to perform in Gershwin's appallingly 
>condescending opera Porgy and Bess (every one of the singers interviewed on 
>the programme expressed cordial loathing of the opera, which is always 
>performed by travelling American opera troupes, even in Cairo, where I recall 
>it was given in the late '50s) and, when they are given roles in works like 
>Aida, seen as essentially OK for "coloured" people, although it was written 
>by an Italian composer who hated Egypt (see my analysis in Culture and 
>Imperialism), they are treated as less equal than white singers. As Simon 
>Estes, the distinguished black baritone, said on the programme: if there are 
>two absolutely equal singers, one black, one white, the white will always get 
>the role. If the black is much better, he will get the role, but will be paid 
>  Against the background of so vicious a system of persecution, then, it is 
>no wonder that as non-Europeans the Arabs, Muslims, Africans, and a handful 
>of unfortunate others receive so poor a treatment in terms of US foreign 
>policy. And it is not at all illogical that the New York Times abets Mrs 
>Albright in being "understanding" of Israel's violence against Arabs. One of 
>its editorials around the time of the Beirut bombing urged "restraint" on 
>both sides, as if the Lebanese army was occupying Israel, instead of the 
>other way round. The wonder of it, as I said earlier, is that we still wait 
>for the US to deliver us from our difficulties, like some benign Godot about 
>to appear in shining armour. Left to my devices as an educator, I would 
>stipulate across the Arab world that every university require its students to 
>take at least two courses not in American history, but in American non-white 
>history. Only then will we understand the workings of US society and its 
>foreign policy in terms of its profound, as opposed to its rhetorical, 
>realities. And only then will we address the US and its people selectively 
>and critically, instead of as supplicants and humble petitioners. Most 
>importantly, we should then be able to draw sustenance from the struggle of 
>the African-American people to achieve equality and justice. We share a 
>common cause with them against injustice, but for some reason our leaders 
>don't seem to know it. When was the last time an Arab foreign minister on a 
>visit to the US pointedly refused to address the Council of Foreign Relations 
>in New York and Washington and requested instead to visit a major African 
>American church, university or meeting? That will be the day. 

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