I Stand With Ilhan

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Criticizing an oppressive nation-state does not fit the definition of racism. If one is to however direct hatred towards a particular “nation” or “group” of people, such as the Jewish People, The Muslim People, African, LGBT, etc, this is classified is racism/prejudice.

We cannot afford to be selective and play favorites with the definition of racism. Racism is racism. The State of Israel is exclusionary, discriminates against Arabs, Armenians, Muslims, Christians, oppresses & polices Palestinians, and has for half a century stolen soil.

Ilhan Omar is being publicly crucified for standing up for an oppressed people. Many Jewish people sympathize with her sentiments regarding the Palestinians as well as Israel. Thus this is a clear agenda to limit responsible freedom of speech by conflating it with anti-semitism.

This insults all those who died & suffered as a result of real anti-semitism.

I don’t see any Republicans or Democrats convening to backlash against Trump’s use of anti-semitic iconography against Hillary Clinton – nor do I see a majority of both parties forcing the resignation of Steve King for his outright support of white nationalism.

Privilege enables double standards. And privilege is just a nice word for racism.

I say this as an Armenian descendant of the Genocide, yet to be recognized by either America, UK, or – ironically – Israel. The Armenian Genocide is the first Holocaust of the 20th century. Yet Israel, born right after the Holocaust that claimed the lives of 6 million Jewish people, refutes the claim as though it were echoing Nazi or Fascist Turkish historical revisionism. Quite a travesty. I say this also as a grandson of my Palestinian-Armenian grandmother, who was forced from her home in Haifa to Damascus, Syria as a result of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. This is not just something I read about. It is something I was born with.

And yet, there is little mention of the Islamophobia, racism and stereotypes being used to harass Ilhan Omar herself. She has received death threats, been called pejorative statements like “terrorist”, etc. The double standard is not absurd, it is tactical. And that, my friends, is scary.


Cleopatra: The Brown Queen

Colonialism fucked everything up.

Besides the rape, pillaging, enslavement, it colonized the minds and injected ambiguity into indigenous rights.

Currently there is a debate about whether Cleopatra was white or black or brown.

Being the last reigning Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was in fact Greek, at least half so, that is because, nobody knows who Cleopatra’s mother was.

No thanks to German racist scientists who deemed Arabs, Jews, Armenians and all Middle Easterners – who are in actuality West Asians – caucasian, we today have this ambiguity about who is what.

Does it matter? Yes. Not because of race. But because of racism and historical revisionism and the attempt by Eurocentrists and white supremacists to lay claim to everything including philosophy and well, civilization.

Why was Europe able to dominate and colonize? Supremacists would proclaim their superiority. I would claim other wise, their moral inferiority.

European colonists didn’t care about the consequences of their mass genocides. Neither did Nazi Germany, or Fascist Turkey.

Let’s say hypothetically Cleopatra was white. She was certainly not Northern European, and probably darker skinned than most Europeans, as most Greeks are. But if we are to classify her as white that would mean that she was a colonist of a black continent. What’s new?

What if Cleopatra’s mother was not white? And that results in the current debate into whether she was in fact brown or black.

There’s a lot of what ifs here.

The reality is since the dawn of time Euro-centrists have been colonizing and revising history and attempting to take credit for all that is excellent and profound about human civilization, as though the following inventions were not made by non-white civilizations:

My mother’s response to the Cleopatra debacle: “She was like us”. We are Arab-Armenians. In other words. She’s brown. Most mediterraneans are.

My conclusion is that Cleopatra was brown.

And it is no coincidence that everyone claiming otherwise – that she is white – is white.