Apartheid and Slavery Are Still With Us

by Lorna Salzman

Not withstanding the civil rights movement and landmark anti-discrimination legislation, the remnants of black slavery in the US are still with us, in the form of economic inequity. It will take time but eventually these remnants will disappear. I am confident of this.

Moslems in north Africa and the near east were the first and main slave traders, and even today they flourish in countries like Somalia. The main groups who are trying to break up the slave trade turn out to be American Christians, including some fundamentalists. Otherwise most Americans dont pay attention.

The British abolished slavery in the early 19th century. They stopped the transport of convicts ( who were without exception nonviolent white collar criminals and prostitutes) to Australia a bit later. The United States didnt free its slaves until the second half of the 19th century.

Physical apartheid and state sanctioned discrimination persisted in the US until the second half of the 20th century. When I graduated from public school my parents took me to visit Washington DC and I remember rest rooms in the railroad station marked "White" and "Colored". I was stunned; I had no idea what this meant or why.

Blacks and whites died to eliminate American slavery and apartheid. The civil rights movement, along with the labor movement of the early 20th century, and the environmental movement that began on Earth Day 1970, are the proudest moments of American history, after the enactment of our Constitution and the institutionalization of anti=-discrimination laws and practices.

It is the existence of this Constitution, written by our English founders who were living under the sunshine of the Enlightenment in western Europe, which has allowed us the extensive freedoms we enjoy...arguably far beyond those of any other country in the world. There are continual threats to these freedoms but these freedoms themselves allow us to beat them back. Whatever the faults and transgressions of our country, we need not be ashamed of living in the U.S.

But we ignore the rest of the world at our peril. Newspapers, tourism, television and the mass media now have revealed to us that oppression, slavery, authoritarianism, and apartheid are flourishing not only in backwater countries in Africa but in countries with whom we have close economic and political ties, and whose own populations have fled to the US and Europe to escape political oppression and threats to their lives.

You all know these countries: Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Lesotho, Congo, Rwanda, Burma, Ethiopia, several former Soviet republics, North Korea. Pardon me if I have overlooked some. It is hard to keep track of them all. But if you look at just these, you cant help but notice the prevalence of Moslem countries. And if you are broadminded enough to look closely, you will see that the countries that are committing the most violence are the Moslem countries. In some cases the violence is against other religions within their country, or those in disputed areas like Kashmir in northern India. And if you look even MORE closely you will discover, to even greater horror, that the moslem countries are the sources of the two greatest human rights abuses in the world: terrorism against nonmoslems and secular moslems, and apartheid/slavery of their OWN WOMEN.

Yes, apartheid flourishes under Islam. Yet the American Left, in its infinite capacity for moral blindness, has the temerity to use this term when referring to Israel. The US Left, now exemplified by the US Green Party, at the behest of far left extremist elements in the party prodded by radical Islamists, is shamelessly ignoring the most widespread and STATE SANCTIONED APARTHEID IN THE WORLD: THAT PRACTICED BY MOSLEM STATES AGAINST THEIR WOMEN.

We know that this hypocrisy is not new on the American Left. Anyone who has studied their pronouncements and actions in the academic world and the world of science, their studied indifference to environmentalism, and now their deference to Islamic slavery, violence, and terrorism, will recognize the pattern. Let me give some examples.

In academia, the post modernists have promoted cultural relativism in order to avoid the issue of universal human rights and avoid moral judgements against those who violate these precepts. They did this in Yugoslavia, when they opposed the NATO bombing of Serbia but made excuses for the fascist Milosevic. In the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, one leftist group defended Saddam Hussein because he stood up to American imperialism. This group published a full page ad to this effect in Green Pages, the publication of the old Green Committees of Correspondenc.

They have persecuted and vilified their critics in the feminist world who have the temerity to criticize them for not defending women's rights abroad and for not protecting Islamic women.Free inquiry is to be banned, especially anything questioning the American Left or Marxist dogma. They have defamed prominent scientists like Edward Wilson of Harvard and disseminated absurd post modern rants, in incomprehensible English, against science, accusing it of being "socially determined", and in so doing have rejected any concept of truth.

The publication in the 1990s of "Sokol's Hoax", in Social Context magazine, a wonderfully funny parody of post modernism written by Alan Sokol, a leftist math professor in CUNY, revealed the lack of the emperor's clothes. Sokol wrote this article as a parody of post modernist research to, as he said, try to point out to the left the absurdity of what they were doing. Thousands of people on the left fell for it, including the notable coeditor of Social Context who I shall not name here. But apparently the left didnt heed Sokol. In a collection of essays entitled Biopolitics (coedited by Vandana Shiva, who probably never read the crap in it), you will find some of the best humor of our times. I often read excerpts at parties to entertain guests. Check it out.The best one is the one about duck rape and how it echoes human rape. Priceless.

In the field of environmentalism, they sat back with taped mouths when this movement began, then angrily lashed out at environmentalists and at the movement itself, for supposedly being more concerned about "nature" than humans...as if humans were not part of nature and dependent on it. Later they lashed out at the environmental movement for not having people of color in its major organizations. They disputed the importance of environmental battles and became the leading negative force (prior to the appearance of neo conservatism) AGAINST environmentalism. They did nothing and just sat back and passed moral judgment.

In the 2004 Green Party presidential campaign, greens and dems and leftists trashed Ralph Nader. His crime? Agreeing to appear on a panel on third party politics sponsored by the New Alliance Party. Other internet trashing accused him of being anti union. As for me, I am a continual recipient of hate mail and lies from greens, because I freely attack the US left, dont toe the party line and dont swallow green propaganda whole. I am gratified that so many greens feel uncomfortable. I must be doing something right.

Sound familiar? Banish truth; vilify its defenders; mandate Political Correctness; stifle dissent and honest debate; call opponents nasty names; enact statutes to expel them...as the USGP Women's caucus did to me and two others, for protesting their bylaws which banned language that was "hurtful, insulting, sarcastic," and called for their RE-EDUCATION before they could be re-admitted.

Shades of Clockwork Orange. Shades of 1984. Shades of fundamentalist religion. But THIS IS THE USGP IN 2006. The party that professes Diversity; Social Justice; Grassroots Democracy.

Are there any free thinkers, nonideologues, defenders of freedom and human rights, left in this party? Are there any people who perceive the broader implications of resolution 190? Are there any who are made physically ill when they read about the torture and murder of moslem women? You dont know what I mean? OK, let me give you a few examples, cited in Phyllis Chesler's important book, The Death of Feminism:

In Egypt, in 1997, a father chopped off his newlywed daughter's head and marched down the street saying his family had regained its honor. Her crime? She eloped.

In Jordan, in 1999, a brother shot his sister in the head four times in their house because her rape had "dishonored" the family.

In Pakistan,in 1999, a hired killer shot a woman in her lawyer's office. Her crime: seeking a divorce.

In Pakistan, in 2001, a husband gouged out his wifes' eyes, nose and ears, wrongly suspecting her of adultery. He was arrested but male relative said that she "must have deserved it".

In Iran, in 2002, a man cut off his 7-year old daughter's head after suspecting she had been raped by her uncle, saing his motive was "to defend my honor, fame and dignity". In Iran only the father of a victim has the right to demand a death sentence in a killing.

In Pakistan, in 2002, an 18 year old girl was gang raped as punishment for an alleged crime of her brother, who had actually been sexuallya bused by men who wanted to cover up their crime). Her father was forced to witness the gang rape and she was driven naked through the steeets while hundreds looked on.The rapists were arrested and sentenced to death but later freed. A new trial has been set as a result of a loud international cry. (The girl recently made a tour to the US, although initially Pakistan denied her a passport).

In Iran, in 2004, a 16-year old girl was hanged publicly, charged with adultery, which usually means she was raped. She told the judge to punish the rapists; in response, he personally hanged her because she had a "sharp tongue".

In Gaza, in 2005, five masked Hamas terrorists shot a young woman to death and beat her brother and fiance, whom she was to marry shortly after. They wrongly suspected her of "immoral behavior". She was a Hamas member too.

In England, in 1998, a brother strangled his sister as their mother held her down. Why? She had escaped an arranged marriage and was pregnant with her boyfriends' child.

In Scotland, in 2001, a woman fled an arranged marriage and married her non Sikh boyfriend. Two years later, pregnant, she was strangled to death in front of her 18-month old child. Honor killing is the likely reason.

In Holland, in 2004, a young moslem woman was shot by her husband for demanding a divorce. She died at the door of Dutch women's shelter.

How long will it take greens to fight back against moslem apartheid, slavery and murder? How long will it take for the defenders of civil liberties, free inquiry, political diversity and dissent, and of women's rights to speak up?

First they came for the Jews....and the Germans said nothing. The threat to American liberty comes from more than one direction. The fact is that the US left has CREATED NEO CONSERVATISM...by their refusal to engage in these cosmic human rights issues of our time. The USGP has dropped the ball, turned their eyes away, and let the neo cons control the debate on women's rights, on environment, on foreign policy, and everything else.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.