Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hiroshima in the Constellation of Western Racism

I am not sure if others have put Hiroshima in such a context before, but I think it should be considered as one of the four major horrors initiated by the West that still define our lives and that are hard to imagine happening without one form of racism or another coming into the mix. And needless to say, the desires for extermination and exploitation behind these events are not Western/White specific. We see the same desires everywhere on a small scale. What marks their importance is the fact that they become large scale global events as part of the process of western/white global domination. These four horrors are:
a) slavery: the capacity to institutionalise on a mass scale the commodification, possession and exploitation of others. (impossible without a racialisation that includes objectification and inferiorisation). although there are non-racial forms of slavery in history they were different phenomenon all together that did not involve the same kind of objectification, commodification and over-exploitation.
b) colonialism: the capacity to control mobility, labour and resources by claiming sovereignty over somebody else's territory (here the other fluctuates between being useful/exploitable or nuisance/exterminable).
Note: I am in two minds sometimes whether Islamophobia is merely a variant of this racism or quite distinct from it but I think I am more comfortable treating it as a mere variant which has become globalised)
c) The Holocaust: the capacity for contemplating and enacting genocide. The kind of consciousness needed to think and enact this is mind-boggling and yet it has become a routinised form of consciousness.
d) The use of nuclear weapons in Japan: the capacity to eradicate masses of human beings in a blink of an eye. I know that Europeans massacred each other in great and horrific numbers  but I would still maintain that to have 70,000 people killed 'just like that' is not possible without a racist component. It required a specific kind of racist consciousness to make a governmental decision to explode such a bomb.

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