An Inclusive Litany


Sunera Thobani, women's studies professor at the University of British Columbia, speaking at the Women's Resistance Conference in Ottawa, October 1, 2001:
This new war against terrorism that's being launched, it's very old. And it's a very old fight of the West against the rest. Consider the language which is being used to mobilize people: calling the perpetrators evil doers, irrational, calling them the forces of darkness, uncivilized, intent on destroying civilization, intent on destroying democracy. They hate freedoms, we are told....

Every person of colour, and I would want to say also, every aboriginal person, will recognize that language. It was used to justify our colonialization by Europe. We were colonized in the name of the West bringing civilization, democracy, freedom to us....

[Women must] reject this kind of jingoistic militarism and recognize that as the most heinous form of patriarchal racist violence that we're seeing on the globe today.... The women's movement has to stand up to this. There is no option for us. We have to fight back against this militarization. We have to break the support that is being built in our countries for this kind of attack.... The West for 500 years has believed that it can slaughter people into submission and it has not been able to do so. And it will not be able to do so this time, either.

[Ed.: Thobani received a standing ovation from many in the audience at the time, only to be followed by a nationwide furor and at least one official complaint that she had engaged in a hate crime against Americans.]

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