Zone of Nonbeing: Guantanamo

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US history is filled with huge mega violations of human rights. Some believe that the mere foundation of this country was carried out through massive and total genocide of the Native Americans who were killed in millions and were brought into extinction. There are also the utter horrors of the two atomic bombs ever dropped on human beings and the brutal war on Vietnam. Ever since its creation the United States of America has been involved in hundreds of wars and conflicts the world over resulting in millions of deaths and tens of millions of people losing their homes and livelihood. The most recent of US violations of human rights in large scale happened after 9/11 when it launched its not UN-sanctioned war against Afghanistan and later Iraq. Then the world witness a new phenomenon in International Law and that was the creation of Guantanamo prison camp where detainees are kept indefinitely and without any access to legal presentation or trial. This documentary looks at the US government’s encroachment of human rights throughout history with a primary focus on The Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Part 1

Ramon Grosfoguel

What Franz Fanon called the Zone of Being, in this zone, these people are going to colonise the rest of the world, appropriate wealth (and) resources of the rest of the world and the majority of the population of the rest of the world and going to be classified in the Zone of Nonbeing as inferior subjects. They are going to be places under the line of the human. And the means the people under the line of the human, because their humanity is not recognised, the methods of managing conflict in that zone is going to be violence and disposition. The beginning of that system is 1492 and that system of violence towards non western people and that system of continuous appropriation of their wealth and resources and labour is going to be a fundamental structure that is going to continue until today. And if you watch carefully Guantanamo Bay is a continuation, it’s a colonial space, it’s a continuation of that history

Mark Gonzales:

1492 changed the DNA of the human species by opening up a process where murder and genocide wasn’t invented but definitely upgraded. And it laid the foundations of several massacres and genocides that would come in the centuries. Because we normalised it.

Ramon Grosfoguel

Well 1492 is the moment when the Spanish Monarchy conquered the Islamic sultanate of Granada. That’s on January 2nd 1492 and ten months later they were arriving to the Americas to colonise the Americas. So the whole process is one single process from Granada to the Americas in the same year. So the European colonial expansion began with the conquest of Granada, not with the conquest of the Americas. Therefore, Islamaphobia, anti-indigenous racism was there from the beginning.

Michael Ratner

Well America has had a very spotty record since the Indians. Since the 17th century. So its always been an up and down situation in the United States. We’ve had very bad periods. Apart from the genocide of the American Indians you had the Civil War in the 1860s to get the slaves free, you had the Japanese put into camps during the second World War in the United States, you then had the former slaves under huge impediments for a hundred years through the 60s.

Massoud Shadjareh

I don’t really believe Guantanamo or indeed the way the whole war on terror, so called war on terror, turned would have been possible with the element of Islamaphobia and racism. In the form of creating Others. On one side you create Nationalism, Super-Nationalism and on the other side you create otherness. Then you can do everything to the Others as they are not one of you. They are almost removed from a concept of humanity and human beings. And this is a concept that has been used very effectively for bonding and mobilising a nation at the times of difficulty. It was done at the time of Nazis by the Nazis. It was done by the Serbs in former Yugoslavia. And if you actually go back into history you see that that was the concept behind the so called Holy War and the Crusades.

Amrit Wilson

Well if you look at American history its full of examples of utter horror. I mean think of the genocide of the people of native America, the use of smallpox blankets to infect them, the killings, if you look at what the African American experience has been, if you look at the prisons in America and who they are full of. That’s enough, those really are evidence of American crimes, but you can also look across the world. If you look at what they did in Vietnam, what they did in Korea, what they are doing in Afghanistan, in Yemen, what they did in Libya. I mean how many examples can we have. What they did in Abu Ghraib. Small and big. Incidents and mega-indicants.

Omar Deghayes

Kicking’s and shouting’s and kicking’s yes. And chains. Lots of chains. Straps to the floor. Many people on top of each other. People throwing up. People sick,. I was sick. One of the most miserable journeys you can imagine. The only thing you think, you might have seen similar to it is if you saw the film where they transfer slaves in boats from Africa to the Americas. That’s the only similitude you can make, similar to that. With chains and beatings.

Ramon Grosfoguel

I see Guantanamo as a continuity of that history, of islamaphobia, anti black racism , anti indigenous racism that began in 1492.

Michael Ratner

Since 9/11 we’ve seen an incredible backward in the united states. I mean I can really say that in my 50 or 60 years, 40 years of being a lawyer, I lived through the McCarthy period when they went after everyone who was a communist and this is much worse. What they’ve done now, what the government has done really is reverse 200 years of our constitution which said that every human being has a right to go to court to test their detention and nobody can just be tossed into some prison cell by the executive or the king and that right back to right here in England to the Magna Carta of 1215. So in one way you can say the United States in ten years has gone back 900 years in terms of fundamental rights.

Ramon Grosfoguel

The whole question of if indigenous people had a soul or not came back to Europe to say that Muslims and Jews are soulless people. People without a soul, like the indigenous people of the Americas. And so you have in the early sixteenth century already this formation of modern racism.

Mark Gonzales

The legacy of 1492 is felt quite simple because it did not end. I mean when we start to understand time in a different sense and remember that the past is not over, its’ still present. Then you start to realise that 1492 is every day until you interrupt it.

Michael Ratner

We began working on the Guantanamo issues really shortly after 9/11. The President of the United States came down with an order saying we could pick up and non-citizen anywhere around the world and hold them forever. We didn’t know it would be Guantanamo. And they would have no legal rights. We wouldn’t even know their names. And we said to ourselves this is outrageous, you can’t do this. Every human being deserves a trial. Every human being deserves charges if he is going to be held

and every human being deserves the right to go to court. Then of course on January 11th we found out that the place the United States would be Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Which is a U.S military base in Cuba. And really since that time, nearly some ten years almost 800 people have gone through that offshore, lawless prison

Clive Stafford Smith

I remember vividly when they announced Guantanamo back in late 2001. I was aghast! You know here we are as a nation, and I speak as an American here, saying that we’re fighting this battle to preserve the rule of law and democracy and what’s the first thing we do, we set up a prison in Cuba, which we’ve said for 50 years has no rule of law. We do it there so we can avoid anybody having any legal rights and we say we’re going to hold them without lawyers, without charges, without anything, but we might execute a few people if we feel like it. it was so hypocritical, and you know hypocrisy tends to be the yeast that ferments hatred around the world and I was horrified. Was I surprised, no not really but I was horrified.

Massoud Shadjareh

It was very shocking because it was coming after the fall of the Soviet Union and the feeling internationally that things are going to be better. We’d just came back from the Durban Conference, the U.N conference on racism, and there was a lot of uplift that we are in the new era of Human Rights. There is not this trading between the East and West and the compromises on issues of justice and Human Rights and we are going to move forward rapidly. Then 9/11 happened and shortly afterwards we saw Guantanamo. The creation of this black hole of justice.

Michael Ratner

And we have been representing people from the very beginning. When we began there was no one who would touch the cases. The only people in the united states who would do anything were my office and Clive Stafford Smith. And that was it. We got hate mate, 100s of pieces of hate mail. It was considered to be representing, I mean Hitler or something, for us to be representing people who had not even been charged with a crime.

Massoud Shadjareh

And it was also shocking that those images of people being transported from Baghram to Guantanamo in the military planes, chained on the floor of the planes, with the photographs. And indeed. Some of the photographs that were released were very shocking and those of us who realised and knew that this was released by Americans themselves, I.e saying that we could do this and we’re proud of it and we’re not even going to hide our abuses and the destruction and undermining of due process, we’re just going to find ways around it was also very telling and very disturbing.

Omar Deghayes

They took me straight to an isolation cell. Usually that’s what happens. Anyone who comes in, first thing they do they take him straight to an isolation cell. So I was put in Oscar Block. It’s the worst block, It’s in complete isolation. The cell, I haven’t seen it in pictures, they keep taking pictures of other cells like camp 5 and other camps. But this one the cell looks like a fridge, like a complete refrigerator, completely closed from everywhere, with iron sheets. Iron walls, iron floors, iron ceilings. And glaring light. And only 2 metres. 2 metres by 2 metres. And it had a really large hole in the ceiling. Really large. Where concentrated, really cold air would come in. You

were like chained or locked into a fridge. The nearest thing you can imagine is being locked up in fridge. I was locked up in this Friday for 40 days to 50 days. And I was again interrogated by another guy. The interesting thing in this second interrogation they asked me stupid questions like do you know where Usama bin Laden is. I mean is how silly…

Martin Mubanga

When they first removed the hood from my eyes I could see where I was. I saw that I was surrounded by about, maybe more, American military personnel. I was in what we called the clinic, it was some sort of processing place. I remember looking to my right and seeing a black American soldier, he was very tall and very wide. He was the one holding me. He was holding me by the throat basically. I think my hands were still tied, I can’t remember. He was holding me by the throat to make sure I didn’t do anything. Then I saw my orange jumpsuit, the clothes that were on me. So I basically knew I was in appropriate clothing.

Andy Worthington

Guantanamo is a place without due process for foreigners, but a lot of the machinery of it is the same as the machinery of the U.S system. The thing that’s horrible about the U.S horrible system are the sheer numbers of people involved, that it imprisons per capita way in excess of anyone else in the world. It is the most punitive nation on Earth. That’s absolutely disgraceful. If I were an America that would obsess me. But it isn’t just that so many people are deprived of their liberties. Within the system people are tortured as a routine matter. So somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 people in the United States with the domestic prison system are subjected to long term solitary confinement, with permanent depravation of human contact, which is torture. You do that to someone for a month and you’re risking causing the precipitous mental collapse of somebody. There are people in the United States domestic prison system who are prisoned in this manner for decades.

Clive Stafford Smith

When you think of Guantanamo as contrasted to Death Row, I’ve been to most death rows in America, and it’s a sort of sad thing to have to say but I think Guantanamo is worse than any Death Row by far. Now the main thing that sets it apart isn’t so much the physical conditions although the physical conditions in Guantanamo are horrible, but it’s the notion that you as a prisoner can be held, without trial, forever. Worse yet, you can be told you’ve been cleared for release, and still be held forever, you can be acquitted by a military commission and still held forever and the psychological impact that can have on prisoners you just can’t underestimate because it just drives people to despair. And the people I represent down there, and I still represent a lot of them, are so depressed these days by and large, because they see no future, they see no hope. You know when you’re on death row, you’ve had a trial, however unfair it was. You’ve got an appeal. You might win the appeal, you might get out, or you might get executed, and that’s the end of your misery or whatever, but there at least definite aspects to it, however bad they might be. In Guantanamo its just endless uncertainty and I suppose when you kick a dog and the dog just doesn’t know how its going to be treated from one second to the next, inconsistency is worse than constant beating in a way and I suppose that is what we do to prisoners.

Omar Deghayes

We were subjected to beatings, physical abuse, put in very small cells, 2m by 2m with glaring lights. Subjected to very cold air coming into the cell, then put to extremes like very hot air. Chained, all the time chained, this was the norm. Hands were chained to the legs, chained in stress positions. Some people were beaten to death, people died, I was witness to peoples death. I was injured, my eyes, they tried to gouge both of my eyes out. I lose sight in one of my eyes.

Martin Mubanga

I was put in some stress positions, exposed to cold temperature and isolation, with no clothing, just my shorts. I was exposed to extreme heat interrogation, again in stress positions and being left there for long periods of time. Then maximum isolation, being away from the general population in a cage by yourself, you can’t see hear anyone, can’t see anyone, can’t see any daylight. So I think with me they focused on breaking you mentally and spiritually rather than physically hurting you, but obviously if you’re tired of confided or restricted to a certain position over a long period of time that will effect you..

Omar Deghayes

My finger was broken, if you look here you can see this one was broken completely. It has iron bars. The bones came out. Because I was trying to stop an officer spraying something on my face he had my hands out and closed the door on it and broke it. My ribs are battered badly, my nose is broken. Some other people hand their heads, we all had our heads banged on the floor, but some other people had problems because of that, their bones were fractured. I mean things like that. Physiological treatment sometimes is worse. They had all sorts of programmes going on where they would attack religion, you and family and so on. Yes so this is general what went on in Guantanamo.

Andy Worthington

What we don’t know is the number of people who have been completely crushed by this, destroyed mentally. When the Tipton 3 left Guantanamo in 2004 they said they reckon there were 50 people there who were just destroyed. Maybe those guys are still there. Maybe the United States released some of them but maybe some of the people amongst those still in Guantanamo are these very very damaged people.

Dennis Edney

What white people do you have here in Guantanamo bay. This is a place, this is a place of Muslims. When American terrorists are arrested they don’t come to Guantanamo bay, they get full due process in a federal court system in the mainland of the United States.

Michael Ratner

Guantanamo stands really in the Publics mind, in my mind in the worlds mind stands first for incommunicado detention, no court. It stands for torture. And it stands for the oppression of Muslims very clearly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Guantanamo would not exist if that was a Guantanamo for Christians or if that was a Guantanamo for Jews. So really it stands for this nation, this Christian nation against the Muslim nation.

Part 2:

Michael Ratner

Guantanamo is at this point a public symbol the U.S doesn’t seem to be embarrassed by. They talk about it all the time. You can send news teams down there. So you have to ask yourself, what are they doing? This is not a secret prison that no one knows about. This is one the U.S knows about, the population knows about and the world knows about. And in some way you can say with the recent legislation that basically makes the law of Guantanamo the law of the United states that they’re trying to get people used to the idea that preventative detention is something we may have to use in certain circumstances. And so as we look to the future I would like to say we could look to a future without Guantanamos, but it seems my government is saying we can have Guantanamos either in Guantanamo or somewhere else.

Ramon

This law is a terrible law because this law can allow the government to do whatever. Now we’re talking about the State having the possibility to incarcerate anybody for whatever reason. There’s no limitation for how far they can go with this law. So in a sense the institutional framework for fascism is already there in the USA. All it takes is to massif the process of incarceration to get a president or a leadership ready to incarcerate people in mass numbers. That’s all it takes because the institutional framework is already there. They don’t need to put new laws or new institutions to achieve this. Now everything is put in place. It all depends now whether the government want to do it or not. Which is a scary thing if you think about it. it’s the end of the Bill or Rights in the USA.

Andy Worthington

The NDAA is troubling because it may be that its aimed very broadly at anybody that is regarded as a threat outside the parameters of what was established after 9/11. After 9/11 it was the authorisation of the use of military force, which is specifically Al-Qaeda, Talban, people involved in or supporting 9/11. And this appears to be broadening it to deal with new conflicts and new situations where people are regarded as a threat, with a possibility of holding them indefinitely, where the only previous example of that taking place is Guantanamo.

Ramon Grosfoguel

But really this is a terrible thing because here you have a President who came power calling to close Guantanamo and ended up Guantanamoising the whole country. There’s been movements against Guantanamo but not a mass movement or a significant movement that will stop it. So in that sense there is a complicity in everyday life to the existence of Guantanamo. This could remind us of Nazi Germany. So in the U.S you have this feeling, this atmosphere where you live normal everyday life when you know that your government is killing with Drones in Yemen everyday people, at the same time that you know that with the weapons and resources of the USA, Israel is killing Palestinians everyday, at the same time you know that American forces are killing Afghan civilians every day. At the same time that you know that Guantanamo is there. At the same time that you know the prison industrial complex have missions of black and Latino youth incarcerated there, a lot of them with mandatory sentences that are absurd. Basically with fabricated cases with mandatory sentences that are absurd, a crazy situation. So all of this exists with an indifference that makes you feel like you’re in a place like Nazi Germany.

Vox POP

- What do you think about Guantanamo Bay? Should it be shut down?

- Actually I think that they should keep it open. Du the fact that I am guessing the people who are in charge of throwing the people into Guantanamo Bay are probably educated well enough to make the decision to put away someone in Guantanamo Bay.

- I would say that it should remain open and running because it is a place to keep bad people and punish them for whatever they did to deserve to be there.

I mean they just have to move them somewhere different and it just serve the same propose so there is really no pint to close it down.

- Well, I think it should be kept open mainly because it sounds to me like if they kept it open long enough and let us go in and tour I think it would be great tours distention and pay hundred $ to go in and see what was going on there really.

- I think that jailing system but I think it’s important to keep it open because I think it’s a good thing to keep those more dangerous away from society and more secure So I think it should be kept open.

- I agree I mean if you do the crime should do the time and that’s the way our country decides as far as I’m concerned again open up Alcatraz like the more national people I have no problem with it.

- I think it has to do with a larger issue I think we as Americans have lost the idea of true justice and true justice does not come from holding people without the fair trail of their I think that America’s built on those foundation of true justice and we can not be way from that.

Clive Stafford Smith

I don’t think closing Guantanamo is in the narrative because Obama doesn’t really want to talk about it, but on the other hand I do think he wants to do it. So it will eventually close, but actually we have much bigger problems now, because there’s a successor to Guantanamo. Maybe it’s not that Obama’s not the Guantanamo president or the Abu Ghraib president, but he’s the Drones president. And that’s the next problem.

John O Brenan

By targeting an individual terrorist, or small number of terrorists with ordinance that can be adapted to avoid hurting others in the immediate vicinity it is hard to imagine a tool that can better minimize the risk to civilians than remotely piloted aircraft. For the same reason, targeted strikes conform to the same principles of humanity that requires us to not inflict unnecessary suffering. For all these reasons I suggest to you that these targeted strikes against Al-Qaeda terrorists are indeed ethical and just.

Andy Worthington

Drones are remotely controlled aerial devices, which have two purposes. Either they can used for spying on people or they can be loaded up with bombs and can then be used to target people. Literally people are sitting in bases on the United States mainland and flying devices that are flying over the Afghan/Pakistani border, attacking people that are regarded by them as a collection of militants or insurgents and terrorists.

Clive Stafford Smith

Years ago when I was in Guantanamo there was someone down there who said “if you carrying on that these terrorists have legal rights we’ll just kill ‘em”. And I just sort of laughed and said you ignorant lout or whatever. But actually that’s what’s happened. That Obama who opposes a regime of detention without trial has adopted a regime of assassination without trial.

Andy Worthington

It would be impossible not to see this as a conscious replacement for a programme that was difficult and messy because it involved torture and indefinite detention, lawyers causing problems. So that’s troubling. I mean everything about the drones is troubling because it’s a very modern story that’s clearly wrong but the technology has allowed those in charge to press ahead with it because… it’s use is outstripping the ability of organisations like the United Nations to or of lawyers to argue what’s happening is wrong.

Clive Stafford Smith

The idea that today we have a kill list which they euphemistically call a “disposition matrix’ is just horrifying! Someone conservative wrote in the paper the other day, do we want to live in a world where the United States government has a list of a 50 or 100 people who they want to murder. That’s just shocking.

Massoud Shadjareh

The drone attacks basically are undermining a number of international laws. The most obvious one is the sovereignty of other states, because they are going into Pakistan, they’re going into Sudan, they’re going into Yemen, they go everywhere they want and just assassinate people. The other thing is assassination. Assassination of individuals when there is no war is actually a war crime and especially when it is done in an arena that is not a war arena. In villages and peoples homes and so forth. And the whole concept of due process, of innocent until proven guilty, where people need to be accused of something and that accusation needs to be taken to court and then some sort of sentence passed – here even if you believe in capitol punishment, this isn’t even capitol punishment, this is assassination of individuals on just mere hearsay.

Andy Worthington

Clearly its only able to take place because the essential structure of a global war on terrorism that was established by the Bush administration is still in place. I mean absolutely is in place and is intact. That America is taking out enemies wherever they are on the face of the earth. Because it ha the right to do that.

Clive Stafford Smith

The thing about the U.S justifying what it does is that it doesn’t. Having a secret war in Pakistan with the CIA running it means you don’t answer any questions. So first they don’t justify it. They do, for their own purposes have these legal memos that are just like the memos that justified torture. You know – Torture wasn’t torture and here, illegal killing isn’t illegal killing. And somehow an illegal war in Pakistan isn’t an illegal war in Pakistan. And its all nonsense. There’s no lawyer who would stand up in public and say that without being laughed at. But they have these memos, which internally justify what they do and incidentally give them legal cover so you cant get sued. The great thing about the torture memos was that however silly they may have been they meant that if you the torturer had a memo that said this isn’t torture meant you couldn’t be prosecuted. So that’s what they were really all about.

Ramon Grosfoguel

They don’t care what the world things of them. They really don’t care. I mean they try. I mean they try to, the department of state tries to do policies that lets say, some cosmetic to the face of American imperialism and things like this but in general the people don’t care what other people think outside of the USA. There’s an indifference to that. They have this feeling of arrogance, this feeling of superiority over the rest and this naïve idea that the United States is doing something good elsewhere. So there’s this innocence about American imperialism, this naïve innocence as if we’re doing something good. So this is the kind of atmosphere you see in the USA today.

Clive Stafford Smith

There are some of these issues that are theoretical. You may have a theoretical opposition to the death penalty, or a theoretical opposition to Guantanamo, but then there become moments when it gets to become deeply personal and when I went to Pakistan in October 2011 we held a meeting in Islamabad where we brought 80 people from Waziristan for the first time they’ve ever met with Westerners. I was the token American and there were a few other people from Britain there. And we were just sharing perspectives. I wanted to hear from them and tell them what Americans were saying and at last begin perhaps to see each other as human beings. And it was all anbout Drones. One of the people there was this kid Tariq Aziz who 16 years old who had come because one of his relatives had been killed and he just wanted to

know what he could do to stop America from killing his family. Three days later the United States killed him and there was only one way it could have happened, because some informant who was being paid by the Americans put a GPS tag on his car, he’s driving along with his cousin, they’re going to pick up his auntie and kaboom, hellfire missile killed him and tuned him and his cousin into tiny little pieces. For me that was the moment that this was no longer theoretical, this had pissed me off, you don’t do that to a person who who’s come to me to try to do something about peace. You don’t expect to get away with something like that. And if it’s the last thing I do its going to bring the killers of Tariq Aziz to justice. Not justice in the sense of vindictiveness, not even to send them to prison. I just want the world to know what they did. And for us to say sorry.

Andy Worthington

So he’s very much continuing in very fundamental ways what started with America’s response to 9/11 and its deeply disturbing what’s happening, not just that there is no process in place for any accountability. I think also what’s alarming is how its being adopted everywhere, every regime, whether its very openly authoritarian or one that pretends to be democratic, loves the idea of controlling devices that can either spy its citizens on or kill them from afar.

Massoud Shadjareh

If the United States of America thinks and considers itself the champion of Liberty could get away with this and justify this why shouldn’t others do it and this is the other problem with the issue of people from Iraq being picked up and being forced to wear the orange suits and so forth. It’s actually creating and passing that culture and legitimizing it in the whole of the world and that actually is a very very dangerous concept.

Michael Ratner

Guantanamo is really iconic for first everything the United States is doing wrong in quotes its efforts to stop terrorism. It stands really for the wrong way to make yourself safe. The right way to make yourself safe, well most people are probably aware of it, its to have a foreign policy that’s much fairer, by not going to just the richer countries, to not exploit the peoples of the world. That’s the way you make yourself safe. But the United States took itself a law enforcement or war model and believed that making war on the world across the middle east, across Central Asia and by imposing draconian measures from torture to Guantanamo, the United States said it would make itself an world safer, in fact it doesn’t.

Massoud Shadjareh

Is Obama better than Bush? Really I wouldn’t… it all depends how you judge. Obama is much savvier when he talks, but really when you look at the actions, the increased use of drones, passing legislations making Guantanamo possible in United States and indeed increasing the surge in Afghanistan.. You’ll see that the only difference is the language. If anything Obama has been much more damaging by putting a nice face and more articulate language to the atrocities that have taken place and gone beyond legitimizing it by someone like Bush. And I remember when he was given the Noble Peace Prize I remember thinking this guy promised he’d close Guantanamo, he hasn’t, weeks before he increased the surge in Afghanistan and he gets the peace prize. Really if anyone deserved the peace prize it’s his speech writer. And really that’s the honest truth, his speech writer is very good and he’s good at delivering speeches.

Clive Stafford Smith

When you look from world war 2 onwards to the last half of the twentieth century it was a story of movement towards human rights and the last ten years have seen a resurgence of some medieval views.

Michael Ratner

My hope is that Guantanamo is shut tomorrow if not yesterday, unfortunately I think were looking at a very long time before Guantanamo is shit down. My hope comes from the fact that 100s of demonstrations are going on across the whole of the United States and across the world that it closes down. If it closes its not because my government says one day that we have to close it out of their good will, its going to be because the peoples of the world have said enough, we’re closing it, at that point I think it will be looked at much liked we looked at slavery, much liked we put the Japanese in camps, much like we looked at dropping the Atom bomb on Japan. It will be looked at as a shame on America and people will say, now that it’s already happened, they will say, never again.

Ramon Grosfoguel

The American dream for example goes along with the American nightmare. There’s no American dream without the American nightmare. That is, there wouldn’t be white American, dreaming America without the American nightmare of Slavery of African Americans, the American nightmare of genocide to indigenous people without the American nightmare of colonisation of northern Mexico, of Puerto Rico, of Pacific Islands etc. The two things go together and they’re perfectly coherent. Part of the problem is to believe that because you have zones of being in the U.S people think it’s a contradiction that the U.S has a place like Guantanamo or the prison industrial complex or ghettos or things like that. It’s not a contradiction. Within the racist paradigm the two worlds coexist perfectly. And not only that, the world of the zone of being needs the zone of nonbeing to be able to exist because they get their resources and many things that they appropriate from the zone of nonbeing. So we shouldn’t see liberalism on one side and lawlessness and violence on the other as a contradiction.

The End

   

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