On December 10 people around the globe acknowledge International Human Rights Day, the date when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN in 1948. People around the globe have reason to be concerned about the state of human rights. Raging wars, terrorist attacks, massive displacement, growing fascism, police murders, economic crisis and pending ecological disaster are the conditions that challenge all humanity.
Trump and racism
The presidential campaign of Donald Trump has drawn out the deeply racist sentiments among a section of the white population to a dangerous level. Starting with his attacks on immigrants, the Black Lives Matter activists and now Muslims, he is whipping his base into a frenzy. This includes those who would beat protesters and members of armed right wing groups who are responding to his campaign. He has managed to recruit a cabal of Black ministers who have gone after the money and notoriety. They are Uncle Tom’s of the first order.
The anti-Muslim hysteria that emerged after 9/11 has turned in to full out Islamophobia with threats and harassment of Muslims, some assaults and destruction of property. Trumps call for banning Muslims from entering the country, requiring special identification and even considering special camps is the hallmark of fascist leadership.
The continuing assault on Black bodies and murders by police and other state supported actors and the vicious and hateful campaign against Muslims is part and parcel of the same racist system. We cannot ignore either one. In particular we call on the two communities to stand together to defend our communities, our churches, mosques and workplaces. Joint community patrols should be on the agenda. Black workers have to call out any semblance of Islamophobia from within our community and from the outside. We stand with our beloved Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul- Jabbar in condemning these undemocratic statements and proposals.
What can we do?
Starting with International Human Rights Day through Kwanza and Dr. King’s Holiday let’s organize our communities and organizations to fight back against the rising tide of racism.