Racism, Sexism, and Self-Censorship

By David Swanson

I posted a blog recently comparing the occupation of Iraq to rape. I later deleted it.

Over at Shakesville there’s a whole discussion about that fact, to which I just contributed this comment:

Response from David Swanson. Actually you don’t write letters, because you never sent me a letter or a fax or an Email. But I did just find this. I took the post down because of a misunderstanding related to racism that I thought was crazy until I saw this misunderstanding related to sexism. I tend to agree with the comment above that comparing rape to war doesn’t trivialize rape. In fact, the occupation of Iraq involves countless cases of rape, sexual torture, nonsexual torture, murder, theft, looting, home destruction, melting skin off children, bombing, shooting, demolishing, and looting. I want to see it ended. Congress is considering dummping another fortune of our grandchildren’s money into it, and I want them to vote No. But the guy calling the shots says he wants to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. That’s a very sick idea. If you saw someone stabbing somebody with a knife and yelled “Stop it!” you wouldn’t take seriously a reply that he wanted to be as careful about stopping as he was careless about starting, as he continued to stab the person over and over. But Obama’s choice of words lend themselves better to rape than stabbing as a metaphor. That they do so allowed me to make the point that the occupation of Iraq is a criminal action in progress, the largest and most serious criminal action now in progress anywhere. How the hell that trivializes rape is beyond me, but for the record I have no interest in trivializing rape. That being said, I’m unaware of anyone else fantasizing such a thing, but a number of other people screamed “Racism!” because Obama is black. My intention was, of course, not to trivialize or encourage racism either. Thank you for understanding THAT 🙂 But people were intentionally putting that spin on the thing, resulting in conversations about racism rather than the war. At the moment I’m trying to start a conversation about the war in hopes of getting people to call their congress members and tell them to VOTE NO. Best to you, David

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