By Megan Northey
Apr 5, 2016
“There exists among men, because they are men, a solidarity through which each shares responsibility for every wrong committed in the world, and especially for crimes that are committed in his presence or of which he cannot be ignorant. This description of “metaphysical guilt” explains adequately that racism is only possible because we are indifferent to suffering and patient with cruelty”. – Steve Biko, “I write What I Like”, 1969
Please read, circulate and meditate on the implications of the panama papers. This information can build upon an awareness that will and overcome opinion and apathy. Years ago information like this would make you a conspiracy theorist; today it can enlighten us, and illustrate to us all how the war machine operates, how we’re implicated in its operations and how social norms function as well their capacities for change. We clearly need a paradigm shift – how great would it be if psychopathic amounts of greed was no longer socially acceptable? … Currently, the livelihoods of millions of people around the world (assumedly more ‘good’ than the monster’s issuing bills for their voyages) are being destroyed while their characters are damned: their barbarianism, their scriptures, their social orders, gender norms etc...
With information contained in the panama papers, it’s not hard to see how ‘Muslims’ in particular and ‘Islam’ in general are allowed to be villainized and scapegoated. “Look at all those virtuous people, setting examples and striving to live better lives daily!!! Don’t you dare listen to those fundamentalists when they tell you to take only what you need!” Today, religion, outside of philosophy, is one of the only spaces preserved from the perversions of the market for virtues – virtues that can denounce greed and some of the other values allowing victims to be construed as villains. Information like this should stop a society from letting those fueling fighter planes and lining their offshore bank accounts by building bombs, convince us that the people being forced to flee the military/industrial complex are the ones responsible for global insecurity and immorality. Information like this should please be shared, as it has the power to dispel such ignorance.
In 1969, during the height of Apartheid, Steve Biko wrote, “I write what I like” and in it he addresses racism in South Africa in a way that sadly still applies to racism today – only a different form – now predominantly directed towards Muslims. As Steve Biko, so famously put it, “the most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. The liberal must realize that they themselves are oppressed, if they are true liberals, and; therefore, they must fight for their own freedom and not that of the nebulous “they” with whom they can hardly claim identification. The liberal must understand that the days of the Nobel Savage are gone; that the Blacks do not need a go-between in the struggle for their own emancipation. Rather all true liberals must realize that the place for their fight for justice is within their own societies. The liberal must apply himself with absolute dedication to the idea of educating his brothers and sisters that the history of the country may have to be re-written at some stage; that we may live in a country where color will not serve to put a man in his box”.
Why stop at the history of a country when we clearly need to start re-writing the history of the world? Good thing we have some material to fill the pages..