writer is the founding President of the W. E. B. Du Bois Foundation,
Inc., honoring his stepfather, and a retired Professor in Journalism
and African-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
deeply embedded color racism of the majority of Americans threatens
to drive this country into a devastating conflict in which nuclear
warfare cannot be ruled out. With the endless references to Iraq's
alleged stockpile and use of weapons of mass destruction as the justification
for the attack, have we forgotten what country dropped the first atomic
bombs? and on what country? - a country of peoples of color, Japan.
That use of weapons of mass destruction was justified by claiming
it saved American lives - never mind how many lives of the Japanese
people were lost. When Iraq is attacked and retaliates by hitting
Israel with missiles, won't Ariel Sharon justify a nuclear strike
against Iraq asserting it will save both Israeli and American lives?
the current debate, and indeed, since the end of the Second World
War, there has been little or no discussion of the use of the atom
bombs in the war against the axis. That is because there is no moral
or ethical justification. But, to assert this over the years has been
called treasonable; a demonstration of the absence of patriotism,
and worse, no concern for the lives of our troops! Today, in the on-going
debate, there is no discussion of the access to nuclear weapons by
Israel and the likelihood that if attacked Sharon would use them.
Israel has made it clear that, unlike during the Gulf War, if attacked
it will retaliate. Has the U.S. received assurances from Israel that
it will not use nuclear weapons? If so, the world should know. If
not, why not?
of the use of the atomic bomb to end the Second World War have been
so restricted, so limited, almost to have been non-existent. Those
who made the decision to drop the bombs knew that the mass of the
American people were deeply imbued with the notion that a people of
color were inherently inferior, potentially dangerous, incapable of
a useful intelligence, resentful and envious of what Americans had,
purveyors of all the deadly sins, not much removed from the savage
beast. They had learned all this from what they were told from their
pulpits, taught in their schools, colleges and universities, practiced
in their clubs, societies and secret klans, and from the little they
observed of the people of color in their midst - African-Americans.
it is with Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis, the peoples of the Middle
East, of North and East Africa and the colored peoples of Asia. Is
America setting the stage for and initiating that race war some have
prophesied over the years? There is a growing resistance among the
masses of American people to the how, what, when and where of war
with Iraq. Just as there is a growing rejection among the masses of
the American people to the idea of the inherent inferiority of peoples
convinced that resistance to color racism will grow as will the rejection
of the idea that there are inherently superior and inferior peoples
on this globe. My fear is that this may not be that moment. My hope
and my conviction is, that moment will come.