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racism in belgium – it’s personal

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it’s so disconcerting to see racist, stereotypical (read terrorist misogynist) depictions of muslim culture/religion on the fb pages of friends from my childhood in belgium. it’s sad that their interactions with me and my family (and hopefully with other muslims over the years), have not in any way shaken their god given right to, for example, post racist cartoons that take the “presumed qualities of a whole people and broadcast them by use of a single image.” they rely on their sense of being besieged by an alien culture and the attacks on belgian soil as justification for such stereotyping/so-called “humor”. no one has exclusive rights over violence. belgians with their troubled, genocidal history in the congo and in rwanda should be particularly aware of how they built the systems/nation state they now profit from. right after the brussels attack, two years ago, Democracy Now! talked to Frank Barat and Joshua Hersh in order to give some context to what happened. worth watching. making fun of the other is easy. asking questions and making uncomfortable connections is harder but much more useful.

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