WCW Home Take Action Outcries 12-10-15 Human Rights Day: "America," ISIS & Trump
12-10-15 Human Rights Day: "America," ISIS & Trump PDF Print E-mail

By Debra Sweet

From World Can't Wait |Original Article

Human rights day gets smugly celebrated by those who run this country as a day to call on the failures of societies with which the U.S. is not allied.  China, Venezuela, Iran -- bad.  No mention of Saudi Arabia, Israel, or, for that matter, the United States where 42% of people on death row are African American, while the population is only 12% African American.

This year, this contradiction is terrifically heightened.  ISIS, by all estimates, has killed hundreds in the "west," but its main threat is to thousands in the Middle East.  Almost every one of the principal candidates for US president identifies ISIS as the main danger to the world.  And yet, Democracy Now reported this year

"...the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other groups examined the toll from the so-called war on terror in three countries — Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The investigators found "the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around one million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware. ... And this is only a conservative estimate."

ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalists are a dangerous threat to people, but we need to be strongly grounded in the reality of what the U.S. empire has already done.  That way we can respond to the dangerous rhetoric -- coupled with a very real plan for power -- from Trump and his base, with full understanding that there's a reason Trumps' ranting is covered by ruling class media as acceptable within the mainstream.

"The endless TV airtime and newspaper/website exposure Trump has had—and the sprint by many others among this system’s political leaders to match his anti-Muslim, anti-Arab venom—serve to legitimize and present as the “will of the people” a program of violent and even murderous xenophobia (irrational fear and hatred of “outsiders” and people from other countries) said revcom.us, who referred to Trump as a "fascist trailblazer."

Stopping the crimes of our own government means we stop thinking like "Americans" and start thinking about humanity.

In that spirit here's a gift from the poet Warsan Shire:


no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough


go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

This poem was originally published on seekershub.org on September 2, 2015. Main photograph by Daniet Etter/New York Times/Redux /eyevine: "Laith Majid cries tears of joy and relief that he and his children have made it to Europe."

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet, writer and educator based in London. Born in 1988, Warsan has read her work extensively all over Britain and internationally – including recent readings in South Africa, Italy, Germany, Canada, North America and Kenya- and her début book, ‘TEACHING MY MOTHER HOW TO GIVE BIRTH’ (flipped eye), was published in 2011. Her poems have been published in Wasafiri, Magma and Poetry Review and in the anthology ‘The Salt Book of Younger Poets’ (Salt, 2011). She is the current poetry editor at SPOOK magazine. In 2012 she represented Somalia at the Poetry Parnassus, the festival of the world poets at the Southbank, London. She is a Complete Works II poet. Her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Warsan is also the unanimous winner of the 2013 Inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize.


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