African Muslim slaves built the New World. Moorish maps guided Columbus to the Caribbean. Thomas Jefferson had close relationships with both his Muslim slave, Jupiter, and Sultan Muhammad III of Morocco; the first state to diplomatically recognize our newly formed republic. Had not the African Muslim nation set the tone by affirming America’s right to independence (and trade), “We the People” could’ve had a much tougher road in the colonial world. Later, the Nation of Islam’s black tie militancy forced white’s concessions to MLK’s pacifism, broadening economic and political access for all Americans. In short, Islam is the canvas upon which we’ve painted our democratic ideals and capital.
Cartels, Terrorists, Histories, Refugees, and Security
by: Solomon Burnette
Anthropologists and cartographers have posited a separation between the “Red” man and the “Brown” man. This fictive separation is more based on whether spaces were colonized by northern European peoples versus southern European folk. The divisions of European societies were projected onto “New World” lands and people. When indigenous protesters hold signs saying “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us!” –the message resonates with me. Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise, are simply Native Americans getting their land back.
These histories have a direct bearing on the current moment and the fate of the world. They are important precisely because these facts may be outside the current immigration debate.
Perhaps postmodern capital has twisted these relationships beyond any possible amelioration.
I hope not.
On the other side of the globe, the United States is currently in an undeclared war with the seven countries on President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” list. The American military apparatus has been responsible for thousands of deaths in each these countries.
Don’t get it twisted. The war isn’t over religion. It is over oil and opium.
Trump’s ban is obviously an egregious violation of American ideals, if not law.
The need to have a conversation about how long the U.S. is going to be able to jack the Middle East and Central Asia for oil and opium while hosting refugees from these same spaces is long overdue. How long can the U.S. support the carpet bombing of Hadramawt while accepting Yemeni refugees? My hood logic is this: If I smoked homey’s cousin from across town, what would I look like renting homey a room in my house—even if he sells the stolen oil for me. Whatever the case, the situation is dubious at best. A filter need be in place.
The liberal critique of the “Muslim Ban” is based around the defense that people from the countries on the banned list haven’t, at this point, committed terrorist crimes on American soil. The Trump administration doesn’t acknowledge the U.S.A.’s crimes against oil and opium laden nations, but they are aware of the potential results. Hence the preemptive ban. The recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court doesn’t take into account the potential for creating blowback.
On to our southern border, has everyone forgotten that there is a cartel war going on in Guerrero? Similar to Afghanistan, Guerrero has an opium farming heritage that dates back to the 19th century. With over a quarter million people displaced in the last year, it would be imprudent not to consider the possibility that some of the very folks “fleeing” to the U.S. are responsible for the hundreds kidnappings, thousands of murders and beheadings, mass graves, gang rapes, sex trafficking, and other atrocities that we have been horrified by on the news for the past couple years.
The wall talk could be a bit much. All jokes aside though, while the cartels are sorting out their differences over who gets to be the U.S.A.’s dope man, our obviously porous border need be bolstered. In Guerrero, as with Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. needs to take responsibility for our role in the collapse of Rule of Law and security in these spaces. If we didn’t demand drugs, violent suppliers would not war over our business.
What form reparations may take has yet to be determined.
In the meantime the State has a responsibility to keep the violent blowback of its crimes committed abroad from touching us here. This is in actuality any State’s first responsibility to its citizens. I’m confident that a diversified capital generator like the U.S.A. will always find a way to incorporate peoples from repressed spaces into its corporate matrix–if only to enrich itself. Rest assured, the American Neo-colonial Brain Drain from the Muslim world will be maintained at all cost, if only at the corporate, military, elite level.
I’m not pro-Trump. I’m not pro-Wall or Muslim ban. I AM pro US, however. I have attempted to lay out the best arguments on either side of the current immigration debate independent of misdirection and distractivism. We’ve seen “The Trail of Tears”. We’ve seen Jim Crow. We can’t let American “security” become that again. We’ve seen Japanese internment camps. We’ve seen apartheid. We’ve seen urban chopper attacks, militarization of police, even police drone/robot killings. The protocols exist. I ask myself, what models of security and population control would Trump administration advisors be drawing upon? The American-Israeli military intelligence sharing relationship is longstanding and growing. We can’t allow American security responses to Arabic speakers and practitioners of Islam to become impenetrable airports, strip searches, checkpoints, and demands for papers. Our reality doesn’t mean that we should maintain an impermeable border and not reexamine immigration policies.
Our government must operate in our best interests in light of both submerged histories and obvious contemporary concerns. As Jeri Taylor wrote, and Jean Luc Picard said, ‘The road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think.’ To punish refugees for the crimes of OUR governments is short sighted, if not unacceptable. Most of us can agree that one way or another, a prudent, gracious, reexamination of immigration policy is definitely in order. I think that this is a good place to start the conversation again.
The Clarion Content has been following Solomon Burnette since his 2011 City Council campaign. A Durham native son made good, he is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with BA in European History.