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MUHAMMAD: It's All, All about Race

Askia Muhammad | 7/10/2013, 3 p.m.
Askia Muhammad

From electioneering to TV coverage of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin manslaughter trial, politicians and media moguls alike understand that even if Black folks are not themselves the targeted customers, customers (viewers/voters) can be lured by appealing to them based on how they portray the racial angle.

In Arizona today, the teaching of Mexican-American cultural studies is prohibited. Yet all over that state, indeed all over the country people eat quesadillas and tacos and burritos, but learning anything about the people who originated those culinary choices is illegal in Arizona, a state steeped in Mexican-American history and culture.

Never mind the utter stupidity of not studying the reality in which Arizonans are surrounded, I wonder can they study European Renaissance literature and art there? Such decisions – like the entire Republican “seal-the-border” immigration philosophy – are rooted in racial hatred of Brown people, Mestizos, Mexicans. And then they would argue that the 11 million undocumented, mostly Latino residents in this country, would somehow be “gaming” the American system if they are granted a pathway to citizenship; this as if they – like Africans – weren’t brought to this country to provide cheap labor which made only the “Gringos” wealthy. Hypocrites!

So I labor under no false illusions. I understand emphatically that in the North, the South, the East and the West, in America, all the conversations are all about race. Period.