Hoda Katebi, an Iranian-American Muslim woman recently appeared on WGN News Chicago with the understanding that she would be discussing her work as a fashion blogger. Instead of the latest fashion trends and models, the WGN news anchor did a bait and switch, saying, “Let’s talk about nuclear weapons. Some of our viewers may say we can’t trust Iran.”
Just based upon her mere ethnic background as an Iranian, the anchor thought it was permissible to center the discussion upon alleged actions of the Iranian government as opposed to Kaebi’s work in the fashion industry.
She eloquently rebutted the news anchor’s “point” by highlighting the many reasons why the U.S. government cannot be trusted– the U.S. is a country built on the backs of Black slaves and has consistently meddled in the internal affairs of other countries.
By saying this, Katebi alludes to a much greater point, that speaks to the racism inherent in the achor’s questions. Citing a 1979 report by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Barbara Omolade in Women of Color and the Nuclear Holocaust, indicates that , “in a general nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, 25 to 100 million people would be killed. This is approximately the same number of African people who died between 1492 and 1890 as a result of the African slave trade to the New World.”
While White Americans fear “big bad” Iran potentially developing a nuclear arsenal, Black people have already experienced a functional equivalent in terms of total death mass, as a result of the transatlantic slave trade perpetrated by the European powers and the U.S government.
Hoda and the Hypocrisy of Israeli Discourse on Iranian Nukes
In her interview, Hoda Katebi brilliantly points out that, “Israel profits from the dehumanization of Muslims.” Indeed, a textbook case of this occured when the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons. “
While Netanyahu like this WGN news anchor would like the entire world to join in on their fears of a nuclear armed Iran, Israel had no consideration for the well-being of Blacks when the architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, Dr. Ernest David Bergmannan visited apartheid, South Africa and actively sought technological-military alliance with the regime.
In fact, after Israel performed a military operation to destroy Iraq’s nuclear reactor, the chief of staff of the Israeli defense force, Raful Eitan wrote a letter to Magnus Malan, the head of the apartheid defense forces boasting “We did the deed with iron determination not to allow these crazy Arabs to possess nuclear weapons.”
In Israel’s minds, “crazy Arabs” were devoid of the competence or civility required to possess nuclear weapons yet Israel apparently believed the racist folks of South Africa had such rationality when Israel offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid, regime of South Africa and provided apartheid South Africa thirty grams of tritium, a radioactive substance which is used to boost the explosive power of atomic bombs.
With Israel seeking to help apartheid South Africa obtain nuclear weapons, Israel cannot prove it is more competent and ethical to possess nuclear weapons than Iran. Moreover, contrary to Netanyahu’s assertion, the greatest threat facing humankind is not “radical Islam”, its white supremacy, white racists; illegitimate white settler colonies.
This has been the greatest threat to humanity for at least 500 years,— ask the Tiano Indians, Tasmanian Aboriginals, and the Herero and Namaqua people. Yet, in a world of white supremacy, only white western nations are seen as having the rationality, prudence, and civility to assume the great responsibility of possessing nuclear weapons.
Racist Discourse on Nuclear Weapons
Indeed, within western discourse, the fact that North Korean leader Kim Jong un and the Iranian Supreme leader, Sayyid Ai Hosseini Khamenei cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons is taken as a given. Yet, very rarely do we question the competence of white American presidents to have such nuclear weapons. It is time we do just that.
Under president Harry Truman, the United States became the first country to ever use a nuclear weapon in warfare. Truman’s biographical background reveals blatant racism. In a letter, Truman writes,”I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a ni–er or a Chinaman.” In reference to an uncle of his, Truman writes, ”He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is a race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that negros ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America.” Other times, Truman called Dr. Martin Luther King a “troublemaker.”
When an anti-lynching bill came up in congress to protect African-Americans from the wanton violence they were subjected to, Truman told southern colleague, “You know, I am against this anti lynching bill.” This is essentially the racist character of a man who chose to drop an atomic bomb on Japan killing thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
While there is immense public outrage about whether the alleged sporadic behavior of Kim Jung Un, makes him fit to possess a nuclear arsenal, no such outrage emerged as to whether the racism of Truman made him unfit to possess a nuclear arsenal. Truman often boasted he never lost any sleep nor felt any remorse for his bombing of Japan. Given Truman’s confessed hatred of the Japanese people, its not hard to see why.
Moreover, even today President Donald Trump has insulted African nations as shitholes, threated to kill the innocent family members of individuals accused of terrorism, and utilized racial slurs against Native Americans, If you think it’s anymore ethical or rational for President Donald Trump to exercise control over nuclear weapons than King Jong Un or Sayyid Ai Hosseini Khameni you might be infested with white supremacy just like Truman.
All oppressed peoples can learn from Sister Hoda Katebi. Oppressed people have no time to entertain white fears with this fictional belief that radical Muslim boogeyman out there with nuclear weapons are out to “get us”. Like Sister Hoda Katebi, stay woke and focus on the true enemy: U.S. imperialism, white capitalism, and white supremacy.