Writing at New Matilda, Randa Abdel-Fattah condemns reaction to the unprecedented New Year’s Eve Cologne crime spree as racist, going on off on a massive tangent:
Let’s also talk about such grand abstractions as moral codes, civilization and values. It’s intriguing, this moral high ground, this triumphalist posture that forgets, denies, perhaps even justifies, the sexual torture Western governments have practiced with great skill and ingenuity (ask the Kenyans seeking independence in the 1950s about the British tools made for the express purpose of crushing testicles and cutting off women’s breasts; or the Yemenis about the prisoners in Britain’s torture centre in Aden in the 60s, who were forced to sit on poles until the weight of their bodies forced the pole into their anus). Why go back to recent history? Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo Bay. Why do we maintain an embarrassed silence about such ongoing atrocities? Is it because the victims there are brown men?
Next, ‘fear’. The way our world is structured means that fear of those who are members of the dominant racial group in the world is to be privileged. We are to accept as part of a friendly intellectual contest of ideas and ‘discussion’, what boils down to a fear of brown men (Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s classic analysis of the colonising relationship as defined as ‘white men saving brown women from brown men’ resounds strongly here).
We are to soothe that fear, even though it is brown bodies that are threatened because of White fear. It is the civil liberties, safety, mental health and security of brown people that are sacrificed to placate white racist fears. The privileging of white fear means that comments that follow these kinds of articles and which invoke the vilest of racist insults and threats against Muslims and migrants must be endured because white fear about brown migrants is real and must be respected.
Testicle crushing tools? That would be fringe feminists.