By Ajamu Baraka, Black Agenda Report (BAR)
Thank you, BAR
By Ajamu Baraka
Who is killing whom in Syria and why? And to whom should we be listening —- to our corporate media, State Department, and the same corps of “human rights activists” who applauded the Western invasion of Libya, and the dispatch of US special forces to Africa?
As the corporate media beat the drums of war with Syria, led this time by CNN and the New York Times with support from the rear coming from the confused white left/liberal likes of Democracy Now, a now familiar line is conjured up to rationalize intervention – humanitarian intervention as a basis to exercise the “responsibility to protect (R2P). David Gergen, the “soft neocon” advisor to both republican and democratic Presidents, made the claim on CNN recently that human rights groups would love to see the U.S. intervene in Syria. A claim that is probably accurate for the U.S.-based white, middle-class human rights mainstream. But this position certainly does not represent the positions of the growing, but largely ignored, “new human rights movement” of grassroots organizations of people of color, informed by an African American radical human rights tradition,19 who are reclaiming and redefining human rights as an anti-oppression, anti-imperialist “people-centered” movement. But before I touch on this new movement let me briefly explore how this new version of the white man’s burden emerged to become the main device for mobilizing public opinion in the U.S. to support war in the guise of humanitarianism.