I’m not sure how you can show a picture of the Eiffel Tower lit up in rainbow color and say this is something wrong with America. This is something wrong with the world. It’s also not new. It is the Virus of Iniquity playing itself out all over again.

Your piece actually demonstrates the necessity of the rainbow flags and anti-homophobic actions when it comes to undoing war. If there were no homophobia, there would be no way to distract the public with narratives of homophobia. If there were no racism, there would be no way neocon warmongers could divide and conquer along bogus party lines by way of racist rhetoric.

But racism is real. Homophobia is real. These are tools that warmongering plutocrats use to divide and control people. They are the very tools that have been used to colonize and murder for centuries. Until these forces are eradicated, there will be war. People have known this for a long time. Bob Marley is one of the most popular musicians of all time, and one of his songs, War, paraphrased a speech Haile Selassie delivered in 1963 to the United Nations:

That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; That until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.

All of the colonialism and strife in Africa to which Haile Selassie was referring was the legacy of a racist European Enlightenment that created a narrative of white supremacy. Likewise, every slave ship that took 12 million slaves through the Middle Passage to the New World (and in which millions more died on the journey) was built on a legacy of racism. The New World, itself, was dubbed so in the wake of a violent genocide of millions of Indigenous Americans who had been there for thousands of years; the Americas were not so new as the Europeans made them out to be.

American empire follows this same model. It always has. It draws from the pages of the thinkers of the Enlightenment who argued their ideas in the Parisian salons where the Eiffel Tower now stands. To frame this as American is to deny that white supremacy is what founded America (and Australia, among others), and what still positions European standards of living far higher than those of the Global South. It is the same mindset behind every bomb dropped in Syria.

What Haile Selassie observed is that you cannot be anti-war without explicitly being anti-racist. We now see that you cannot be anti-war without being anti-misogynistic, anti-homophobic, anti-Islamophobic, and so on. To tolerate any iniquity is to enable warmongering and exploitation. Until all of these forms of oppression are destroyed, to quote Bob Marley, everywhere is war.

There is no point in trying to disentangle war from oppression. They are the same. They enable each other. War enables war profiteering. War profiteering enables resources to be expended on propaganda. Propaganda drives wedges along lines of oppression. Those very same lines of oppression stoke public division and allow for more war. Framing along those lines of oppression are what you have observed in the media narratives and counter-narratives of the Pulse nightclub shooting. If homophobia and Islamophobia did not exist, what would the story have been?

You are right that feeling good vs. doing good are two separate things. To be explicitly pro-LGBT but turn a blind eye to imperialism is to ultimately be complicit. On the flipside, to be antiwar yet turn a blind eye to racism or any other form of oppression is to ultimately be complicit, because you can’t really be antiwar if you’re prepared to tolerate any form of oppression. The American empire will crumble and fall someday, but war will live on if oppression lives on. It won’t be American drones and bombs, but it will be somebody’s.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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