Sunday, 25 March 2012

We are not neutral against injustice

By Amal Saad-Ghorayeb



The idea that political observers, analysts and scholars have to be unbiased and neutral in order to be considered "credible" is just another colonial tool to keep us from speaking truth. Methodological Imperialism has created an artificial "zero point" (read, Empire's worldview) from which we are to never depart in our analyses, and whomever dares digress is rejected by the Academy for not maintaining enough "critical distance". 

That's right, emotional distance from occupation, massacres, usurpation of our land and rights, the stripping of our dignity, that's the zero point of "balanced" analysis and reasoning. 

To be taken seriously and "heard" by the White Man, we are to remain politically neutral to injustice while treating it as just another "viewpoint" that needs to be balanced against another one, even when that other one is what we know to be truth. What they, and many of the colonized among us, fail to see, is that neutrality and objectivity are two entirely different levels of analysis. There need not be a fact-value split when our values stem from hard facts. 

We should take pride in saying that we are not neutral, nor will we ever be, but we are objective. Our bias is the product of our objective reading of the politically constructed reality they have built. And we will never succumb to this subjective value, we will never embrace this ideology of neutrality that will strip us not only of our humanity, but of our objectivity too.

Malcom X: "I will never say that progress is being made if you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches… there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made, and they haven’t even begun to try to pull the knife out. They won’t even admit the knife is there!"

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