Stop Talking about Drones

This is going to be a quick post, and it’s prompted by various Muslims–and naturally, they’ve pretty much all been men trying to “put things in perspective”–detracting from the tragedy of the Nigerian girls who’ve been kidnapped, raped, and sold into slavery by competing with the attention the kidnapping is receiving, via lists of various things happening to Muslims in other places. There’s some guy’s picture circling around somewhere on the Internet with a sign reading that Michelle Obama’s husband has killed more children with drones than Boko Haram has kidnapped. I’m sure you’ve seen it. I don’t know what the FUCK is wrong with you, but you ALL need to shut the hell up.

Black women have worked HARD for this to even be a news story in the first place. The girls had been kidnapped for a month before it made international news. Maybe this tragedy isn’t tragic enough for you, but despite what you might believe the problems of black women deserve even more of a spotlight than they’ve fought to have. STOP distracting from the issue, stop using their activism as a foothold for yours, stop pushing your interests in children who look like you and pray like you at the expense of theirs. This is especially aggravating because (excuse me while I turn into an US-centric asshat for a moment here) all people of color living in the US who have immigrated here are leeching off the Black Liberation Movement, have always leeched off the Black Liberation Movement, and have time and time again failed to show solidarity with black women.

Can you shut up about colonialism for just one moment? Do you have to take over every conversation about global misogyny? What is it about violence that targets black women or involves sex trafficking that suddenly prompts men to come along and “put things in perspective”?! You there–you, the guys calling out the President’s wife for violence against Pakistani children–you will say you’ve never hurt a child but you are LIVING on a country built on the corpses of children, you are BORN of an ancestry that provided white colonialists with black slaves, you travel between the US and Saudi and engage with governments and empires who have sold out their people, and who still systematically oppress the black populations from which they’ve supplied slaves to colonialists. And you want to point fingers at Michelle Obama’s husband while she’s trying to draw attention to girls who’ve been trafficked? And whom have you killed!

By all means, talk about drones. Do it on your own damn hashtag.

Stop distracting from people who are marginalized in not only their race but their sex–THAT is something you will never understand, even as you continue to use it as a prop to promote your own agendas.

14 thoughts on “Stop Talking about Drones

  1. Keji

    This! All of this!!!! And what erks me the most is that the majority, if not all the girls kidnapped and their families are Muslim. Internationally our non-black Muslim brothers and sisters should be empathising with us but instead we are used as stepping stones for their own agenda. When I sometimes say that black (Muslim) women have no friends this is why I think this.

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  2. Rusty Ford

    Could you have been misinformed about whether these girls are Christian or Muslim? I’m just pointing out that secular news sources say otherwise, and they tend to be very antagonistic to Christians (and not just Muslims). Those allowed to escape were Muslim, reportedly. The 276 girls may be wearing hijab and praying in Arabic, but that’s under great duress… very real and evil threats. All believers in the one true God should be working and/or praying for their safe release, especially Wahabis and other Sunnis.

    We all should do our best to oppose the evils in our world, AND pray. Whether Christian or Muslim or other, we ought to oppose evils against all types of people, everywhere, and not just “people who look or believe like us.”

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    1. Are you referring to Keji’s comment? I did not believe that her premise that these girls are Muslim detracted from her (incredibly valuable) sentiment about how she is regarded in her community. So I did not find it conducive to question it. Although I’m aware that according to most sources the girls are Christian, the men in this post trivializing the violence against black women are Muslim. That alone very much legitimizes her conclusion that black women have no friends.

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  3. Well done- brilliant piece- as a Pakistani- I understand what screwed up nation we are- when Malala Yousufzai was shot, these Pakistani confused semi-islamists/liberals were raising the same point – does someone care about the children killed in drones- why US agent Malala only?
    They all directly/indirectly support BokoHaram- they wont care unless its their own daughter.
    Peace..

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  4. interesting post, not sure what yasir qadhi’s facebook update has to do with it. he doesn’t mention drones, he mentions 3 other problem areas which have not gotten media coverage, one in india, one in central africa (I think there are both black men and women there), and the rohingya in Burma. His point wasn’t these are more important and the other less, but that we should be proactively aware of what’s going on in the world rather than reacting to the news, waiting for it to become a headline before we “care”, that we shouldn’t simply be bandwagon activists.

    You mention in your post these children have been kidnapped for over a month, and it is only a story in our collective awareness now – why is that? why isn’t our Muslim community actively engaged in some way, shape, or form from the get-go? should we only care when CNN.com makes it their top story with a sensational headline?

    I believe as well that all these stories should be highlighted and we should work towards solutions for all these cases, not because the people are black, white, male, or female but because they are human, oppressed, and such deserve better, period.

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    1. Seriously? You realize drones aren’t the point right? I don’t need to be “explained” to about what the purpose of Yasir Qadhi’s incredibly inappropriate and offensive Facebook is. (And I will not, by the way, tolerate mansplaining of any kind.) If he wanted to turn awareness to events that aren’t covered by mainstream news, he could have done so without drawing on what has happened to 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, or, in his ridiculous words, “putting things into perspective,” as to diminish the enormity of the kidnapping. His status update was an attempt to change the subject, to change it to circumstances in which Muslims are the victims and not the aggressors in an attempt to save face, and when the subject is sex trafficking and men want to “put things into perspective” or say that it is a tragedy “BUT there are other things going on” it trivializes misogyny, it trivializes sex trafficking, and it trivializes the problems of black women. Let ME tell you the point of his status: he is saying this isn’t IMPORTANT ENOUGH. And like the post says, he should’ve gotten his own damn hashtag.

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    2. KGB

      You mention in your post these children have been kidnapped for over a month, and it is only a story in our collective awareness now – why is that? why isn’t our Muslim community actively engaged in some way, shape, or form from the get-go? should we only care when CNN.com makes it their top story with a sensational headline?

      I believe as well that all these stories should be highlighted and we should work towards solutions for all these cases, not because the people are black, white, male, or female but because they are human, oppressed, and such deserve better, period.

      Does this idiot think this is groundbreaking to us?

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      1. Most certainly. S/he attempted to leave another comment whining about how we’re too politically correct and how s/he walked into the discussion able to predict all our responses. So basically an Enlightened One looking to be “entertained” (and not to actually contribute anything you couldn’t find in a fuzzy Hallmark card or in the lines of a mediocre social science textbook.)

        Too bad with all that astounding knowledge the thought didn’t occur that talk to me so I can be amused doesn’t quite work when I find him/her utterly unconcerning.

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  5. I have self identified as a feminist for a very long time and I am an advocate for equal rights. I recently converted to Islam and I do not think it is a coincidence that I have found your page. Since I converted I have had so many people ask me how can I be a Feminist and a Muslim more times than I can count. Just today I was on my IG account that I use for manly my feminist postings when someone commented “Qu’ran 4:34: How can you follow this?.” I have always been interested in Islam and after pursuing my minor in Middle Eastern Islamic Studies I decided to make the conversion since I agreed so much with its teachings and loved hoe feminist it actually is. Anyways, I am just really happy to have found your blog. It is always nice to find politically minded people who aren’t afraid to call people out on their bullshit.

    -Stephanie

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