In the introduction that Jean Paul Sartre wrote to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961/1990) he implicated himself and other Europeans in the colonizing of Africa and other regions of the south. “With us, to be a man is to be an accomplice of colonialism, since all of us without exception have profited by colonial exploitation” (1961/1990, p. 21), wrote Sartre. He was one of the first European intellectuals and thinkers to acknowledge the privileged position into which being a European had placed him and his fellow Europeans vis-à-vis the Southern peoples. Against the backdrop of a brutal colonialism, he effectively questioned the discourse and praxis of those of his contemporaries who sought to justify colonialism under the guise of such useless phrases as “European humanism,” “civilized Europe,” and “Western democracy.” Sartre clearly saw the racism embedded in the fabric of colonialist Europe’s economy, politics, and even notions of democracy and humanism, bravely admitting that “with us there is nothing more consistent than a racist humanism since the European has only been able to become a man through creating slaves and monsters” (196/1990, p. 22).
- Dominant Group
- Mother Tongue
- Official Language
- Islamic Republic
- Iranian Government
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Linguicide, the deliberate killing of language, has been the official policy of three states that divide Kurdish speakers—Turkey since 1925, Iran especially in 1925–1941, and Syria especially since the 1960s … I have experienced linguicide as a native speaker of Kurdish. Born into a Kurdish family in a Kurdish town, I had to get my education in Persian, the only official language in Iran, a multilingual country where Persian was the native tongue of only half the population. Fearing prison and torture of her children, my mother burnt, four times during my life, the few Kurdish books and records we had acquired clandestinely … Silence about the linguicide of Kurdish or other language is, I contend, a political position which cannot be justified by claims to the neutrality or autonomy of linguistics.
(Amir Hassanpour, 2000, pp. 33–39)
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© 2007 Alireza Asgharzadeh
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Asgharzadeh, A. (2007). Reinforcing Racism: The Dominant Discourse and Praxis. In: Iran and the Challenge of Diversity. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230604889_5
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