In the Wake of the Plane Crash Assaults

Statement by Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, September 2001


INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence mourns the tragic loss of life and the pain of all who suffer in grief from the recent plane crash assaults. We recognize these acts of violence not as unique and isolated but as part of the rubric of violence that codes our daily lives as women of color in the United States and as third world women throughout the world. The plane crash assaults emerged in response to a violence of unrelenting foreign United States policy that has waged official and unofficial wars throughout the third world for centuries. Entire families, communities, and peoples have been devastated, decimated, and annihilated by colonial violence like that deployed through United States foreign and domestic policies. We cannot honestly assess and prevent the violence of the plane crash assaults without considering this context of violence. We recognize peaceful attempts made by third world peoples to end the violence waged against them directly or indirectly by the United States. We condemn the United States’ refusal to listen and to refrain from further violence, especially through the recent U.S. withdrawal from the World Conference Against Racism.

We deplore the further deployment of violence through reactionary pro-war “hunting down (of) the enemy” language, sentiment, and action. We recognize that war and colonial violence impact women disproportionately, leading to increased sexual and physical assaults, diminished human resources, and increased economic, social, and cultural burdens on women. George Bush has announced the U.S. will be starting the “first world war of the 21st century” — the war against terrorism in the interest of national security. We question which policies can actually provide peace and security. We recognize that the billions we have spent on “national security” did not prevent this tragic event. We question, as we have questioned before whether increased spending on prisons and the apparatus of law enforcement can put an end to violence against women and actually make women’s lives safer; if the millions we spend on the defense budget actually provides peace and security for those in the U.S. Instead, we call for an end to the violence of U.S. imperial foreign and domestic policies in order to cease the fanning of terrorist sentiment so that we may truly be effective in preventing future acts of violent terrorism. We refute the racist scapegoating of West Asian (Iraqi, Iranian, Palestinan, etc.), Central Asian (Afghani, Tajiks, Uzbeks, etc.), South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Sikh, etc.), Arab and Muslim peoples within the United States and throughout the world and support all colonized and occupied peoples in their struggle for liberation, including Palestinians.