The United States is now engaged in an internationally prominent war on terror. That war, however, is being waged in a way that threatens to cause the same types of harm to the democratic values of the United States that the Nation's terrorist enemies are hoping to inflict. Foreign terrorists are attempting to undermine the fundamental liberties that United States culture claims to hold dear. But those are the same liberties that our own government has asked us to forego in its effort to win the war on terror. The paradoxical irony entailed in the United States government's demand that its own citizens oblige the terrorists by voluntarily incurring these self-inflicted injuries suggests that the terrorists may be operating at a more sophisticated level in their external culture wars than is typically understood. However, any terrorist strategy of enlisting the United States government as an unwitting agent for the infliction of domestic oppression is unlikely to succeed. That is because the United States also operates at a more sophisticated level in its internal culture wars than is typically understood. Most citizens of the United States will ultimately not have to internalize the burdens on fundamental freedoms that flow from the war on terror. Instead, the bulk of those burdens will be diverted to racial minorities--just as the bulk of the Nation's other domestic burdens typically are. In this way, racial minorities will be used by the majority to reconcile the seemingly divergent liberty and security interests that the war on terror is commonly thought to present.
45 Washburn L.J. 89-112 (2005)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Spann, Girardeau A., "Terror and Race" (2005). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 558.