Once and a while, the mask slips off, as just occurred with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, when he felt so comfortable to express his supremacist ideology in an extremely blatant fashion.The truth is, the West has allowed different select faces to enter their upper echelons of power, but the change has represented a similar one to calling the Department of War a “Department of Defence”
The Western world, as it is often referred to, has revealed itself as having not changed its racist and orientalist outlooks of the past, learning only to hide its supremacist doctrine. EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell’s “garden and jungle” comments only encapsulate a small fraction of the imperialist powers' hateful ideology.
By the end of 1947, the United States government no longer had a Department of War and in 1964 the United Kingdom did away with the label for the War Office. France, Britain, and other European powers also abolished their colonial offices as the word colonization became a dirty word, instead, after being forced to withdraw their occupying forces from nations throughout the Global South, between the mid-1940’s to 1960’s, the West often spoke in favor of independence for the formerly colonized peoples they had ruled over. Instead of the world being led by decision-makers in Paris and London, everyone was forced to listen to the new empire headed out of Washington D.C.
The Paris Peace Conference of 1919, giving birth to the King-Crane Commission, which was to be headed by the United States, gave the impression that the US government was in favor of Democracy in the Middle East initially. Later, the Western allies managed to dismantle the efforts of the Syrian congress that had aimed for a unified Syrian democracy within the Levant, but despite the failure of this project, the US maintained its status in the Middle East as a valid ally in the eyes of many. In 1949, Syria’s democratically elected government was then overthrown in a coup d’état that was orchestrated by the US’ CIA.
The above-noted facts are simply examples of how the West has twisted language and established official conferences, set up dialogues, and promised outcomes for the people of the Global South. In reality, no matter how they may change their language, we continue to see that the patterns in their murderous activities never cease. When the people begin to realize that what their leaders are doing is morally reprehensible, there begins another small shift so that the same old game can continue on as normal.
In this context, we have seen a black man as the US President, female Prime Ministers in the United Kingdom, and now a British PM from an Indian background. Under former US President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell both served loyally to take their nation to war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, a war allegedly fought to “free”, “liberate” and “bring democracy” to Baghdad. Due to such diversity in Western governments, in terms of appearance and gender identification, some would argue that the West has come to be governed by much more inclusive forces and therefore any argument that they are racist imperialists is simply fiction and a disingenuous, maybe even ideologically or emotionally driven, argument. This of course only becomes the point of view when your framework for equality is based upon looks or what gender identity they proclaim, if these are your paradigms for what makes a society progress then you can square this circle.
The truth is, the West has allowed different select faces to enter their upper echelons of power, but the change has represented a similar one to calling the Department of War a “Department of Defence”. If you believe in the politics of identity, something that has become the most adhered to political doctrine from Left to Right in the Western world, then you cannot frame the Iraq war for instance as in any way racist, instead it makes sense to understand the war as being about Liberal Hegemony for the purposes of “freedom” and “democracy”. After all the US did use Iraqis in their mission to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime, to capture and then condemn him to death.
With the Western world holding onto identity politics, this has created the perfect environment for shutting down the appeals of workers, minority communities, and countries in the Global South. An example of this can be observed with the US Biden administration's decision to replace its former White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, with Karine Jean-Pierre. Jen Psaki, a white woman, began to stir controversy after it was picked up on that she would almost never answer any questions from African journalists. The easy fix was to employ Karine Jean-Pierre, who would become the first-ever black and openly LGBT person to be the Press Secretary, however, she too would be shown to also ignore African journalists. In any reasonable person's mind, the change should have been to start taking more questions from African journalists, but due to the times we now live in, the idea of the Biden administration being racist or biased against Africans is now impossible, because their representative is black.
Once and a while however, the mask slips off, as just occurred with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, when he felt so comfortable to express his supremacist ideology in an extremely blatant fashion. Borrell spoke of Europe being a “beautiful” and perfect “garden”, whereas, in his own words, the rest of the world is like a “jungle”, he goes on to warn that the gardeners need to protect the garden for fear of invasion from the jungle. Borrell claims that what he says is not racist, attempting to use a paradigm to argue from his perspective that he didn’t mean what he said to attack people who are of different racial backgrounds. However, what he said fits into the widely held worldview of the West, which is extremely racist; an ideology which views Western nations as “civilized” and part of the “free world”.
Whilst several Western journalists have been rightly criticized for their usage of language to classify Ukraine as a “relatively civilized country”, home to people who “look like us”, there has been little to no pushback on the regularly repeated phrase “the free world” and “leaders of the free world” and what this truly connotes. Supremacist ideologies are not simply confined to the hatred of the color of someone's skin, or what they chose as a title for themselves and this is something that needs a lot more attention when it comes to those who claim to be anti-racist, but end up falling into the trap of endorsing the most racist policies on earth.
After all, the idea of the residential schools in Canada, which were set up to keep First Nation Canadians alive, but to indoctrinate them in order to destroy their identity through the annihilation of their language, religion and culture, were racist. A very similar program was set up in Australia, later called the Stolen Generation, which aimed to take Aboriginal children into schools where they would be robbed of their language, culture and religion. This was part of a doctrine that in the US they described by saying they must “kill the Indian [native American] in him, and save the man”.
If we look at what the West is actually doing today, it is all in the name of combating the ideologies, cultures and religions that are largely held by those living outside of their own borders. The acceptable way to be, is to comply with the ideology of Liberalism that is espoused by the Western Capitalists, you don’t have to look like the majority of the ruling class or even identify the same way as them, but you absolutely cannot deviate from their agenda.