Many of the terms that we have studied so far this year are of quintessential importance when discussing contemporary international world politics. For this reason, I have found quite a few of them to be extremely interesting to me. Some of the most prominent of these are dehumanization and the mark of the plural, which are both intimately related.
Before discussing dehumanization, it is important to understand its meaning. Within the scope of this blog, the most suitable definition for dehumanization is when a group of people, through their actions, proclaims the inferiority of another group of people. This tactic is often exploited during colonization and other ventures in which a hegemony finds it necessary to oppress another group of people. However, a notable modern day example of dehumanization is present in contemporary Israel. Here, the Jews have come back to the country as a haven from WWII Europe, but in return they have wreaked havoc on the Palestinian population. Since they are not God’s chosen people, the Jews feel they have the right to kick them out of their houses and displace the entire population.
Similarly, the mark of the plural has played a huge role in politics and shifting the hearts and minds of people for millennia. This occurs when someone (or a group) harshly generalizes a group of people. For example, in today’s media, it is far too common to hear examples of the mark of the plural when discussing Muslims. News agencies often spew out hateful talking points that fit into this category almost haphazardly, as though they do not comprehend the pain it inflicts upon the people to which it is targeted. A very recent example could be seen over the debate about the Mosque at ground zero. News broadcasters were so offended that people could consider having something that represents so much hatred at the site of one of our countries most tragic disaster sites. To a certain extent they have some merit, but the vast majority of Muslims do not feel the way the terrorists that took the towers down did; therefore, it is unbelievable racist to claim that the “run of the mill” Muslim in the United States does not have the right to freely express their religious beliefs anywhere they want.