Liberators

It’s no surprise for anyone who’s been in the military since September 11th, especially not for those of us who have been deployed since September 11th, that the word “haji” is used to dehumanize people not just of Iraq and Afghanistan, but anyone there who is not us. We bought haji DVDs at the haji shops from the hajis that worked there. The KBR employees that did our laundry that were from Pakistan became hajis. The KBR employees who worked inside of our chow halls became hajis. Everyone that was not a US force became a haji, not a person, not a name, but a haji. I used to have conversations with members of my unit, and I would ask them why they use that term, especially members of my unit who are people of color. It used to shock me that they would. And their answers were very similar, almost always, and that was, “They’re just hajis. Who cares?”

Democracy Now! has transcripts of some of the Winter Soldier testimonies. More here.

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