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JULIAN KUNNIE Printer Friendly Page

Racism 101
By Thomas Ryan
January 31, 2007

 


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Julian Kunnie is a Professor and Director of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona (UA). He holds a doctorate in “Systemic Theology and Philosophy” from the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California-Berkeley.

According to Kunnie “the United States is the leading terrorist agency in the world,” and America’s War on Terror is “racist.” Shortly after 9/11, Kunnie condemned America’s response in an article that appeared in the Arizona Daily Wildcat. In October 2002 When congressional leaders among both Democrats and Republicans were demanding that Saddam Hussein comply with the UN resolutions, Kunnie wrote: “The United States possesses no right to make moral judgments on issues of peace in the Middle East precisely because of its perverted policy of endorsing and funding the colonization of Palestinians by Israel, while hypocritically consistently picking on Iraq as the bogeyman in the region… The planned U. S. invasion of Iraq is criminal and racist …” According to Kunnie, a Marxist, “the entire global system of capitalism is predicated on slavery.”

A native of South Africa, Kunnie was instrumental in establishing the Africana Studies major at UA (which already had an African American Studies minor). Said Kunnie in 2006, “Most of our students are victims of a K-12 education system that operates almost like a prison system. They say we need these walls and bars. But there is also an idea that young people grouped together are dangerous, this relating mostly to people of color…Africana studies is attempting to redress those historical deprivations…” 

In one of his classes, Kunnie requires students to read The West and the Rest of Us: White Predators, Black Slavers, and the African Elites by an African scholar named Chinweizu. Chinweizu depicts European nations “imperial vampires,” exploiters and thieves. “The academy urges scholars to be objective," Kunnie says, "but Chinweizu has a point of view — he’s writing from the perspective of the black world of colonization.” 

A ubiquitous speaker at anti-war rallies, in October 2006 Kunnie was a speaker at an anti-Bush demonstration on the UA mall. The protest was sponsored by the group Refuse and Resist, a front of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Kunnie also signed a document “demanding an end to the death penalty in this country and a new trial for [convicted cop-killer] Mumia Abu-Jamal,” alleging that for over 400 years “Africa and her descendants have been subject to criminal injustice.”

 

 

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