Color and the US view of Iraq (4:30) http://www.theworld.org/?q=taxonomy_by_date/1/20080321
Mike Prysner was 21 when he was deployed to northern Iraq in 2003. Prysner said just about every day, for the entire year he was in Iraq, he heard derogatory language being used to describe the Iraqi people; Phrases like……:
" …..Towel head and camel jockey and most disturbing of all, sand nigger. And these words did not initially come from my fellow soldiers but from my platoon leader, my sergeant, my company first sergeant."
An added barrier is Americans’ wholesale ignorance of Islam, says Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban. She teaches the anthropology of race and racism at Rhode Island College and is an advisor to the US military:
"Right after Baghdad had been secured one of my students says they heard in the early morning hours the dawn call to prayer and they thought it was a call to arms and they were at the battle ready –ready to shoot anything that moved. He came back and said how awful he had felt—because he is an African American man—He had stereo-typed people the way that he had been stereo-typed at home."
The Color Initiative is funded by the Ford Foundation, with additional resources provided by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the Funding Exchange (Paul Robeson Fund).