State sanctioned and violence against BIPOC communities is all over the news. While the violence against black communities is especially lethal in the US, racism doesn't stop at borders. There is anti-racism work to do in many other places, including in the Netherlands.
Nuclear weapons are an expression of ultimate violence. Throughout history they've been tested on communities perceived to have less political power- from Aboriginals to the Kazakhs to the Shoshone. Nuclear weapons prop up systems of inequality and injustice.
In some places, like the Netherlands, special privileges are associated with maintaining the ability to drop nuclear bombs. But is this really the case? The National Security Archive at George Washington University shared a document from 1961 showing that in the 1960s the Dutch government had no say in the decision of whether or not to use the nuclear weapons stationed on Dutch soil. Now, the Dutch government claims that the willingness to violate international humanitarian law and use nuclear weapons grants special access and influence in the US halls of power. If that is the case, perhaps the US would not have announced that it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty or there wouldn't be Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is considering resuming nuclear testing. If the Dutch really do have influence in the US by hosting nuclear bombs, then some serious questions need to be asked about Dutch complicity in dismantling the international arms control architecture.
The myths that prop up opressive power structures need to be dismantled. That work starts at home. When it comes to understanding and dismantling systemic racism- listening, and believing, the lived experiences of others is just the first step. Learning and examining one's own role in supporting systems of injustice and inequality comes next. That's not easy work, but it's necessary. Just as its necessary for the Dutch government to reject nuclear weapons once and for all and join the ban treaty.
If not now, when? If not us, who?
Susi, Maaike & Remco