Does a History of Racism Discredit Anti-Interventionism?

Noah Berlatsky takes the longer view and notes that anti-interventionism (or isolationism) has been championed by the U.S. far right since Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, which essentially associated the Union with military intervention. Racist southerners subsequently tended to oppose interventions abroad that were meant to help non-whites. But what complicates the matter further is that foreign interventions were often driven by a similar kind of racism – the notion that other races couldn’t take care of themselves. In the end, Berlatsky finds that both isolationism and interventionism have racist roots and are therefore highly questionable. A thought-provoking piece, although the really interesting question would have been to what extent these racist traditions shape today’s discourse, for example on Syria.

Here’s the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-awkward-all-american-marriage-of-anti-interventionism-and-racism/279525/

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