Colorado College faculty members Rashna Batliwala Singh and Peter Matthews Wright have co-authored an op-ed piece, titled “Imperial Privilege: On War and Violence Near and Far,” in Common Dreams. In the article, Singh, visiting professor of English and Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies, and Wright, chair of the Religion Department and associate professor of religion, write that “the ability of the American electorate to shrug off the plight of those who suffer as the direct result of U.S. foreign policy is so pervasive that it deserves a name. We call it ‘imperial privilege.’”
Part of that privilege is the luxury of tuning out images of violent conflict, they say. “Whether by turning off the TV and heading to the mall, the movies, or for a hike in the great outdoors, Americans may turn off war with a click. People in countries such as Yemen where U.S. armament sales fuel the devastation of war do not enjoy that option,” they write.
Singh and Wright contend that “imperial privilege has distorted the political conversation in the United States by allowing some questions of conscience to be heard while silencing others.”