Earlier this week, I used the following example in my Research Methodology class to illustrate to my students 3 points: (1) how the White Man supposedly represents neutrality and scientific objectivity (2) that deferring to “international law” is nothing more than agreement reality or social reality, which white, western male elites have agreed upon as constituting “reality” and hence, is not a sufficient basis for conclusive empirical evidence (3) how crude Orientalism and racism continue to thrive among western liberals.
Here is the example: an established European journalist who writes for a respected mainstream British newspaper once interviewed me about the STL’s (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) indictment of Hizbullah in the Hariri assassination case. I explained why I believed it was a kangaroo court and how some of the flimsy evidence (such as the telephone records) could have been tampered with. The journalist dismissed my words as though I were a typical Arab conspiracy theorist. So I challenged him further “why not?” I asked, “is it that inconceivable that the legal experts working for the UN tribunal would manufacture evidence?” “Yes” he answered assuredly, “they just wouldn’t do that”. I replied “answer me honestly, would you have you that same certainty and answered the same way if the experts and organization in question were Arab, Muslim, or black”? “No, I wouldn’t” he answered.