The stereotypical Western media images of Afghanistan have men riding camels and women wearing veils. Beyond this, most westerners seem to understand little about what Afghanistan is really like, and nothing about Afghan culture. There are many ugly racial slurs prevalent amongst the ranks of U.S. soldiers (and Westerners more generally) the least offensive of these derogatory references being leveled at Afghan men are to call them ‘towel-heads’ and ‘camel jockeys’. This kind of racial slur is the leading edge of dehumanizing and ‘other-ing’ by one group of people targeting another with hatred and/or more overt violence, and this is both precursor and elemental to genocide.

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