Walking from my car to my office just now, I heard a group of male students talking about the “Quwat” (Lebanese Forces). I looked at them and noticed that one of the guys had a t-shirt with “Venezuela” written on it. He saw me looking and said, “So, you’re with the Lebanese Forces?” (i.e. “Shu, ‘demoiselle, entee ‘uwat?”). I said, “I like Venezuela, so that should tell you about my politics.”
But, I wonder now if it will.
If I say that I support Chavez and the PSUV in Venezuela, what does that say about my political leanings in the country? Or, more specifically, what can students then project about my political leanings? There are so many layers of knowledge about Venezuela that are needed to even make that projection, and additional layers of knowledge about the political parties in Lebanon that are needed to conclude whether or not, from that one comment I made, I support the Lebanese Forces or not.
Those layers of knowledge should be ‘public information,’ in the sense that each individual who considers himself to be politically affiliated should know enough about his/her political party to assess that party’s economic, social, and political agenda.
Then again, are those agendas even clear to the partys’ themselves?
Still, they are clear enough to conclude whether or not someone who supports the PSUV – or – more accurately – likes their vision and not necessarily all their actions – would support the LF.
I remember a protest in Durham, North Carolina. The Ku Klux Klan was marching and so, naturally, the civil rights community marched against them. They were in the hundreds; we were in the thousands. But, apart from the color of our skin and apart from the signs that were directly relevant to civil rights, all our other placards were the same: the same calls for economic justice, the same calls for ending the US occupation of Iraq.