The terrorist attacks against U.S. targets on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, sparked an intense debate about "human rights." According to contributors to this provocative book, the discussion of human rights to date has been far too narrow. They argue that any conversation about human rights in the United States must include equal rights for all residents.
Essays examine the historical and intellectual context for the modern debate about human rights, the racial implications of the war on terrorism, the intersection of racial oppression, and the national security state. Others look at the Pinkerton detective agency as a forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the role of Africa in post–World War II American attempts at empire-building, and the role of immigration as a human rights issue.