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OT Civility



 
 
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Old July 1st 03, 06:23 AM
Nick
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Default OT Civility

Chapman billy wrote in message m...
In article ,
says...
(snipped)
On 20 April (coincidentally, Hitler's birthday) 1968, Enoch Powell, a British
politician, then in the Conservative Party, and a classical scholar, made an
extremely controversial speech in Birmingham on immigration and race
relations:

"...For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the
Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the
means of showing that the immigrant communities can organise to consolidate
their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to
overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and
ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding;
like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood'..."

Powell's speech became known as his 'Rivers of Blood' speech, and his
rhetoric was widely construed as an incitement to racial hatred and
violence. Powell was denounced by Edward Heath, then the leader of the
Conservative Party.


The day after this speech, this eight year old, as I then was, was set upon
and beaten by two blacks who looked to be in their mid-teens. What saved my
bacon was when my ten year old sister came out and started screaming. This
scared the two heroes of the racial war off. As it was, I got away with a
severely bruised rib cage.


'In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings
them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.'
--Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)

Dear Simon,

I am sorry that you suffered such a traumatic childhood experience, and I am
pleased that you were able to survive it without any lasting physical injuries.
Such violence is wrong and should be considered criminal; it's even worse when
the victim is an innocent child.

'Crime is crime is crime; it is not political.'
--Margaret Thatcher (1981, during a hunger strike of IRA prisoners)

Do you believe that the assault on you was motivated by any connection to
Enoch Powell's speech or was its timing just a coincidence?

Unfortunately, there are some criminals of almost every age in almost every
community. Are you certain that you would not have been assaulted if you were
black? As I was not there, however, I am ready to accept your judgement that
that the assault was racially motivated.

But I don't understand why you characterise your assailants as 'the two heroes
of the racial war'. I don't believe that most black Britons regard any black
lads who would beat up a defenceless younger child as 'heroes' in any way.
And I don't believe that most white Britons regard the white men who murdered
Stephen Lawrence (a black teenager) as 'heroes' at all. How did you know that
your assailants perceived themselves as fighting in a 'racial war' against
white people? Or did you perceive yourself as being in a 'racial war' against
non-white people?

'A single deed of violence and cruelty affects our nerves more than when these
are exercised on a more extended scale.'
--Walter Scott (Rob Roy)

My point is that many of the inverse racists, as I choose to call them, are
no better than the racists they affect to despise.


I hope that you are not suggesting any moral equivalency between Martin Luther
King and the Klu Klux Klan.

There are some black 'inverse racists', as you call them. (You say that there
are many; have you been keeping a list of them?) For instance, in 1972 Uganda's
dictator, Idi Amin, forcibly expelled most of his country's Asians (longtime
residents) on short notice, without granting them any financial compensation
for their appropriated homes and properties. And that 'ethnic cleansing' seems
to have been approved by most black Ugandans.

In my view, professing opposition to 'political correctness' is often just a
euphemism for expressing racism (as often shown in this newsgroup); but the fear
of appearing 'politically incorrect' also may often constrain intellectually
honest discussions.

"The Race Relations Act (1976) and the resultant Commission for Racial Equality
(CRE) came into being part through fears of Powellite rhetoric, but largely
through the growing confidence of the immigrant communities and their friends.
The act rendered all forms of racial discrimination unlawful, and made provision
for the compensation of victims of harassment and prejudice.

By 1999, the CRE was one of the more active of government propaganda agencies.
It aimed to promote a positive image of multiracial Britain, among other things
by popularizing a particular view of British history. 'Britain has always been
a mixed society', it teaches, 'ever since the Bronze Age.' Or again, 'most
people in Britain today are either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants.'
At a time when historians are stressing the relatively small genetic impact of
successive invasions, this had to be a particularly contentious opinion. It is
true only if one refers back to the main repopulation of the Isles after the Ice
Age.

More seriously, one must question some of the assumptions which surround many
of the well-meaning activities of the anti-racist lobby. Terms such as 'the
Black and Asian community' do less than justice to the fact that there are
numerous different black communities and still more numerous ethnic and
religious communities from Asia. By stressing colour, there is a definite
danger of forgetting the primacy of culture."

--Norman Davies (The Isles: a History, p. 984)

Here's a strong view on racism, culture, and 'political correctness' from
Orlando Patterson, a professor of sociology at Harvard University. Of African
heritage, he was born in the West Indies, and he earned his PhD at the London
School of Economics:

"It is one of the tragic consequences of the unusual oppression of blacks--as
is true of all other groups subjected to sustained exploitation--that the
oppressed group develops pathological patterns of behavior as one mode of
coping, a pathology that victimizes in-group members far more than those of
the out-group; in other words, the group becomes its own agent of subjection.
As long as they were perceived as outsiders, such pathologies were matters of
little concern to the dominant group: the best ******, like the best Indian,
was a dead ******, however terminated....

Mention of the pathologies of the black underclass brings me to my final
reflection. When all is said and done, the dreadful statistics of the black
condition in America, of the disparities between the group and others still
confronts us, still needs to be explained. Something is wrong, horribly wrong,
in the condition of one-third of all black people...

There can be no doubt that the answer lies somewhere in that inhuman record of
oppression, the tragic net effectof which has been that a pattern of behavior
emerged in which the group's failures are now largely self-inflicted. Something
is dreadfully wrong with the culture of black America; we know what its causes
were, but to spend more time arguing over who is to be blamed is to blow one's
flute while the city burns.

But here we come upon yet another awful contradiction. While black American
intellectual leaders, and all those who take a sympathetic interest in the
plight of the group are quick to point to the culturally destructive past as
the main source of explanations in defending the public honor, the very
humanity, of the group against the onslaught of hereditarians, these very same
leaders are equally quick to traduce and vituperate anyone who, in other
contexts, dares to point to the cultural deficiencies of the group in trying
to explain their condition. It is now wholly incorrect politically to even
utter the word culture as an explanation, in any context other than
counterattacks against hereditarians. (Footnote: Of course, it is acceptable,
indeed, politically most correct, to speak at length of black culture if all
we intend to do is praise it.) Indeed so far has this politically correct
position gone that it is not uncommon for persons who even tentatively point
to social and cultural deficiencies to be labeled and condemned as racists....

We cannot have it both ways. If culture is the savior against the hereditarians
and those persuaded by 'The Bell Curve', culture must contain the answer as
we search for an explanation of the pathological sink into which some 10 million
Americans have fallen."

--Orlando Patterson ("For Whom the Bell Curves" in "The Bell Curve Wars", 1995)

--Nick
 




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