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Tim Hanke's Cultural Prejudice



 
 
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Old July 10th 03, 06:49 PM
Vince Hart
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Tim Hanke's Cultural Prejudice

I love my country. I think the Founding Fathers got hold of some of
the most profound and wonderful ideas regarding rights and freedoms
that the world has ever known. I do not believe, however, that the
Founding Fathers fully understood the implications of these ideas and
they were clearly less than completely successful in putting these
ideas into practice. Nevertheless, the fact that they incorporated
these ideas into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
was a great boon.

Many Americans are not content with a country that is founded on great
principles. They must also have a country that is correct in all its
actions and whose destiny is the fulfillment of some divine plan.
These Americans often prefer to remain ignorant of the rest of the
world and of historical facts that contradict their preferred view of
the United States. They frequently question the patriotism of anyone
who acknowledges such facts.

America's racism is in part a product of the insistence on believing
that the United States always acts according to divine mandate in a
manner consistent with its founding principles. Since the manner in
which the United States treated Blacks and Indians (among others) was
so plainly inconsistent with the principle that "all men are created
equal," many Americans readily accepted the idea that these people
were less than fully human and therefore somehow outside the purview
of the Declaration of Independence.

Unfortunately, the public discussion of racism has degenerated to the
point where the term "racist" often becomes little more than a slur
tossed around by people like Bibuld.

Vince Hart











(Nick) wrote in message . com...
OT: In general, this post is not about "Tim Hanke's Cultural
Prejudice", the specific subject of this thread, but about other
issues raised by Jerome Bibuld's post to Mark Houlsby. I regret
it if anyone believes that this post is too "off-topic" by not
exclusively concentrating on "Tim Hanke's Cultural Prejudice".

ospam (Jerome Bibuld) wrote in message
... (to Mark
Houlsby)
This is not to be taken as a defense of Tim Hanke, but, merely, as a
correction to point out some facts. Hanke is NOT stupid. We have dealt
with each other, as members of the U. S. chess world, and I have found
him to be of reasonable intelligence in our dealings.


'None are wise but they who determine to be wiser.'
--Samuel Richardson (Sir Charles Grandison)

Dear Mr. Bibuld,

I hope that you will not mind if I avail myself here of the
opportunity to discuss some issues raised by your comments about
Tim Hanke within the context of his society, the United States.
(I don't intend to write much here to discuss Tim Hanke personally
since we already seem to agree substantially about who he is and
what he represents politically.) And I should be interested in
your comments in response. Thanks.

By the way, Vichy France's Minister of Labour, Jean Bichelonne
(1904-1944) had the highest marks ever recorded (at that time)
at the Ecole Polytechnique.

Ignorant? I'm SURE he is (purposively) ignorant of all but the myths of his
rulers. This ignorance is one of the psychological illnesses of most petit
bourgeois United Statesians, of whom Hanke seems to be an apotheosis. But he
is not ignorant of what it takes to live in HIS OWN world. He merely is
ignorant of pro-human knowledge and culture.


On one hand, some American scholars and scientists are among the
best in the world, and some American students are among the most
intellectually gifted and curious people anywhere. I have enjoyed
the privilege of meeting some of these Americans, and I have been
quite impressed indeed.

On the other hand, as those Americans have informed me, many other
Americans are appallingly ignorant, misinformed, ethnocentric, and
smugly complacent about it all. Their whole world seems to revolve
around their own corner of the United States. (Indeed, an American
undergraduate once asked me: "Do you know if any other countries
have any history?" She seemed to believe that if an event was not
connected to the United States, then it could not be important enough
to be considered worthy of mention in a history book.)

The events of 11 September 2001 were among the most highly publicized
in recent United States history. But, in a January 2003 poll for
Knight-Ridder newspapers, only 17% of Americans were able to say
correctly that none of the hijackers had been Iraqis.

"That really bothers me because it shows a lack of understanding
about other countries--that maybe many Americans don't know one
Arab from another."
--Sam Popkin (a polling expert from the University of California)

To date, no "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs) have been discovered
in Iraq, but many Americans are misinformed about that important fact.

A May 14-18, 2003 poll of 1265 American adults by the Program on
International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland produced
these disturbing findings:
34% of Americans believe that WMDs *already* have been found in Iraq.
22% of Americans believe that WMDs were *used* by Iraq in the war.

"Historians are not accountable for the difficulty of learning to
read."
--Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)

Unfortunately, too many Americans prefer to believe "the myths of
their rulers" instead of making an honest effort to face all the
facts of American history.

Here are some examples from the United States's war in Vietnam:

1) from "Four Hours in My Lai" by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim:

"On March 16, 1968, they (a U.S. Army company) entered an undefended
village (My Lai) on the coast of Central Vietnam and murdered around
five hundred old men, women, and children in cold blood. The killings
took place, part manically, part methodically, over a period of about
four hours. They were accompanied by rape, sodomy, mutilations, and
unimaginable random cruelties." (p. 3)

The "My Lai massacre" was covered up by the U.S. Army for months,
but eventually it was exposed.

"The massacre calls for self-examination and for action, but if we
deny the call and try to go on as before, as though nothing had
happened, our knowledge, which can never leave us once we have
acquired it, will bring about an unnoticed but crucial alteration
in us, numbing our most precious faculties and withering our souls.
*For if we learn to accept this, then there is nothing we will not
accept.*"
--Jonathan Schell (20 December 1969, "The New Yorker")

"Jonathan Schell's article appeared midway between the original
revelations about My Lai and the publication in 'Time' magazine of
the poll that showed most Americans believed the massacre to have
been just one of those things that are bound to happen in war.

Today, there is about My Lai an overwhelming sense of unfinished
business. Hopes that what was so demonstrably wrong could be
demonstrably righted have *never* been fulfilled. Ridenhour's
call for justice was answered with a farrago of legal process.
Schell's fears that, even *if people knew the truth, they would
shrug it off as if they had never been told*, have turned out to
be well founded....Massacre has a short shelf life. The tension
between the barbarity of My Lai and the national myths has been
resolved in favor of the myths." (pp. 377-8)

--Michael Bolton and Kevin Sim (Four Hours in My Lai, 1992)

2) from "M.I.A., or Mythmaking in America" by H. Bruce Franklin

"When U.S. corporations begin major investments and enterprises
in Vietnam, it will then no longer be in the interest of the
dominant U.S. economic and political institutions to have millions
of citizens believing that secretly imprisoned someplace in that
land are live American POWs from a war that ended in the 1970s....

In the final analysis, the POW/MIA myth must be understood not
just as a convenient political gimmick for rationalizing various
kinds of warfare and jingoism but also as *a symptom of a profound
psychological sickness in American culture*. One path back toward
mental health would be through an honest self-examination of how and
why a society could have been so possessed by such a grotesque myth."

--H. Bruce Franklin ("M.I.A., or Mythmaking in America", p. 170)

In patriotic American textbooks, the United States has been described
as the "liberator" of the Philippines from the imperial oppression of
Spain. But how many Americans are aware of what the United States did
to conquer the people of the Philippines in a very brutal war?

"The Americans, moreover, exceeded even the cruelest Spanish
precedents in *manipulating disease and hunger as weapons* against
an insurgent but weakened population. Beginning with the outbreak
of war in February 1899, military authorities closed all ports,
disrupting the vital inter-island trade in foodstuffs and preventing
the migration of hungry laborers to food-surplus areas. Then, as
drought began to turn into famine in 1900, they authorized the
systematic destruction of rice stores and livestock in areas that
continued to support guerrilla resistance. As historians would
later point out, the ensuing *campaign of terror* against the rural
population, backed up by a pass system and population
'reconcentration', prefigured US strategy in Vietnam in the 1960s...

As peasants began to die of hunger in the fall of 1900, American
officers openly acknowledged in correspondence that *starvation
had become official military strategy*. 'The result is inevitable',
wrote Colonel Dickman from Panay, 'many people will starve to death
before the end of six months.' On Samar, Brigadier General Jacob
Smith ordered his men to turn the interior into a 'howling
wilderness'. Famine, in turn, paved the way for cholera (which
especially favored the reconcentration camps), malaria, smallpox,
typhoid, tuberculosis, 'and everything else that rode in war's
train of evils'....De Bevoise concludes, 'it appears that the
American war contributed directly and indirectly to the loss of
more than a million persons from a base population of about seven
million.' In comparative terms, this was comparable to mortality
during the Irish famine of the 1840s."

--Mike Davis (Late Victorian Holocausts, pp. 198-9)

To their despair, my thoughtful American friends have spoken of
encountering a broad populist anti-intellectual movement in American
culture. Evidently, that's what leads many Americans to regard their
own gaping ignorance as sturdy common sense and any learning beyond
their own as mere affectation. Indeed, some Americans seem to regard
learning any foreign language as effete or demeaning to them. Any
hint of erudition seems regarded with disdain by too many Americans.

By the way, I respect my readers here enough to tell them, in effect:
"You don't have to believe what I write simply because I have written
it. Whenever practicable, I name my sources, cite my references, quote
other authorities, and suggest further reading. Please feel free to
check the facts, study on your own, and arrive at your own
conclusions, which could interest me."

And I have expressed my appreciation to several persons here for
making meaningful factual corrections or adding relevant new facts
to my posts. I am quite ready to admit that I have been mistaken
whenever someone can provide enough evidence and reasoned argument
to show me that's the case.

On the other hand, I have been denounced in fierce ad hominem
terms by a few jingoistic American racists he Briarroot, StanB,
and Tim Hanke. Of course, they tend to avoid engaging the factual
substance of my posts. One accusation against me has been that I
must have a monstrous ego because I prefer to attach supporting
evidence and scholarly references to some of my posts. On the
contrary, in my view, someone else really has a monstrous ego if
one prefers to draw cocksure conclusions *without* attaching one's
supporting evidence. The summit of egotism is to tell everyone else,
"You must believe that I am right because I say so!", which
Briarroot, in particular, loves to do.

Divisive? I doubt it. Whom can he divide? He lives in his own (United
Statesian) "world". The REST of the world holds THIS "world" in contempt,
fear or both, but cannot be divided by it. I will admit that there is
division over whether or not the species can take on the U. S. A. right now.
(Meanwhile, freedom fighters all over the world are struggling against this
monster in their own areas.) But Hanke does not contribute to this division.


"The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away
from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses
than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much."
--Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)

Here's an article on the potential plans for expansion of the
American Empi
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/st...04,903043.html

"If, however, the American victors insist on a much more robust
level of US control--restructuring Iraq entirely, studding it with
countless military bases--then we could start drawing rather different
conclusions as to the true motive of this campaign. We might agree
with those who detect in the Iraq adventure the opening move of a
much grander American design: the establishing of US hegemony for
the next 100 years.

This is not just twitchy, anti-war conspiracy talk. An outfit
exists on 17th street in Washington, DC, called the Project for
the New American Century, explicitly committed to full US mastery
of the globe for the coming age. Its acolytes speak of 'full spectrum
dominance', meaning American invincibility in every field of warfare
--land, sea, air, and space...There will be no place on earth, or the
heavens for that matter, where Washington's writ does not run supreme.
To that end, a ring of US military bases should surround China, with
liberation of the People's Republic considered the ultimate prize. As
one enthusiast puts it concisely: 'After Baghdad, Beijing.'

If this sounds like the harmless delusions of an eccentric fringe,
think again. The founder members of the project, launched in 1997
as a Republican assault on the Clinton presidency, form a roll call
of today's Bush inner circle. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul
Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle--they're all there."

--Jonathan Freedland (26 February 2003, The Guardian)

"President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world--'Either you
are with us or you are with the terrorists'--is a piece of
presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need
to, or should
have to make."
--Arundhati Roy (The Algebra of Infinite Justice)

Racist? Without question. But, since Hanke is a representative United
Statesian petit bourgeois, thinking individuals simply take his racism for
granted. In the U. S. A., one must deal with it at ALL times. It's one of
the givens, like the hypocrisy on every aspect of life.


I agree that racism permeates both American history and American
society to this day. Indeed, racist attitudes and practices continue
to seem acceptable, if not normal, to many Americans today. And some
of those Americans tend to denounce any criticisms of their racism
for being "politically correct" or even for being "anti-American".

"As a nation, we have become so seemingly triumphant at vilifying
racists that we have induced *denial about racism*. Regarding racism,
before the civil rights revolution many whites believed that what was,
should be; now, in a post-civil rights era, they believe that what
should be, already is. This profound change makes it harder than ever
to communicate. What was once overt and thought to be right is now
thought to be wrong but has become covert. Most people have become
what social scientists John F Dovidio and Samuel L. Gaertner have
dubbed 'aversive racists', conditioned to regard racism as
reprehensible but also reflexively following racial impulses. We
also forget that white society used to subjugate African Americans
and other people of color quite openly." (p. 13)
--Frank Wu (Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, 2002)
(Wu is a professor of law at Howard University in Washington, DC.)

I believe that racism violates the humanistic spirit of 'gens una
sumus' and that being anti-racist is simply being pro-human.
I don't believe that the struggle against racism should be
subordinated to the struggles against capitalism or imperialism.
Of course, there have been strong connections among racism, class
oppression, and imperial exploitation. Yet anti-racists should
welcome all those who would join them honestly, notwithstanding
any differences on other issues. In my view, reinforced by some
of my recent observations at RGCM, racism is deeply entrenched,
and anti-racists need to organise as broad a coalition as possible
in order to oppose it. Would you agree?

I don't believe that all "United Statesian petit bourgeois"
people are the same with regard to racism. Indeed, their attitudes
toward racism *should* vary since their experiences of racism *have*
varied because their perceived racial identities *do* vary. The
Immigration Reform Act of 1965 has opened the door for millions of
people from Latin America and Asia to become United States citizens,
even though many other Americans might still refuse to accept them
as "real Americans".

One of my white American friends (a nuclear physicist by
education) grew up in an almost all-white community, attending
all-white schools. Accordingly, he was not personally aware of
the existence of racism, and he tended to assume that it could not
exist significantly elsewhere in American society. Then he met
and married a Chinese American woman (a doctor). After observing
her continuing experiences of racism, he has gradually concluded
that racism *is* an important problem in American society because
it can hurt his loved ones.

In fact, interracial marriages and relationships are becoming
more common and accepted among younger Americans, so American
society *is* changing despite its continuing racism and denial
of that racism.

'Ka pu te ruha; ka hao te rangatahi.' --Maori saying
(The old net is cast aside; the new net goes fishing.)

Also, some people from conservative bourgeois backgrounds can
become sincere, even courageous, opponents of racism. One of my
favourite historians was Charles Ralph Boxer (1904-2000), a
professor at King's College, London, and a scholar of European
imperial history. C.R. Boxer was born into an English military
family, and he followed the conventional education (Wellington
and Sandhurst) of a British Army officer. He was a prisoner-of-war
in Japanese captivity during 1941-5, which would have left most
other men with a bias against the Japanese, which might have
influenced their views on East Asians in general. But, as a scholar
and a man, C.R. Boxer was able to surmount that bitterness.

"All I have ever heard him say about his ordeals was that to have
experienced torture was to have shared the experiences of many
hapless people in the past and that he had learnt something from that.
Such stoicism, such powers of resilience and the ability after the war
to rebuild relations, based on admiration and respect on both sides,
with Japanese people suggests quite extraordinary resources of mind."
--Peter Marshall (11 July 2000, speaking on his friend, C.R. Boxer)

"Much of Boxer's working life was, however, set in much sterner
times than our own. The assaults on his integrity are scarcely
imaginable to our sheltered lives....Boxer lived through the decline
and fall of the European empires and the tumultuous assertions of new
nationalisms. He had very little sympathy with the pretensions of
the imperial order and a clear sighted understanding of nationalist
aspirations. Most unusually for someone of his time who held the
kinds of positions that he did, he rejected any sense of European
superiority over other peoples. The privileges claimed by white men
in Asia were abhorrent to him....Anything that looked like an apologia
for the record of the British in Asia was given short shrift.
Notoriously, he would not endorse the self-congratulatory view of the
history of race relations in the Portuguese empire that was propagated
under the Salazar regime and paid the consequences for that. All this
came not, as far as I understand him, from a man of the left or even
articularly liberal temperament or conviction, but from a kind of
patrician belief in justice and humanity and a contempt for any
manipulation of what he saw as historical truth."
--Peter Marshall (11 July 2000, speaking on his friend, C.R. Boxer)

I share the late C.R. Boxer's 'belief in justice and humanity' and a
disdain for any distortion of what I perceive as historical truth.
Accordingly, I have written some posts, and then sometimes I have
been fiercely denounced in abusive ad hominem terms by Tim Hanke
and a few of his supporters, who tend to avoid engaging the
factual substance of my posts, which they distort and lie about.

By the way, I have to say that I have been amazed by the lengths
to which some of Tim Hanke's supporters, particularly Briarroot,
have gone to dispute that Hanke's statement, "Bugger the Chinese",
could be racist or even offensive to anyone. (Does the meaning
of "bugger" in English have to be spelled out?) On the other
hand, from what I have heard, racist rhetoric seems common on
some American right-wing political attack radio talk shows, so
Hanke's supporters might believe that what's acceptable there
must be acceptable everywhere else. They are wrong, but not
enough other people are ready to tell them so.

In my view, there's a danger in allowing racist language to
propagate without challenge because that tends to desensitise
people to other forms of racism and that makes it easier for
more virulent racist propaganda to gain credibility or even
respectability. In the 1930s, many anti-Nazi Germans tended
to ignore Nazi propaganda because it was loathsome and too
ludicrous, in their complacent opinions, to gain general
acceptance. They underestimated the persuasive power of
constantly reiterating a few simple hateful ideas.

Evidently, Briarroot has more time on his hands than I do.
Apparently tireless (he has continual practice at it), he
can go on snipping and sneering, distorting my posts or
brazenly lying about them, as he has often done.
Briarroot seems to have the mentality of an ignorant,
vulgar, and disturbed child, who delights in excreting
his vile graffiti on Usenet instead of on a nearby wall.
Unfortunately, there might be a few persons here who are
nearly as ignorant, immature, or racist as Briarroot,
who might be impressed by his continuing antics.

But they, like Briarroot himself, as you already have
advised me, are "beneath human dispute".

[My current favorite hypocrisy is the invasion of a (known) defenseless Iraq,
on grounds that its rulers controlled "weapons of mass destruction" and were
a "threat" to the most militarist state in the world AND the only state EVER
to drop (not one but two) atomic bombs on civilian populations.]


"You ought to be beating your chest every morning. You ought to
look in the mirror, suck in our bellies, and say, 'Damn,
we're Americans!'"
--General Jay Garner (Rtd., chief of Iraq's interim government)

In "The United States and Biological Warfa Secrets from the
Early Cold War and Korea" (1998, Indiana University Press), Stephen
Endicott and Edward Hagerman (two Canadian scholars) make a strong
case (which impressed even Stephen Ambrose, the late popular American
historian, who tended to write his books according to a self-conscious
"patriotic American" agenda) that the United States *did* practise
biological warfare during the Korean War.

As I have heard, there was an American T-shirt (which was made
at the time of a major economic crisis between the United States
and Japan) with the picture of an atomic "mushroom cloud" and the
slogan: "The Bomb: made in America, tested with pride in Japan."

"Voice or no voice, the people can be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they
are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism
and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every
country."
--Herman Goering (at the 1946 Nuremberg Trials)

I know that there are some much more thoughtful, tolerant, and
humane Americans than those jingoistic (and sometimes racist)
Americans who have revelled in expressing themselves here, often
in personally abusive terms toward other people, including me.
Have those other Americans, who could represent their civilisation
much better, in my view, been intimidated into keeping silent?

In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the Nationalists (led by
General Franco) organised a Festival of the Spanish Race at the
University of Salamanca. General Millan Astray made a fiery speech,
violently denouncing all suspected enemies of Fascism, particularly
Basques and Catalans. Then the audience of Fascist zealots shouted
slogans until they became hoarse. Then Miguel de Unamuno, a Basque
philosopher and rector of the university, stood up to speak, and,
with remarkable courage, he denounced General Millan Astray, who
screamed: 'Muera la inteligencia! Viva la Meurte!' ('Death to the
intellectuals! Long live death!'). Some of his followers aimed their
guns at Unamuno, but even then Unamuno would not stop:

"This is the temple of the intellect, and I am its high priest. It
is you who profane its sacred precincts. You will not win, because
you have more than enough brute force. But you will not convince.
For to persuade you would need what you lack: reason and right in
your struggle. I consider it futile to exhort you to think of Spain."
--Miguel de Unamuno (1936)

Reportedly, only the intercession of Franco's wife saved Unamuno
from being lynched on the spot. Miguel de Unamuno died soon
afterward, broken-hearted and cursed as a traitor by his new
Fascist rulers and their followers.

'The man is a hero who can withstand unjust opinion.'
--Hugh Henry Brackenridge (Modern Chivalry)

--Nick

  #2  
Old July 11th 03, 04:45 AM
Nick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Tim Hanke's Cultural Prejudice

(Vince Hart) wrote in message . com...
I love my country. I think the Founding Fathers got hold of some of
the most profound and wonderful ideas regarding rights and freedoms
that the world has ever known. I do not believe, however, that the
Founding Fathers fully understood the implications of these ideas and
they were clearly less than completely successful in putting these
ideas into practice. Nevertheless, the fact that they incorporated
these ideas into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
was a great boon.


"Democracy is a great institution in spite of its nuisances."
--Gertrude Atherton (Senator North)

Dear Mr. Hart,

Thanks very much for writing. I believed that there were some more thoughtful,
tolerant, and humane Americans here than those few jingoistic Americans who
like to act as though they must represent all Americans. And your general
response has corroborated that belief.

I agree that the great American experiment in self-government has many noble
aims, and it has inspired and continues to inspire many diverse people around
the world. Unfortunately, at the moment, the United States might be entering
a particularly dangerous phase of that experiment.

Many Americans are not content with a country that is founded on great
principles. They must also have a country that is correct in all its
actions and whose destiny is the fulfillment of some divine plan.
These Americans often prefer to remain ignorant of the rest of the
world and of historical facts that contradict their preferred view of
the United States. They frequently question the patriotism of anyone
who acknowledges such facts.


"If a man makes you a great many compliments, always suspect him of some bad
design, and never believe him your friend till he tells you of some of your
faults."
--Fanny Burney (Camilla)

In my view, a true friend is a friend who's not afraid to tell another friend
that he or she may be too drunk to be able to drive home safely, even when
that friend could be expected to respond with denial, anger, and even abuse.

(In real life, I have taken the keys away from a friend who was unfit to drive,
though he or she did not recognise it at that time. I was thanked later.)

If I were to write, contrary to what I believe, that everyone else in the
world already embraces the ideal "preferred view of the United States" of a
few jingoistic Americans here, then they might feel better and become less
abusive toward me. But I would not be doing a real favour to my American
friends or to the American people. A true friendship cannot be established
or maintained only on the foundation of dishonest flattery.

I hope that the American people will be able to enjoy peace, freedom, and
prosperity, with equal justice, rights, and opportunities for all. I hope that
the United States will become a civilization respected and admired by most,
if not all, people around the world. I do not believe that the United States's
current foreign, military, and economic policies are the best way to accomplish
that. And for writing that here, I have been denounced and vilified, sometimes
in racist terms, by a few jingoistic Americans.

America's racism is in part a product of the insistence on believing
that the United States always acts according to divine mandate in a
manner consistent with its founding principles. Since the manner in
which the United States treated Blacks and Indians (among others) was
so plainly inconsistent with the principle that "all men are created
equal," many Americans readily accepted the idea that these people
were less than fully human and therefore somehow outside the purview
of the Declaration of Independence.

Unfortunately, the public discussion of racism has degenerated to the
point where the term "racist" often becomes little more than a slur
tossed around by people like Bibuld.


In his communications with me, Jerome Bibuld has been honest and respectful.
I don't know how he may have acted toward some other people, so I am in no
position to make any judgement or comment about that.

I do believe that it's important to recognise that not all racism and all
racists are alike. Some apparent racists are capable of changing themselves.
For example, a good white American friend of mine has become one of the least
racist persons whom I have ever known. He grew up in an insular bourgeois
family in a nearly all-white community. As a young soldier in Vietnam, he
used racist language about Asians since almost every other American around
him did the same thing. Later he came to realize that what he had been doing
was wrong and harmful to other human beings. So he stopped doing it and, as
he put it, began to grow up. Sometimes he found it hard to face honestly
all the prejudices with which he had grown up. But he never quit attempting
to learn and to grow. Today, he still feels ashamed of some things that he did
in Vietnam, and he wishes that he could apologize to the people whom he hurt
there. But I can recognise that my friend has become a quite different human
being from what he was then, and I told him that I hope that, if they could
meet him now, the people whom he had hurt in the past would also be able to
recognise that he has greatly changed for the better.

"You want nothing but patience; or give it a more fascinating name: call it
hope."
--Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)

--Nick
 




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