Political Promise

Democracy is Dead; The Rebuttal

In Pav Sandhu on November 11, 2010 at 9:44 am

Pav Sandhu replies to a reply about an article he wrote last week on America, Obama and how we should strengthen ties with Europe before worrying about the “special relationship”. 

Recently my article had come under attack by a certain individual who in response wrote an article on another blog. I thought what better way to write a rebuttal in form of an article? I have read this blog offering an alternative viewpoint. This individual argues that we cannot attack the rise of a far right-wing group in another country when we have failed to tackle the growth of far right-wing groups in Britain. The points that I have concluded are as follows:

  1. We have a national obsession with America and Obama
  2. Instead of strengthening our relations with America, we must strengthen our ties with France and Europe.

Firstly I feel that I have to defend my article if people did not understand the message behind it. Prior to the nominations of candidates for the 2008 Presidential Election. There was certainly an extremely undeniable anti-American feeling, especially due to the hilarious gaffes made by President Bush. Now during the majority of “dubya’s” time in office, the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress by a significant majority. The policies and actions taken by the Republican President and Congress certainly were controversial. As a result America became the symbol of hatred across the entire world.

In 2008; America has a global superpower looked defeated by a tired President and a tyrannical Congress refusing to sort out the financial crisis and bring about health reform which would stop the poor from forcing to re-mortgage their house to keep up with cancer treatments, something health insurance companies should have paid for. Now with a youthful leader, Barack Obama had been elected as President on a wave of “Change We Can Believe In.” Promising that he would stop a second Great Depression and to reform healthcare. He certainly won the Americans over with these policies, although the presidential election is more about personality than policy. The Republicans have despite large polls in favour of health reform; have somehow managed to brand the democrats as Communists because they wanted to do the right thing for the American people.

My point for anyone that did not understand the message is as follows; America is in the second biggest crisis of all time. Why would you vote for Republicans to stop all change that the Democrats were bringing about? Surely this would lead to even more instability? As a result there will be even more political game playing instead of doing what is necessary for the American people. If people elected you into office they expect you to serve their interests.

In response to this individual, I did not imply that we renew our “special relationship” with America. Furthermore I do not think that we as a nation have a 24/7 obsession with Obama nor does the entire world. What Obama has done, considering that he leads a still predominately racist country is a great achievement. I believe that the whole world was shocked by a stereotypical hillbilly country actually voted in the first black President. Obama in effect made history. From the midterm elections, I was merely commentating that this so-called Change will be reduced to small change. This is evident as the House Speaker wishes to reverse the Health Reforms which has helped Americans.

In regards to the European Parliament elections. Unfortunately the BNP did win seats, but that was to express their discontent with the Labour Government Gordon Brown was not elected on a wave of change; in fact he wasn’t elected at all.

It is absolutely absurd that we even compare our political system to the Americans. Why? Because we do not have elections for both the government and the Parliament, we have elections for both the government and the Parliament. Say what you like about Britain, I do not think that we would vote for a Conservative Government and then a Labour Parliament. The argument that we cannot complain against a far right-wing group in another country when we have failed to tackle the growth of far right-wing groups in Britain is redundant. Why? Our elections have not met the same conditions as those in the US. We are not attacking the politics of another country at the cost of ignoring our own? Why? They are not the same.

Finally in response to further European integration and a new defence treaty with France.

Firstly many Britons want the Government to revalue and review our membership with Europe.

Secondly I believe that we did have a defence treaty with France, in 1939, where the French succumbed to Nazi rule after 6 weeks, forcing us to defend ourselves in the Battle of Britain alone. I also believe that we were standing together in the Suez Canal Crisis. As a result the Americans told us to back off and Britain and France were made laughing stocks across the world.

According to this individual, “The future of Britain lies in croissants and claret, not in baseball and bourbon.” Baseball and bourbon has never really hit it off with the British audiences. As for me I prefer something which has a strong taste as which doesn’t crumble as easily as a croissant, something that the French Armies have proved themselves to be in the last 60 years.

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  1. I have retweeted a link to both this article and my response, on my own blog’s Twitter feed and Facebook pages, should anyone wish to view my original rebuttal in its entirety.

    Your description of the political climate in the US circa 2008 and how the Bush years coloured perceptions of the States abroad is accurate. Moreover, the reasons you cite for showing an interest in America are perfectly valid. However, I feel you have missed the main thrust of my argument. Instead of being about the reaffirming of diplomatic ties and the actions of our leaders (again, I agree, who should serve our interests), my main concern lay with that most basic tenant of any democracy, the participation of the voter with the domestic political system they live and operate within.

    Comparison between modern democracies forms the basis of the study of Comparative Politics, and whilst the fundamental mechanics of each system may be different we can find common ground in the values and in different political cultures. In the case of these mid-term elections against our own European elections of 2009 it is the case that both were a protest votes by a disaffected electorate against the governing executive. In a dramatic contrast to both the 2009 and indeed our 2008 local government elections, there was far greater excitement surrounding Obama’s election. Whilst, you are right in pointing out this was a landmark event, there were more important and pressing concerns happening at home. Particularly in the North West, the BNP succeeded based not a surge of support, but on the apathy of the electorate, particularly the young electorate. It seems ludicrous to be absorbed in events thousands of miles away, when greater participation at home is so badly needed.

    On another point, geopolitically, it makes sense to reaffirm security ties with our nearest neighbour. Whilst many may share your concern about the recent chequered military history of modern France, examples dating from over half a century ago have little bearing the current reality. The spending cuts are happening here and now, and this treaty is an excellent way of tackling them.

    As for the subject of European integration, I offered this opinion:

    “Whether you want closer ties to Europe to settle back behind the Channel, we must be ready to engage more with the Continent for the foreseeable future.”

    There is no doubt that many Britons do want a revaluation of our relationship with the Continent and what many see as the erosion of our national sovereignty is a big concern. Nevertheless, even those against greater integration with Europe must be willing to engage with it more it, if they wish to achieve their goal of protecting British sovereignty. This cannot be achieved by ignoring the EU elephant in the room. Surely, acts such as Nigel Farage’s embarrassing tirade against Herman Van Rompuy only embarrass us, and make it more difficult to achieve our eventual goals. The best way to achieve any goal within a political system is through participation within, not abuse or unawareness of it. Sadly, the degree of Euro-scepticism that exists in the political culture of Britain fails our in terms of pursuing our own interests.

    Thank you Pav, for delivering such a comprehensive and motivating response.

  2. america is a predominantly racist country? please can you justify this comment without lowering to stereotypes, considering the US constitution ensures that all men are born equal, it had a civil war to eradicate slavery and the first western nation to elect a leader from an ethnic minority?

  3. The US Constitution actually states that 3/5 people of African-Caribbean descent are equal to one white person. The founding Father Thomas Jefferson actually disagreed with slavery, but that did not stop him from not freeing his own slaves.

    As someone who has read the autobiography of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, studys American Politics and American history. It is still clear that even today that “the negro still is not free”. The Civil War was more due to the fact that the Southern States did not support Lincoln as President more to the belief in abolising slavery. Even after the slaves were free, black people were clearly discriminated against, they were not allowed to vote until 1964 until an amendment was ratified which effectively gave poor African-Americans the right to vote. The southern states imposed a tax on people, failure to pay tax resulted in votes being taken away from the individual, a tactic played by the “Bull Connor” governors.

    What about the fact that Martin Luther King Jr wasn’t even allowed to protest peacefully, being denied the first amendment.

    The police consistently bully and spend more time on African-Americans.

    america has elected a leader from an ethinic minority, but the presidential election is more to do with personality than policy; style over substance.

    the Ku klux klan still has a major influence on Americans today.

    America has came a long way from this, but still has a long way to go.

  4. This blog is a little hard to digest cause it is filled were several objectionable and obscene statements. There is no basis whatsoever to say that the US is predominantly racist. That is just slanderous. Also, Mr. Obama is of mixed heritage, he is half American “white people” and half African (Kenyan). Calling him the first black US president is inaccurate. Maybe the BBC and CNN are sloppy on this, we should not. “The negro is still not free” I believe is becoming more of a con to extort more money, more materialistic gains and political entitlements than anything else. That quote cheapens the great leaps and changes made during the Civil Rights Movement.

    I think the reason why we have developed a keen interest here in the UK for Mr. Obama is because he is the first mixed race President of the US – it’s unique at this point in time so it arouses special curiosity.

    I object to developing close ties with the Europeans if it means furthering UK integration with the EU. The EU is horrendously undemocratic even with the presence of the European Parliament. That is so because the various European nations that compose the EU have virtually no history in the democratic struggle. They went from being told what to do by various fascist/military regimes and communist dictatorships to the EU regime that tells them what they ought to do now in relation to others, not to themselves. Europeans have a long history of being told what to do and the EU unfortunately facilitates that till this day. The EU denies them their sense of independence and their democratic experience of opposition and dissent therefore why should we join that kind of crowd?

    We already have the Council of Europe that actually includes Russia and Turkey; what is this EU thing for exactly?

  5. Hi Michael,

    I agree with you on the European policy, especially now that they wish to grant prisoners voting rights.

    When Dr Martin Luther King Jr said “the negro still is not free”, this is to be seen in the context that African-Americans at the time did not have the same rights and freedoms that White-Americans have; labour rights, consumer rights, political rights, consumer rights etc

    Now about the claim that America is predominately racist. This mainly applies to the South more than the North. The Ku Klux Klan still has a major influence on Americans. People of Asian and Latin descent are treated with “caution.” I have a Muslim friend who went to the states for a school trip and even before he could claim his luggage he was taken by security for an interrogation. Now this may be because of the threat of Islamic extremists, but if there was white extremism in America, would every single white person be taken for an interrogation? I think not. Furthermore in regards to Hispanic/Latino Americans, this can be seen in the controversial attempt for bring about immigration controls in Arizona. These laws clearly would discriminate against any Hispanic/Latino whether legal or not. Although the bill had been blocked by the State Judge, it didn’t stop them from proposing it. Furthermore most recently, Americans have voted for Tea Party Backed candidates which the tea party movement has close ties with the English Defence League. America as a liberal country which holds the principle of Tolerance (a core value of liberalism) doesn’t really exist. That is my evidence to support the claim that America is predominately racist.

  6. Hello Pav,
    I have heard that quote bounced around before now and that is what my criticism relates to, not the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made it which was very legitimate.

    My issue with your statement on the US, or South, being predominantly racist is this… You talk a lot about the position of the ethnic minorities, but what about the position of the ethnic majority, the “white people”? The problem is that every time some issue is raised concerning ethnic minorities, there is this presumption that “white people” are somehow the sole benefactors of life, as in they do not suffer or can be just as worse of as ethnic minorities. “White people” in the US, and elsewhere, are not like elves from Middle Earth – wise, immortal, materialistically well-off and having access to all sorts of remedies that spares them from all known illnesses and diseases. I think all these reactionary events and popularity in horrendous things like the Tea Party are the collective expression of resentment and objection by “white people”. They feel they are being constantly attacked and dismissed as simply racists, which is a very serious accusation (one used way to randomly these days).

    Your pinpoint cases are legitimate concerns, but I am not convinced that racism is the overarching narrative in understanding and explaining why things are happening the way they are. There are racists mucking about sure, but I am not convinced that they number in the 10s of millions, the same number that supported enforcing laws against illegal immigration and (unfortunately) the same number of votes for tea party candidates.

  7. Hi Michael,

    Firstly I am someone who strongly believes in universal human rights, regardless of race, country, religion. I feel that I have come across as someone who brands everything as racist. If the races were reversed in America, can assure you that I would be writing this article attacking racist African-Americans.

    Secondly if “white people” are upset about constantly being dismissed as racists, then why did they vote for a far-right xenophobic, facist party? this is what both Democracy is Dead articles are about; the fact that americans voted for great change, yet now have re=elected those that did not want the change and did practically everything in their power to stop change from happening.

    Thirdly, you stated that “I am not convinced that racism is the overarching narrative in understanding and explaining why things are happening the way they are.” I would like to say that Former President Jimmy Carter said that the reason why things aren’t changing is because of racism against President Obama, which to me begs the question if Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton was President would they be doing the same?

    The Founding Fathers created a system of democracy, where the tyranny of the majority would fail. Now in America the “swing voters” if you like, have the greatest say over key life-changing policies.

    This Rebuttal article is a response to another article arguing for stronger European than American ties

  8. Hi Pav,

    1) As I said, I think the accusation of racism is used too randomly these days without thought. I think you are taking the Morgan Freeman line, how does racism stop, when people stop talking about it i.e. no black history month and all that stuff. Freeman I think has better authority and insight than Mr. Jimmy Carter. I can’t think of one good thing Carter did for the World as then President of the US (Superpower).

    2) I don’t know what this far-right xenophobic fascist party that you are referring to. I think people who got caught up with that Democratic campaign slogan of “change” developed within themselves both false expectations and illusions. Saying democracy is dead because of votes going the other way is party loyalty defeatism. Saying the system is wrecked because it did not go my way is the thinking of undemocratic people.

    3) Just because Mr. Carter said so does not mean anything. I personally think he is a fool for saying that and did more harm than good, on top of the lacking of evidence. There are FAR worse places with racism than the US. Even now people still emigrate there. I usually do not bother with ex-presidents otherwise I would have to deal with all of em on equal merit including Bush. Even if we are to consider Carter’s simplistic assertion that racism is the factor undermining Obama… how did he get elected overwhelmingly in the first place? I seriously doubt racists voted for Obama in the 10s of millions into power just so that they could then undermine him with racist and cynical intentions.

    4) Just to pick up on your article above with another point. There are elements within the Republican Party that saw environmental and healthcare issues to be national pursuits and should not have been divided into party lines. Did the Democratic Party engage those people? I think they did not. That’s the tragedy. The Democrats just gun-hoed it through with their majority and lost the plot with the temperamental American swing voters. The Change Agenda in 4 years? Fantasy. Maybe even less, like 3 years since re-elections are now creeping ahead almost a full year. Honestly, what were the Democrats thinking? I wonder if those elements I mentioned in the Republican Party survived.

  9. Hi michael, sorry i haven’t been able to reply, i’ve been busy

    1)I agree with you on the jimmy carter’s inability to get anything done. About the assertion and the morgan freeman line, I personally think that we can only stop talking about racism, sexism etc when it stops to be a problem. if we just stop talking about it, it seems that people take a blind eye to it. if we stop talking about the recession, does that mean it isn’t a problem anymore? I know that they are two completely different things, but its that sort of thinking I dont agree with. I personally think that black history month should be celebrated as it marked the change in american society. what annoys me it that people do not celebrate the white americans that were in fact part of it.

    2)This far-right xenophobic fascist party is in fact the tea party movement. If you see the speeches that fox news hasn’t edited, some leading figures have said some pretty revolting things. We must remember that the american political spectrum is even further right than ours, Thatcherism is the norm in the States. I agree with you on the change slogan, it has been completely abandoned by both Obama and Congress; it’s like Nick Clegg and the all Lib Dem MP’s signing a pledge not to increase university fees and make degrees state funded. I’m actually shocked at Obama and Pelosi for not instructing Congress assemble to debate Healthcare Reform for 46 uninsured Americans. I’m not saying that democracy is dead because I didn’t get my way, I’m saying democracy is dead because the outcome of the midterm elections will not promote the common good; ie what American citizens need. Democracy in America is dead and has been replaced with Representation.

    3) Jimmy Carter did not accuse the 10s of millions who voted for Obama as racist. He accused the Republican Congress members who in fact boycotted congressional meetings because they didn’t like the agenda set by the President and the Chairmen/Chairwoman. They may not like the policies but they should at least to their job, representing their States and Districts in those committees. Intrestingly no republican congressmen actually publicly denied the accusations.

    4) Again I agree with you on the Democrats commiting poliical suicide, I’ll never take away what a President has done, but with Obama’s personality and leadership skills he hasn’t gun-hoed healthcare and the economic stimulus plan through congress, the most important policies that he was elected for. His first year outlined his agenda and the second year he passed small to medium bills, not the “Change We can Believe in” bills. Now as this Congress is ready to take over, he’ll be gridlocked and be frustrated that he didnt lead Congress in the first half of his term.

  10. Hello Pav,

    1) I think you have an inaccurate read on Freeman’s idea through that quote so you cannot dismiss it as that kind of thinking just yet. I’m opposed to Black History Month because it is inherently at conflict with principles behind non segregation. When people start reserving months to themselves it just raises barriers; it unravels what it means to be American. Are there enough months for all the ethnic nations/minorities in the US? When everybody wants a month, I think it just becomes a circus. I think there were good intentions behind it, but the outcomes are problematic.

    2) The tea party movement had mixed results in the recent elections so I doubt they are a threatening force for both Republicans and Democrats. Umm as for you last statement, all I can say is that democracy in the States is still very much there institutionally and through society on the basis that democracy is about dissent, debate and opposition, and those qualities are there; on top of universal suffrage and actual elections.

    The EU fails miserably on those qualities and given that the UK is a member, Great Britain is less of a democracy than the US.

    3) I still fail to see the racism evidence. Congressmen not attending meetings for whatever offense is old news; both Republicans and Democrats. Refusing to enter discussions on a particular issue is a form of representing constituents’ demands and expectations. Petty drama blown out of proportion by Mr Carter’s statements.

    4) We are in agreement.

  11. 1) I empathise with your concerns regarding black history month, but how can we celebrate all of those who took part in the civil rights campaign? The black history month is abolished then it seems that we are taking away the success of the civil rights movement in America.

    2) The tea party are classified as republicans; I hope that they cause a split forcing the moderate republicans to cooperate with the democrats in order to do what’s right for the Americans. I argued that democracy is dead because the concept has been taken over by the concept of representation; people now vote to express their discontent with the current system. Does the new party always make things better? No they simply look energised. People in this country voted BNP in 2009 to get all parties to change their policies.

    I’m personally against the Tea Party as they use the twisted idiotic “Glenn beck, bill o Reilly, Sarah Palin, Christine o Donnell and Megyn Kelly” thinking to brainwash Americans. these are people who complain about the Obama administration telling others what to do, but they also do the same; telling Americans to go the church, adopt American values, instil them in children (Nazi and communist propaganda) if a democrat argues that the poorest in society need a decent affordable healthcare plan and a minimum standard of living then he’s branded as a communist! It makes no sense.

    Look at these videos (take away the ridiculous humour of Beck and Stewart)




    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart/4od

    The Glenn Beck show doesn’t really use full historic facts, just edited samples that prove and fuel his fake sad conspiracies, forcing Stewart to take on a new role to stabilise the country by mocking the idiots.

    I think it’s absolutely absurd that the majority of Americans fall for this logic, and it’s sad that we’ve had to see comedians like Stewart and Colbert to restore common sense and sanity to the country.

    3) As for the congressmen boycotting healthcare reforms meetings, a minimum of 46 million are uninsured, each district and state has their fair share of the uninsured, they believe that to represent the poor and uninsured they should boycott the meetings and committees that would help them out? I don’t think that’s democracy, our governments and politicians get kicked out by not representing us, it seems that American politicians are voted in for not representing them. I don’t think that’s “American.”

    • 1) I disagree that having Black History Month is the only way to celebrate achievements of the Civil Rights. Black History month is not just about the Civil Rights, it’s become an exclusive focus on a certain minority group in the US. The fact that Obama got elected is a success of the Civil Rights, nevermind Black History Month.

      2) The fact that Stewart and Colbert are opposing and challenging the views of the Tea Party crowd confirms the presence of democracy in the US. I think the media are forever prostitutes to right wing and left wing extremists and lunatics. The Tea Party might seem like a force, but are just hyped up by mass media giving them prime time slots on TV; like that ex-witch who thankfully did not get elected.

      3)We are in agreement. It’s tragic I think the positions the Republicans took.

  12. 1) Thats the concern, Black history does cause some racial tensions, but how can we celebrate those ie Dr Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, people who took a bullet to great moral causes. i dont believe that Obama’s victory is proof of the success of the civil rights movement because the presidential election is more to do with personality then policy, he looked youthful and he was a democrat, americans were annoyed at the republicans.

    2) Thats why american democracy is in disrepute; the media twist every single thing, govts cant do anything about it because of the first ammendment as a result the media pander to the idiots who actually believe them instead of telling it like it is. I think its a shame that we’ve had to see comedians, celebs, to drop down to their level, not a healthy symptom of democracy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/nov/24/sarah-palin-north-korea-allies

    Will the idiot Glenn Beck accuse Palin of trying to undermine america to a communist regime. He’s done it to everyone including the people that brought down communism. As a Foxnews media personality I dont think he will/

  13. 1) Were Black people the only victims of racism and injustices? The Irish suffered just as much, but since they were just another bunch of “white people” their history and perspectives were swept under the carpet. How do the Chinese fit into Black History Month? They don’t. So honouring the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement with Black History Month is inappropriate and alienates other minority groups. Black History month is self-segregating, more exclusive rather than inclusive orientated.

    I find your inability to acknowledge the fact that a mixed raced person was able to become the President of the United States to be indicative of the successes of the Civil Rights Movement to be mind-blowing. Do you know what happened to mixed race people back in the 70’s and before that were social norms (i.e. complete social demonisation), but are now considered crimes? Do not downplay Obama’s election as having irrelevance or insignificance when it comes to measuring the successes of the Civil Rights Movement.

    2) I think you, like the Guardian, are too caught up with TV personalities and other freaks (i.e. political commentator/extremists). Most Americans are in the middle when it comes to their politics.

  14. 1)Of course black people weren’t the only victims of discrimination. I completely disagree with the claims about the Irish and the Chinese. The Irish were discriminated against because of their religion. The Chinese were discriminated because they were associated with communism. What makes Black History Month unique is that it is meant to be associated with a particular race; there was never 200 years of Irish or Chinese slavery. Still when the Chinese and Irish were in America, they still enjoyed the same rights as “white americans” they were allowed to shop, be educated in schools, allowed the vote. I don’t think that the Irish or Chinese were mauled by dogs, beaten to a pulp, immorally prisoned, State governors did not order firemen to use firehoses on Irish and Chinese protests. The idea of Black history month celebrates that even the worst treated race or minority overcame prejudices. If there were Irish and Chinese political activists then I’m sure there would be an Irish or Chinese Month. The fact that there aren’t is proof that the Irish or Chinese did not have it as bad as Black people.

    You misunderstand me on this point. I’m afraid that I have to disagree with you on Obama’s victory. I’m not downplaying anything. Whilst the success Obama showed the majority of the prejudices have died; a success for the civil rights movements, It didn’t contribute to all of it. I don’t think that people voted for Obama soley on his race. People were annoyed at the republicans for misleading them and not sorting the mess out. The Republicans looked tired whilst the democrats looked energetic and ready to tackle the big problems. Even if Obama was a “white” american, I think he still would have won by a landslide, if he was a republican regardless of his ethnicity I dont think he would have won.

    2) I put that article up because in America we have people like Glenn Beck attacking Obama, branding him as a Nazi-Soviet with the most illogical evidence to prove his point. Glenn Beck attacks Obama on every single policy because apparently state intervention for the country’s problems means the Government is a totalitarian communist regime. Glenn Beck evidently wants republicans back in the White House. Palin at present is the Republican public leader. Her idiocy allied herself with the communist North Koreans. Glenn Beck did not even attack Palin for supporting a communist regime yet Obama gets a grilling from him. Whether we like it or not unfortunately TV personalities have the biggest influence on American voters. I think it’s disgusting as people like Glenn Beck are extremely partisan. When you say that most americans are centrists, we must remember that American political spectrum is more right wing than ours. Thatcherism in Britian is Right wing, in America it would be considered the norm ie the centre ground.

    • 1) I am afraid your remarks here do not stand up to scrutiny and I think your views borderlines on racism against non-blacks. Black History Month is indefensible; we have it because of this multi-cultural agenda and this development and propagating of what we understand as the “white guilt”. If there is one thing I have noticed, all these self-described black political groups never self-critique on their racial prejudices and racism. Black History Month is a freak development in American politics that thrives on the aforementioned trends rather than on anything legitimate. That is why we can see someone as public and famous like Morgan Freeman say he is against it.

      I suggest you read some history concerning the Irish and Chinese in the US past 200 years because your remarks are uneducated and jaw dropping shocking.

      I get your point concerning Obama. I’m saying you have a poor appreciation of it and its importance as a crowning achievement in the Civil Rights Movement. Do you honestly think someone like Obama could have stood for election in the 1980s and won? I highly doubt it. He won in 2008 because of successes of the Civil Rights in changing social norms thus confirming Obama’s election as a crowning achievement for the Movement. Something that could never had happened in the past happened only 2 years ago. You dismissed a majority of Americans as being racist and yet you credited Obama’s win to an unpopular Bush and his disasters… if there were real racists (in the majority as you asserted) they would have voted McCain in a blink of an eye; racists generally do not give a moment’s notice to other issues when it comes to such a clear vote between the white guy or a black/mixed guy. And yet here we are, Obama in the White House. Civil Rights went from visits to the White House to living in it.

      Sometimes I wonder if it will be proponents of the Civil Rights that ultimately destroy the meaning and significance of Obama’s election rather than things like the KKK or Tea Party nonsense just because, I suspect, Obama didn’t transform all African Americans’ lives to that of elves (wise, rich and immortal) in Middle Earth therefore his election is politically and socially insignificant and therefore Civil Rights is not progressing. That is the message I’m getting from you.

      2) I have no further comments on those TV personalities and their ramblings. Americans by large are centrists.

  15. Hi Mike, I think the deabte is getting our of hand and out of context. This is my last comment.

    I find your argument on the success of the civil rights as uneducated and I’ll tell you why. You have argued that Irish discrimination was just as bad in America with disgusting stereotypes regarding voting, alcoholism and employment signs. As I’ve said I studied American history and politics, so for you to accuse me of being racist and uneducated regarding minority discrimination is unjustifiable and disgusting, in my last comment I argued that black people have suffered a great deal more than the Irish and the Chinese; they still do to this day and there is no denying that fact. I’m not and will never condone their abuse, prejudice and discrimination that they and anyone else have been victims of.

    In regards to “white guilt” you are taking an absolutist approach, the only one that have to feel guilty are the ones that were accepted the discrimination and didn’t do anything about it. Many “white” people took part in civil right movements and were members of the NAACP. Are you honestly suggesting that Black History Month makes people who took part feel guilty and ashamed? I find that absurd.

    I disagree with your point regarding Irish discrimination; 22/44 presidents have strong Irish descent dating back to the 7th president. The civil rights movement took part in the 1960s when JFK was president; someone who had Irish roots. You cannot argue that the civil rights movement include the Irish. If it did then according to your argument, the civil rights movement triumphed in 1829 when the first president of Irish descent took office, yet many African-American were slaves. We cannot associate the sufferings of one minority as the same of another

    “Do you honestly think someone like Obama could have stood for election in the 1980s and won.” Didn’t Reagan win the 1980 election? I would that Reagan was “someone like Obama.” As they possesed great public speaking abilities and were in touch with many Americans and the rest of the world. The polls in the election showed that 2% of Americans would vote for Obama because of his race yet 4% of Americans would vote against him because of his race.

    “You dismissed a majority of Americans as being racist and yet you credited Obama’s win to an unpopular Bush and his disasters… if there were real racists (in the majority as you asserted) they would have voted McCain in a blink of an eye; racists generally do not give a moment’s notice to other issues when it comes to such a clear vote between the white guy or a black/mixed guy.” If Clinton won the nomination, she would have won the election and would become the the first woman President. AS I’ve said before my accustation applies to the south and who did the majoirty of the Southern States vote for? McCain. I’m asserting that this was due to race rather than policy or personality.

    Demoracy is Dead.

    • Hi Mike, I think the deabte is getting our of hand and out of context. This is my last comment.

      I find your argument on the success of the civil rights as uneducated and I’ll tell you why. You have argued that Irish discrimination was just as bad in America with disgusting stereotypes regarding voting, alcoholism and employment signs. As I’ve said I studied American history and politics, so for you to accuse me of being racist and uneducated regarding minority discrimination is unjustifiable and disgusting, in my last comment I argued that black people have suffered a great deal more than the Irish and the Chinese; they still do to this day and there is no denying that fact. I’m not and will never condone their abuse, prejudice and discrimination that they and anyone else have been victims of.

      In regards to “white guilt” you are taking an absolutist approach, the only one that have to feel guilty are the ones that were accepted the discrimination and didn’t do anything about it. Many “white” people took part in civil right movements and were members of the NAACP. Are you honestly suggesting that Black History Month makes people who took part feel guilty and ashamed? I find that absurd.

      I disagree with your point regarding Irish discrimination; 22/44 presidents have strong Irish descent dating back to the 7th president. The civil rights movement took part in the 1960s when JFK was president; someone who had Irish roots. You cannot argue that the civil rights movement include the Irish. If it did then according to your argument, the civil rights movement triumphed in 1829 when the first president of Irish descent took office, yet many African-American were slaves. We cannot associate the sufferings of one minority as the same of another

      “Do you honestly think someone like Obama could have stood for election in the 1980s and won.” Didn’t Reagan win the 1980 election? I would that Reagan was “someone like Obama.” As they possesed great public speaking abilities and were in touch with many Americans and the rest of the world. The polls in the election showed that 2% of Americans would vote for Obama because of his race yet 4% of Americans would vote against him because of his race.

      “You dismissed a majority of Americans as being racist and yet you credited Obama’s win to an unpopular Bush and his disasters… if there were real racists (in the majority as you asserted) they would have voted McCain in a blink of an eye; racists generally do not give a moment’s notice to other issues when it comes to such a clear vote between the white guy or a black/mixed guy.” If Clinton won the nomination, she would have won the election and would become the the first woman President. AS I’ve said before my accustation applies to the south and who did the majoirty of the Southern States vote for? McCain. I’m asserting that this was due to race rather than policy or personality.

      Democracy is Dead.

  16. This debate is not out of hand Pav. The fact of the matter is you are providing readers outrageous statements that you are unable to back up with on strong evidence. I have been very balanced and fair on agreeing with the other points you made as having merit, except the issue below.

    I’m afraid I am not satisfied with your responses concerning Black History Month amongst other things. Let us start with the first assertion of yours, “most Americans are racists”. You amended that to only “Southern States”. Both are nonsense. I’m sticking to the original quote that you put forth (I believe in your article) and I’m still waiting for the evidence to back that up. So far I’m just hearing assertions from you. Due to that, that is why I question your motives on advocating and supporting Black History Month, thinking mistakenly, that it is something beyond debate or critique, it’s not.

    You still have not provided my with a satisfactory answer concerning the abuse of Irish and Chinese people (just two examples I raised) in the past 200 years. I’m not interested in this ‘who suffered more or less’ discussion, that is a cop-out in finding justice and reconciliation for all those who were discriminated, abused and demonised against because they were ethnic minorities. I said that Black History Month, because it being named Black, deliberately excluded ALL other ethnic minorities who suffered. How do you address that? You don’t, you continue to focus on African-Americans and that is why I can justifiably question your motives as being borderline (note borderline) racism. Your dismissal of the Irish and Chinese as not suffering, what, enough or more, thus they do not count is no excuse hence the suspicion. Black History Month favours one race.

    Those presidents you cited had Irish ancestry sure, but they were probably labelled as “natives” conveniently because they were white. The VAST majority of Irish, the workers, were demonised for their different culture/accent and even as you pointed out, of their religion, so how are they addressed regarding their past abuses and rights violations? Most Irish people who arrived in the American colonies were indentured servants which was a byword back then for… slaves. It was slavery in all, but name. Does Black History Month cover that? Can it cover that? No, obviously because the name reference is exclusive for one people, and apparently the Irish or Chinese or Mexicans don’t count.

    You misunderstood on the White Guilt section. White Guilt was the repercussions of the American Nation getting to grips with the slavery history. Slavery went against what Christ taught, most or all Americans were Christians, and the US was supposed to be a Republic. Slavery was a dirty secret/contradiction kept for so long that when it needed to be addressed during the Civil Rights, it was a national shocker. However, that process produced a guilt and what that did was OK everything Black interest groups wanted even if it contradicted or undermined the principles outlined during the Civil Rights Movement such as de-segregation. Black History Month is a primary example (obviously, what do you think Black is a reference to?) since it segregates or fails to accept the legitimacy of the suffering of other races.

    I think you are mixing up modern US electioneering with race regarding my quote about how someone, a mixed race person, could never get elected as President back in the 1980s, but could now because of Obama. I raised that in relation to how I accredited his election success as being the crowning achievement to the Civil Rights Movement. You are of the opinion that it is not and I challenged that.

    “I find your argument on the success of the civil rights as uneducated and I’ll tell you why.” How so? Just because I argue that Black History Month deliberately excludes other ethnic minority groups? You think that is an uneducated argument? I think I have been more than thorough in demonstrating that it does exclude other ethnic minorities thus it is an unacceptable event with regards to how the principles and ideals of the Civil Rights are to be celebrated.

    Your “democracy is dead” statement is most disagreeable. I think that is a reaction to too much time seeing and listening to those freaks on TV, of the right wing variety.

  17. This debate is out of hand because you have deliberately taken my comments out of context.

    My original quote was that America is “still predominately racist country” not “most Americans are racists”. I didn’t amend this claim to the Southern States. I take full responsibilty for not putting that into my original article and for which I’m sorry as the accusation has labelled the entire nation as racist, which is not true.

    Here is my evidence for the South being predominately racist:

    During the Philadelphia Covention, the northern delegates wanted slavery to be abolished, yet the southern delegates wanted the inhumane and “unamerican” process to remain.

    The South fought the Northern States hoping to win and kept slavery in practice.

    The South lynched former World War One exservice men of african descent as soon as they returned home for crimes they didn’t commit.

    There was a purge against loyal Japanese Americans during World War Two.

    Members of NAACP and other ethinic minorities were wrongly put into jail for protesting peacefully.

    Members of a different race do not have equal oppurtunities than members of a “white” race in the South.

    The Islamaphobic purge on Americans that follow Islam.

    Direct discrimination in airports targeting asian travellers

    Recently, the Pastor Terry Jones was the head of the disgusting “Qur’an-burning” controversy.

    As I’ve mentioned the 4% of voters decided to vote against Obama because of his race.

    I think the reason why we have conflicting views over Black History Month is that we are in disagreement over the idea itself. For me Black History Month is celebrating the successes that figures such as Dr King, Malcolm X made during the 1960s when State governments were doing everything in their power to crush them. Black History Month is a celebration that these figures made a peaceful struggle against discrimination everywhere. I understand that other ethinicites and races are not named in this month, (a small girl wrote to MLK when in hospital disagreeing with her parents views on race ) but that is not just cause to abolish the month in itself. I don’t think that Morgan Freeman speaks for all African-Americans. Freeman had a fairly privileged upbringing compared to other African-Americans around his time.

    I empathise with your concerns about the the Irish, Chinese and Hispanics. (Furthermore racial evidence.) Obviously they don’t fit into Black History Month because of the name. I am not saying or will ever say that the Irish or Chinese or Mexicans don’t count. African-Americans, Chinese-Americans and Hispanic-Americans are still denied oppurtunities in the South because of their race, Irish-Americans do not have that problem anymore.

    In regards to “white-guilt”, I don’t think that it Ok-ed everything “Black interest groups wanted even if it contradicted or undermined the principles outlined during the Civil Rights Movement such as de-segregation.” Members of the NAACP made damn clear that this wasn’t the case and campaigned for equality both ways.

    Just because America had voted in a racially “black” President, for me isn’t enough, Obama would have won as a Democrat regardless of his race.

    Democracy is dead because all sides of the political spectrum are denied equal oppurtunities to be heard and more likely to be scrutinised on faults which is not of their doing. The freaks of the right-wing, (which is more extreme in America) have criticised everything that the Administration has done or would like to, taking everything the Government says directly out of context, relating them to facist or communist ideals, without giving them a chance to justify their policies. These people haven’t even asked the new Congress what they would do. Overturn the current legislation and stifle progress. Back to square one in America; instability.

  18. Pav, I did not take your comments out of context. They were pretty straight forward stamens. I fail to see the difference between “still predominately racist country [USA]” or “most Americans are racists”.

    Slavery and Civil Rights are two different things. So I’ll stick to Civil Rights because slaves had no rights, only protection, as in being viewed as property. These are two distinct histories. The history you presented from slavery is not evidence that America is “still predominately racist country” – the present. Yes there are racists everywhere in the world including the US, but predominant (in the US) is not accurate at all.

    When people talk about Black History Month, they are not talking about Japanese-Americans or anybody else period. This is something that advocates of BHM are avoiding. Martin Luther King does not need BHM to be remembered. I did not encounter or remember King by BHM which I am so grateful about. King said words he saw were self-evident and universal, BHM smothers that, shackles King to a month that clearly and exclusively concerns African-Americans when it should be for everyone. Saying BHM is the only access to King is terrible.

    If you acknowledge that other ethnic minorities have grievances and histories about discrimination and demonization, then I would say that Black History Month is not a suitable means of addressing and understanding them. I’m of the opinion that it was a bad idea based on good intentions. I think this is the dilemma Freeman warned us about, “Is a month enough?” He was perhaps insinuating what if all other ethnic minorities wanted a month, or what happens to the American society if we all just celebrate our own months about our own affairs and histories. I contend it would be a mess, a farce, barriers and self-segregation. It becomes something less focused on Civil Rights.

    Freeman does not speak for all African-Americans, no one does probably, but he is well informed from personal experience and he has principles that originate from the ideals of the Civil Rights.

    NAACP is one of the movers in the Civil Rights, but they have a problem, they are one-sided, they only view things from the ethnic-minority perspective and experience (legitimate yes), but how do they account for the ethnic majority? When they say are for equality both ways, I think that would be a problem for them… just words. Why is it that when someone wants to put together an advancement organisation for say white people, they get hell from the media and Civil Rights groups, but when we have something like the NAACP persisting on even after Obama’s election, it’s justified and the “norm”. Since when did all white people lived like elves from Middle Earth – rich, wise and immortal. There are just as many poor, uneducated and politically removed white people as there are black counterparts, but we don’t discuss the former. Black History Month in a way I think is an expression of that kind of double-standard. Forget the Irish, they are white and assimilated, wash our hands.

    I think a lot of self-critique needs to go around BHM advocate groups and ethnic minority political groups. So far it seems BHM is something that is being viewed as being beyond debate or scrutiny which is incorrect.

    I have to say that I would probably have to disagree with you for a long time concerning democracy in the US.

  19. Mike you did take my comments out of context concerning the treatment of the Irish, compared to the treatment of the African-Americans. I said that the “Irish or Chinese did not have it as bad as Black people.” In the entire history and still today, African-Americans still have it a lot worse. You accused me of being borderline racist about this statement. I have not dismissed the sufferings of the races you mentioned. Like I said I will never condone any form of discrimination against any race, religion, belief.

    If we take away the slavery argument; what about the other evidences of racism in the South that I have mentioned. Just because some people give others a bad name and that is not just. If Catholic priests abuse young children, is that enough to say that ALL catholics abuse young children? NO! Of course not! And that is definitely not the case. That is how the attack on Islam has occurred. People argue that there aren’t any moderate muslims, but that’s because they are scared to publicy follow their religion. Look at the case where the extremists were stupid enough to burn a poppy. Brtiain knows that all muslims were not part of the disgusting act and we recognised that we shouldn’t label Islam as a horrible religion, yet the Americans do? Can you honestly tell me that is not being racist?

    I understand that BHM does not include other minorities. BHM celebrates the achievements,that African-Americans made during the the civil rights movement and also their history and major events that these people made. You just said that Dr King does not need BHM to be remembered. But what about all his associates, the people that he led, those who took he worst, most inhumane, cruel treatment just to bring the idea that “all men are created equal” into a reality. The un-named aren’t celebrated with Dr King’s Day in America, nor are the associates of Malcolm X. BHM is the celebration of the un-named people, various ethinic minorities (although there are not mentioned nor associated with BHM) still do celebrate the achievements and sacrifices that these people made; deaths of innocents. I don’t think that we can count the Irish as a minority anymore as 40% of Americans have Irish ancestry. More importantly irish discrimination was not due to race, which is my argument. So many people are denied the opportunites that they deserve because of the colour of their skin.

    Black History Month is not a suitable means of addressing and understanding other ethnic discrimination. That is not BHM intention, it never was. NAACP does include all ethnic minorities, hence the name National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. BHM does not cause race riots in America; even the ethnic majority celebrates the cause and the campaigns.

    “How do they account for the ethnic majority?” “Why is it that when someone wants to put together an advancement organisation for say white people, they get hell from the media and Civil Rights groups?” I have to reject this premise because the ethinc majority do not have problems in the workplace, in schools, in society. The ethnic majority does not have problems based on their skin colour. Organisation such as NAACP do work peacefully and democratically with other organisations with a postive message, yet organisations such as the KKK (“an advancement organisation for say white people”) clearly have a negative message with violent means.. I’m not accusing you of supporting the Klan. The fact of the matter is white people shouldn’t need “advancing” because that implies that different races are inequal. We both know that this is not the case. Why do American white people need advancing if they have it better than other races?

    Yes “there are just as many poor, uneducated and politically removed white people as there are black counterparts, but we don’t discuss the former.” I think we should and have not argued the case against it.

    This links in with my perception that “Democracy is Dead.” In 2008 the Democrats won control over both the White House and Congress. Yet they have not had the power to implement their propoals because of right-wings freaks criticising their every move. Why do people vote if they don’t agree with what they want? The power that elected officails hold is very little and is not enough to pass what they wanted. Is that a democracy? The “many poor, uneducated and politically removed white people” that you have mentioned have voted against themselves.

    • 1) I did not take you quotes out of context Pav so stop insisting it. I quoted you on your statements, not general narratives that could be misquoted. Example? “The US is still predominantly a racist country.” That is a pretty straight forward statement from you and it is complete nonsense. Nothing out of context there. I raised the Irish people’s past suffering as an example of how an ethnic group was excluded from BHM because on today’s watch they are afterall still white thus irrelevant, wash our hands. I was not quoting you about it so it was not from your context. I could go into the abuse and suffering of the Chinese to further the point of how BHM excludes others, but something tells me you got the point.

      2) You lost me on this paragraph.

      3) You are undermining your position without even knowing it. King had a vision that was universal and for everyone, BHM monopolizes King for a specific race of people. It is total nonsense and deviates from the principles and ideals of the Civil Rights period. I’m still waiting for your explanation on how it is justifiable to honour and remember the Civil Rights when we have Black History Month when it deliberately excludes other races that suffered. As I said, this ‘who suffered more or less’ debate as some kind of measure is malarkey and you know it. ALL must be addressed and BHM fails to do so. BHM is becoming more of celebrating black culture than anything else, never mind Civil Rights for all races.

      4) BHM may not cause race riots, but they cause segregation – the old ‘us and them’ divide. Please do not introduce new topics when you have not even dealt with the ones I’ve presented due i.e. self-segregation and fragmentation of US society into our own little Months. The ethnic majority celebrates it because if they don’t they would probably be called racists, it’s the usual hell non-black people get if they do not OK everything black political interest groups want. I contend that BHM is driven more by black political interest groups who serve the benefits of their own race rather than anything Civil Rights.

      “BHM is the celebration of the un-named people, various ethnic minorities (although there are not mentioned nor associated with BHM) still do celebrate the achievements and sacrifices that these people made; deaths of innocents.” Can you not see the nonsense here? You first concede that BHM is exclusive of others, but it’s still OK because other ethnic minorities celebrate it… so you think it is legitimate to sweep all ethnic minority histories into a month that focuses and favours one… what a farce.

      If that Month (BHM) is truly about the Civil Rights, about the innocents and about the nameless advocates and activists, it would be named… Civil Rights Month, but it is not, why? Did King dedicate his life to create BHM? Ask yourself that.

      5) Please compare like with like. KKK is by no means an advancement group for anyone. They are reactionary racists intent on nothing good for all ethnic minorities. I cannot believe you strung NAACP together with KKK in some kind of comparison. Don’t even attempt at wit by adding “I’m not accusing you of supporting the Klan.” If you are not, then remain silent otherwise it’ll be just a smear.

      How can you say that white people do not need advancing the same way black people need advancing? You have a clear bias against all races that are not black. What shred of evidence are you basing such a fallacious generalisation… “why do American white people need advancing if they have it better than other races?” Plus “I have to reject this premise because the ethnic majority do not have problems in the workplace, in schools, in society.” Absolute nonsense. You, consistently now, presuppose that white people are living like Elves, materialistically well off, well educated, access to all needs, do not or never suffered hardships, immortal – fanciful stereotypes. Are there a lot of white people well-off, yes, but that is because white people are a bigger population, not because they are just white! Of course there will be more of them than the other ethnic minorities. You need to escape from these stereotypes about the white people how they are all these supreme beings.

      When you go down that line, that delusion, you are basically saying and justifying, ok, a poor illiterate white street kid is generally better off because he is white as oppose to a similar kid that is black. Thus, black kids need all the advancement they need and the white and other ethnic minorities well, they suffer differently or less… Is that what the Civil Rights has come to, for you? Civil Rights is universal and BHM is not. BHM caters to one group and one group only and they should not have monopoly over Civil Rights figures and ideals.

      6) You just questioned why American white people needed advancing if they are better off than other races… you are arguing the case against it – clearly. Your advocacy of BHM (could be any other particular race) is a case against it. Are you honestly saying there could or should be a White History Month to compensate… I wonder how that will go down. I can tell you where, a farce, complete trashing of the universal and self-evident truths of the Civil Rights and King’s vision.

      7) I think my position on democracy in the US still stands. So I will not comment on this aspect of the article further.

  20. 1.) You challenged me about the argument of race in the States. Now as the Irish are a “white race” I do not think that we can consider the inhumane suffering of the Irish as a racial issue. This does NOT dismiss the suffering that they have victims of, yes the Irish are white and have extremely suffered but that was not a race issue. The treatment of the Irish is proof of how America was an intolerant nation at that time
    2.)You asked or examples of evident racism in America and you have yet to acknowledge the other racial evidence I have made. My argument was in effect that if Islam was a “white” religion; would the Southern Americans be against it? Just because a few extremists bring religion into disrepute, is not just cause to attack all followers of that religion and the religion itself. I brought the Catholic incident as an example of how Americans don’t attack other religions and followers of the religion today. I hope that this makes the paragraph clear.
    3.)If and I quote “BHM is becoming more of celebrating black culture than anything else” then why do other ethnicities and other races celebrate it and take part in it? BHM does not remember the ethnicities involved civil rights movement. I have not justified that it has. Even so that is not just cause to attack BHM. For me BHM celebrates the first ground-breaking success that was made during the civil rights movement in America particularly passing the 24th Amendment, the first ever civil rights legislation, which in effect got the ball rolling to other countries, we as a country didn’t introduce effective civil rights legislation until 1976, it brought awareness to the South African apartheid and it’s abolishment. I find it ridiculous that you think it segregates American Society.
    4.)I find it ridiculous that you have argued that BHM has causes segregation; many Americans of all ethnicities and races take part in the month and marches that are celebrated yearly. You may think it’s a farce but other Americans do not. In regards to Dr King, of course he did not dedicate his life for BHM. Again the reason behind BHM for a civil rights movement; African-Americans were the civil minority AT THE TIME being discriminated against. I strongly recommend that you read the auto-biography of Dr King to gain a true perspective of his visions and ideals because he in fact disagreed with some of the goals that the civil rights movement wanted to achieve as he thought it would have the opposite effect of it’s intentions.
    5.)I did not compare the NAACP to the KKK. Stop insisting that I did, again taking my comments out of context. Interestingly the Klan classifies themselves as a “white” advancement group. You and I and the rest of the world know damn well that it isn’t. Believe me I was not attempting at whit. I just wanted to make the record clear, if I didn’t put that in, I suspected that you would have challenged me anyway.
    6.)You argued and I quote “You, consistently now, presuppose that white people are living like Elves, materialistically well off, well educated, access to all needs, do not or never suffered hardships, immortal – fanciful stereotypes” if you actually read what I said; Yes “there are just as many poor, uneducated and politically removed white people as there are black counterparts, but we don’t discuss the former.” I think we should and have not argued the case against it. I have not said that we should leave this as a problem, the conclusion in my other article was that inevitably those that need help will suffer the most. (the quotes were from your comments and the bold is my response to it. If you look at the percentages of wealth disrtibution for both races, the percentages is not the same; especially in the South. Of course I AM NOT advocating that we allow a poor uneducated people whatever their race to remain in that position and have not justified this. I find it ironic how your accusing me of being whitty yet you’ve just done the same thing, by taking what I have said out of context even though I have not said it. I have not stereotyped anything.
    The following is your own quote; “Why is it that when someone wants to put together an advancement organisation for say white people, they get hell from the media and Civil Rights groups?” My response is because those people that send out a negative message, just look at the EDL in this country, dividing and segragating the country. The NAACP and similar organisations have only asked for equality for all, not discriminating against minorities due to their race. “White advancement organisations” campaigns for inequality If you look at the well off people in one race, compared to another the percentages are not the same. The proportions are not equal. Say for example 2% of African-Americans are well off, yet 12% of White-Americans are well off too. Is that racial equality?The numbers of the poor and the rich have nothing to do with this before you argue that it does. You asked for evidence of racism in America; a majoritarian “white” country.
    My argument was not it is justifiable for a poor, illiterate white kid to remain in that position and I find it arrogant and in fact an uneducated conclusion that I asserted that I did. Partly because I have not used any stereotypes to support my argument, which you have.
    My advocacy of BHM is a celebration of the achivements made, not the advancement of African-American culture. I’m afraid you lost me because I cannot possibly imagine how you concluded that I support a “white history month.” That to me is a desperate, petty and personal attack.

    • 1) If we look at the history of abuse and injustices in the US, the Irish suffered, much like others like the African-Americans, like the Chinese and so forth. The reason why I raised the Irish and the Chinese for that matter, was my challenge to you on how Black History Month connects with those histories? It can’t because it is a month devoted to African-Americans (note Black History Month) exclusively. You said the treatment of the Irish is proof of how America was an intolerant nation at the time. Yes, but my challenge still stands, how does Black History Month bring that to the fore? It doesn’t. The history of Chinese in the US? Same. How do you address that? Well, you attempted by suggesting that a measure of suffering be introduced which I dismissed as rubbish and a cop-out. When it comes to striving for universal justice and the addressing of grievances which was what the Civil Rights was about, a measure or micro-management of who suffered more or less is odious. So, just in case I lost you. How does the focus on African-Americans in Black History Month connect to the, as you mentioned, the non-racial dimension of Irish history of injustices, the racial dimension, of the Chinese history of injustices and racism? How can they be accessed by BHM? They can’t.

      You said you were, “someone who strongly believes in universal human rights, regardless of race, country, religion.” If that is so, I’ll ask you again, why is it Black History Month when it should be, as I suggested, Civil Rights Month? Black History Month as its name obviously suggests is not focused on the universal ideals of Civil Rights, but more on the specific history of black people. Is the history of the Chinese suffering (or any other non-black ethnic minority) so irrelevant to the extent that a racially neutral month cannot be created? To me it seems so hence Black History Month being used as the window into the Civil Rights. This monopoly BHM has on understanding Civil Rights undermines the universal quality and ideals it conveys. If you want your Black History Month, fine, then I want my Chinese History Month. We could then settle on another Month called Civil Rights Month to remember everyone’s past injustices. Then again why not just have the latter? This trend is what I consider a circus, everybody wanting their own month so as to better reflect their own particular measure of suffering. And when we all have our own months, I argued that was self-segregation and all Civil Rights ideals are lost to those racial reference months.

      2) I don’t understand the comparison you are trying to make here so I won’t comment further. You said I have yet to acknowledge the other racial evidence you made; no I accept them. They are events. However, they are not evidence to what you argue which is the US is predominantly a racist country. It is no different as me saying the whole world is predominantly racist because of all these racists events in the US and all these racist events in Japan and all these racist events in Paraguay… just because events of racism happened due to a minority of people wanting to come out and hurt or kill each other because of racial tension, does not mean the whole country or the whole world is predominantly racist. But, you have not retracted your statement of the US is a predominantly racist country (note is, as in today, as in recent time) despite a lacking of direct evidence and the failure to address the significant event of Obama being elected. If the US is a predominantly racist country, those racists may they be Democrats or Republicans would have voted for McCain or Hilary no matter how screwed up the country is in terms of economy or so forth. Racists vote for their own kind come hell or high water. The fact that Obama won effectively exposes your statement that the US is predominantly a racist country as nonsense. Does the US have a history of racists events, yes, as you produced. Does the US (like everywhere else) have racists, yes. Is the US a predominantly racists country, no, obviously and I refer to the Obama Presidency as evidence.

      3) They celebrate it, if you can call it that, because of this monopoly BHM has over Civil Rights. If they are given the opportunity to choose between a Civil Rights Month to understand the histories of all those who suffered injustices due to race or a Black History Month that claims to do the same despite the contradiction in its name, I bet all will go for the Civil Rights Month and really celebrate that.

      For you BHM may be the celebration of the ground-breaking success of the Civil Rights, but to ME who is not black and to others I know who are not black, we resent it because we feel deliberately alienated by a month that is named for a very specific group of people (black ie African-Americans) that we are not! We want to understand the Civil Rights, but we are alienated by this month because it views the Civil Rights through the window of African-Americans. Get it? Can you not see how BHM deprives the chance of others who are not Black, but suffered just as well, in understanding the Civil Rights and the universal qualities and principles it espoused?

      4) I think my paragraphs above deals with this section too.

      5) You did throw the two together. I suggest you re-read what you wrote before saying I took your words out of context. Do you even know what out of context means? You keep saying I do it and I keep showing and explaining to you I did not. Here I go again. You said NAACP was an advancement group for ethnic minorities, correct. Then you said “The ethnic majority does not have problems based on their skin colour. Organisation such as NAACP do work peacefully and democratically with other organisations with a positive message, yet organisations such as the KKK (“an advancement organisation for say white people”) clearly have a negative message with violent means..” You brought in NAACP and KKK as organizations that had advancement goals except NAACP was peaceful and democratic whereas the KKK had a negative message and violent. You did string up those two organizations (even in the same sentence) as being comparable entities, one positive one negative. I said they were not comparable because the KKK was not an advancement group by any stretch of the word. They were reactionary racists with twisted views on how the South ought to be.

      6) I can’t see where the irony is and this out of context thing is raised again… I’m not going to chase it because it is tedious with a predictable conclusion. It was not my intention to reciprocate wit. I think you mashed some parts of my response into number 6 and it is hard for me to follow. All I can see that there appears to be an agreement between you and I on how we should advance all races in terms of economic and social well-being and political representation.

      “Why is it that when someone wants to put together an advancement organisation for say white people, they get hell from the media and Civil Rights groups?” (my quote) My response is because those people that send out a negative message, just look at the EDL in this country, dividing and segragating the country (your quote). Why do you classify things like KKK and EDL as examples of white advancement group? Can you not see how you are suggesting that ethnic minority advancement groups are positive while white advancement group are negative using KKK and EDL as examples? Ridiculous. If you are about equality and all that, will you or will you not support a peaceful and democratic white advancement group?

      You and I just agreed that all races should be advanced so the statistics on proportionality along racial lines you brought in I think are irrelevant and meaningless. There is no point going down that road. If you want there to be a black advancement group, OK fine. I would like to see one for the Chinese and one for the white people. To say that white people do not need or owed one because of proportionality is nonsense, it is double standards and breaks the agreement we had above on advancing everyone. Unless I am mistaken, that we do not have that agreement that all races should be advanced?

      7) (Your last paragraph) “My advocacy of BHM is a celebration of the achievements made, not the advancement of African-American culture. I’m afraid you lost me because I cannot possibly imagine how you concluded that I support a “white history month.” That to me is a desperate, petty and personal attack.”

      Can you not see the problems of your position here and how it is undermined? You cannot say BHM is a celebration of the achievements made when it is a month that is not inclusive of everyone as I touched on earlier. If you want to celebrate those achievements made, same achievements meant to be universal and for all, then get a Civil Rights Month. Again if it is not African-American culture you are looking for, same question, why is it not called Civil Rights Month or something racially absent? I argued that on principle if you see BHM as a legitimate window into the Civil Rights, which I object, then you will have to support and condone something like White History Month, and more, Chinese History Month, Hispanic History Month, until as I argued, the Civil Rights focus is lost, replaced by these little racial months. It was not a desperate, petty and personal attack. I think I did not make that paragraph clear enough; it was not my intention to attack, but to chase up on your standards in relation to BHM.

  21. Hi Mike, let’s just agree to disagree on BHM due to differing opinions. We are not going to change each other opinions; we are both too strong-minded. All I can hope for is that you read this comment word for word, sentence to sentence.

    For me Civil Rights in America is based on race and race only, (I completely understand that this is not the case for you.) that has been proved to me with African-American suffering the Orient suffering for their political ideals involvement and the Muslim, Sikh and Hindu communities suffering post 9/11. Civil Rights in America cannot therefore address the suffering of the “white” minorities that you mentioned. You are quite right about the events, but these events have changed views of Americans against certain communities into negative views, that to me is racism

    My argument was if Islam was a “white” religion, would Americans regard it as a “vicious religion?” I think not, proving the Southern States to be racist. If this is not sufficient, what about the immigration laws in Arizona, clearly discriminating against all Hispanic/Latin Americans? I think you’ll find that I did retract the view that the whole of America is predominately racist. “My original quote was that America is “still predominately racist country” not “most Americans are racists”. I didn’t amend this claim to the Southern States. I take full responsibilty for not putting that into my original article and for which I’m sorry as the accusation has labelled the entire nation as racist, which is not true.”

    The reason why I support and celebrate BHM is because the black or African-American community started the whole movement. Yes, the Asian, Indian, the Oriental races and communities are not directly mentioned. As a member of one of these communities, I think we owe it to Black people or African-Americans. My community was not treated as bad as they were, although they were discriminated against. The civil rights legislation that the African-American community had in fact developed and made Congress vote for had spread the influence to other countries. I am one of the lucky ones in the sense that I was born in a time where legislation outlawing discrimination was put into place so I wasn’t as much a victim of it. I honestly think that we owe it to them. Their sacrifices helped future races and communities not be discriminated against making sure that the racial majority were not discriminated against in doing so. The name Black History Month is just a name to me, which the people involved had no involvement in. As someone who is of different race, it doesn’t concern me personally. Like you said “I think there were good intentions behind it, but the outcomes are problematic.” You will not please everybody, you can’t. I don’t see other racial communities who object to it.

    All races should be advanced allowing all races to be equal in America. All people of different races should have equal oppurtunity to improve their social mobility, again I did say in my last article that those who need help will in fact suffer the most. My perspective is that you implied that because the status of African-Americans have improved, then so should white people. My argument was that this would not improve racial relations, as one race “moves up or is advanced”, then the other race needs to play “catch-up.” Why allow both races to be on the same status, and then advance both of them.

    Yes I did use NAACP and the KKK in the same sentence. But I did not compare them. Just to be clear; NAACP is a good organisation, the KKK is a bad organisation. Legally the KKK have classified themselves as a white advancement group. You and I know that this is absolute nonsense and we are mortified that American law allows them to do so. I personally do not classify the EDL and the KKK as white advancement groups, but unfortunatly the law (God knows how) does! If there is a white advancement group like NAACP which does discriminate against other races, religions, etc to achieve it’s goals, (providing that the goals are goals that I agree with and the organisation conducts themselves in the correct manner to achive it’s goals), then of course I’ll support them. We live in a pluralist society and democracy. why wouldn’t I?

    If you want your “Chinese History Month” or even another Ethnic History Month, then fine you can have it. But then ask yourself who in reality is causing segragation in spite of pettiness. Do not take away what the African-American Community did for all future minority races where-ever they may be, they triumphed with the goals of equality and justice over injustice and discrinimation. Did you know that there is a campaign against the treatment of “white people” in Zimbabwe led by a racially black community?

    Those are my standards on BHM, do not take them for something that they are not.

    This really is my last comment. You can respond but I will not respond back.

  22. Hello Pav,

    I believe we have struck some common grounds. This might officially be the longest duo act on PP lolz. Most thought provoking.

    Your words in your latest response have resonance with me, so I can say with confidence this thread has reached a friendly conclusion.

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