Joined: 09 Feb 2007
|Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:22 pm Post subject: The Politics of Hatred ... Could be Constructive ?
|( Sitting and staring at the screen in Cardiff Central Library ... this could easily be misunderstood and used against me ... probably not wise just to bung down a short note about it - I will try to elaborate the idea another time ... I hope ! )
There are those others of our own sex that we sometimes develop a passion for - call it brotherly love, platonic love, whatever - which is not sexual ... When I was in my mid twenties a met a man who seemed so much my kindred spirit that I developed such a passion for him - I still have that passion for him but we became bitterly estranged as friends, a tearing apart which led to him starting to not talk to me about twenty years ago. This rift between us arguably began over my close friendship with his female partner at that time which is a friendship with her which still continues : we can all be in the same party together - he has actually sat in between us - and he studiously ignores the fact that we exist : we are " dead " to him and this can be very painful at times and nobody has resolved it. At the very beginning of the rift when I was trying to be sympathetic to his feelings he rounded upon me for what he probably perceived as condescension and alleged that I was " institutionally racist " and could not understand what it meant to have been the sole black child in an otherwise all white school ... I could understand the allegation but I denied - and I still deny - that it is true ... and we patched things up for more than a dozen years before a further row over something more tangible, but notably another issue concerning identity.
This ties in for me with that vicious nonsense about supposedly " Anti-Semitic " remarks made by various politicians recently - allegations being made by leading members of the Jewish communities in The UK and The USA who really should know better and therefore whom I suspect of Zionism which in my book is deeply Anti-Jewish if not in fact Anti-Semitic. It is of course fairly easy to see how criticising The State of Israel or indeed Zionism ( there are some older and fluffier versions around of Zionism which are not steeped in blood of Palestinians albeit pretty much splattered by association with Ersatz Israel ) is not Anti-Semitic although of course there will be Anti-Semites who seize their opportunities to associate themselves with such arguments in order to try to legitimise their Racism ... but let me take this a step further : it is OK to hate The People in Judaism - provided that you do not hate them on account of their identity but on account of some fault that you find in them ... otherwise I myself would be wide open to the charge of " Anti-Semitism " for being very angry with the behaviour of Lil' Sis and her Friends in Israel : they are not bombing Palestinians - they are just badly behaved on the normal everyday level as individual persons ...
... In a sense all " Racism " is institutionalised : historically The People in Society - like you and me - do not give a toss about the people next - " WILL YOU SHUT THAT RACKET UP YOU BLOODY BASTARDS I AM TRYING TO WORK HERE !!! " - um ... where was I ? ... Oh yeah - our neighbours ... we do not normally care who they are - unless they annoy us - and we all try to get on with whoever lives next door - " THANK YOU !!! " - and to that end most people actually make a point of making ourselves known to our neighbours and - whilst we do that more or less out of the mutual self interest which we share with them - most of us also have a sense of not being too calculating about what we might get out of our neighbours : we know that elderly people might need a bit of help without trespassing on their sense of their own continuing independence - we know that somebody will have a dreadful holiday if they are worrying about their goldfish not being fed everyday - and we will drive hundreds of miles to find a matching pair of goldfish if we forget - and we know that everybody's children have to be looked out for and protected even if we are not on speaking terms with their parents ... ah ...
... I had a row with some neighbours of mine several years ago - I will pass over the details but in this case they came from some central African sort of a country and they were lovely smiley good Christian people who flatly denied that they were the cause of the problem ( oh - another time ) despite being shown the evidence and therefore they took to not talking to me whilst I stood and talked to their backs ( after this problem was finally solved - it should not have happened and they never apologised - we mutually " forgot " it ever happened : this happened in the middle of it.) Now my argument with my neighbours had a certain element of " racism " within it : we have different cultures and different ways of interacting and those lazy bastards just would not make the effort to see things my way and ... ah ... mmm ... anyway it was not about them being black : it was really all about them having never lived in a proper house before which had actual real plumbing and ... er ... um ... Anyway ... ( NO : I just did that for the sake of an illustration you racist fools : I am more or less a bit Welsh you know ) ...
... There was some sort of problem : I reckon now that their six year old son had suddenly re-appeared outside their front door after Mum and Dad had gone to work and elder brothers and sisters had been bussed off to their bigger schools ... I stopped to make sure that he was alright : did he want me to ring his Mum ? ... Now you know what the newspapers and television are full of : lonely middle aged scruffy white males whose homes are stacked full of brutal paedophilia and ... so you can understand why this well dressed black business man came charging across the road to save this vulnerable black child from being accosted by this obviously evil blanker ... ( I wonder if the City Council Library Computers will now ban this web page as " racist " like they have two or three others : you can not have a candid discussion any more about such words " nugger " and " yud " - but I but you " blanker " will pass through their filter ... not before I finish this will I test that though ) ... Fortunately " Little x " was pleased to see the nice man who always returns his toys and tells him crazy strange stories over the back garden wall ... and rather frightened by this understandably concerned but misconstrued act by what I take to be was in fact a very nice man whose heart was in the right place even if his head was not ...
... As it happened - once " Little X " had assured us both as to what he was going to do - the two middle aged misconstruers who were going in the same direction - indeed I made sure of that - then made a point of explaining each other to each other as we walked and parted with a handshake : this was fairly easy to do because we were both Butetowners and therefore we both had past experience in doing this sort of thing i.e. not assuming that somebody else is " wrong " because they are " different." Now I think that therein lies the demarcation that defines what " Racism " is and which explains both positive and negative " Institutional Racism " also ... I get fed up being lectured about my supposed " Racism " because I have problems with my differences with certain other cultures by people who never encounter such differences : you go to places where they never meet people from other places and as often as not it is the same naivity - ok, let me be generous : lack of experience, poor construing skills, plain immorality - which underlies both their Racism and their Anti-Racism : both are forms of Institutional Racism e.g. The Democrats in Wales compulsively pick people from ethnic minorities as candidates to present a picture of a happy convivial multi-ethnic society etc when what we want is somebody who can do the job ... I do not pick my plumbers according to their ethnicity ...
... I am supposed to be doing something else : I have quite a lot to say on this subject but I am going to recount - hopefully accurately - what my Dad told me about his first stroll down Bute Street : he told me this some forty years after it happened ... My Dad was a student, the son of a railwayman he had worked hard and won a scholarship to University College Cardiff and although he must have been to Cardiff before he had never walked down to The Pierhead ... Even after forty years he had difficulty explaining what he felt : what had particularly struck him about what was " wrong " with the " black " people ( he probably mean Yemenis or Somalis ? ) was that they sat on their doorsteps playing cards and dice, they lounged, they ... they were so different ... Up in the valleys of course men will squat on their heels, play pitch and toss, lean on walls and casually lay bets because ... well The Rhondda is different : it is certainly not Cheltenham ... but then they are not " black " and ... but it was not about being " black " because he had seen Paul Robeson and admired him ...
What The People in Wales and The World are usually reacting to I think when encountering " difference " is something to do with not just culture or language but something which is difficult to describe which makes them feel anxious ... My parents were definitely not " Racist " but they could be very awkward around people from places that they have never met before ... I watched my Dad holding a conversation with a Pakistani landlord who wanted some building work done : he was not reacting to the guys colour or ethnicity or religion or whatever - I know my Dad : he was extremely uncomfortable because he was dealing with an ignorant pushy businessman who could not discuss the job in hand but was making bland assertions about how generous etc he would be ... My Dad loathed the guy ... and yet he was probably also worrying about whether he might give offence, whether his firm tight-lipped responses were being construed as " Racist." ... The way that now a days I play with images of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, politics would appal my Dad : I get this attitude more from my Mum whose family contained the sea-farers who had a much more sensible and robust attitude ... but definitely not so intellectual when at sea.
I have to stop - remind me to finish this please !