Thoughts on Obama – One Year On

My 100 Words on Barack Obama

Obama is huge. He personifies a peace, intellect and compassion sharpened by his bi-racial experience. His election communicated something overwhelmingly positive to billions of people. An achievement I think.

The United States, a land of contrasts blighted by a deep seated bigotry, suddenly, overnight gained the capacity for a moral credibility we could believe in. As Europeans we welcomed the newer, shiner America.

And we’re still praying the US make the most of their opportunity for continuing worldwide favour. When Obama somehow ends the “war on terror” for which he already has the Nobel Peace prize, he’ll be a Deity.

Obama – More than the Sum of Our Parts

This is another off topic article.

I have a friend who is the Middle East and Africa correspondent for an Italian newspaper, and she has a friend who works for La Stampa – an Italian national newspaper.

La Stampa are doing an article where a number of bloggers around the world will give their feelings one year on, on the election of President Obama. The bloggers only get to write 100 words, and I’ve been asked for my 100 word contribution.

My feelings about President Obama are very personal ones and no doubt won’t make sense to some.

I was 16 when I came across a thin paperback in our college library, with an intriguing title. It’s an American book and wasn’t well known in the UK. I read it, and over the years I’ve bought many copies of it to give away to deserving souls.

The book is easily the best tool I know capable of bringing the experience of white on black racism in comprehensible chunks, to white people. And it’s the best way I know of explaining why, after all this time, white on black racism is rooted in the past but still matters today. It also enables readers to see that this form of racism is at least a kind of voluntary mass hysteria or at worst a mental illness.

White on black racism can be cured – I know because I’ve been part of the solution for this affliction for at least a score of people and possibly more. People who have been cured of racism with my help have expressed how grateful they are.

Ironically once I realised I was capable of doing this, I actively changed my behaviour. Curing racists as a matter of course, placed me in the uncomfortable position of having to be mentally and morally superior to my “patients”, and worse still, never knowing who my patients were until the big thank you phone call, email or (the worst kind), the “I’m no longer a racist thanks to you” drink down the pub.

Does this make sense to you? I didn’t like being told I was the reason for their freedom from affliction. If you have racism, (like if you have any embarrassing disease), I think the onus for seeking a cure lies with you. And if your cure is brought about by some unsuspecting person, don’t call them in a fit of excitement to thank them. Imagine how you’d feel if people contacted you with the life changing news that you’d cured them of the clap. You’d just want to get out of there.

So what’s this got to do with Obama? When he won the US Presidential Election, it proved to me that the US was a little less racist than it used to be. I mean let’s face it Rosa Parks had a valid point, but it took too long and too many people suffered, and too many generations grew up discovering their second class citizenship before arriving in kindergarten (that’s a bummer by the way). But finally, in 2008 we get some real, if symbolic progress with a mixed heritage man occupying the White House.

Of course this doesn’t work for everyone. Certainly not for many of our friends in the BNP, and sadly not for one of my closest friends. My friend, a white American complained to me recently about Obama. She said he’d organised a bunch of school children to go to the White House to see him, and I think they all happened to be black and brown children (could have been due to the area the school was in?).

Whatever – she said she was worried for her own son. Why???!! I asked. She said her son had watched it on the TV with great interest, but she’d been concerned he might be thinking “there’s no-one there that looks like me”. I didn’t say anything. But I felt another copy of the book I mentioned, coming on.

I was a child of the era of the Civil Rights Movement. As is anyone in their 40s now. I’ve been campaigning, educating, reading, thinking and worrying my whole life whilst waiting for a significant change, to be judged for who I am, not the colour of my skin. And Obama with his mixed skin half black, half white, just like mine, makes me feel better about everything. Just by being.

Now – how do I compress this into 100 words.

Nick Griffin, the BNP, and Question Time

I don’t really have a platform for this type of post, but the subject matter is important to me, and I wanted to say something about it.

As is well documented everywhere, Nick Griffin will be on tonight’s Question Time program. I watch QT every week – and recognise it well for what it is. It’s a chance for me to see some politicians I might otherwise only read about conduct themselves in public, and speak briefly on a variety of topical subjects collected from the audience beforehand.

I am often disappointed by the questions selected by the program – they are always predictable and this backs the program into a sort of landscape of ordinariness. QT lacks depth. It doesn’t aid understanding of anything and I despair that important topics on which the general public are ill-informed are not illuminated. The program basically doesn’t work.

The fact that QT doesn’t work is OK if the Tories, Labour, the SNP and even the lovely Nigel from UKIP are on. None of them embody pure evil. The Tories evil-o-meter is reading around normal nowadays and the SNP has managed to broker an inclusive nationalism that isn’t evil at all, thanks to it’s inclusivity.

The broken QT format is perfect for Nick of the BNP. He can give quick answers about fixing this and that, removing terrorists, giving jobs to unemployed white people, restoring the UK population to how it was prior to 1948 and so on, and a lot of this (given the format of the program) will necessarily remain unchallenged.

Then, I imagine some people sitting at home who currently feel deprived and unable to take part in our current society at the level they would like, will see Nick and Co as the answer and go join the his party. It’s all over the internet – people are supporting his appearance with “let us make our own minds up” and “give us a chance to hear what the BNP have to say”, and “it’s a free country – let the BNP speak” etc.

I know a lot about the BNP and I’ve managed it without ever having seen them on Question Time. If people really want to make their own minds up about the BNP, they’ve had ample and growing opportunity for years. There’s lots of info about the BNP – their ideas and policies are available for public consumption. The fact that so many people need to see old Nick on QT in order to “form their own decision”, suggests to me they may need extra support in lots of other areas of their lives too.

If you haven’t made your own mind up yet – let me make it really easy for you. The core BNP membership is racist and want as close to a 100% white Britain as is possible. The core BNP membership will vote to create two levels of citizenship that will deny people like Lennie Henry, Ashley Cole, and all other people who are not 100% “from” this island full citizenship. This means a white person will have different rights to those of a non-white person, no matter what.

If you vote for them, join their party or whatever, make sure you do it because you are a hardcore racist bigot willing to steal and kill and maim to establish your world view. Make sure this is what you want. Read about Nazi Germany and check to make sure you like what happened there before you do your bit to help it happen here. Make an informed decision. Good luck to you.

The core BNP want to achieve a white Britain at any cost. When Nick says something contrary to this on QT tonight, don’t believe him – he will be lying. He has often talked about rebranding the party – keeping the same old views but expressing those views less offensively in public. If you want to fall for all that – I am sorry for you. Your life must already be shit. I quote now from their own website in response to recent news that they may open membership to all people.

There are those who will say that the party will now be ‘flooded with ethnics’ and taken over. This will not happen for two reasons. Firstly, if the enemy was going to do something like that, they would have done it ages ago with white members. That never happened and there is no reason to think it will happen with ethnics. Secondly, even if this unlikely scenario ever happens, we will just all leave and start a new party. People vote for the principles of the party, and not the name. We will do that again and again and even if we end up with something called the Ying Tong Tiddle I Po party, we will still be here”

Further here is a document on the BNP website – speaks for itself – see page 6.

Nick himself said that the BBC were stupid to let him on the show. He should know – and on this point I do agree with him.

You’ll get a much better idea of what the BNP is about by studying their web site, partaking in their forums, and doing searches using Google,than the free speech ratings junk you’ll be served on QT. I only hope the audience are up to it tonight – they may be our only hope.