Normally, when I watch the tide of events in America I lament quietly, keeping my feelings to myself.   On the few occasions when I do comment I am politely (or rather less than politely) told I don’t know what I’m talking about, and to ‘butt out’.

I feel entitled to comment this time because what is happening to the west of the ditch is stirring the same pot in the UK, and although mine is a very small voice if we are many we make a chorus of conscience, so maybe we will be heard.

It should be no surprise, really.   Americans with their enthusiasm and verve for all things new have embraced and shaped media communications without, perhaps, giving thought to what the consequences would be if media exceeded law at the hub of power.   They – we – failed to police it; in fact, we espoused it enthusiastically:  I did so myself, lauding the freedom it gave us, denying the inevitable; that people with greed for power would quickly shape it and twist it to suit their ambitions.

And of course that is exactly what has happened.

The gift of the internet is its appeal to the young,  It is the province of the young – it gives them expression, it keeps their secrets from their elders, it allows them to write their own language.  We all know that to be young is to be an idealist; a crusader, a white knight at the Round Table of truth.  Once I was just so, an avid existentialist, disciple of Sartre and convinced civilised life was spawned on Earth by gods who descended in Erich Von Daniken’s spaceships.

I was correct in all my beliefs.  I was right!  Oh, how right I was!  I would argue down anyone who dared suggest otherwise and whenever I was in danger of losing to reason I would walk away, denouncing my challenger as old, or deluded, or irrelevant.

There’s nothing wrong with that: learning is a lifelong experience that no formal education can suppress, and if it tries so to do, things can go tragically awry.   The fresh young mind is eager to be fed; fresh young muscles are fuelled with immense energy, and when they get together, an unsinkable belief.   

Which is why they are so easy to manipulate.

Which is why those unscrupulous power-hungry elder minds, those paedophile rapists of virtue who largely comprise the political or activist class, can succeed in inciting riot, in subverting values and banishing good sense to serve their own purposes.  Being young, I would not have recognised that;  how can I expect the young of today to be any more discerning?

I huddle the politicians and activists together beneath this same banner because they share the same greed, if for different reasons.  Both have made a study of ‘motivating’ (stirring up) large bodies of people, or opinions, or the media influences that form them.  Both rely for their usually quite comfortable incomes upon the perpetuation of dispute.  Resolution is not within their remit, revolution is, to differing degrees, the aim of both.

We should not be surprised, then.  Not surprised that these people, with this miraculous new tool for their box, have no notion when to stop – where to draw the line – how to to exercise restraint.   And so they set about their programme of destruction with their own clear idea of what should ensue; and no idea what the actual consequences must be.

CERTAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE MUST BE KEPT SACRED.

Who will keep order in the streets, control drug violence and protect the innocent if the police are defunded?

What mechanism will stop genocide if religious or ethnic groups become the focus of the mob?

How can Democracy work if the will of the majority can be so easily overturned by intimidation and public unrest?

If a nation denies its history, how can it remain a nation?

Behind the challenge of these simple questions lies the greatest evil embedded in the evolution of our species:  whether you choose to entitle it Tribalism, Puritanism or Fascism, the rule of the mob always begins with a none-too-serious premise, almost a bit of fun, and it develops into a monster.    

Of course black lives matter, but so do white lives.  Of course the great figures upon whom our history was built were not without flaws, but neither were the African tribes who went on raids to generate prisoners for sale into slavery.   Churchill and FDR were probably not paragons of virtue, but without them we would all certainly be non-Arian Untouchables in a society controlled by the Third Reich. 

Democracy, and therefore freedom, depends upon the validity of the public vote being placed above suspicion.  That, I am certain, is the true target of the activist movement in the United States.  An equally superficially unconnected agenda is extant in the UK, where the fingers of the international corporations are to be discovered stirring the lumpy jam of Brexit.  Money never accepts defeat, never respects opinion.

In the form of BLM, just as once from American Irish investment in the IRA, we have imported violence to our shores.  We were a little bit racist, yes, but we were working things out in our own way, and ‘endemic’ racism is not a fair criticism of society here.  A pity, then, that so much is being destroyed by the self-interest of a few.   They have much to answer for.

One siren voice:

7 Comments

  1. I can’t speak to racism in the UK, though I’ve read there is plenty of it, especially these days. But here in the US, it will take more than just more babble from well-meaning politicans and academics to get anything done. BLM has been an important force for enlightening people like me about the extent to which racism permeates almost every aspect of American society. There needs to be intimidation and unrest for anything to change. After 400 years of cheap talk, I don’t blame anyone for taking to the streets in frustration.

    Equating what white people did to Africans through kidnapping, torture, enslavement, and continued oppression and discrimination to what some African tribesmen might have done is really missing the point. African Americans have been kept down in our country for four hundred years. And saying all lives matter is also missing the point. White people’s lives have always been protected and privileged; black lives have not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘I can’t speak to racism in the UK, though I’ve read there is plenty of it, especially these days’. Forgive me, I picked up these words purely for emphasis on the last three. I’m asking how it is that racism is being fomented these days, and we should pause to suspect the cause.
    No, neither can I speak for racism in the US – I have said so. Nor can I testify to the evolving history of 400 years as the carrier for a thread of cheap talk – I only know talk works, violence doesn’t; witness every war ever fought – the result is always a persecuted loser in even worse condition than before. Russian revolution=Stalin, Germany in the twenties=Nazism, and so on. History is what it is, it cannot be undone but we can learn from it, it can be forgiven. Most religions preach forgiveness, it’s a pity so few of their exponents practice it.
    African tribes that deliberately captured and sold prisoners as slaves were, I’m afraid, a fact. As were the Arabian slave traders who organised their activities to link with the transporters – by and large, the ‘shippers’ didn’t indulge in raiding for slaves, they purchased them. I’m not saying these things were right, but I am delicately suggesting they have not altered greatly. White farmers in South Africa ae being systematically evicted from their land in processes which often involve torture. You may say this illegal activity has a just cause, but the land is not farmed thereafter, and the whole population is impoverished thereby.
    Prejudice is always there. Against age, obesity, race, religion, class, ad infinitum. But salaried rabble-rousers with a job description that scores conflict as a qualification for success, they are new.

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    1. I was never condoning violence, and most of the protests in the US have not been violent nor does BLM condone or encourage violence. There is a huge difference between peaceful protests, even loud peaceful protests, and looting and rioting. I’d never condone the latter though I do understand where it comes from.

      But I don’t believe the usual old ways of talking are working or have worked to solve the deep rooted issues of poverty, discrimination, poor health care, unemployment, police brutality, and drug addiction that have come with and because of racism. Some things have to be fixed at the grassroots level by activists who are willing to take risks to confront and disturb the white majority, who pay lipservice to improving things but never have done enough. I am not a radical. I mostly believe in our system. But I also know that’s easy for me as a privileged white woman.

      My comment about the tribesmen was in response to what seemed to be your suggestion that somehow two wrongs make a right. And whatever role Africans may have played in the slave process was just a tiny step in what has been now four centures of oppression.

      As for why is there more racism in the UK now—it seems pretty obvious that as your country has become more diverse with increased immigration of non_WASP people, suddenly the white majority is feeling threatened. Fear creates prejudice and hate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With much of which I must say I agree, although I am deeply uneasy about making judgement upon history and attempts to ‘reconstruct’ the images of the past – not accusations I would lay at your door, but certainly to be levelled at those who are, certainly intent upon achieving that. I do not think fear is at the heart of the resistance to immigration in Europe, nor is it exclusively a white reaction, but there, the temptation is to rationalise in a phrase or a word. This is probably all I have to say, except possibly to close with the observation that a distressingly large number of ‘activists’ in the BLM movement here have American accents.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I wholly agree that theirs is a just cause, but their pursuit of it through intimidation and mass demonstration does more to alienate than to gain friends. I am immediately drawn to the Black Power salute, which I see as an even more sinister manifestation of intent. One US development that intrigues me is the withdrawal from sports events – that seems a likely engine for change. Again, though, it is likely to be mirrored in UK, and really – I mean, really – colour is not the most pressing form of discrimination in UK!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true. In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think black lives matter. I’m appalled at the BLM folks going into restaurants and forcing everyone to raise their clenched fists and then screaming in the faces of those who don’t. I’d get screamed at.

        Liked by 1 person

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