The definition of madness
Yea yea. You have all behaved like good citizens and mailed in the census forms so your interest is done. But though I’m not going to make a day job of this subject, I’m going to do one more. Why, because of the question of Race.
By the time I was 13, I became pre-occupied with Race, and probably that’s why my anthropological references fit that time frame. Today’s internet yields a wide gamut of related information based on diverse discussions and research.
I was recently reading a book review of “The History of Whiteness”, by Nell Irvin Painter, and recognized if nothing else, that the whole concept of race and race labels keep changing.
When the tanned skin Greeks were in ‘ascendancy’, they regarded their lighter rivals from the north as inferior barbarians. At one time in North American history, on the east coast, Jews and Italians were considered ‘non-whites’. On the west coast where the Chinese were the ‘social outcasts’, Jews and Italians were ‘white’.
After my 2nd post on this issue, the Miami Herald ran a story alleging that many Hispanics had an issue with how the census bureau identified them. The bureau claims that Hispanic isn’t a race, and by extension neither are Columbians, Argentineans, Venezuelans. Yet the census would find Jamaicans acceptable as a race category. The Hispanics obviously have a grievance.
The world’s melting pot yields a wide range of mixtures that are forever shifting and thus can never really be measurably accurate. Such blurring of racial lines underscores my point that the census department ought to stay away from race in compiling its statistics. What the United States government is doing through the census, is entrenching the country’s racial divisiveness, creating new labels of distinction instead of erasing them.
My long held belief still stands, that defining someone by race (we are more products of our culture) is inherently stupid… and the sooner we get over race-based issues, the better. I mean, what’s the point?
Many have bought into believing in superiority based on race or religion. These are always gonna be false claims because racial or religious superiority can’t be measured. I am certainly not inferior to anyone. These concepts are based on subjective parameters, and unless they are all universally agreed to by every single person, they are useless.
Even the concept of racial equality is bogus, but because social scientists recognize the uselessness of trying to find agreed upon parameters, the convention (not fact) of equality is agreed upon.
The census bureau could obviate the problem by asking about nationality, rather than confusing race and nationality. Ask me my place of birth and I readily say Jamaica (which by the way is in another section of the survey). Asking me to endorse Jamaican as a race is patently flawed.
PS- Time magazine ran an interview with the census director recently and he claimed that every census, there are ‘cranks’ (haha) who input HUMAN for race. Well, add one more rabble-rouser to the list, please.
Because the internet has somewhat democratisated opinions (anyone with a computer can post one), whenever I see news topics I’m interested in, I check the comments. Democratised opinions doesn’t necessarily mean intelligent comments, and the postings often offer not just a sample of thoughts, but a finger on the pulse of America… and that’s how I conclude that not only is this country highly racially polarized, that many of the attacks on Obama stems from his colour.
Though a sports story can produces good public analyses, when a black player is involved, a racist tone quickly appears. The same for crime stories. When the transgressor is white, the comments are hateful but rarely racist.
Harsh, unfair and even stupid comments have long existed for presidents, increasing when the vox populi have easier access to broadcast media. Bush took lot of insults, even from the likes of me… but it was rarely racist.
The blame for the country’s economic collapse fell on Obama before his inaugauration. Commentators and their lackeys claim that Obama is bringing socialism to the US without one shred of evidence. Most don’t even know what socialism is.
It isn’t a coincidence that Obama is the most threatened president ever.
After the stories broke about the FBI raiding and arresting some militia members, I saw this comment, “And the rabid murderers of the Federal Bureau of Incompetents have once again been unleashed to terrorize law abiding patriots. For eight years these murdering [email protected] were held in check by the rule of law, now they have been given free reign to ‘shock and awe’ any who dare question the majesty of this administration”. Really? The FBI? Held in check? The Bush records don’t support that.
Another comment- “KILL every stinking Liberal you see if this is a witch hunt , stand up and fight to the death or be a liberal lemming with obamafare”.
Some weeks ago, I commented that one of the outcome of all this hateful rhetoric, would be attacks on black people, as proxies for Obama. I stick to that caution.
As much as I think that Obama and the democrats have well played a poor poker hand to outsmart the republicans, there is one thing that still concerns me… and that is the continuing popularity of Fox.
In the first quarter of this year, Fox’News’ enjoyed its best period ever and I’ll have to watch to see if the numbers go down for the year’s 2nd quarter. Afterall, this stretch was during the high point of the health care bill, when the dissonance was at its highest. If there is a fall off for the 2nd quarter, that will tell us a lot.
People particularly democrats, tend to underestimate Fox’s influence. That’s because they don’t understand the need of many Americans to be led by the nose… people who gravitate to what they want to hear, someone who will guide them to think because they are too lazy to think for themselves.
If the network loses some ground, it means that the independents who swung to the station, are having 2nd thoughts about allying with the teapartyers. If the numbers remain up, that’s bad news but not necessary calamitous.
Several stories from Jamaica caught my eyes recently. Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett recently predicted 2 million tourist arrivals to Jamaica this year. Bartlett was using some numbers to justify his decision with American Airlines… the decision that Contractor general said he never passed by the cabinet.
As much as I would like the dear minister to be proven right, I was long warned by an industry insider that the minister is prone to exaggeration. In fact, my contacts in Ochi tell me that the season has so far been a disaster and that many of the major hotels are hemorrhaging badly.
When I was there is November, the season certainly didn’t appear to have a grand start. So we will watch. Interestingly, comments in the Jamaica Observer, support what I am saying.
Another recent report states that “Jamaica’s economic performance among worst in the region”. Really not much of a surprise.
Recently, Joe Matalon, head of the Private Sector of Jamaica (PSoJ) gave his assessment of Jamaica’s economy, in Ft Lauderdale. Again unsurprisingly, his recommendations were another can of same ol’ same ol’.
Nothing I heard left me with much hope for progress. Even those who are in position to make the needed changes, are locked into old and muddled wishful thinking, “Let’s just keep hanging on, help must come”. The definition of madness indeed.
This joke can perhaps sum up Jamaica. When asked about the extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, the prime minister says, “I keep telling Obama, that Jamaica does not export Coke”.
According to reports coming out of Jamaica, the prime minister is apparently relenting and will ask the courts to make a decision on Dudus. According to the story, the courts will be asked if minister Lightbourne ‘… was right to deny the extradition request’.
Since I don’t know the exact wording, I’m not sure whether there is some loophole there. I would have felt better if the courts were to decide whether Coke was extradictable. I bet Golding is buying time.
The story also said that private lawyers were to be retained. It doesn’t say who would be paying for them. Hopefully not the taxpayers.
But one line brought me some mirth… “Mr Golding says he’s ordered… the attorney general Dorothy Lightbourne to have the court rule on two issues concerning her decision”. I can just see Mrs Lightbourne thinking, “MY decision, Kemo Sabe?”.