27 November 2009
Uncommon Commentary #87: Those Who Portray Indians in Stereotypical Ways Ought to Be Scalped—I Mean, Shot
What follows is a discourse that has never taken place, but which could well do so, if I should ever encounter an "activist" who disregards real issues in order to pressure sports programs or franchises into being "sensitive."
Activist [foaming at the mouth]: It's racist and offensive to name teams for Native Americans!
Doman [jadedly]: First of all, most American Indians don't even call themselves "Native Americans"—except with a small initial "n," to mean that they were born as citizens of this country. "Native" refers to condition of birth; it has nothing to do with who got here first.
Activist: All right, then: Native American Indians!
Doman: As opposed to what: Indians who were born in Sweden, and emigrated to the USA? To get to the point, though: You "activists" ram American Indian culture down everyone's throat, yet revile sports teams that draw upon that very culture as "perpetuating negative stereotypes." Do you, then, have a "negative" view of American Indian civilization?
Activist [afraid, and unable, to answer the non-rhetorical question]: If it's not racist, why aren't there teams named for White people?
Doman: There are. Have you heard of the New York Yankees? Or the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Celtics, Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Southern California Trojans, Michigan State Spartans, Oklahoma Sooners, Iowa Hawkeyes, Indiana Hoosiers, et cetera, or the former Quebec Nordiques (who moved to San Diego or some such hotbed of ice hockey)? There were and are many lesser-known others, such as the collegiate Idaho Vandals or the defunct Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen.
Teams were named for American Indians for the same reason why many others were named for animals or for forces of nature. Just as people who root for Kentucky or for Miami (of Florida) want their athletes to emulate the ferocity of wildcats or the power of hurricanes, those who root for the Atlanta Braves or the Kansas City Chiefs admire the fighting prowess of the Indians with whom our ancestors clashed. Not only, therefore, is the giving of Indian-nicknames not intended as an offense to the aboriginal peoples of the Americas, it's complimentary to them.
Activist: What you say is logical, but, because I'm a leftist, logic unsettles me. My crusade may be paranoid, quixotic, and hypocritical, but I'll never admit that to anyone else, because I have a stake in seeing it continue.
Doman: That doesn't matter, because the text of our conversation can be viewed on the Doman Domain.
17 November 2009
US Secretary of State Marshall said in 1945 that "A democracy cannot fight a seven-year war." Marshall's judgement was not infallible, but it must be acknowledged by any thinking person that having "democracy" (properly, representation based upon universal adult suffrage) as a government is a liability when waging a war of any length, especially a prolonged one. In this regard, I wonder if it has occurred to anyone else that the phrase "War on Terror" has graduated from the status of a slogan (like "War on Poverty" or "War on Drugs") to become a literal description; that since late 2001 we've conducted not isolated campaigns in either Iraq or Afghanistan, but what amounts to continual belligerency versus effectively the same enemy (viz., those who have crossed borders if necessary to answer the "call to Jihad") in different theatres. It should be noted also that terrorist insurgency is effective particularly, indeed, only, versus representative governments, since its goal is to exhaust the patience of the voting public in the country whence the enemy troops have come.
There's no foreseeable end of this conflict, for there seems an inexhaustible supply of actual and potential jihadists, who desire only the opportunity, such as has existed lately in Iraq and Afghanistan, to fight Islam's reputed foes. We may be reaching a critical juncture, in that we must either change our form of government or concede defeat in the struggle versus terror.
11 November 2009
People seem to think that nothing good can be said of World War I, whereas its sequel was one of the few wars that can really be said to have been worth fighting; in fact, this is precisely the opposite of the truth. The sole reason why it became necessary to win the latter global conflict is that the victors of the previous one threw away the fruits of their triumph.
10 November 2009
Emperor Nerobama's administration may come to regret having abolished "terrorism" from official lexicon. Its replacement, "man-caused disasters," has become a convenient way to summarize his presidency.
08 November 2009
Western governments have again demonstrated their current lack of diplomatic imagination by (this past year) generally recognizing the transformation of the former Kosovo province into yet another independent state. One thing that the Balkan Peninsula doesn't need is further fragmentation. This doesn't mean that I think that it ought to have remained a part of Serbia/Yugoslavia; since most of the Serbs who lived there fled at the end of Milosevic's abortive attempt at "ethnic cleansing", and most of those who remain inhabit a slice of territory contiguous with Serbia proper, why not annex the new "nation" (save that Serbian enclave) to the other country that consists of Albanians, to wit: Albania?
06 November 2009
It's understandable that the USA intervened in the Holy Land when there was another "superpower" to make client states of Israel's Arab neighbors, and specifically to threaten militarily action on their behalf, such as happened during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Now that the
no longer exists, though, what cause do we Yanks have for meddling in the region? Is it force of habit? Or, do we think that the best way to convince Moslems that we aren't really the "Great Satan" is to pressure the Israelis into making even more concessions to the Palestinian Arabs than they already have? If the second possibility is the reason, it's not a very good one. When Uncle Sam is asked for his position on, e.g., Jewish settlements on the USSR West Bank, he ought to reply simply that it's not his business, which, after all, it's not. Not only should such a policy of non-interference (if practised consistently) win the respect of Moslem and other Arabs, it would also bring a rare quality to diplomacy: truthfulness.