Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting Back to "Douglas", 1

Today is Friday, 12 September 2008.

Responding to questions from “Douglas”, on the column of 19 August 2008, regarding a poll:

“In a June ABC News poll, 4 in 10 whites said they “would not feel completely comfortable” with a black president. 3 in 10 admitted to racial prejudice, more may feel it. 57% of whites said they don’t thing “Obama has sufficient experience to be president.” Over half call him “a risky choice for the White House.” Since 77% of voters are white, these numbers matter.”

(I wish English had a better term than “racial prejudice”, since humanity is not divisible into any smaller race than “human”. Claims that there are sub-species (or “races”) within homo sapiens are pure Hitlerite crap.)

It’s obvious the “not completely comfortable” 40% of whites in this sample are bigoted: they can’t stand the thought of a president with the skin color of those who were once enslaved by whites. White supremacy is a pathetic socialization, but “there it is”, in all its insecure, vicious glory.

The whole “experience” issue is misconstrued and something of a red herring. “Experience” is not a Ding an sich, a “thing in itself”, Good and enriching and ennobling merely for having been experienced. The value of experience lies in what one makes of it, the conclusions and understandings one draws from it, not merely the fact of having had particular experiences.

McCain, for example, witnessed and experienced the folly of American imperialist aggression in Indochina. Yet, he didn’t learn: McCain has supported imperialist aggression in Central America, in America’s proxy war against Iran through Ba-athist Iraq, and against Iraq. He hasn’t learned from his evil choices, and therefore experience, both as a military officer and as a member of the House and Senate, has had only negative value for him. Experience was worse than useless to him.

Palin’s experience as a politically-responsible citizen, and her meagre experience as a mayor and governor, has likewise not prevented her from falling into the moral error of supporting imperialist aggression.

Obama, in his experience as a politically-responsible citizen, drew the correct conclusions, and opposed the Cheney-Bush regime’s imperialist aggression against Iraq. His experience in the Senate has only confirmed him in the correctness of his judgment.

We must also note that there are experiences from which one derives no moral insights (“I experienced the beauty of a thunderstorm”) and experiences from which one may derive correct moral insights (“I experienced dousing a dog in gasoline and setting it afire, and realized it was evil”), though sometimes not.

McCain and Palin killed the dog, as it were, and developed a taste for blood.

In 1977, Steve Biko, the great freedom activist, is murdered by police of the South African white supremacist regime, which had modeled its apartheid laws on the anti-Semitic laws of Nazi Germany.


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