June 22, 2008

PREJUDICE DIES HARD

Posted in Economics, History, Philosophy, Politics, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:35 am by randallbutisingh

PREJUDICE DIES HARD

Some time ago, I visited one of my friend’s blogs and read where the Australian Prime Minister apologised to the indigenous Aborigine Tribes for the horrors done to them through racism in the name of ‘progress’. In particular he mentioned the stolen generation, referring to the 10-30% of children who were taken from their parents to be raised and educated in white households, from 1910 to 1970.

As an America she is reminded once again of the national psyche in the areas where apology has not yet been made to the Native Americans of this land who suffered full scale genocide at the hands of pioneering settlers and the United States government. This was my reply: –

“The realisation of the atrocities done to the indigenous people of Australia and the President’s apology is a laudable one; but his voice however sincere or the voice of government, may not be the voice of the nation. Prejudice dies hard. It is even seen in religion.

When India gained Independence, the caste system was abolished, but that did not remove the prejudice. It remained and is lingering still, though there is hope that it will disappear with the education of the coming generations. In the U, S.A. the same could be said to the indigenous peoples. However, with the slavery of the Africans, the ugliest blot on civilisation, where a people made in the image of God and a brother man was reduced to the category of goods and chattels, who were deprived of their language and culture and therefore of their identity, no apology from a government alone could remove the indelible stain of the gross injustice perpetrated by their greedy forefathers.

However there were individuals who saw the injustice and did what they can to help. Among them, the greatest President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who became a martyr for the cause. He used his authority during the Civil War to free all the slaves, give them asylum in the North and an opportunity to live as human beings. Frederick Douglas, one of his African advisers could have attested to his sincerity. But, as I said before, prejudices hard. We see it every day; but there is a glimpse of hope as is evinced during the primaries for the U.S.A. November 2008 elections.
May Truth prevail!”

Randall Butisingh

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2 Comments »

  1. Patanjali Ramlall said,

    No completely humane overtures were ever made to ease the pain of either African Americans, or the indigenous Americans,(Indians,)to date. Just imagine that the Indians were finally granted citizenship in their own land in 1924. For appeasement, a few bones were thrown in, here and there, as in the Great 1964 Civil Rights Act, passed by Congress, (thank you, LBJ.)

    One of those bones was the “quota system” for higher education. It stipulated that a specific number of minorities be allowed in Universities, even with lower grades than other applicants. A white applicant for medical school, Allan Bakke, with higher scores and grades than other students was twice rejected and he took his case to the Supreme court.

    Even though the “quota system” was not outlawed, the case threw a spoke in the wheel of ensuring a specific number of minorities be enrolled, when the deciding justice ruled affirmative on both sides of the issues in 1978.* The “quota system” does not have much relevancy anymore. This underscores the point that little gains slowly erode, as in “Reconstruction”, after the Civil War.

    The Indian Parliament recently passed a bill that also would have ensured the enrollment of certain “backward” classes into Universities. The intolerant higher classes fought the bill tooth and nail, and made it almost impossible for the less fortunate to get into the recommended schools.

    *”Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke” 1978.

    “We are all citizens of one world, we are all of one blood. To hate a man because he was born in another country, because he speaks a different language, or because he takes a different view
    on this subject or that, is a great folly. Desist, I implore you, for we are all equally human…. Let us have but one end in view, the welfare of humanity.”
    Attributed to JOHANN AMOS COMENIUS.

  2. A great response Pat. You have all the answers. I am deriving useful informatio and instruction from your responses. In some instances you are the guru and I am the chela. Happy to have someone like you as a friend, a chela and a guru. God bless you!


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