Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18: What a terrible day!

The lead story in Canada&World News for August 16 was 'N.B. cabinet minister condemns U.S, violence'.

Actually,  racist hatred was what I first noticed about the maritimes when I came here as a student at Acadia University. In that whole, Baptist school, there was only one person who was not white. And he was the first non white in the history of the school. And I well remember the day I turned off into a country road near Halifax. Isolated in that wilderness, I saw a brick building that had the stench of Dickensian England about it. The sign said Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. It might as well have read Abandon Hope all Ye Who Enter Here.
Nova Scotia was (and in   some respects still is) a racist province.  So were all the others. I grew up in a Montreal in which African Canadians could not get work except at the most menial level, and were forced to live in a run-down district. So were Chinese.  In fact, even Irish-Catholics were regarded with suspicion and disapproval and, until the 1950s, and many of them had to live in their own run-down ghetto.

And an African-Canadian playing in the NHL? Forget about it. A friend of mine in Montreal was a pro quality  player but who knew he was the wrong colour to hope for the NHL. So he tried, instead, to get accepted to play at a Canadian university. He couldn't. Like Acadia, most of them accepted white folks only. Finally, it was an American university, Princeton, that accepted him. Yes,  An African-Canadian had to go to the U.S. to escape Canadian racism.

And New Brunswick? A superb poet said it well.

https://cogswell.lib.unb.ca/odetofredericton

So it's nice to hear a New Brunswick cabinet minister speaking out fearlessly against racism -(though he was careful to refer to it somewhere else). But I don't believe he knows what he is talking about.

The recent Swastika-waving and racial violence in the U.S. is not simply the result of Trump's bizarre behaviour and his recent interviews. It has been standard behaviour for every imperial power I have ever heard of. Britain did it. All the major European powers did it. The U.S. was founded as a racist society. The only recent change is the addition of the Swastika. But even that isn't really a change.

Hitler's Naziism used racial hatred to sell his party to the German people. (After all, he couldn't tell people to vote for him because he was going to create massive profits for capitalist business.) And he used racial hatreds to get support for many of his invasions. (Most of the occupied countries provided troops for Hitler's armies.)

And racial hatred is what the U.S. has always played on.  So has Canada. The enemies we fight against are always evil. All of them. The Boer farmers of South Africa were evil. The North Koreans were evil.  The Afghanistanis were evil. The Libyans were evil. To brand a whole society as having such a quality is a racist statement.  Well, if they're all like that, it must be racial.) And so the native peoples of North America were all evil.   (But they're over it now, so long as they keep quiet.)

The native peoples of Latin America are genetically evil, too.  That's why we have to kill them as we did in Guatemala and so many other countries. Evil can even affect Christian countries - like Germany and Italy. But they're better now.
Really, Naziism and Fascism have been standard forms of government forever. Both distracted people by directing their frustrations at a disliked group. It sill works to distract people from their real problems.

Capitalism can work. Of course it can. It's not working now, though. We are seeing a decline in living standards, and a massive concentration of wealth in the hands of the already wealthy. Almost all of our wars are dictated by the wants of the very wealthy (though they carefully avoid service themselves - and also leave it up to us to pay for those wars because most of them refuse to pay taxes. )
Capitalism, like any system, will work. But it has to work under controls that we set. Instead, we are sitting with our thumbs in our mouths as major capitalists own most of our governments. We don't control them. They control us. That's a system that can only lead to disaster.

The world of 2050 - and maybe much earlier - will be very different from today's. By then, climate change will be forcing millions of refugees in our direction. It will certainly cause more wars. Automation will have replaced most jobs. (Will that automation be used to give us shorter work hours while keeping a decent wage? Not if Mr. irving has anything to say about it.  And he will have something to say - to whichever Liberal or Conservative leader that people are foolish enough to elect. And if automation results in massive unemployment, what are our plans to deal with that? Do you seriously think the major capitalists will give a damn?)

There is every possibility that the greed of the wealthy may create another Great Depression. And what was notable about the depression of the 1930s is that the wealthy really didn't give much of a damn. Despite the tales of them jumping from windows, they did not suffer. Of course not. The depression gave them a chance to reduce wages, increase work hours, cut staff, cancel holidays with pay, cancel pension plans...... The rich did well in the depression. And almost all Canadian governments did nothing whatever to help. Of course not, almost all were bought by the wealthy.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King used 'work camps' to 'help' the unemployed and homeless. Actually, they were prison camps in remote areas. And their purpose was to prevent the unemployed from demonstrating where the rich people lived.
Government did nothing to help because the rich had no intention of paying taxes to help the poor. But, surprise, when war was declared, it suddenly found the money to create war industries and military forces.

I was a very young child in the depression. But I can remember my father walking many, many blocks every day to get free milk for me. His pay was cut to three or four dollars a week. But our rent was eleven dollars. So I remember him putting on pair of battered boots, and going out to shovel snow for the city in the late afternoon to earn fifty cents in a couple of hours. Breakfast was chunks of stale  bread with milk in a bowl. As a child, I watched people die because they couldn't afford food or medical care.

But big business did well in those years. Very few millionaires, I suspect, had stale bread chunks for breakfast. Very few watched friends and relatives dying of malnutrition or curable disease.

The Canadian people were as thick then as they still are. Most voted Liberal or Conservative, just like New Brunswickers today. That gave us nothing in the past. Expect nothing in the future.

https://opentextbc.ca/postconfederation/chapter/the-great-depression/

Naziism, fascism, uncontrolled capitalism, Trump, swastikas, bought politicians - they're all part of the same bundle, with the racism used so we won't think of what should be done.

We're so lucky to have a cabinet minister who can spot it when it happens in a different country. Now, if he would only look around him and into a mirror....
________________________________________________________________________________
https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/aug/18/barcelona-cambrils-terror-attack-suspects-killed-latest-updates

Notice the language of this story. Notice 'terrorist', 'atrocity'. Those words are quite true. The killers were using terror, and their act was an atrocity.

Now, try to think of a news story which has referred to American mass murder of civilians right down to babies, deliberate starvation of millions as in Yemen, saturation bombing, agent orange bombing,  cluster bombing which goes on killing for years, saturation bombing as in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Can you think of any news report that referred to those as 'terrorist' or 'atrocity'? I can't.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Again, it's not Trump who's the problem.  For example, every American government for the last century and more has interfered in Latin America to destroy governments and install dictatorships. It's hard to think of any country that has been better off as a result of American intervention.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/11/donald-trump-venezuela-crisis-military-intervention
______________________________________________________________________________
Here's a story about the climate change that the irving press doesn't talk much about.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/aug/18/kuwait-city-hottest-place-earth-climate-change-gulf-oil-temperatures

Hey! build more pipelines. It'll create jobs.
_________________________________________________________________________________
I was very sorry to read the following story. I worked in Hong Kong for some time. It was an exciting city, and I liked its people. What is now happening in Hong Kong is terrible, and I agree we should help all we can.

But how come we never read stories about dictatorship in Hong Kong when the British were the dictators?

In a century of rule, the British permitted a limited democracy only in the closing days of their rule. For almost the whole history of British rule in Hong Kong, it was a dictatorship by a British governor  (with wide powers to his arrogant and racist secretary.) Most Hong Kongers lived in dreadful housing. Social services were few. I can remember seeing people who lived in wire dog cages that were stacked three deep. And they had NO weather protection. But it never made our news.

If Hong Kongers were to come  here, I would be delighted to see them. They're good people who have been terribly abused by both Britain and China.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/hong-kong-democracy-campaigners-jailed-over-anti-china-protests
_______________________________________________________________________________
Here's something that is quite true - which is why it never made it into most of our news media.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47632.htm

Trump is certainly a wretched and vile person. But he is not the cause of the 'American' problem. That problem goes back a long, long way.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Writing history - and hiding it. Onward Christian torturers.....

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47629.htm
__________________________________________________________________________________
Here's one that may come as a surprise. Funny how our news media missed this.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47618.htm
__________________________________________________________________________________
No. We never learn.

When the National Film Board made a film that mentioned the Canadian airforce bombing of Dresden in World War Two -a bombing deliberately aimed at civilians - The Canadian Legion was furious. But the film was quite right. Everybody in that war deliberately killed large numbers of civilians. Since the war, reliance on massive bombing of civilians has become the American normalcy in war.

And Americans wonder why some countries don't like them. But not to worry about it. Our news media will prevent us ever from hearing about it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47633.htm
__________________________________________________________________________________
As I was writing all the above, a memory came back to me. I was runninig a camp for the Young Men's Hebrew Association. One of my counsellors was a man who, in 1945 at age 8 or so, survived a Nazi death camp. He was discovered by his sister who took him to Italy, then to a kibbutz in Israel in its early days. He was a very, very lucky guy. I came to know him well. But there was an oddity I have just remembered.

He had no bitterness toward Germans. All his bitterness and  hatreds were spent on arabs. And that has reflected the general tendency of Israeli thinking. That's why a normally compassionate and caring people are now treating Palestinians as they had been treated by the Naziis. We're all vulnerable to irrational and murderous hatreds. It seems to be a part of being human. And leading politicians of this world know how to capitalize on that.
________________________________________________________________________________
Here's story you're not like to see in your daily paper.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47633.htm
__________________________________________________________________________________
Is the U.S. deliberately (and with cooperation from other countries) encouraging climate change as a means of genocide? That, quite likely, is true. You think Hitler was bad? We're heading into worse. We're  heading into unprecedented numbers of refugees, wars..... The oil companies encourage this out of sheer greed. But there are others who see it as a good way to reduce this world's overpopulation.

Rising temperatures and drought will produce starvation and death. It's happening now.

Will capitalism prevent this? Not a chance. It exists only to make money. That's why we have to bring capitalism under control. Certainly, capitalists will never bring themselves under control.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/22/climate-change-as-genocide/
_________________________________________________________________________________
Here's a reminder that you won't learn nuthin' if you just read commercial media.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2017/08/trudeau-gives-billions-questionable-energy-projects-while
__________________________________________________________________________________
Christian churches have some thinking to do. They, especially the evangelical ones,  have always been willing to support some very questionable leaders. Hitler had strong support from German Christians. Billy Graham touted for Richard Nixon. Now Trump has a religious following.

Most churches prefer to stay away from political issues, and to tip-toe through the tulips. I guess that's why most of our churches prefer to be boring and irrelevant.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/09/megachurch-pastor-says-trump-has-gods-approval-start-nuclear-war
______________________________________________________________________________
1. We are living in a time when most power is in the hands of a very small group of capitalists in the U.S., Canada, China, Russia, Britain. And they exercise that power with no sense of responibility to the rest of humanity.

2. They play on our racist attitudes. Thus the rise of a Trump - and a Bush and an Obama.

3. They have no sense of long term goals.

4. In the long term, we face spreading droughts, crop losses - and we are  using these to kill off the poorest people on this earth.

5. We are facing many wars as a result of this process. We are also facing the high possibility of our own destruction.

6. Our leading political parties are part of the problem. Indeed, I don't know of any party that is prepared to deal with the whole problem. The Charlottesville riot is just a taste of what's coming - and not just for the U.S. There's a worldwide rage of frustration with our leaders.

7. To add to the load, we are facing an employment crisis as automation spreads.
It's really time, more than time, to wake up and do some serious thinking and discussion about what is happening, and what is likely to happen.

Luckily, we have the Irving Chapel to encourage our thoughts with special music,  and the offer of fellowship in  the barn. That'll fix everything.

12 comments:

  1. ". In that whole, Baptist school, there was only one person who was not white. And he was the first non white in the history of the school."

    Utter rubbish, your memory is entirely faulty. I was at Acadia, beginning in the fall of 1963 and I have the 1964 Year Book before me. Graduates in 1964 included Edgar Wilson, black from British Guiana; Frank Moy, Asian from New York And PRESIDENT of the Class of'64; Wing-Sum Leung from Hong Kong; Maryette Mar, Asian from Ottawa; Timothy Wu from Hong Kong. I had three students from Hong Kong in my Physics 200 class -my best friend was Chinese from Moncton for four years. Hell, there was even a Chinese club shown on page 120. You had Wendell Carmichael, black on Varsity soccer, coach of women's field hockey black, Mrs Chatterton and Mr Oliver, black from Halifax. Plus a load more, and it increased after you left.

    Jesus, I hate it when people make up BS for effect. Now I don't know what to believe of the rest of your life history as recited - it sounds like that Monty Python skit about living in cardboard boxes and walking uphill to and from school. Impressions are not the same as reality.

    Ask yourself why I'd bother to drag out that Yearbook? Because, simply, I knew you were full of it - my memories were quite different and the printed record shows I'm correct. I happen to have the 1962 yearbook as well, before you went to Acadia. Let's see, the Lings from Malaya BSc's in Biology, Ray Ng Hong Kong, Sam Sayerr from Sierra Leone, Les Oliver form Halifax, Frank Bradshaw from Montreal, president of the Engineers, John Hsia from Hong Kong, Peter Chang from Hong Kong.

    "In the whole Baptist school there was only one person who was non-white. And he was the first non-white in the history of the school." Incorrect, wrong and you should be ashamed to say what you've said. I know you won't be - all you pontificators think you're God's gift to the under-educated.

    Nope, sorry, you have stretched a point too far and got it wrong.

    Also, in Digby Regional High, '62 -'63 Student Council President was black, in my class. Later was principal of Bedford High School for years. I refuse to be shamed by this sort of dredged up fake memory, because I know different. In you swung from Montreal and looked at the country rubes, and said: racist, the lot of 'em and that was about as far as you got.

    BM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes. I will answer this one - probably tomorrow (Sunday). I look forward to it.
      I think you're the one who wrote a comment that Canadian mining companies were sweethearts in Latin America - loved by all. Obviously, you've read none of the reports on that subject.
      I think I remember, back which I wrote for the student newspaper at Acadia, you were the one sitting across from me at supper, and said if I had said such things in Cape Breton, where he came from, that people would beat me up. A person less self-righteous might have realized that said more about the people of Cape Breton than about me.
      I look forward, tomorrow, to responding to your hizzy fit.

      Delete
  2. Oh - O, humble one, I have written about racism in Montreal. It was (and is) very bad. Nova Scotia was just more obvious. I worked a good deal for African-Canadian groups - and Chinese and Japanese in Montreal. You must tell us some time about all your good works.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I understand the points you are trying to make about racism, but your facts are a bit off regarding Acadia U although Rev. White would likely be more of an exception than the rule

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._White

    ReplyDelete
  4. You were quite right. I was in error in saying only one Black was at Acadia in our time. And it was in error in saying he was the first.
    But your angry reply is in far bigger error.

    let's say Acadia was 1 % Black. (It wasn't. but let's put it that way.) Blacks were 10% of the Nova Scotia population. Did the rest all go to Oxford and Cambridge?
    Nor was I an arrogant Montrealer sneering at Nova Scotia. Montreal was the same. it was an is a city torn by hatreds and discrimination. That's why I did so much volunteer work among those groups. The worst experience of my life was to see my own community in Montreal destroyed after I had spent twenty years trying to save it.

    The discrimination in Montreal extended there, too, to the churches. Almost all Blacks in the city went to a Black United Church. Yes, Christians can be racists. Historically, the Baptist churches in Nova Scotia were segregated. (Yes, I have no doubt that your church had one black member - so that proves me completely wrong.
    Acadia was founded in 1838 because Baptists (even the white ones) were discriminated against by the other religious groups. It was founded in 1838. And guess when it accepted its first Black student?

    It was almost 60 years later. And its second Black student? That took another ten years.
    And almost sixty years later, you saw several Blacks at Acadia? Wow! What dazzling progress!

    The pattern across Canada in the 1960s was that universities in Canada discriminated against Blacks - and Orientals, and Jews.
    Nova Scotia, for all your self-righteous bluster, was not different.

    Yes, I was wrong in my statement that there was only one Black at Acadia when we were there. But if there were two or ten or twenty, that would still prove nothing. They were ten percent of the provincial population. (Didn't Acadia teach you to be logical? Apparently not.)

    Oh, in Montreal, I spent years working with Jewish groups, National Black Coalition, Japanese Canadian movement for an apology for our imprisonment of them. I worked with Chinese youth. I met at the penitentiary regularly and along with a roomful of 30 Black murderers. (No. Blacks do not have a tendency to violence and murder. White Christians lead the world, there. But brutal treatment and discrimination will make killers out of saints.

    There was even one man , a Black who supplied hookers and drugs for the Montreal Expos. He was disliked by both Blacks and Whites. He used to wait for me every noon hour as I walked to the radio station. He just wanted to talk - and I found him an intelligent and compassionate man. But when you were Black in Montreal then, there were very, very few jobs open to you. I liked him more than the White folks who never gave him a chance. I was on the board for the English rights group in Quebec for twenty years of riots and death threats - and was chairman for the last five of those years.

    Now, tell me about your extensive knowledge of community work. And tell me about the good works of all those White Baptists around you.

    Below are some readings that (probably won't) broaden your outlook.



    https://novascotia.ca/archives/africanns/archives.asp?ID=150

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=HwOdKjfF_HgC&pg=PA350&lpg=PA350&dq=blacks+at+Acadia+university&source=bl&ots=rxsQUaUetN&sig=5n8B-
    e3vezqfuX7wpLMCroXlxFk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTr6PGuuPVAhUMxYMKHUMNA9I4ChDoAQhOMAg#v=onepage&q=blacks%20at%20Acadia%20university&f=false

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/racisms-long-history-in-quiet-east-coast-towns/article1241300/?page=all

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-home-colored-children-restorative-justice-lawsuit-settlement-1.3972192

    ReplyDelete
  5. In response to UU407, I am not off base in my comments about racism in Nova Scotia and at Acadia. I don't know what it's like now. But its record for acceptance of Black students has historically been abysmally low.
    And it was so in all of Canada. Canadians in general have no sense of their dreadful treatment of Blacks, Aboriginals, Japanese-Canadians, Jews, Chinese..... This treatment was in full flower into at least the 1960s. And it caused dreadful treatment, poverty, hopelessness, early death....
    The universities were very much a part of this dreadful behaviour. And the churches generally preferred not to see it.
    I got to appreciate the depth of that suffering only by working with those groups. (I certainly learned nothing about it in my high school history courses.)
    Yes. Things have improved. But we still need to be aware of what we have done - and of what we should do.

    Damage to communities can continue for generations after the damage was done. The same is true of the damage done by poverty to White folks. Educationally, poverty is cause of lifetime suffering for many and increasing numbers of us. One can't just wave a magic wand and cure the world in a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't mean your comments on racism were wrong, just your facts about Black students at Acadia.

      Delete
  6. Okay. Tell me exactly what facts were wrong. I said it took Acadia 60 years to admit its first Black. Is that wrong? I said it took ten years more years to accept the second. I said its number of Blacks in my time there was extremely small in comparison to the size of the Black community of Nova Scotia. (They were 10% of the population of Nova Scotia, but much less than 1% of the population of Acadia's student body.) Exactly where was I wrong?
    I said Nova Scotia's Baptist churches of that time were commonly either black or white, but rarely both. I said that universities across Canada had quotas for Blacks.
    So which facts did I have wrong and, if so, what were the true figures?
    I included lots of sources on the history of the Blacks in Nova Scotia. Can you give sources to show I was wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Okay. Tell me exactly what facts were wrong. I said it took Acadia 60 years to admit its first Black. Is that wrong? I said it took ten years more years to accept the second. I said its number of Blacks in my time there was extremely small in comparison to the size of the Black community of Nova Scotia. (They were 10% of the population of Nova Scotia, but much less than 1% of the population of Acadia's student body.) Exactly where was I wrong?
    I said Nova Scotia's Baptist churches of that time were commonly either black or white, but rarely both. I said that universities across Canada had quotas for Blacks.
    So which facts did I have wrong and, if so, what were the true figures?
    I included lots of sources on the history of the Blacks in Nova Scotia. Can you give sources to show I was wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " ...racist hatred was what I first noticed about the maritimes when I came here as a student at Acadia University. In that whole, Baptist school, there was only one person who was not white. And he was the FIRST non white in the history of the school."

      Sorry, but unless you were there in 1900, the black student you encountered was not the first non-white in the history of the school.

      And, I was referring to your original post - not your response to Anonymous. I also felt that the tenor of Anon's post was uncalled for.

      Delete
    2. Well, - to say there were a few blacks does not change the reality. The % was way, way below what it should have been. When I began university at a poor man's college run by the YMCA in Montreal, the same was true. I later learned there was a quota on Blacks. I also learned some university teams would not accept Blacks. That was particularly true of hockey.
      I visited Africville and another Black town some miles from Acadia. It was noticeable they got few services from the province - and were way down on the list of priorities for schools. And I shall never forget the horror of "The Nova Scotia Home for Children"
      I don't' know whether it was worse than Montreal - just that it was there.
      And it still exists in Nova Scotia as it does in Montreal.
      And I know of no evidence that any university in Canada played a creditable role in improving matters.

      Delete
    3. Well, - to say there were a few blacks does not change the reality. The % was way, way below what it should have been. When I began university at a poor man's college run by the YMCA in Montreal, the same was true. I later learned there was a quota on Blacks. I also learned some university teams would not accept Blacks. That was particularly true of hockey.
      I visited Africville and another Black town some miles from Acadia. It was noticeable they got few services from the province - and were way down on the list of priorities for schools. And I shall never forget the horror of "The Nova Scotia Home for Children"
      I don't' know whether it was worse than Montreal - just that it was there.
      And it still exists in Nova Scotia as it does in Montreal.
      And I know of no evidence that any university in Canada played a creditable role in improving matters.

      Delete