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Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Tuesday - September 02, 2008

I’m not proud of it but human nature DOES sometimes make us all racist.

I posted a story on this subject yesterday and today in the Mail was another editorial on the subject by Max Hastings.

It’s very much well worth your reading and points out very well the idiocy of the left.  Make NO mistake. They are not just idiots. If they were simply that they wouldn’t be the threat they are. 

Last updated at 7:48 AM on 02nd September 2008


Under fire: Respected academic George Steiner is in trouble after making comments about having Jamaican neighbours

You may not have heard of George Steiner, but he is one of the cleverest men in Britain.

A professor of comparative literature, 79 years old, his Jewish family emigrated from France in 1940.

He lives and writes in Cambridge. And today he is in deep trouble with the multicultural lobby.

Steiner has made headlines with remarks to a Spanish newspaper, discussing his new novel.

Racism, he said, is inherent in everyone. Racial tolerance is only skin-deep.  ‘It is very easy to sit here in this room and say racism is horrible,’ he told his interviewer.
‘But ask me the same thing if a Jamaican family moved next door with six children and they play reggae and rock music all day.

‘Or if an estate agent comes to my house and tells me that because a Jamaican family has moved next door the value of my property has fallen through the floor. Ask me then!’

The usual suspects - race-relations bodies, Muslim groups, minority spokesmen - have denounced Steiner’s remarks as ‘offensive, cranky, lazy generalisations’.

Yet reading what he said, I found myself remembering a day at Heathrow more than 20 years ago.

A heavenly cockney cleaner named Elsie Elmer worked for our family for almost 40 years. Elsie was a widow, a Londoner through and through.

When she was 77, she suddenly announced that she could no longer endure life in Hammersmith, where on both sides of her little house Jamaican neighbours played music full-blast through the night, every night.

One day, I drove her to the airport to emigrate to Australia, where she had a son living.

She hated to go and wept buckets. But she felt that her street, her city, were no longer the places which she knew and loved.

That is why George Steiner’s words, which have got him into such hot water, struck a powerful chord with me.

He was making the point that it is very easy for us middle-class types, living in our cosy social enclaves with not a black or brown face in sight, to strike noble postures about race and immigration.

Too glibly, we demand from others a tolerance which costs us nothing.

Three years ago, an impeccably liberal study-group published a book entitled The New East End, which sent shockwaves through the race-relations industry.

It described the bitterness of many established white residents in East London towards Bangladeshi newcomers, who were perceived - sometimes justly - as receiving preferential treatment for housing and social services, while introducing values at odds with those of the traditional cockney community.

The book explicitly cited the follies of middle-class liberal politicians and social workers, whose own lives were safely isolated from the consequences, trying to impose make-believe ideals on others.

Nobody sensible could have supposed that the authors of The New East End were a bunch of racists.

They were merely honest researchers, describing the predicament of the white working-class, which perceived itself dispossessed by newcomers of its rights and heritage.

George Steiner is telling the same story. He knows that tribe, identity, matter to all of us.

We want to be good citizens, and most of us are determined to rub along with the new world, in which all manner of people from different cultures have been thrust upon us.  But it is not easy. The fools are those who pretend it is.

Many of us learned at school to cherish our literary and historic heritage - Dickens and Jane Austen, Marlborough, Wellington and Churchill.

There is an inevitable gap between us and those who share no part of that legacy, and in some cases do not want their children to learn to do so.

Watching Shakespeare’s history plays performed, I am a little embarrassed to admit that I struggle to believe in black actors playing Henry V or Richard III, or indeed their courtiers.

This is not, I hope, because I am a bigot, but because I cannot forget that, in the Middle Ages, Britain had no black kings or lords.

Now, the answer to that one is that all dramas, including Shakespeare’s history plays, are fictions which should transcend national cultures.

When I am thinking as a grown-up, I recognise this.

But, in the spirit of Steiner’s remarks, I must admit the need to make an effort to become colour-blind.

I am not proud of saying this - it is just the way most of us are made.

Steiner was perhaps a little careless in his choice of words, in seeming to express indiscriminate scepticism about immigrants.

In truth, I think, we are pretty good at accepting people of any race who adopt the customs and lifestyle of our tribe - which is why race relations among the young in Britain are much better than they might be.

Many of the children of immigrants talk and behave just like their white counterparts, and are accepted on equal terms.

We direct our spleen against those - black, brown, or white - who behave anti-socially.

It is as repugnant to find a white teenage girl lurching drunk down a train as to see a black van-driver deafening whole streets by playing his stereo full-blast with open windows.

Our old daily, Elsie Elmer, did not leave Britain because her new neighbours were black, but because they behaved like beasts.

She would have suffered as much from their music if they had been white.

If they had adopted civilised values - which have nothing to do with class or race, everything to do with decency - she would have died in her London home.

George Steiner must be right - indeed, he expresses a familiar truth about human behaviour - when he suggests that we are most comfortable in the company of others like ourselves.

That does not mean that we expect neighbours and fellow citizens to vote the same way, to like the same music and films, choose the same holidays or favour the same clothes.

We merely want to share a common framework of values and behaviour, and we struggle in the company of those who do not, whatever their colour.

I was talking at the weekend to one of the most sensible pillars of the race-relations industry about the case of Tarique Ghaffur, the assistant commissioner who has denounced the Metropolitan Police for alleged discrimination about his promotion.

My friend said: ‘You must remember that somebody like that goes through his whole career knowing that every time he walks into a room, most of the people in it are not hostile - but they feel a vague sense that he is not like them.’

This does not mean that Ghaffur is the victim of discrimination, simply that his relationships are fractionally different from those among white colleagues.

It is nobody’s fault. It is just tribalism at work, of the kind which has influenced mankind since the beginning of time.

Only in a world where foolish race lobbies try to force multi-culturalism down our throats could its existence be disputed.

Mass immigration is imposing huge pressures on our society, and on the goodwill of its established residents.

What is remarkable is not how badly most people behave in consequence, but how well.George Steiner has stated simple truths, and only the idiot Left could deny their reality.


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 09/02/2008 at 02:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffColleges-ProfessorsRacism and race relationsUK •  
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