ISSUES AFRICA WORLD PHILOSOPHY AFRIKAANS LEISURE GENERAL

Fighting racism? This will have the opposite effect

United Nation's Conference of Racists

Barbara Amiel
The Daily Telegraph
3 September 2001 E-Mail this page to a friend


This conference was so pathetic that I decided to start a website and this became my first article.

No sane Western democracy should have anything to do with the UN's latest attempt to pin the ills of the world on those who have done most to fight them, argues Barbara Amiel

OH please, let there be a video of this week's United Nations "World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance". I'm not sure about my favourite moment, but it might well be Saturday night's dinner with Mary Robinson, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, imitating the fictional incident in the novel Exodus when the King of Sweden was supposed to have worn a yellow star on hearing of the Nazi race laws.

No sane Western democracy should have anything to do with it...

"I am a Jew," said Roman Catholic Ms Robinson dramatically, on seeing the cartoon equating the Star of David with the swastika, handed out to conference delegates by the Arab Lawyers' Union. Ms Robinson's gesture is very sweet, but we Jews are not in the business of proselytising, even when it is unintentionally done by our Islamic brothers.

I'm not that unhappy about the emphasis placed on equating Zionism with racism, or, as the 2001 version has it, Israel as a "racist, apartheid state". It is a godsend in the sense that this defamation has made it easier for a lot of governments to send low-level delegations to the meeting. But the Zionism issue is a red herring. Read all the material on this conference and one thing becomes clear: no sane person or government in a Western democracy should have attended.

The organisers of this conference are the same Orwellian monsters that named the Ministry of Torture as the Ministry of Love. Apart from condemning Israel, which has been designated to fill the role of the old South Africa, the purpose of this conference is clear. It is to extort money from the First World for the pockets of Third World despots by forgiveness of debt and further loans, and to attack and delegitimise the Western democracies.

The UN has become a union shop for the Third World...

The UN has, in effect, become a union shop for the Third World, most Islamic countries and the few remaining communist regimes. The notion that this conference has anything to do with eliminating racism is pathetic.

Today the evils of slavery live on only in the Third World. I managed to find one background paper on slavery in Sudan and Mauritania, but only a couple of paragraphs were devoted to it and you can bet they will not be the focus of demands for reparations. The decisive moves against slavery were made by the French and British in the 19th century.

It is brave of Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to apologise for the role of Germany in the slave trade, but beside the point, given that Germany did not become active in Africa and Polynesia until Bismarck decided to acquire an empire 50 years after the abolition of the slave trade. Perhaps Mr Fischer was reading Mao's Little Red Book rather than history during the 1960s, when he was busy keeping a safe house for New Left terrorists in Germany.

Stopping illegal immigrants is "racist"...
The conference is keen to change Western immigration policy so that illegal immigrants from the Third World can move to the First World, taking pressure off their own governments and creating havoc for us. "Migrants", as used in this context, is a synonym for illegal immigrants. Stopping them is "racist".

Try telling that to white Commonwealth nationals or Americans who find it impossible to get work permits. Never mind that you couldn't enter a Third World country from a First World country this way; never mind that the conditions that make people flee China or Afghanistan are indicative of the kind of systems Third World countries have: the point is to pile this on as an indictment of the First World.

When the UN conference argues that America is racist because more Hispanics or blacks face the death penalty after lengthy trials and proceedings, it is simply illustrating one of the most common logical fallacies. Owners of red sports cars may complain that the police stop them more often than owners of Volvos, but whether or not this is a question of the police being prejudiced against red sports cars or whether red sports cars speed more often is unknown.

People flee as a result of the kind of systems Third World countries have...
The only known fact that emerges is that more blacks and Hispanics are on death row. Arguing with people whose starting point is that America is a racist society because of this is to try to have a rational discussion with Julius Streicher.

The condemnation of xenophobia and slavery began in the West. It is not that the West was never guilty of these practices, but it was in the West that they were first condemned. The notion that one's own group, religion, ethnicity or whatever was superior to everyone else's was taken for granted in the entire world until certain notions developed solely in the West - and solely with regard to its own actions.

It is ludicrous for countries that still practise xenophobic intolerance, from Zimbabwe to Syria, to condemn the West, which not only stopped such practices but provided the sole basis for the Third World's idea that these things are wrong. One is reminded of the Flanders and Swann line "Eating people is wrong". If the First World hadn't discovered that xenophobia was bad, would the Third World know it?

... racism is not a part of (Western) social institutions...

No doubt there are some racists among us in Britain and America. But racism is not a part of our social institutions. Being accused, rightly or wrongly, of racism here is in the same league as being accused as a child molester. The only time institutionalised racism has been a serious threat in the contemporary developed world, apart from the Third Reich, was in the Soviet Union, when it took the form of "groupism" or "xenophobia": people were aliens simply by virtue of class. Today, even the best countries in the Islamic world, such as Saudi Arabia, are xenophobic.

The very soldiers sent to save Saudi Arabia in the Gulf War were cautioned not to hang Christmas decorations outside their tents or they would offend their hosts. This illustrated both the sensitivity of the Westerners and the intolerance of the people they were rescuing.

The UN should either be reconstituted ... or abandoned by us
The UN's ideals and principles have been hijacked by the forces they were originally intended to hold in check. The UNHCR newsletter for the Durban conference praises China for its "Seminar on the Internet and the spread of Racism" and quotes Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan for stressing "the importance the Chinese government placed on the World Conference and its significance for Internet study and racism". No doubt. The Chinese, along with other authoritarian societies, are worried sick about the impact of the internet on censorship of information. The racism bandwagon is just the thing to keep it under control.

The "World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance" is a conference in favour of it - when directed at Caucasians, Europeans, Americans and Jews. I suppose Tony Blair would argue that one must be present to steer it along more useful lines. That argument now seems unsustainable.

When you convene a conference whose primary aim is to extinguish the Jewish state or extort concessions to be a force for the worst totalitarian impulses, the time has come to stay away. As for the UN, it should either be reconstituted along the lines of its former ideals or abandoned by us. The original UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948, has had some 67 conventions added to it, most of which do nothing but eliminate rights. My favourite is the 1987 "UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice", amusingly, in the light of Tiananmen Square, named the "The Beijing Rules".

We should all just stay at home.



How do you rate the views of Barbara Amiel?
Pathetic Rediculous Unclear Average Good Brilliant Unbeatable

Not yet enough votes for a realistic average ...


Previous Visitor Comments

Name Email Subject Location
Sahilfmk6l6b3imw_at_outlook.comhiLlTnLWsgludIQp
My guess is it’s a chicken vs egg phnoemenon, Jim. Which comes first, people avoiding responsibility for their own well-being (blaming greedy Jews and job stealers) or socialism?

Jaco Straussfeedback_at_strauss.za.comNew functionality
I’ve now added the comment and voting functionality to this old page as well. So, please feel free to join the debate - the issue is as relevant today as it had been a decade ago. Probably now even more so!

P L E A S E   P A R T I C I P A T E

No active contact accepted
Name
E-mail Address
Subject
Comment



Previous Article Racist Conference Universally Condemned
Next Article UN furthering racism...

HOME Top Back Print E-Mail Page E-Mail us Guestbook