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Re: [xmca] Hedegaard article

I don't know, David. I haven't had time yet to read the Hedegaard article,
so I can't put the remarks in that context. I presume you're not proposing
that one ought to categorize Danish culture as pathologically monological,
or nasty. I don't understand how that kind of appeal to "what we in the
west... recognize" (which "we" is that, exactly?) can claim to identify the
roots of a failure to think in "fuzzy" terms, not least, of course, because
it's not exactly a fuzzy way of putting things.


On 3/8/09 12:20 AM, "David Kellogg" <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear Martin:
> I don't find Jay's comments at all offensive, and they are simplistic only in
> the sense of being telegraphic (like the word "nasty"). Actually, I find Jay's
> work anything but simplistic; if anything it's a little too nuanced for my
> purposes (coding data involves a LOT of categorial distinctions!)
> I interpreted Jay's comments in the context of Mariane Hedegaard's article,
> particularly the ending, where Halime is describing her relationship to the
> Danish language and to the Danish "good life". I'm assuming that this article
> was written well after the Centre-Right Rasmussen government came to power (in
> 2001) with, of course, the support of the Bush administration, which they
> promptly returned by embroiling Denmark in the Iraq War.
> What is not so well known is that the Rasmussen government is supported by the
> Dansk Folkeparti of Pia Kjaersgaard, which is the equivalent of Jean Marie Le
> Pen's Front Nationale in France or Jurg Haidar's neo-fascist Austrian People's
> Party. This party, which has been shown to be infilitrated by terrorist
> neo-Nazi organizations like Combat 18, opposes all forms of immigration,
> consider white people to be oppressed by the Muslim minority in Denmark, and
> after 9/11 Kjaersgaard said that the Americans were wrong to call this a clash
> of civilizations because "There is only one civilization and that is ours."
> Here are some quotations from their parliamentary delegation, just to give you
> some sense of what Halime is talking about:
> Morten Messerschmidt, DPP member of Danish Parliament:
> "I believe that all Muslim communities are, by definition, loser communities.
> The Muslims are not capable of critical thinking."[24]
> Pia Kjærsgaard's newsletter (February 25, 2002):
> "The Social Security Act is passé because it was tailored to a Danish family
> tradition and work ethic and not to Muslims, for whom it is fair to be
> provided for by others while the wife gives birth to a lot of children. The
> child benefit grant is being taken advantage of, as an immigrant achieves a
> record income due to [having] just under a score of children. New punishment
> limits must be introduced for group rapes because the problem only arrived
> with the vandalism of the many anti-social second-generation immigrants." [25]
> It seems to me that in the USA in the sixties and again today there was a
> fairly common liberal sentiment to the effect that racism was above all just a
> bad idea, and that since it was nothing more than a bad idea, it could be
> cured fairly easily by a dose of Sidney Poitier or Barack Obama.
> The corollary of this sentiment is that, of course, the oppressed must not be
> allowed to cherish similar bad ideas, not merely because it might provoke the
> oppressor to even more savage acts of oppression but above all because racism
> is just a bad idea in general.
> Well, it doesn't take much to show that this liberal sentiment is simply
> wrong. Sidney Poitier did not cure American racism, and neither will Barack
> Obama. The reason is simple; racism is not "just a bad idea" but, like any
> other pervasive and systematic ideology, a reflection of real material
> historical conditions.
> Specifically, racism reflects the historical conditions of American slavery,
> European colonialism, and the not merely historical reserve army of the
> unemployed, which is growing by leaps and bounds as we speak. Perhaps it's
> time to consider the idea that so-called "reverse racism", or rather, the rage
> of the oppressed, is really NOT part of the problem, but in fact part of the
> solution. 
> David Kirshner's colleague, Kaustuv Roy, has written a wonderful book (Thanks,
> David!) called Neighborhoods of the Plantation which begins with a quote
> from Walter Benjamin on immigration and borders as a means of keeping
> "culture" pure. Benjamin committed suicide when, fleeing the Nazis, he was not
> allowed to pass from occupied France into Spain :
> "Where frontiers are decided the adversary is not simply annihilated; indeed
> he is accorded rights even when the victor's superiority of power is complete.
> And these are, in a demonically ambiguous way, 'equal rights', for both
> parties ot the treat it is the same line that may not be crossed. Here
> appears, in a terribly primitive form, the same mythical ambiguity of laws
> that may not be 'infringed' to which Anatole France refers satirically when he
> says that 'Poor and rich are equally forbidden to spend the night under
> bridges.'"
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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