One of the few positive aspects of this whole 911 affair is that it has raised the level of the playing field in at least one way. No longer is the focus of conflict upon the color of ones skin or where ones ancestors lived or even which language one speaks, but rather upon the content and meaning of ones ideas. Shortly before 911, on the local Pacifica FM station, KPFK, Asunta Arturu (and I probably got that spelling wrong - apologies) had just returned from the conference in Africa on racism which the U.S. boycotted, apparently in main due to the conferees insistence upon including a plank in their resolution to the effect that Zionism was racist. In her discussion of the conference, Asunta made some kind of reference to Colin Powell, which went to the effect, as I caught it, of chastizing him for betraying "his own people." Or something very close to that...
"His own people???" Wait just a darn minute there. Who does Colin Powell see as "his people?" Is it any other person with a similar skin color or ethnic ancestry? Or is it other Americans? Or might it be other Americans who share a certain set of fundamental beliefs? What is really more important - whether one is an atheist or a Christian or whatever, or what gene pool one was born into? Asunta, in her criticism of Mr. Powell, betrays a deep racism of her own (not unusual among modern "progressives").
As stupid and irrational and malign as the beliefs of most religious people are - and as inherently dangerous, given that they are explicitly adopted in defiance of reason and evidence - I find it a little refreshing that we are at least in conflict on the level of ideas, rather than in the fetid realm of barnyard collectivism (as Ayn Rand put it), where no principle higher than a club in a fist is recognized.
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