History is rarely black and white

One of the most obvious targets of multiculturalism over the past 40 years has been a reinterpretation of Columbus’ voyage to the New World.  Where Americans in the early history of our nation learned the rhyme “In the year of our Lord 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” today’s progressives take issue with every part of that statement.  Their reinterpretation might run something like “In 1492 of the Common Era, Columbus unleashed all the New World’s terror.”

Columbus was neither saint nor monster.  It’s a symptom of the culture wars we live in that people expect to subscribe solely to one of the two views above.  Perhaps only a descendant of both Christopher Columbus and Montezuma II can truly appreciate the mixed bag of results from that fateful voyage of discovery:

History has some truly evil people. Columbus is certainly not one of them. Most often, history is not made up of perfect people and evil ones, but of complex people who must be understood in context.

What is happening at the hands of Columbus’ detractors is political, not historical. As his direct descendant and namesake, I should know.

Two cultures meeting for the first time in 1492 was no easy thing, but blaming Columbus for everything that went wrong hides the truth about him and about those who followed him. It also obscures the great things that the countries of the American hemisphere have accomplished.

What is lacking in the anti-Columbus narrative is any sense of history or of nuance…

Those who now question Columbus conveniently ignore the fact that slavery, cannibalism, warfare and even human sacrifice all existed in the Americas before he even sailed.

The modern Columbus points out that today’s generation has a difficult time understanding how religious faith permeated European society in the early 1500s.  Thus it is difficult for the modern “don’t judge” generation to understand the reaction of Europeans to seeing towers of skulls adorning Aztec architecture, or the bloody sacrifice of scores of natives by Aztec priests.  There was no sense of moral relativism at that time — or for centuries afterwards.  What the natives were doing was simply wrong by the most basic understanding of the Spaniards’ moral foundations.  So “civilizing” natives became a driving force in colonialization — as well as a rationalization for cruel behavior on the part of some Europeans, who took it as a license to abuse the “savages.”

This rationalization for abuses is rightly criticized today.  But it leads frequently to another error: assuming that the abuse of the natives means that their culture was somehow more noble than that of their sometime European tormentors.  This overreaction leads some today to whitewash the history of the precolumbian Americas. It’s not hard to detect this at work in the arts, when a prominent Hollywood production can be entitled “1492: Conquest of Paradise.”

Despite Disney’s Pocahontas singing about painting with “the colors of the wind” or the obvious parallels to the native experince in blockbusters like Avatar, the New World of 1492 was not some sort of New Age pantheistic utopia.  Such things simply don’t exist on earth.  Only the rejection of the Christian worldview (which sees all of creation as fallen and flawed — even the Western Civilization that was once known as Christendom) can lead to such a romanticization of indigenous life.  Yes, the arrival of the Europeans meant much of that way of life was lost.  But unless we’re arguing for a return of human sacrifice to one-up the current revival of tattoos, it’s hard to see that as a bad thing.

The truly sad thing is that so many of those today who focus on what was lost take little to no time to think about what was gained as well.  Representative government was unknown in the Americas before the Europeans arrived —  and it further developed and prospered in the incubator of the New World.  Even the poorest in the hemisphere today largely enjoy a standard of living higher than that of their ancestors (though you wouldn’t know that by the rhetoric of the Marxist-inspired Bolivarists who have wrecked Venezuela without any help from Columbus). By focusing on the admitted excesses of the post-1492 story, the tale of the very progress the progressives claim to seek is lost. Instead, grievances are nursed and divisions maintained.

Who benefits from that?

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Summoning the demons

(Note: this is a long post on a highly sensitive subject.  If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to carefully read and consider it all, please don’t read it AT all.)

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I believe we arrived at the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I have no sympathy for idiots who see Nazi paraphernalia as a statement.  History clearly shows where that road leads.

And yet, with all the focus on the swastikas why is it we never have criticism of the Hammer and Sickle often unfurled at various Leftist demonstrations?  Of the Che Guevara T-shirts worn by people who still think socialism or communism is a good idea? History also shows multiple examples of where THAT road leads.  Many of the gatherings of these supposedly “anti-fascist” groups are also violent — in the way that Hitler’s Brown Shirts were violent.  In fact, I think the wisest comment on Charlottesville is that is was a result of two groups descending on the city, looking for a fight.  It did not help matters that the police stood back and allowed the fists on both sides to start flying.  I wonder if anyone will be held to account for that…

We’re rapidly approaching 1930s Weimar Germany all over again – two brands of social collectivist thuggary duking it out for control.

There is more to this, however.  With higher academia firmly under Gramscian control, it’s easy to understand why many young people have a romanticized view of communism’s “liberation” movements and fail to realize “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  But what trend could be luring other young people towards neo-Nazism or the white supremacy ideas of decades past?

I think much of it’s a belated (though misdirected) defensive response.  Rod Dreher hits the nail on the head: it does no good for the Right to disavow the identity politics of neo-Nazism or George Wallace’s segregationism while the Left continues to make identity politics the center of everything:

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Same pablum, different day

This article is worth your attention, as it encapsulates the feelings of an already large and growing number of people (myself included):

The sad truth, and getting sadder with every attack, is that the political class has little interest in doing what would really be necessary to combat Islamist terrorism, let alone talk about it. They don’t want to talk about how Britain’s (the West’s) lax immigration policies over decades led to hundreds of thousands of immigrants entering the country with varying degrees of willingness to assimilate and adopt Western values. They don’t want to openly criticize the blatant problems with the multiculturalism the UK (West) has pursued for years and the obvious impact it has had on the immigrant population.

Oh no. This would cost them too much. It would shatter the façade of political correctness that’s been constructed over our “civilized” western world, and destroy the illusion, so vital to the political class, that Western values are universal.

The politicians are only willing to give speeches about how united we are and how terrorists cannot tear us apart. But the truth—so clear and obvious—is that with every attack the West becomes more and more divided. We are not united, not by a long shot…

There’s little to no tolerance in polite society for the kind of honesty for which many in the West are hungry…

Our political leaders are basically telling us that this kind of terrorism, random and deadly, is the price we have to pay for their policies of multiculturalism and political correctness. They know that their weak platitudes can’t stop terrorism, and so do the people. They might as well come out and say what they mean: get used to the new normal.  ((slight editing and emphasis by yours truly))

Close the borders.  Send the illegals home.  And stop importing more of the medium — hundreds of thousands of Muslims from broken and radicalized countries — in which this ideology flourishes.

Failure to assimilate

Turkey’s recent election, which further enhanced the Islamist totalitarian powers of Recep Erdogan, shows how far that nation has come from the secular society Kemal Ataturk intended.

The votes by Turks living abroad are even more telling, and should be noted:

About 1.4 million expatriate Turks voted in Turkey’s referendum to grant President Erdogan near-dictatorial powers, with three quarters of them residing in Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. These Turkish voters, living in some of Europe’s most liberal countries, overwhelming cast their ballots for Erdogan’s illiberal reforms of Turkish society…

Life in liberal Europe is not having the impact people hoped—Turks in Europe are not any less nationalistic, less authoritarian or less Islamist than their compatriots at home—rather they are more of all these things..

If assimilation is failing with long established Turks in affluent, full employment Germany, what can we expect with other communities in less prosperous European countries?

The measure squeaked by at home, with just over 51% saying “yes.”  For the Turks living abroad, “Yes” had anywhere from 15 to 25% more support!  That would tend to confirm the thesis that the massive wave of ‘refugees’ in the past couple of years represents an ideological vanguard of Islamism that intends to make Europe submit to it, not the other way around.

The author of the quoted piece seems puzzled that good economic conditions in Germany haven’t produced assimilation.  That’s because assimilation is a primarily a cultural issue, not an economic one.  In the past, Western European nations and the Anglosphere (U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc) fully expected newcomers to adopt their language, follow their laws, and to give their undivided loyalty to their new nation.

Immigrants today don’t have to cut the cord with the “old country” the way past generations did.  With global communication, the ability to travel and the tendency to settle into specific ethnic enclaves in their new land, immigrants today have far less motivation to assimilate.  Let’s face it: for Mexicans in the U.S., “home” is next door, you live in barrios with people like yourself, you can watch Spanish-language TV such as Univision, and even wave the Mexican flag while watching the U.S. play that country in soccer.  These are not Mexican-Americans.  They are Mexicans living in America.  The same is true of the Turks in Europe.  Even at the height of the Cold War, with Turkey a key partner in NATO, Europeans were strongly divided over whether or not to consider Turkey “European.”  Its current regression to pining for the days of the Ottoman Empire should answer that question.

The West has basically allowed a substantial fifth column to develop in their midst — a development our traitorous leadership class has encouraged.  While the resulting attacks rarely amount to more than a single actor at a time right now, I suspect that won’t remain the case much longer.  Even the “lone wolves” usually have ideological and communication ties with the Islamist movement.  At this stage of the game, Turks should be carefully watched, not welcomed in with no restrictions.  It’s time to shut the doors for a while and deal with what we’ve already admitted, rather than keep the welcome mat out for anyone with a pulse.

Death of a thousand paper cuts

That’s what the alleged “war on terror” has become.  The latest cut comes just outside the British Parliament, a key symbol of the long struggle in the West to establish representative government and personal liberties.

Yet even though once again the perpetrator was “Asian” (which in Britain means Pakistani), all the talking heads are more worried about a potential backlash against that ever-growing demographic than they are the continued drip, drip of jihad:

We’ve seen this rise of a kind of a right-wing movement here and throughout Europe. And this is only going to put wind in the sails of those who would say that this is an issue that needs to be looked at, that needs to be examined in terms of refugees.

(MSNBC reporter Matt Bradley, just after the attack)

Thus does the western media play Wormtongue once again: the threat isn’t from Islam, you see.  No, the real threat is from those who point out that massive Muslim immigration seems to correlate with the rise of Sudden Jihad Syndrome in various western nations.

Enough with the “diversity is our strength” pablum.  Pouring hundreds of thousands of Muslims into Europe (and, to a lesser but still significant degree, the U.S.) doesn’t enrich society.  It dilutes it.  It fragments it.  This isn’t about importing a few exotic neighbors with whom you can trade cooking tips.  It’s about enabling an invasion and importing a culture that is completely alien and overtly hostile to Western-style representative government and culture – and always has been.  Just over a year ago I traveled to London.  My son and I visited the Whitechapel district.  The moment we got to street level from the Underground my first impression was that I was deployed back to the Middle East.  Needless to say, we didn’t stay long.  When you travel to England and find the Emirates instead, something is terribly amiss.

I dare these treacherous reporters to name one Muslim-majority nation that is freer than the United States.  Name one that produces more advances in science and technology.  Name one that permits the upward social and financial mobility available to those who would work hard in the West.

It can’t be done.

Our chattering classes are permitting and encouraging civilizational suicide by the West.  On their hands will be the blood of thousands of Westerners and Muslims.  The longer their spell keeps people passive, the greater the eventual response when the public realizes their betrayal and rises to act.

The question of the era is whether that awakening will take place before or after it’s too late to fight back.

Where is our modern Charles Martel?  Where is the spirit that defended the gates of Vienna?  Will their descendants meekly submit to the same oppressive worldview that has already tried twice to conquer Europe?

Where are the Men of the West?

A dearth of adults

Quote of the day, from Victor Davis Hanson:

An adult president is going to have to tell the American people that a mandated equality-of-result economy is fossilized, entitlements are insolvent, the debt is unsustainable, interest rates are going up, the medical system is pure chaos, and people have to get over expecting to live off government, not because it is unethical, but because it is untenable.

The problem is, our infantilized society — in which “you hurt my feewings” seems now to  be the measure of everything — is increasingly unlikely to elect such an adult.  Indeed, rather than re-embracing the values and norms that once made our society thrive, the current generations seem determined to run farther than ever from them.  Given that, it’s far more likely the untenable status quo will continue until it simply can’t, at which point we’ll be lucky if there are adults around to clean up the mess and try to rebuild.  We’ll be even luckier if those rare adults take on the burden of leadership more out of altruism and a sense of civic responsibility instead of personal ambition.

What invasion looks like, part 2

Want to know why the demand for firearms in Austria is currently exceeding supply?  Why some Europeans are now lamenting their lack of a Second Amendment?

This might have something to do with it. (Must-see animation at the link)

To crib from a favorite leftist phrase, “visualize enforced borders!”  With those, you MIGHT maintain peace.  What you see in the visualization at the link above is a recipe for violence, possibly on a scale not seen since 1945.  After all, the moving graphics were created using United Nations data, which I would not be surprised to find underestimates the problem.

Remember the leaders and activists responsible for enabling it, too.  They should not escape history’s judgment — nor their own peoples’.  The word ‘treason’ should not be used lightly.  But if it doesn’t apply here, I don’t know where it would.

If anyone finds a similar animation for the flow of immigrants into the United States, please let me know.  Sometimes pictures are indeed worth thousands of words.