In the above post the author argues (essentially) that white teachers should not teach black children about slavery because they (the teachers) do not understand the experience of non-white people (the prejudice faced by those who’s skin is black). At the end of the post the blogger does recommend that one way forward is for those who teach to come from a greater diversity of backgrounds. However the whole tone of the article is hostile to the concept of the teaching of slavery to black children by white teachers.
I am not black. I am, however disabled (I am registered blind). Throughout history disabled people have faced discrimination. This discrimination manifested itself in various forms, including the forced sterilisation of those with disabilities on eugenic grounds. Eugenics reached horrific heights during the Third Reich when Nazi doctors, SS officers and nurses murdered the disabled under the T-4 programme. Indeed the use of gas was first employed on the disabled prior to it being used to exterminate approximately 6 million Jews (men, women and children). You can find out about Action T4 here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aktion_T4.
I don’t, as a disabled person, (nor as someone who holds a degree in history and politics) argue that only disabled people are capable of teaching about the T4 Programme. To argue thus would be narrow minded on my part. Yes, as a disabled person I face difficulties and (on occasions) discrimination not encountered by non-disabled people, however those possessing empathy/those of goodwill can understand (and teach) about such matters.
It concerns me that if we carry the argument promulgated in the above article to its logical conclusion, that only disabled people will teach about disability related matters, only women will lecture on the discrimination faced by women throughout the ages etc. This risks leading to a closed academic environment, one in which I don’t wish to live.
The Guardian of 30 January, carries an article regarding the life of Joseph Goebbel’s Secretary, who has died at the age of 106, following a rapid decline in her health hastened by a fall. During her time at the Nazi’s Propaganda Ministry she falsified statistics by exaggerating the number of rapes committed by Soviet soldiers and underestermating the number of German troops killed. Interestingly a Jewish friend died in a concentration camp, while her Jewish lover didn’t survive the war.
A filme (with a book to accompany it) has been made about this fascinating lady.
For the article please visit, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/30/joseph-goebbels-secretary-dies-brunhilde-pomsel.
An interesting article in The Guardian regarding the publication of a new critical edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The copyright pertaining to Mein Kampf (held by the Bavarian government) runs out at the end of the year (hitherto it was prohibited to produce new editions of Hitler’s book), however anyone conducting a rudimentary internet search could find Mein Kampf in it’s entirety with unofficial editions being strewn across the web.
The decition to produce a new critical edition has split the Jewish community. Some argue that the publication of a scholarly edition is the best way of countering anti-Semitism, while others contend that the work remains dangerous and should not be republished in any form.
For the article please visit http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/26/hitler-main-kampf-wary-welcome-british-jews
Today’s Daily Mail has a very interesting article regarding “Hitler’s Furies: German Women In The Nazi Killing Fields” by Wendy Lower, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2432620/Hitlers-Furies-The-Nazi-women-bit-evil-men.html. The book sheds light on the women who actively participated in the atrocities of the Third Reich ranging from those who worked in concentration camps through to the secretaries who typed up the paperwork on mass exterminations. The book dispels the myth that women are incapable of such barbarity. I for one will be ordering a copy once it is published on 3 October.
It was a lovely sunny day. A gentle breeze russled the leaves of the trees in London’s Saint James Park. Ian Miller gazed out of the window of his office. He smiled at the sight of the little children with their black or mixed race nannies. The children played happily under the watchful gaze of the servants. “Gods in his heaven and alls right with the world” popped unbidden into Ian’s head. The United Kingdom in the year 2050 was a stable and prosperous country and Ian was proud that in some small way he was responsible for maintaining that peace and tranquillity.
Ian shuddered as he remembered the chaos which had engulfed the country in the 2030s and early 2040s. Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in 2015 the economy had nose dived. The EU had erected trade barriers putting UK PLC at a competitive disadvantage as the country’s manufacturers had to pay heavy tariffs in order to do business with the EU. The decision to exit the EU also meant that the free flow of labour and capital was stifled leading to economic stagnation and growing social unrest. Racial tensions had grown with large numbers of white Britons blaming black and other ethnic minorities for the countries difficulties. Black and Asian businesses had been attacked and to counter the onslaught gangs of black and Asian youths where formed to protect their communities.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In 2035 the British Patriot Party (BPP) was formed by a group of disaffected people on the far right of the Conservative Party. For a brief period the party was led by the charming but ineffective Lord Microft. The party’s programme emphasised a return to governance by the landed and business elites, the reintroduction of national service, harsher punishments for criminals including the death penalty for murder and a halt to all future immigration. In January 3036 Microft was replaced by John Marks a small businessman from Leeds. The party’s programme was extended to appeal to a broader cross section of disaffected white Britons. Demands for the reintroduction of the death penalty and national service where joined by a proposal to “encourage the voluntary repatriation of non whites with generous resettlement grants to their countries of origin”. The Programme went on “We recognise that not all black and other minorities will wish to leave the UK. Anyone wishing to stay is welcome to remain, however in return for the hospitality afforded to them by the United Kingdom they will be expected to serve the indigenous (white community). Non-whites who remain will be treated humanely, however they will not be permitted to own property (other than personal possessions, E.G. clothes), all rights to own property will be restricted to the indigenous (white) peoples of these islands”.
The party saw a steady growth in support among all sections of the white community. The working classes where attracted by the prospect of the removal of black and other ethnic minority competition to their labour while the middle class liked the party’s emphasis on social order. Unlike other parties of the far right Marks was careful to avoid any hint of association with Nazism. Any member who expressed public admiration for Nazi Germany was immediately expelled and the wearing of Nazi style uniforms resulted in a life long ban on party membership. This rejection of Nazi and Fascist ideas convinced people who would never have considered voting for an avowedly Nazi party to join or at least to cast their vote for the party at local and general elections.
The general election of May 2040 saw the election of a weak coalition of conservative and liberal parties. The inability of the coalition to govern lead to the calling of a fresh election in May 2041. While the BPP didn’t win a majority it held the balance of power and following the failure of negociations between the Conservative and several smaller parties on the forming of a coalition Marks was summoned to Buckingham Palace by the Queen and asked to form a government.
As with all democracies the United Kingdom has a bewildering variety of extremist political parties on the extreme left and right. The largest far-right party, the British National Party has no representation in the UK parliament, it does, however have two Members of the European Parliament (MEPS) including the party’s leader, Nick Griffin.
As with many parties of the extreme right the BNP has attempted to throw off it’s image as a racist and anti-semitic organisation. The party’s policy of the forceable repatriation of non-white immigrants to what the BNP terms their “homelands” has been abandoned as official party policy, however scratch below the surface of respectability and the organisation remains the same racist and Nazi organisation (witness for example the clips on the internet of prominent party members making racist and anti-semitic comments).
In “New British Fascism: The Rise of the British National Party” Mathew J Goodwin examines the party in detail including in-depth interviews with BNP members and supporters. The book offers a fascinating insight into what makes extremists tick and I’d recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand the disturbing growth of political extremism. For Goodwin’s book please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0053D73WC?ie=UTF8&ref=oce_digital