This 'n' That

Monday, August 29, 2005


Here in one of Paul Laurence Dunbar's stories is what the patrician Robert S. Abbott, the late publisher of the "Chicago Defender", admonished Negroes migrating to the north from the south about. He wrote that Negroes employed in slaughter houses ought not to pick their teeth in public; that they should carefully remove sheep shearings from their hair before leaving the work place; and that they should have cleaned their fingernails properly after each work day. In other words, Chicago's Abbott loathed the appearance and behavior of some Negroes who carried with them habits they had developed in the rural south.

See also Thomas Sowell's "White Trash" Culture Oppresses African Americans, 26 April 2005, on this blog.

The prevailing idea here echoes themes that Dunbar addressed with some passion in essays such as "The Hapless Southern Negro" and "The Negroes of the Tenderloin." In the latter he cast his sensitive gaze on the development of dysfunctional black ghettoes and concluded, "The gist of the whole trouble lies in the flocking of ignorant and irresponsible Negroes to the great city," an influx that "continues and increases year after year."

Paul Laurence Dunbar Reconsidered
Jabari Asim discusses Shelley Fisher Fishkin and David Bradley's new anthology of Paul Lawrence Dunbar's writings in today's Washington Post Book World:
The last section of the book is devoted to The Sport of the Gods , which seldom packs the punch of Dunbar's best short fiction. It is mostly of interest because it is the only Dunbar novel to feature a largely black cast, not at all surprising when one considers his determination to "be with the age." The plot revolves around the Hamiltons, a black family that flees the South after its patriarch is falsely accused of theft and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor. Without Berry, the head of their household, the Hamiltons fall prey to vice, lust and violence up north in New York.With the exception of a pair of supporting players, the characters in The Sport of the Gods seldom rise above mere types employed in the service of the author's larger design. This is consistent with Dunbar's approach to storytelling. He wrote to his wife, Alice, "I believe that characters in fiction should be what men and women are in real life -- the embodiment of a principle or idea. . . . Every character who moves across the pages of a story is, to my mind, . . . only an idea." The prevailing idea here echoes themes that Dunbar addressed with some passion in essays such as "The Hapless Southern Negro" and "The Negroes of the Tenderloin." In the latter he cast his sensitive gaze on the development of dysfunctional black ghettoes and concluded, "The gist of the whole trouble lies in the flocking of ignorant and irresponsible Negroes to the great city," an influx that "continues and increases year after year." Joe, Berry's headstrong young son, who comes to no good, symbolizes the futile migration that Dunbar lamented. Chronicling Joe's sordid ordeal, Dunbar's omniscient narrator mentions "the pernicious influence of the city on untrained negroes" and predicts that "the stream of young negro life would continue to flow up from the South, dashing itself against the hard necessities of the city and breaking like waves against a rock."It is tempting to regard Dunbar's implausibly tidy ending as a bit of wishful thinking. Fishkin and Bradley remind us that Dunbar was dying of tuberculosis as he wrote the novel. Better, perhaps, to read the story's conclusion as evidence that he had not lost faith in his brethren, despite the many opportunities for cynicism and despair with which his short life had presented him. At times he did feel obligated to offer such reassurances. "I do not write as a malicious croaker," he asserted in one essay, "but as one deeply interested in the development of the best that is in the negro."
# posted by LaurenceJarvik @ 8:22 AM 28 August 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

To All Consenting Adults

While I sympathize with all mothers and fathers who have lost loved ones in the war in Iraq, I must agree with Mark Steyn's comments below. Every individual in military uniform over there is a "volunteer". First and foremost, a Marine is a combatant. In the army, each enlistee's primary job decription is infantry. That means all of them are trained for armed combat. And there is no guarantee that says they will never have to experience war anywhere in the world. Many have been heard to say: "I enlisted to earn money for college. Not to go to war."

Where is that written in the contracts they signed, not to mention the oath each one of them took and swore to uphold? Camping out on a lawn in Crawford, Texas will not change what is written in any of those contracts, signed by consenting adults.

From Mark Steyn, of "The Spectator"

Ever since America’s all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterise them as ‘children’. If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that’s her decision and her parents shouldn’t get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the Oval Office shagpile and chow down on Bill Clinton, she’s a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year old is serving his country overseas, he’s a wee ‘child’ who isn’t really old enough to know what he’s doing.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed will not be returning to Britain

Britain said today that it would bar Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, a London-based Syrian cleric, from returning to the country from Lebanon. Sheik Mohammed, known for his incendiary anti-Western views, was granted asylum by Britain some 20 years ago and has lived here ever since.

The Home Secretary has issued an order revoking Omar Bakri Mohammed's indefinite leave to remain and to exclude him from the U. K. on the grounds that his presence is not conducive to the public good," the statement said.

This is what The New York Times and the Telegraph are reporting this morning. It must be viewed as a right and good decision on the part of the Home Secretary. Naturally, there are going to be those who see Omar Bakri Mohammed's ban from Britain as a violation of his human rights, if he happens to be deported to a country where he might be tortured or sentenced to death. But Lord Falconer had this to say about it: "The deportee has got rights, but so have the people of this country. If they are threatened in terms of national security, that is something that the government has got to protect them against as much as possible."

However, Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, is quoted as saying:
"He is someone who for 20 years was given shelter by this country and he has spent almost all that time vilifying this country and its values," Mr. Bungalawala told the BBC. "With his often very offensive remarks, he has contributed toward the demonization of British Muslims."

Enough said.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Below is what the Telegraph is reporting about Omar Bakri's current status. But CNN has reported that he has been detained in Beirut in connection with inflammatory statements he made about the July 7th suicide bombings in London.

Looking at the figures taken from the Telegraph article, Omar Bakri's words may cost him more than he expected. And rightly so. Why should decent, hard working, law abiding British citizens support such an individual, when all he desires is the destruction of their lives and their beloved London?

Omar Bakri Mohammed, who is in Lebanon, is due to have treatment at St Thomas's Hospital, just across the Thames from the Palace of Westminster.

He receives £331.28 a month in incapacity benefit and £183.30 a month in disability living allowance because of a leg injury he suffered in his teens.
Both payments will continue for at least six months while he is abroad, as long as he plans to return, as will the housing benefit on his home in Edmonton, north London, and his council tax benefit.
His wife, who remains in Britain with their seven children, can also continue to claim a benefits package thought to be worth at least £1,300 a month. Bakri drives a Toyota people carrier worth £30,000, paid for under a scheme called Motability.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Is the Koran now required reading for one and all?

This from the The Telegragh:

Anjem Choudary, the former British head of al-Muhajiroun, said: "If the life and wealth of Muslims is not treated with sanctity, they can defend themselves. Muslims are not the type to turn the other cheek."
Mr Choudary said that Mr Blair had broken a covenant in the Koran that allowed Muslims to live peacefully with non-Muslims as long as there was no threat to their lives or livelihood. "But if they occupy our land we have a duty to defend it," he said.

How is Tony Blair to know which "covenant" in the Koran that he has supposedly broken? This is a fine example of how one should consider the source. Must Mr. Choudary be reminded that he fled Saudi Arabia for his membership in a banned organization? Why not remain or return there to defend his " and wealth" as a Muslim, according to the Koran? The fact that Mr. Choudary is not specific about which covenant that Tony Blair has broken, or how he has done so, leaves one to believe that Mr. Choudary is making it up as he goes along. And since when has it been a requirement for anyone to be familiar with any religious text?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Islamist Cleric Flees

"The British Government wants to show that they are on the side of justice and of truth, whereas in reality the real terrorists are the British regime, and even the British police, who have tried to divide the Muslim community into moderates and extremists, whereas this classification doesn't exist in Islam." These were the words spoken by Anjem Choudary, a militant Muslim cleric who has recently fled Britain to Lebanon. He was one of several Islamist clerics facing possible terrorist incitement charges. It is likely good news to Tony Blair who has been aggressively pursuing ways and means to arrest and possibly deport those who actively incite terrorist activity on British soil. The BBC had earlier reported that Anjem Choudary was receiving monthly welfare checks. He sought asylum in Britain after he was forced to leave Saudi Arabia for being a member of a banned organization there. He was granted "indefinite leave" to remain in Britain in 1985.

Needless to say, Tony Blair and the British government are doing the right thing by going after those who seek to reign terror through the spoken word. It is difficult to understand why Anjem Choudary would engage in sowing seeds of hatred in a country that for the past 20 years has supported and treated him humanely.