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By Gregory J. Hand
According to a September 8th BBC news story, "European countries agreed to apologise for slavery as a 'crime against humanity.'" While "a package of economic assistance to Africa was reportedly also agreed," which lends credence to the postulation that liberals tend to enjoy tossing other peoples money down a black hole to pretend to solve a problem or to alleviate their guilt, this was all predicated on one notion: According to European Union spokesman Koen Vervaeke, "In the way it's drafted now, there can't be any legal consequences." Oh, but of course not.
This all stems from the farcical U.N. World Conference against Racism, where white liberal Europeans masochistically allow themselves to be verbally spanked by third world dictators looking for more free money and somewhere else to place the blame for the mess that has been created in Africa over the last couple of decades. The Europeans, all too easily playing the dupe and willing to do practically anything, legal culpability aside, to placate their 'guilt,' will flush more of their respective countries taxpayers' money into that money pit known as Africa. U.S. trial lawyers should have it so easy.
Everyone wanted in on the action of being able to call all the predominantly white countries racist, even people from those countries. Our good friend Jesse Jackson was there, looking to convince the United States, who along with Israel walked out over the blatant anti-Semitism on display, that, "we must make crooked ways straight." Quite frankly, given his track record at extorting Fortune 500 Companies, he should be the last person to talk about anything else being crooked. Besides, if he wants to "make crooked ways straight," I believe there is a young girl in Los Angeles who doesn't have a full time father currently in her life.
Talking to BBC Radio 4's Today program, he also stated that, "In many ways, Africa subsidized America and Europe's development," adding, "If you don't feel apologetic for slavery, if you don't feel apologetic for colonialism, if you feel proud of it, then say that." This of course is Jackson's way of setting up what it means to be apologetic for slavery and now all of a sudden colonialism: cold hard cash, a Jackson favorite. The only thing to discuss, at that point, is the percentage that Jesse gets to take back to his home in Chicago.
Jackson, as all wealth redistributionist slave reparations fanatics tend to do, demands an apology for slavery, but then places that requirement at the feet of those who purchased the slaves. What he and others are mysteriously silent about is requesting an identical apology from those black Africans who captured and then sold other black Africans as slaves in the first place. Are they not as complicit in the transaction, or are their pockets not deep enough to bother with them? With Jackson involved, is that answer to that question so difficult to answer? Selling slaves, by the way, is a practice which still continues to this very day in certain parts of Africa.
Also, what is the deal with Jackson's sudden interest in colonialism? Perhaps it is a means of casting a wider net with which to catch the Europeans, for if they are not guilty of involvement in slavery, then they certainly are in colonialism. However, if colonialism is an even greater injustice requiring even more monetary compensation, as is doubtless the case, can the United States, a former British colony in and of itself, actually be guilty of anything? Slavery in the United States, after all, began while it was under the full control of the British. Would not the 'original sin,' so to speak, lie at the feet of the United Kingdom, who along with the rest of Europe seem to crave the public flogging that they are getting?
Besides, even if there were certain abusive aspects to colonialism, in many countries there were situations where the benefits of such greatly outweighed the problems. The United States is now the preeminent power on Earth, much to everyone else's chagrin, especially the French. Hong Kong, another former British colony, is still a wealthy, prosperous region, despite the best efforts of the Chinese to reel that area in. Australia and New Zealand are also doing quite fine, and South Africa is still the wealthiest country in Africa. Where colonialism has failed is where European powers have pulled out, only to have the power vacuum that was created filled by despots and other assorted dictators, of which in Africa there is apparently no shortage.
Jackson, however, was not alone in calling for reparations.American Church groups also joined in on the bandwagon. The Presbyterian Church (USA) the United Church of Christ (UCC), the United Methodist Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) were among those who sent representatives, and many others were represented by larger umbrella organizations such as the World Council of Churches and Church World Service. In addition to their various proclamations, they signed onto a 10-point statement that urges churches "to acknowledge our complicity with and participation in" slavery and colonialism and asked them to "address the issue of reparations as a way of redressing the wrongs done." Let us pray.
The U.N. World Conference against Racism is also where everyone, Europeans included, got to pile on Israel, those evil, nasty Jews who apparently enjoy killing Palestinians for sport. This effort is being led by fanatical Middle Eastern countries, who find it simply outrageous that Israel would not roll over and allow the Palestinians to kill innocent Israeli citizens without retaliation. The very definition of a racist, besides being a conservative in the United States, is a Jew who would kill a Palestinian. Yes, even a Palestinian who plots to send suicide bombers to blow up Jewish women and children in crowded restaurants. But if anyone knows racism, it would surely be the Palestinians and other assorted Middle Easterners.
Not to be left out of the Israel bashing, many supposedly tolerant and religious churches also signed on to a resolution, the closing statement from a parallel conference by private advocacy groups, which accused Israel of racist crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing. They even attached the report to a kitchen sink, to symbolize (liberals are big on symbolism) anything they might have forgotten to include in their litany of Israeli crimes. (For those of you with no sense of humor, that last sentence is a joke.)
The World Council of Churches, who represents 36 U.S. based denominations including the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, and the National Baptist Convention, signed onto this outrageous document. Some of these Churches, ironically enough, have religious, moral and ethical standards so lax as to basically permit practically everything but bestiality and incest, but a Jew who tries to defend himself against a homicidal Palestinian is now suddenly a problem.
While those U.S. church representatives claim to have registered their objections to specific anti-Israeli language, nonetheless they still went ahead and signed it. "We are here to give the space and recognition to the victims of racism," said Marila Schuller, a top official with the World Council of Churches (WCC), in a pathetic attempt to justify their participation, "The life of people goes beyond the Middle East. The world is much larger. This document supports the Roma, Dalits, Sinti, people of African descent, the migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, internally displaced, and many others that we want to support," which, to her, seems a reasonable excuse to attack Jews in such a manner. The needs of the many must outweigh the needs of the few.
The United Nations has digressed into primarily a 'hate America' forum, but also one in which the third world, beset by incompetence and corruption, demand massive handouts under the guise of redressing past wrongs in an eventually futile effort to prop them up. That the United States continues to contribute to this idiocy, much less that it is still playing host to it in New York, is an even greater outrage. Both the payments, and the U.N., should go.
The U.N. World Conference against Racism started as a mess, continued as such, and ended as it started. Reparations are the product of intellectually lazy, guilt ridden liberals looking to use other people's money to assuage their guilt, coupled with greedy third world charlatans looking for handouts. While perfectly suited for each other, that third party taxpayers are the ones who bear the brunt of such costs seems somewhat ludicrous.
Israel bashing, a sideshow at the conference, is the latest cause celeb, even from leftist Jews both in and out of Israel. Israel has bent over backwards time and time again in their repeatedly futile efforts to achieve peace from those who do not want it. They have the right to defend themselves, to do what they need to do to stop the violence directed towards them, and those that would label them racists or of partaking in genocide and ethnic cleansing for doing so are beyond reprehensible. That U.S. and European Churches are partaking in such efforts is even more so.
Israel and the United States were right to walk out of such a three ring circus, because the garbage leveled at both of them, partially paid for by U.S. taxpayers, was certainly not worth the effort to attend. That the Europeans would grovel as they have is not noteworthy, as liberals seem to enjoy doing that. That third world dictators, coupled with Jesse Jackson pimping himself out for attention, would demand some sort of reparations is also to be expected.
That there are allegedly mainstream Churches across the globe, however, that would sign onto not only this nonsense of reparations to people who were never slaves from people who were never slave holders, but also to anti-Israeli proclamations is even more disgraceful. If these sorts of actions, coupled with others such as churches embracing of leftist environmental extremism, are what herald the future of religion, then God help us.
Gregory J. Hand is a political and social commentator whose weekly columns disclose his personal passion for conservative issues. His columns appear regularly at NewsCorridor, OpinioNet, and Ether Zone, and he is also a contributing writer with Enter Stage Right. He has a B.A. in Economics from Wofford College. You can view the complete catalog of all of his works on GregoryHand.com, and can reach him at email@example.com.
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