Black and White

Clever folk should rule the world.

That, anyway, is what certain people who consider themselves far smarter than you or me tend to think. These clever people hang out with other clever people, all of whom are very impressed with the intelligence they find around themselves. Yes, for the good of everyone, they must rule. Of course they must. All things being equal.

Without such leadership, after all, how would the little people – those of us less brilliant, less progressive, less aware,  know precisely how much revenue, how much of “our common wealth,” should be obtained by state government through taxes and then spent on various modern initiatives like education, wars and healthcare.

The more I listen to the aloof, imperial, almost magisterial would-I-lie-to-you pronouncements from the current tenant at the cottage on the hill, the less confidence I have. Dear old Uncle Jimmy, who wasn’t the best President but one of the shrewdest, commented that “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.”

Jimmy, (84) has a point, Southern tea parties notwithstanding. It isn’t just “socialised medicine” and bank bailouts that enrage the Obamaphobes. They’re pushed off balance by the social cataclysm symbolised by an African American president whose middle name is Hussein. So, why are we surprised? Throughout US history, populist movements have harboured both a resentment of economic fat cat elites and a suspicion of blacks, Jews and immigrants. Conservatives who deny that reality are just as obtuse as liberals who dismiss all of Obama’s detractors as racists.

I’ve just returned from Oman, where there’s much more of an egalitarian spirit about the place. Kuwaitis are perceived as stuck-up and unfriendly, so it was a change to visit somewhere where it was OK to shake hands with an Indian and  actually share a table with him. Especially if his name was Hussein.
The image is of the Omani desert. In black and white.




One thought on “Black and White

  1. You just returned from Oman? If I weren't just back from India I would be green with envy.

    I thought a long time about Mr Carter's observation when I read it – thinking how this man has established quite firmly that he is one of your “intellectuals” and therefore has the right to make observations about his world.

    Personally, I am convinced that nearly anything Obama does which advocates change to the firmly established status quo will be looked on with suspicion by those who believe that only WASPs really understand how to lead. And this powerful minority with both wealth and influence will always consider anyone else who tries to speak (or gasp!) aspire to leadership as having “notions above his raisin'.” (Consult any number of US authors from 1760s to the present and you will find this a prominently expressed sentiment).

    Jimmy Carter is from the South… if he's not allowed to express the truth, who is? I have personally wondered how long it will be before someone with strong convictions about “raisin'” and a big gun makes his own statement.

    Oh, how I hope this is just catastrophizing on my part.


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