The chorus of outrage grows surrounding Trump’s latest tweets, which suggested that four of his most outspoken critics – all Democratic congresswomen, all women ‘of colour’, and all excepting one born in America – hate America and should ‘go back home’. The four are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Puerto Rican descent; Rashida Tlaib, whose parents are Palestinian immigrants; Ilhan Omar, who fled Somalia aged 12 and wears a hijab; and Ayanna Pressley, who is just black.
Were these just the usual ‘off-colour’ remarks we have come to expect from a president who is notoriously thin-skinned, and does not take kindly to be called ‘a mother fucker’ (the term was used by Rashida Tlaib as she sought to have him impeached) – choice abuse that the BBC did not bother to report on their website, or those who compare American border guards to Nazis, or those who attack American Jews, or those who belittle the 9/11 attack with the words ‘some people did something’ (Ilhan Omar). Or are they conclusive proof that the president is ‘a racist’? Mrs May has declared the president’s remarks ‘completely unacceptable’, as have both Tory leadership contenders, who have been competing to demonstrate their outrage. The Telegraph is embarrassed. The President’s Republican supporters are conspicuous by their silence. Even Breitbart, the American ‘alt-right’ news network is silent.
Will nobody stand by the President?
It was unfortunate that a black American should have been caught up in the crossfire, and I don’t imagine that the President had her especially in mind when he made the tweet. But the heart of the matter is this. Trump suffers from a pathological condition. He says out loud what millions of ordinary people think but dare not say:
That immigrants, and their children, who come to America to enjoy riches and opportunities they could never have dreamed of back home, and freedoms they would have been denied, should show some respect for their adopted homeland, its traditions, its people and their ways, instead of denigrating them at every turn. And that the way to combat injustice and foster mutual understanding is not to pursue sectarian identity politics, the neo-Marxist ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism, but for newcomers to assimilate, and be assimilated into, the dominant culture.
‘Why don’t you go home’ or ‘What are you doing here?’ is what millions of us instinctively think when we are confronted by minorities celebrating their ‘difference’ – by women encased in burqas, not because their religion demands it but as a public statement of ‘cultural difference’, or by men who celebrate in the street when England are defeated at cricket, or by those who would like to see Sharia law instigated and ‘blasphemy’ outlawed. It’s not that we can’t appreciate the value of other cultures and traditions, that we don’t respect individual liberties and the freedom of expression, which do not exist in Islamic states. Merely that we question the loyalty to this country of people who see no need to integrate or show the slightest appreciation of our ways of doing things. People for whom British values translate, apparently, into little more than ‘Give us your money and piss off’.
If I chose to live permanently in a foreign country, I would want to learn the language, learn what I could about its culture, its history and its traditions, take part in local celebrations and support local teams out of respect and solidarity. I would want my children educated in its culture and traditions – even though I might want to keep alive something of their parental inheritance at home. I would consider it the height of disrespect to run around waving a Union Jack or shout down my mobile in English on public transport. And I probably would not dress in a pin-striped suit, or dirty old jeans and T-shirt.
The other year, I was invited to attend the national day celebrations of a foreign country in which I had lived many years before and by chance got to know its Head of Mission here in London. I knew something of its history and its national heroes, its music, and could even recite some of its national poetry. I made sure that I had brushed up on the words of its national anthem, just in case I was called on to sing it. In the event, I was not, but I know I would have been moved to tears if I had.
Does it make me a fascist, a racist and a xenophobe that I expect the same of those who have made England their home – and of their children?
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“It’s not that we can’t appreciate the value of other cultures and traditions”
Ah, but we shouldn’t!
No other culture created the rule of law or democracy. They have been westernised and made European. The world beyond the west has made no intellectual contribution to western civilisation. They should adapt to our culture. They will be better for it.
“If I chose to live permanently in a foreign country, I would want to learn the language, learn what I could about its culture, its history and its traditions, take part in local celebrations and support local teams out of respect and solidarity.”
“Local cultures” spring from the same well that produced despotism. Remember Tipu Sultan? Remember Akbar’s massacres? Remind me what Japanese democracy was like before we got there? The Aztecs, the Persians… all the same.
“I would want my children educated in its culture and traditions – even though I might want to keep alive something of their parental inheritance at home. I would consider it the height of disrespect to run around waving a Union Jack or shout down my mobile in English on public transport. And I probably would not dress in a pin-striped suit, or dirty old jeans and T-shirt.”
So basically you’d reject the civilising mission that Lord Macaulay started. What a waste.
The remnants of non-western culture only look benign because we defanged the rest. If it was all replaced by western culture then there would be no loss.
Yes, All Clear, good and very valid points, but James Monteith is also correct. If, for whatever reason, one goes to live in another country, then it is only courteous (maybe Western courtesy) to try to integrate, albeit within one’s conscience limits. Western civilisation is the best because it is undergirded by Judaeo/Christian ethics and standards (though that truth is no longer so widely accepted in, believe or not, the West itself). The West is currently cutting off its nose to spite its face or, put another way, cutting off the branch it is sitting on. This is because the West has been craftily infiltrated, subverted, by atheistic Marxism for well over half a century. At the same time the West has tried to graft its ethics onto countries that don’t understand them, and don’t want to; the proof is the chaos in various parts of the world that followed the withdrawal of “The British Empire” influence. For several hundred years the indigenous Brits have not been savages; maybe we should making more effort to conserve and grow our latent strengths, starting with Brexit, followed by a new Reformation in the churches, in the Parliamentary system, in the judiciary, in the police, in the education system, in local government and in having one common law applicable to everyone without exception. Yes, I just looked out of my window and saw a herd of pigs flying by, and was thankful that it was not a silly balloon with President Trump’s face on it.
Where is the evidence that atheistic Marxism has had any effect on our ethics? The evidence from even communist/marxist countries shows that the ruling classes are selfish and psychopathic pure and simple. Where’s the Marxist ethics in Korea? For that matter where’s the Islamic influence in Iran or Saud? Those places are ruled by thieves and perverts with a taste for arresting and torturing young women. They use the language of ideology, but life is the same hell for most folks whether you’re in Venezuela of Pakistan.
If you are saying our western values (Moses/Jesus/Paul or justice and compassion) are not suitable for the benighted 99% of the world, I disagree. There is no country or former colony(inc the USA) that would not be better ruled even by our present hopeless administration and malign civil service.
This is getting slightly convoluted Michael! No, I think you may misunderstand me. Judaeo/Christian ethics, actually based on theology, are very suitable for any part of the world. The difference is that the West became “Christianised” and consequently civilised by accepting them, even if more nominally than in heart, whereas “the rest” refused those principles, both the theology and the ethics. What we are seeing, nay experiencing right now in the West, as a result of Marxist and other atheistic and anti-Christian infiltration, is the tearing away of those ethics, that civilisation, the salt that preserved us if you like but which in Biblical terms has lost its savour, or rather has been deliberately thrown away. People may not like the truth, either the truth of what is happening or the truth of the theology which they are abandoning, but the facts are staring us in the face. As they say, there are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see. Without a Reformation throughout, from top to bottom, and from bottom to top, the West will sink with little trace, merely becoming a bit of historical curiosity, definitely a curiosity to those who will follow us.
As a postscript, I read once that a potentate from an African country, possibly Nigeria, asked Queen Victoria what was the secret of Britain’s influence in the world. She pointed to a table on which stood a Bible and said “That Book”. We were apparently known at one time as “The People of the Book”. Modern generations, and especially modern politicians, might not like that truth, may even sneer at it, but it is in fact the truth.
Thank you. What I wonder about is the undeniable fact that so many people doing harm think they are doing good. Germany was a Christian country in WW2, as was France which collaborated to put it mildly.
One of the death squads researched by Christopher Browning had a member who said he only killed the children, it soothed his conscience since their parents were now killed. The same sentiment was expressed about child-killing by Catholics during the Rwanda massacres. This is wholly different and, to me more troubling than the forthright murders and Koranic justifications we get from Muslims. makes me wonder if it is any more possible to ‘teach’ morality of any kind to humans – any more than to beasts.
Unfortunately the glories of Western civilization are not synonymous with Western secular liberalism, which, along with Tate Modern and the Millennium Dome, seems to be the end-product of Macaulay’s civilizing mission. Western liberalism is currently self-destructing under the weight of its Enlightenment liberal values. Yet if we subtract the latter from the former, we might find ourselves back with the old regime, religious wars, persecution of heretics etc.
Not sure what the answer is here. A benevolent dictatorship under Nigel Farage to defend our local English culture and values, perhaps?
May I make some suggestions about how you Brits and the US can preserve your civilization?
First, abandon your much-vaunted unilateral (both much-admired and much-exploited) Enlightenment value of tolerance. Why? Because intolerant cultures will ALWAYS trump tolerant ones. Otherwise, it’s a one-way street towards dominance by the intolerant, and it’s happening to you in Europe and the US now.
Then, replace your value set with tolerance linked to reciprocity: i.e. extend tolerance only to those who are tolerant. Tolerance HAS to be a two-way street for it to be a lasting principle.
Second, bring the mass immigration, no-borders Ponzi scheme invasion by non-military means to an immediate halt. Give priority to immigrants from similar cultural backgrounds who appreciate the benefits of living in your societies, regardless of their skin color or ethnic group. Deport those infiltrate and try to destroy them.
Then, immediately terminate benefits and housing subsidies for all but genuine refugees who have fled to the nearest safe country and direct foreign aid to rebuilding the broken states around the world in order to encourage six billion people to stay where they are instead of flooding into Western Europe and North America and bringing them down too.
If you do these things soon, you might have a fighting chance of surviving, but you need to act soon before you are outnumbered and outvoted by post even in your shires.
Sound points and for that very reason the opposite of what is and will continue to happen.
Good article, I take issue only with this:
“… from a president who is notoriously thin-skinned, …”
I reckon President Trump has skin as thick as a rhino. Thicker skin than I can remember from any politician I’ve ever come across.
He has been called Hitler – often and loudly – since the day he announced his candidacy. His appearance, his hair – indeed his very skin colour – has been mocked openly and mercilessly. He has been continually called a fascist, a racist, a Nazi, a menace who would open concentration camps, murder minorities in their beds, destroy the economy both domestically and worldwide, would precipitate a World War, was accused – despite the incongruity of being plainly the most patriotic resident of the White House in forever – of being a usurper to the Presidency, a bought-and-paid-for Russian stooge. He’s been labeled a devil who must be opposed at all costs, his election bringing nearly every celebrity to openly admit they harbor thoughts of blowing up the White House or staging plays where he’s stabbed to death. Department stores were boycotted until they severed all ties with his daughter, his sons are hounded over matters so trivial it makes you shake your head in disbelief (while Joe Biden is avoiding media scrutiny even as it emerges he received billions of dollars in bribes from the Chinese government in the form of payments to businesses owned by his son, Hunter Biden).
Trump is attacked 24/7 by CNN, MSNBC, PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the oligarchs in Silicon Valley, at Google and Facebook and elsewhere, attempt to suppress his supporters from their platforms, and that’s before foreign outlets like the BBC are considered – the only semblance of opposition to the groupthink orthodoxy is Fox News. One cable news channel. The Permanent Bureaucracy of Washington colluded to set up ‘insurance policies’ in case he won, he battles the resistance Lefties ensconced in his own Federal apparatus, guys like Mueller and Comey jettisoning any notion of supposed impartiality to obstruct, frustrate and *resist*.
As it is, he has faced down this unprecedented barrage of hostility and the economy has boomed, minorities have record employment and wage increases, he opened a dialogue with North Korea, finally stood up to China under pressure to demure from his allies abroad, his actions on Russia have been as firm as anything since Reagan, he’s the only politician who recognized the crisis as the southern border, his opponents on Capital Hill and the Media calling it a manufactured crisis until it became too awful to do so, at which point they blamed his for not dealing with it sooner (!).
Now President Trump suggests, in his customary colorful prose, that it might be nice if folks in the USA, elected members of Congress no less, seemed to like America, its people, history and culture! And that’s supposed to be a crushing defeat for Trump! It says something about the mad times we live in that a) it would need to be said, and b) it’s considered somewhat awful to have spoken the sentiment out loud.
But did he back down or crumble, no. I’ve never seen a human have so much hatred poured on them, so much anger and vilification directed at them. And still he stands there, in good humour most of the time, refusing to sell out the deplorables who voted for him. An entirely novel concept for a right-of-center politician not to turn on the people who voted for him to win a pat on the back from the opposition media.
A thin-skinned person would have apologized for every opinion they ever held, backed down at the first (bogus) accusation of ‘racism!’, desperate to be liked and approved of by the opinion makers in Washington D.C., to get some favorable coverage, to get them to leave you alone. Who wants to wake up every day and be called Hitler, a Nazi, a fascist, a racist ? I’m sure Trump was quite happy being a tv celebrity and real estate mogul in NYC (a city he helped to revive, by the way, from the iconic Wollman ice rink, to Columbus Circle, and the entire West Side along Riverside Blvd.).
Thankfully he’s thick skinned enough to take the relentless abuse to help MAGA.
Cheers, President Trump.
The mainstream media are firmly on one side of the culture war. The ordinary people (not only whites, by the way) are on the other.
The underlying problem is selective and biased reporting, but it is quite possible by due diligence to get to somewhere near the truth of most events (noting, in passing, that “conspiracy theorists” usually have a closer approach to the truth that is usually accorded to them). If politicians are abusive to the country in which they are living (in this case the USA), and to its political leader, and if that leader, the President, publicly objects to that abuse, then if both sides of the question are honestly reported, then it will be obvious to any fair-minded observer that the leader’s objections were fully justified. It would therefore appear that UK politicians, in castigating President Trump’s remarks, either did not take the trouble to appraise the full story before firing off, or used it deliberately as an opportunity to join the shout against him. Alternatively, they might heed W S Gilbert’s injunction that “noble(?) statesmen should not itch to interfere in matters which they do not understand”. Our politicians (and others) might with profit adapt the old carpenter’s rule – measure twice and cut once – to listen twice and speak once, or probably not to speak at all.
People of colour, eh? When Obama was elected to universal joy I was teaching a class of overseas PG students. The Arabs and Africans among them had much fun with ‘this white guy with a white mother claiming to be black and even acting white’ in the White House.
The racists in this Trump scene are his accusers who plainly see life in racial terms and take for granted that privilege in any dispute goes to the browner people. That’s what racism is, not insulting a nasty piece of work who happens to be brown-ish
No surprise that leftists media are racist. They are also sexist as a couple of libel cases in progress might show.
The louder they talk of their honour, the faster we count our spoons as Emerson said.
“If I chose to live permanently in a foreign country, I would want to learn the language, learn what I could about its culture, its history and its traditions, take part in local celebrations and support local teams out of respect and solidarity. I would want my children educated in its culture and traditions – even though I might want to keep alive something of their parental inheritance at home. I would consider it the height of disrespect to run around waving a Union Jack or shout down my mobile in English on public transport. And I probably would not dress in a pin-striped suit, or dirty old jeans and T-shirt.”
You racist bigot, James Monteith! Hang your head in shame.
I assume, Patrick Selden, and I trust correctly, that your last line does not really mean what it says. Because I thought James Monteith’s article was fair and, in the current relentless onslaught against every truth from every side, courageous.
Irony, George, irony.
I assume this response is tongue-in-cheek…