Tag Archives: racism

“Je suis Lahore” anyone?

“Je suis Lahore” anyone? No? I see, the victims are “only” Pakistanis…
 
Sorry when I sound like a cynic, but this racism of the kindly-hearted that shows cheap solidarity only when the bomb explodes in our neighbourhood and when the victims belong to “us”, and keeps quiet when the killed, wounded and mutilated victims are for reasons of race, religion, or poverty not part of the species that deserves our sympathy or humanity, makes me want to throw up.
 
Same story like last year when all you could hear after the Paris bombing was a deafening silence about all the other similar terrorist attacks at almost exactly the same time in other parts of the world where the victims weren’t “our” people and therefore didn’t deserve any sign of solidarity or even to be mentioned as it seems.
 
I wonder what our so-called humanism is worth, when we are willing to apply it only to those who share a similar race, culture and social status with us. –
 
The answer is obvious.
© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-6. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus Finch, the main character of To Kill a Mockingbird, is without doubt one of the most likeable and remarkable literary heroes you will come across in 20th century fiction. Since the novel is very popular (I avoid the word bestseller with its slightly derogative connotation), and most of you will have read the book, I will be rather brief regarding the synopsis.

Scout, the narrator of the story and her older brother Jem grow up in a small town of the Deep South of the 1930s; it is the time of the Great Depression. Atticus, their father is a widowed lawyer with old family ties in town and the whole region.

While a big part of the book deals with a seemingly normal childhood with a good-natured, if somewhat unorthodox father – his children call him by his first name, and he is giving them a lot of freedom – and the small and big adventures that are typical for this age and social surrounding, a really dramatic event takes place that will have a lasting effect on the whole town, and particularly on the Finch family: Tom Robinson, a young man is arrested on rape charges – and Atticus is appointed to be his lawyer. Robinson is a black man, a fact that brings out the not-so-subtle racism of a big part of the local population. And the children of the “nigger-lover” Finch – he is indeed only doing his duty as a lawyer – have to suffer also under this situation. While Atticus teaches his children to never use violence to defend themselves, but their heads, justice is prevailing. No, not justice – the law…and even after the case is closed, the dramatic events triggered by it are not yet at their climax.

To Kill a Mockingbird has of course quite a lot of suspense elements; the court scenes are very dramatic and revealing. The fact that the arrested man is obviously not guilty and the “victim” and the main witness are liars doesn’t prevent the jury from exercising a case of “race justice” that will prove to be fatal for the accused. It is still breath-taking to read how racist the majority of people in the 1930s were (is it different today? – and I am not only talking of the Deep South); but it is also conveying a very humane message: sometimes you just have to do what is right, even when you know that you will lose.

Atticus Finch is standing up for his humanistic principles, even when life would be much more comfortable for him and his children if he would compromise and not defend this man. But in his own eyes, he would lose his dignity and his role as an example to his children if he would. That he accepts this and all the consequences without becoming bitter, makes him such an outstanding literary hero. One of the lessons Atticus is teaching to his children is to always try to “walk for a few minutes in the shoes of the others” – the gift of empathy is what makes Atticus different from some of the other folks in the novel. Although, to be fair, he is not completely alone in his fight for justice. And even those who antagonize him in this particular case have as it turns out such a respect for him as a person that they re-elect him to the local constituency after the court case.

One of the particular strengths of this book is that it succeeds in what Atticus calls “walking in the shoes of others”. In the framework of the novel, we get to know a wide range of characters, black and white, respected and despised, comparatively wealthy and very poor, people with racial prejudices and a few without – but Harper Lee has the gift to make us readers look at them with understanding, even sympathy. The woman who accuses Robinson of the crime is a terribly lonely person and even her father who is the only really bad person in the novel is more a victim of his low social status and it seems he is acting more out of frustration for being looked upon with contempt by practically everyone (except Atticus Finch) than out of a criminal character.

Lee’s story is so convincing because she introduces a wide range of characters that are in itself already very interesting: Dell, the friend of Jem and Scout who comes always for summer holidays – he is a good boy and loyal friend but also obviously a story teller (I avoid the word liar); Cal, the black cook who reigns the kitchen with sternness but also a big heart and who is the female presence in the house that is sometimes a counter-balance to the laissez-faire attitude of Atticus in many respects; the judge, the sheriff, and the newspaper editor – three principled men who in one way or the other support Atticus in a difficult situation; Aunt Alexandra who goes through a process of development while the story unfolds; Maude, a friendly neighbour who treats the children without the condescension that is so frequent among grown-ups; Mrs Dubose, a wicked old woman with whom the children form against all odds (and not completely voluntarily) a bond; the black people with whom the kids are mingling freely and not to everyone’s delight; the children itself that grow not only physically but also as individuals; and last not least Arthur “Boo” Radley, a man who has been confined to home by his family for decades and about whom the children have the strangest ideas – a kind of demon as they imagine him, but as it turns out just a poor soul with a surprisingly good heart, who makes his personal appearance rather late in the book, but in a moment when the children really need him.

All in all, this a very good book with a timeless, very humane message and likeable characters that makes you think about what is valuable in life, a book about how important empathy is – and that the only way for children to learn to stand up for themselves and others is not by teaching moral principles, but by living them in everyday life even when it is difficult for you. What else can you expect from a work of literature?

A book I can highly recommend, not only for young readers.

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird, Vintage Classics

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-6. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

News from Retardistan (2)

Facebook: Your algorithm that suggests me to sign up for certain groups is a bit confused – fine. Sometimes I just have a laugh about your inadequate suggestions, and if your paying customers knew that you haven’t got a clue about me and my (and probably millions of other users) preferences in almost all areas of life, your shareholder value would drop by a few billion USD.
 
But that you allow people to form a group that calls for the execution of people with opposing political views, is a scandal. And I am not talking about the Daesh scum bags, I am talking about those Bulgarian citizens that form the group РАЗСТРЕЛ ЗА ВСИЧКИ ПРЕДАТЕЛСКИ КОПЕЛЕТА НА БЪЛГАРИЯ !! (Execution of all treacherous bastards in Bulgaria), a group that is filled with postings of racist, fascist, and xenophobic content – and the name of the group makes it clear what has according to the members to happen with those who are on the hate list of these morons.
 
This is not only hate speech, it is incitement to murder, and that is a crime according to the Bulgarian Criminal Code; a long term prison sentence is prescribed for that. How about that, Prosecutor’s Office – instead of harassing the Marginalia team that calls a racist, fascist and anti-Semite what he is, you should rather go after the proven law offenders that are a member of this group which advocates political murder. There are (at this moment) 1707 of them, all easily to identify. So do your job and bring them to justice! A few years in jail will serve them well.
And Facebook: what about deleting this group and the profiles of people who consider political murder a righteous thing?
© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-5. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Защо? Защо? Защо?

Аз съм живял и работил в Германия, Полша, Мароко, Албания, Косово, Турция, Сирия, Йордания, Египет, Индонезия, Казахстан и България. Имам приятели и познати във всички тези и много други държави.

Моля някой да ми обясни защо трябва да чете истински потоп от расистки и ксенофобски мнения срещу бежанци изключително от моите български контакти – а не от някой друга страна? Защо това количество безумна омраза, презрение и подлост от много българи, които не се чувстват дори да се срамувам от тяхното отвратителен манталитет?

Защо? Защо? Защо?

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-5. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

An experience

I am very rarely commenting on political topics in social media. But sometimes a posting is provoking a reaction from my side; especially racism, antisemitism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, revisionism faced in comments in social media require that I have to take a stand from time to time.

So it happened that during the last weeks I was twice active in FB in relation to a political topic. In one case I signed – following the invitation of a friend – a petition regarding the banning of the Bulgarian chapter of “Blood & Honor”, a disgusting and extremely violent skinhead and Nazi group that is banned in many countries because they are considered as a criminal gang responsible for hundreds of hate crimes against “non-whites” (also in Bulgaria they have a track record of beating people to pulp that don’t look “white” enough).

The other case was the revisionist campaign by some crypto-fascist pseudo-intellectuals on the payroll of former Czar and Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburggotski who try to rewrite Bulgarian history and turn the main responsible for the deportation and killing of more than 11,000 Jews, Boris III, into a national hero and “Bulgarian Schindler”. My answers in both cases were common sense answers: spreading publically available information on the Nazis, and mentioning scientific publications that render this revisionist attempts ridiculous, and refute the invented claims of Boris III as the savior of the Bulgarian Jews.

As a reaction, I was branded in the public discussion or in private messages (partly sent anonymously), amongst others, as:

“Liberal”, “communist”, “liberal-communist”, “cultural Marxist from the Frankfurt School”, “liar”, “bolshevist mongrel”, “Nazi”, “Jewish bastard”,” SS-Sturmbannfuhrer”, “idiot”, “garbage”, “retard”, “pederast”, “nutcase”, “slanderer”, “anti-bulgarian”, and many other nice epitheta that speak for the intellectual level of those who use it – I am talking about dozens, no, hundreds of people using this kind of expressions, mostly people who are according to their public profiles historians, psychiatrists, TV hosts, advocates, or who have other professions that require a certain formal education or at least knowledge or professionalism. (For sure I know that of course only for the non-anonymous part of the messages.)

Additionally, and in mostly but not always anonymous messages, my parents and family were threatened and insulted in the most primitive manner, people expressed regret that I was not gassed in Treblinka, it was promised that “we will find out where you live, and then you will see!”, I was promised to be beaten to pulp, or alternatively that they wish “someone will break every single bone in your body” or will “shut you up for ever”, and various other forms of interaction that correspond with the mental abilities of this human scum. (For those that promised to wait for me “on the streets of Sofia and show you what it means to mess with us”: be aware that my Albanian bodyguards are maybe just around the corner in that case – and be also aware that they have their own concept of “Blood & Honor” – if you get the point.)

It is an experience, but I am not surprised. It is quite a spectacle to see a certain category of individuals acting like a pack of rabid dogs, or a bunch of foaming hysterical lunatics in a pogrom – just because you dared to voice an opinion and present some facts that are unpleasant for them.

Welcome to Bulgaria, the country that prides itself with its “legendary tolerance and hospitality”. 

To be fair: I know – no, I hope that these people are not the majority in Bulgaria. But what really shocks me is the almost complete lack of any solidarity for people who voice justified criticism and are actively doing their duty as citizens to stand up for human rights, or the right of free speech, and against fascism, racism, revisionism.

Even a big part of the intellectuals in Bulgaria seems to be on permanent vacation or busy with their own things. At least that is my impression and experience. Not everyone is like me eloquent and well-equipped and -prepared to deal with those people I described in the previous paragraphs and that represent the dregs of the Bulgarian society; and not everyone has his own outlet to speak out like I do here. For the marginalized and bullied groups in Bulgarian society, life must be very depressing – not only because they are marginalized and bullied, but because so few people who know or should know better stand up for them.

 
© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-5. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

From the Dictionary of Inhumanity

It’s so disgusting.

A “friend” (now not any longer) sent me a link to a blog he likes. The first sentences of this blog are: “Because the parasite cannot help. The parasite can only harm.”

“The parasite” is not a vermin but people, human beings…from a specific ethnic group (doesn’t matter which one) – sounds exactly like the Nazi propaganda movie “Jud Suess”. First you declare that a certain race is vermin, and then…we know what followed.

In the 21st century.

In a country in Europe that prides itself for its “famous tolerance and hospitality”.

From a “friend”.

From a person who is otherwise an educated and decent person.

And his racism is so widespread among the vast majority of his fellow countrymen.

Revolting, disgusting, sad.

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.