Friday, March 27, 2009

He's Not Biased: He's Brazilian

" 'White People Caused The Credit Crunch' "
Sky News (March 27, 2009)
"Brazil's President, while meeting Gordon Brown, has said the global financial crisis was caused by 'white people with blue eyes'.

"Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the comments after talks with the Prime Minister to try to forge a global consensus on how to save the worldwide economy.
I've got the same genetic melanin deficiency that my European ancestors did.

I'd take this "fairly flamboyant language" personally, but I went to college in the seventies and eighties. I'm used to it. The 'white people are racist and to blame for [problem/grievance]' schtick is drearily familiar.

What does trouble me is the fact that remarks that would be career-wreckers, if uttered by Euro-Americans, in America, are glossed over and excused: provided that the right sort of person utters it.

More, from Sky News:
"Sky News' Joey Jones said it was an 'uncomfortable' moment for Mr Brown.

" 'The President does not mind using fairly flamboyant language. He likes to give extensive answers to journalists.

" 'But some of it was rather awkward for the Prime Minister, who was standing there listening to the President.

" 'A few eyebrows will have gone up at what he said.'

"Downing Street says the remarks were meant for 'domestic consumption'.

"Jones said: 'People in Brazil are very frustrated and angry at what they feel is the injustice of the situation: a crisis that has essentially come from the banking sectors in places like the United States and the UK, but is affecting their country.' "
I see Sky News' Joey Jones's - and Downing Street's - explanation as uncomfortably close to being a sort of soft prejudice. The British explanation, although very well-worded and considerate, could (with a bit of effort) be taken to mean 'he can't help it: he's Brazilian.'

Reading Jones' response, I was reminded of Basil Fawlty's recurring line in Fawlty Towers: "He's from Barcelona."

Nuff said.

Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.