“In 1937, Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians, I quote, ‘I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.’ That set the trend for the Israeli State’s attitude towards the Palestinians. In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said, ‘Palestinians do not exist.’ Her successor, Prime Minister Levi Eschol said, ‘What are Palestinians? When I came here (to Palestine), there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was a desert, more than underdeveloped. Nothing.’ Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians ‘two-legged beasts.’ Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them ‘grasshoppers’ who could be crushed. This is the language of Heads of State, not the words of ordinary people.” — from Arundhati Roy’s Come September
The above served as the inspiration for me in conducting a simple survey this month, targeting virtually every person I crossed paths with in the so-called “progressive” community I live in, Santa Cruz County, California.
My single question was in the form of a multiple choice:
Who among the following would you consider the most racist?
a) Winston Churchill.
b) Israeli Heads of State.
c) Barack Obama.
d) Donald Trump.
e) Hillary Clinton.
f) None of the above/It’s impossible to choose.
The University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) is in my backyard, and its supposedly liberal outlook is backed up by nearby Cabrillo College, which also has a very “progressive” profile. The reputations of both — as is the case with UC-Berkeley — are undeserved today, have not reflected what the California campuses have represented for quite some time. They are — rock bottom — relatively conservative enablers for the powers that be. Every bit as limited as Stanford University.
What’s my proof?
Perhaps I should begin to respond by citing the results of my survey. And end there.
Out of 180 locals — mostly highly educated, and a great many deeply experienced respecting protest marches — 169 (about 94%) listed Trump as the winner.
If I had had enough money I would have taken the approximately 6% of those who chose someone else (or “f”) to dinner. For 6% is just about what Peter Camejo garnered back in 2006 here when he gave the “progressive” community of Santa Cruz a shot at preventing Arnold Schwarzenegger from becoming the Golden State governor; he ran a very impressive radical campaign for the Green Party. Eloquent and promising.
But… 6%. A tiny token toward acknowledging a truly trustworthy political soul, undermining faith in the electoral arena for one and all. I harp on this here because the reputations of ALL “progressive” communities in the U.S. are not worth the protest placards they routinely employ, socializing in lieu of doing something above and beyond making politically correct gestures.
Only 6% — 11 people out of 180 — thought Trump wasn’t the most racist. The vast majority don’t know much about our common history. Or don’t want to know, like some folks who have cancer and would rather not be told.
I present my survey to the reader, though, as a kind of x-ray which begs for the day when it’ll be okay on the BBC or Sky News or at prestigious educational institutions in the U.S. to at least call a spade a spade with regard to Churchill. Even if the Israeli influence on campuses and throughout mainstream media outlets won’t permit more to be said, spread about.
It’s a dead world if we can’t be without doubts about the racism of ALL the folks listed.
Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.