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Combating racism effectively Combating racism effectively
by Joseph Gatt
2020-10-14 09:29:00
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President Obama is a man that I admire and have fatherly affection for. I admire his work at the Obama Foundation, “creating the next generation of leaders.”

These young folks the Obama Foundation brings together are extraordinary, anywhere from young men and women helping the homeless in all kinds of ways (mobile washing machines and certain points where the homeless can use plugs to recharge their phone or laptop batteries) to young men and women helping women in communities with hygiene, sanitation, education, a ton of good initiatives.

rac001_400On the other hand, you have people like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who brag about being Muslim women, Arab or Black. But instead of uniting their respective communities and helping them with the daily challenges they face as Americans in Minnesota or Michigans, those two fight the “Jews.”

OK. Jews are more or less organized. Either in Synagogues or in various organizations which could be charity organizations, political organizations, or self-defense organizations.

But what angers me is when Arabs or Blacks I meet in Europe and North America smear and harass the Jews for organizing, instead of organizing themselves. As if they would have peace if only the Jews dismantled their organizations and associations.

First off, minorities in Europe and complex. “Black” or “Arab” really doesn't mean anything to me, because you have so many different ethnic, tribal, religious and cultural affiliations that it's almost like not two Blacks are alike and no two Arabs are alike.

I remember trying to help Arab communities and Black communities and Latin American communities organize in Europe. My goal was to get them to organize around charity, around religion, around helping people in their communities in legal matters, and in trying to formulate some kind of political voice and interactions with politicians.

Here's what happened. Here are the things “Arabs” and “Blacks” and Latin Americans I heard say:

-How come John Doe gets to be the leader? Is it because he's from the Ivory Coast? I want a leader who is from Ghana. No no no, the leader should be Nigerian.

-I go home after work! I'm not going to spend my free time helping people!

-There are more Moroccans than Algerians, so how come it's the Algerians doing all the talking? Shut up, Algerians!

-I'm not donating money to help anyone! No one helped me when I first came! I had to sleep in the subway for a year before finally getting a job and moving to an immigrant shelter!

-Don't invite people from the Caribbean to this meeting! They are not really Black!

-Those fucking Jews are organized and that's why they get what they want and crush us! We should burn down their organizations and fight them!

-We're not going to deal with White politicians! They hate us! We won't talk to them.

-We shouldn't try to help each other out! There are enough institutions out there to help us out!

-We should arm ourselves and form militias to fight racism. (Me: what if we start using those weapons for violent purposes?). Them: if it's to kill Jews, then no problem!

OK. You get the idea.

The general idea is that in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, minorities do not have strong organizations that represent them. They do not have organizations to help them out economically, legally, socially, emotionally, or in case of disputes.

What's more, when they do have representatives, who, out of fear of losing face, rather than discuss the problems their communities are facing, they attack White people and the Jews, and blame them for being organized!

Now what's my advice to those communities?

Any form of organization is good. I've seen some “village” based organizations in Europe that work great. That is people who are originally from the same village somewhere in Africa or the Middle East who get together, discuss problems, help those in need.

I've seen a few Churches and Mosques organize and help each other out. They are not on TV, they don't promote themselves on social media, but when one of their members is in need, they reach out for him or her.

But, sadly, in North America and Europe and elsewhere, Black, Arab, Latino or LGBTQ or other communities are often very much on their own, completely isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.

Now I understand that China, Japan and South Korea harass members of minorities who try to organize. They especially fear labor unionizing among immigrants, and usually either deport or imprison those immigrants who try to form organizations that help immigrants face harsh bosses, harsh labor conditions, late pay, or who need to find another job.

But in Europe and North America, if you want to set up a community center, you can go ahead and set up a community center. But, sadly, a lot of times, for diverse social reasons (tribal rivalries, poverty, fear of losing face for seeking help) a lot of those members of minorities end up in isolation. And getting organized is often a very difficult, if not impossible task.  

This is a big problem, because in times of crisis like these days, rather than engage in collective bargaining to obtain more fair living conditions, those minorities engage in acts of vandalism that do not help their cause. Vandalism only reinforces racism and bigotry, and does not cause people to have more empathy towards minorities.

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