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  • Technorati: graph / links

    The chip that controls us


    by Sunny on 4th December, 2008 at 6:46 pm    

    Petina Gappah read my article on John Pilger calling Obama an Uncle Tom and says:

    Wow. Double wow.

    Mr. Pilger seems to expect black people everywhere to think the same, in fact, to view the world in his terms, and if not they are servants and slaves of other people.

    I guess Colin Powell, Barack Obama, and the rest of the Pilgerdamned “black middle and management class” have no agency. They cannot, of themselves and for themselves, choose to follow the destinies they decide for themselves. They can’t possibly believe in what they purport to believe, they are only lackeys used by shadowy Global Elites.

    So Condi Rice and Colin Powell are not Republicans because they believe in Republican core values, Obama is not a Democrat because he believes in Democrat core values, they are just mindless autons.

    And what would Mr. Pilger make of persons such as me, a middle class professional African who not only celebrated the election of a black man as the leader of the Great Satan, but who also, sin of sins, believes that globalisation is not a terrible thing and specialises in the law of the evil, evil WTO?

    Wait, wait, what is this … pain … in my … shoulder … my right shoulder … it is … oh God, my arm, I can’t feel my arm … it is … I think it is … somebody help me …. I have just … dug out a … oh my God … a micro-chip. Gasp, gasp. I am all faint from the blood and I can’t make the writing on it out but I think it says “this black middle class professional person is the property of the global elites”.

    Somebody … anybody … John Pilger … please … save me …!

    Heh. You know what people like Pilger have to fear most: middle class minorities. I also wonder if Pilger thinks all Indians are Uncle Toms for being angry at Pakistan and forcing the US to intervene on their behalf.



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    12 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. halima — on 4th December, 2008 at 8:40 pm  

      I haven’t read Pilger’s article, but would probably give him the benefit of doubt because he’s been around as as a lone voice on many social issues long before the mainstream have seen the light…

      Maybe Pilger doesn’t like business elites and middle classes of any background - why is this so unusual? It’s what you would expect of a person with left wing persuasion to believe, right?

      I also think we get terribly defensive when a white person criticizes a public minority figure for not being committed to a particular way of thinking. Why? Aren’t white people allowed to challenge, critique business leaders and what they might represent - should they only critique other white folks like themselves only?

      Would our reactions be different if a black writer had made the same Uncle Tom argument about Obama? Not so long ago, Spike Lee also talked in this way.

    2. halima — on 4th December, 2008 at 8:48 pm  

      PS my concern isn’t about whether Obama is representing Uncle Tom phenomenon or not. Rather, why we are castigating Pilger for arguing the case when we might not castigate others who might make the same argument.

      Obama is the man as far as I am concerned - and I can take his critics on , but not by picking holes in Pilger’s arguments because Pilger is white and middle class. It doesn’t make sense.

      Correction. Spike Lee didn’t talk about Obama in this way - I was just referring to the figure of an Uncle Tom.

    3. s — on 4th December, 2008 at 9:34 pm  

      John pilger has done more to high light the wrongs that have been done to the developing world through Imperialism {gobalization} then any Middle class Black/Asain, maybe someone can name me one, the only peolpe i can think of, have done well out of race bussiness. I beleive when someone called Ombama a house nigger,he was branded a racist, when this term was used by the blacks themselve. This term house nigger and field nigger has got nothing to do with racism,it has more to do with class. Give a few more years, and the blacks will be calling Obama a house nigger. The same oil lords who bought Bush to Power, have now backed Obama. New Masks, same faces.

    4. Sunny — on 4th December, 2008 at 10:54 pm  

      Maybe Pilger doesn’t like business elites and middle classes of any background - why is this so unusual? It’s what you would expect of a person with left wing persuasion to believe, right?

      Halima, Pilger isn’t just a normal centre-left figure… he is now firmly on the far let where anyone who is vaguely comfortable off is a problem. What annoys me more about this slur is that Obama is being more harshly judged because he’s black. It’s not like some person who just hates blacks… its someone who thinks he’s looking out for blacks and has a stereotypical view of them and anyone who doesn’t fit that stereotype becomes a traitor.

      Why? Aren’t white people allowed to challenge, critique business leaders and what they might represent - should they only critique other white folks like themselves only?

      Oh by all means Pilger should be allowed to criticise Obama - I expect that anyway. But he’s criticising him on the basis of his blackness - saying that black people should only behave in a certain way otherwise they’re traitors. That’s just patronising.

      And frankly I don’t care he did lots of stuff in the past… I agree with that, I have docs by Pilger. But as I say, things have changed. Pilger should stick to stuff he knows about.

    5. Leon — on 4th December, 2008 at 11:06 pm  

      But he’s criticising him on the basis of his blackness - saying that black people should only behave in a certain way otherwise they’re traitors. That’s just patronising.

      Is it only patronising when a white person does it? There are plenty of black people who agree with Pilger.

    6. fugstar — on 5th December, 2008 at 12:37 am  

      nobody likes having their agency taken away from them its humiliating, it hurts and it smarts, but it doesnt mean it is not essentially true. do deny any truth to the observation is to corrupt a standard of fidelity.

      the only actual alternative was nader. everyone knows that. the appointment of clinton proves it i feel.

    7. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2008 at 2:03 am  

      Is it only patronising when a white person does it?

      If a white or Asian person calls me a coconut because I don’t act “Asian” (whatever their definition of Asian is), yes, it is *very* patronising. I don’t understand why people have a hard time understanding why Pilger’s comment is rude, patronising and wrong.

      Criticise Obama on his views - not that he should act a certain way because of his race.

    8. Sunny — on 5th December, 2008 at 2:12 am  

      black or asian people who use the words uncle tom loosely are equally naive and idiotic.

    9. halima — on 5th December, 2008 at 3:35 am  

      Sunny , thanks, I am going to have to give this one more thought - i can’t dismiss someone like Pilger as easily …

      Ravi, point taken that the term Uncle Tom is negative and insulting .

      But the issue is what role minority leaderships play - and i think that’s highly relevant. Beyond this point, i am going to have to go and read the article before going on …

    10. fugstar — on 5th December, 2008 at 9:57 am  

      of course its negative. its not the same as what clinton and mcain used on him.

      its a very useful term. eg. how do you tell one dimension of the difference between dizzy rascal and baroness amos?

      i think the uncle toms and cocoanuts of our time with survive in the white public sunlight they attract. there wont be lynching, so its actually less harmfull than you think.

    11. marvin — on 5th December, 2008 at 2:03 pm  

      This kind of racism on the left has been around forever, the assumptions by Labour and Ken Livingstone that all black people should only ever agree with them. Operation Black Vote… Ken suggesting Trevor Phillips will be joining the BNP… Yasmin Brown calling Brown people Uncle Toms for shifting to Tories.

      The parts of the left can be quite vicious and nasty to ethnic minorities they disagree with, bringing race and subservience in to it…. Just goes to show that various forms of racism runs right through the political spectrum, and is not the preserve of ‘the right’.

    12. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2008 at 10:47 pm  

      But the issue is what role minority leaderships play - and i think that’s highly relevant.

      Is it highly relevant the role that Blair or Brown play in regards to whites and Christianity? They are Labour, and that’s what binds them together, not their race or religion. Similarly, Obama’s blackness - apart from the historic nature - has no significance at all in governance, nor should it be bound by the rules of what the Far Left expects from a minority. My take on this is that the Far Left (including Nader) have spout the narrative that minorities are the good guys because they are oppressed by rich white men - and so they need to warn us that if a black man gets in power, he must be a sell out and a puppet by the rich white men. This is a typical case of the facts being adapted to fit the narrative.



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