Monday, September 13, 2010

The Wretched Of The Earth

The Eco-Nomist (What? Not an environmental rag? E-Con-omist? Really?) takes note of reactionary Bizarro-Worlder Dinesh D'Souza's Gingrich-enabled screed on President Obama's "Kenyan tribesman" roots, inherited anti-colonialism (Check w/ Lysenko on that one.) & general Otherness & Blackitude.
Dinesh D'Souza, on the other hand, appears to have met so few Democrats in recent decades that he finds such views shocking, and thinks they can only be explained by the fact that Mr Obama's father was a Kenyan government economist who pushed for a non-aligned stance in the Cold War during the 1960s-70s. Since the majority of Democrats don't have any Kenyan parents and have no particular stake in the anti-colonialism debates of the 1960s-70s, I'm not sure how Mr D'Souza would explain their views. In any case, Mr D'Souza's explanation of Mr Obama's views doesn't make any sense on its own terms. This, for example, is incomprehensible: "If Obama shares his father's anticolonial crusade, that would explain why he wants people who are already paying close to 50% of their income in overall taxes to pay even more." Come again? Progressive taxation is caused by...anti-colonialism? Message to American billionaires and the people who write for them: many events and movements in world history did not revolve around marginal tax rates on rich people in the United States.
Typist's emphasis, but we would've if s/he hadn't. (And that means you, Megan McArdle!)

Oh ho. Further research reveals that typist M.S. has given us a bit of ol' Dinesh's Catholic Caste background. We did not know this (R.I.P., Ed McMahon.) in detail, beyond the Portugese Catholic Colonial wackery implied in Mr. D'Souza's last name. Dig as Dinesh is tarred w/ his own brush:
And if I were to try to understand his thinking using the same methods he uses to interpret Mr Obama, I might look to his Indian background, which is where he says he gained his insight into anti-colonialism. Mr D'Souza notes simply that he grew up in Mumbai, but a more complete accounting is that his parents were members of the Christian community in the state of Goa, which was colonised by Portugal. The last name "D'Souza" is a common family name in West Africa, where it indicates that the family is descended from the slave-trading coastal mixed-race elite. In India, however, it indicates that the family likely belongs to the Roman Catholic Brahmins, Hindu Brahmins who were converted by missionaries beginning in the 17th century. Interestingly, the Christian community in Goa retained a Hindu-style caste system, with Catholic Brahmins continuing to discriminate against Catholic dalit or "untouchables", whom they refer to as mahara or chamaar. Elite Catholic Brahmin households in Goa sent their children to Jesuit schools (like the one Mr D'Souza attended) and often spoke Portuguese at home, referring to the main local native language, Konkani, as the lingua des criados ("language of servants").

Goa remained a Portuguese colony until it was annexed by India in 1961, which happens to be the year of Mr D'Souza's birth. Many Goan Christians did not welcome the annexation, fearing they would be subsumed in the Hindu-Muslim mega-state. A later source of anxiety was India's affirmative action (or "reservation") policies, which set aside university slots and civil-service jobs for people from recognised historically stigmatised groups, known as "scheduled castes and tribes". Beginning in the early 1980s, when Mr D'Souza was off studying at Dartmouth, these affirmative-action policies engendered widespread resistance among India's elite classes, who were terrified of losing their privileged status in a colossal country where hundreds of millions of indigents might overwhelm the available spots at top schools (and reduce their kids' chances of, say, going to Dartmouth). Goa itself has set itself up as a redoubt against the reservation policies: it has the fewest scheduled castes and tribes of any Indian state. This is largely because elite Christians have refused to acknowledge discrimination against the Christian dalit, or to allow them to be recognised as a scheduled caste. Pope John Paul II rebuked Indian bishops for these practices on his visit to Goa in 2003.
Damn. Nice Christian Catholics. And all the "proof" we need that Mr. D'Souza is objectively a colonialist.

We grant that author M.S. (Ooh, mysterious.) goes on to note this is bullshit (After a good bit we won't cop, but you should read, about Brahmin D'Souza's defense of nepotism & elitism.) although D'Souza has certainly been truer to his heritage than our Prez has to the tribal anti-colonial claptrap that's been attached to his father.

But enough of Dinesh. If you didn't read it all, you missed this link. And let's listen to a ninny.
Shamelessly stolen from El Cid.

4 comments:

Mendacious D said...

who pushed for a non-aligned stance in the Cold War

Very clever, those monopolists. They want monopoles everywhere!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"If Obama shares his father's anticolonial crusade, that would explain why he wants people who are already paying close to 50% of their income in overall taxes to pay even more."
===========================

Which people are those? To take some examples of the GOBP's favorite kind of person, G.E. and Exxon paid no U.S. income taxes in 2009.
~

M. Bouffant said...

Monotone Editor Drones:

Taxes are colonialist! Or not, depending.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

So, D'Souza is taking this "anti-colonialism" personally, eh?

Poor little quisling.

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.