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Tags Mohandas Gandhi , racism charges

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Old 7th August 2005, 03:32 PM   #1
Jono
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Was Ghandi a racist?

Well here is one thing/claim I never thought I would hear from the WN's.
An article of the south african white supremacist Arthur Kemp.
Not very knowledge of Ghandi sad to say, anyone familiar with these sort of claims toward him?
There are supposed quotes from Ghandi therein as well.

[quote]

The Racism of the Early Mahatma Ghandi

By Arthur Kemp


One anomaly of modern liberalism is that it elevates scoundrels to be heroes, and denigrates heroes into scoundrels. And when it cannot do that, liberalism simply lies.

Such is the case with one of liberalism's icons, Mahatma Gandhi. All over the world, the Indian leader Gandhi is held up as an icon of peace, pacifism, tolerance and brotherly love. Statues are erected to him, his "example" is taught to Western school children, and Hollywood has even made a film about him. In all of these instances, Gandhi is portrayed as the ultimate peacemaker, the role model of multi-culturalism.
Edited by Darat:  Edited for breach of Rule 4.


And yet the liberal delusion over Gandhi lives on!
http://www.vho.org/tr/2004/2/Kemp184-186.html
Quote:
s
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Old 7th August 2005, 03:34 PM   #2
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Ghandia was a culturalist, as are we all.
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Old 7th August 2005, 03:43 PM   #3
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It is very difficult to write history fairly when someone who is decidedly imperfect accomplishes or teaches something very important.

Americans have a hard time with historical figures, they want them to be all good or all bad.
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Old 8th August 2005, 06:17 AM   #4
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Yeah, well Ghandi had a few eccentric beliefs - like India would've been better off under Imperial Japan (in WW2) than Britain - but try to recall:

1) We are all heavily influenced by our time and place...

2) Was he a net positive influence?

I would say that India would be the poorer for not having him, and the world would have lost an icon (of which there are all too few)
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Old 8th August 2005, 06:38 AM   #5
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The whole article is a pile of smelly rubbish.

It starts with a straw man, breeds him to populate the village of the straw people and then doesn't even manage to burn down its own land o' straw!
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Old 8th August 2005, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by gnome
Americans have a hard time with historical figures, they want them to be all good or all bad.
Like those damned "Founding Fathers". They sound more and more like "The Superfriends" every year. And once you've built them up into demigods, you can actually harness the mythos for political gain by tying your side of modern issues into what the precious Founding Fathers might have thought or said or been quoted out of context. "Well, if John Adams wrote against stem cell research, I'm certainly going to vote against it!"

At least the Romans came out and publicly declared their past leaders as actual gods.
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Old 8th August 2005, 04:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Like those damned "Founding Fathers". They sound more and more like "The Superfriends" every year.
Hamilton wasn't much of a shot, but they all had Periwig Power!
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Old 10th August 2005, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
They sound more and more like "The Superfriends" every year.
If Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were the Wonder Twins, which one do you think would turn into the cool animals and which would just become a puddle or an ice cream cone or something else lame?
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Old 17th August 2005, 06:50 PM   #9
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Who wasn't a racist back in those days?

Penn & Teller's Bullsh!t had an episode on Ghandi. Apparantly, not only was he a racist, he liked giving enemas to little girls.

But then, who doesn't?
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Old 18th August 2005, 12:58 PM   #10
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it should come as no surprise that pop culture writes its histories in only the broadest of colors.

it just goes to show how human everyone is, especially 'great' historical figures.
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Old 6th September 2005, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darat
The whole article is a pile of smelly rubbish.

It starts with a straw man, breeds him to populate the village of the straw people and then doesn't even manage to burn down its own land o' straw!
Care to elaborate?

What part of

Quote:
The bye-law has its origin in the alleged or real, impudent and, in some cases, indecent behaviour of the Kaffirs.
is made of straw?

If you dont think this is rascist, go to South Africa, go to Soweto or Ngugulethu, walk into a Shebeen and say that in a loud strong voice.

Enjoy your necklace!
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Old 6th September 2005, 12:19 PM   #12
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IIRC, Ghandi was also a wife beater.
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Old 6th September 2005, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon_in_london
Care to elaborate?

What part of



is made of straw?

If you dont think this is rascist, go to South Africa, go to Soweto or Ngugulethu, walk into a Shebeen and say that in a loud strong voice.

Enjoy your necklace!
I am not going to re-read the pile of drivel again at this late date - once was enough.

However if you wish to be pedantic about it certain facts etc. within the article are correct, e.g. Ghandi's name is the one that is normally attributed to him by most reputable sources, however the fact that I used hyperbole does not affect my overall criticism of the article. (Note: my comments were about the article, not whether Ghandi was a racist or not.)
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Old 6th September 2005, 01:42 PM   #14
Jon_in_london
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darat
(Note: my comments were about the article, not whether Ghandi was a racist or not.)
Good grief, you actually read that article!?

I just read the quotes.
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Old 6th September 2005, 02:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon_in_london
Care to elaborate?

What part of



is made of straw?

If you dont think this is rascist, go to South Africa, go to Soweto or Ngugulethu, walk into a Shebeen and say that in a loud strong voice.

Enjoy your necklace!
"The bye-law has its origin in the alleged or real, impudent and, in some cases, indecent behaviour of the Kaffirs."

I don't find that particular quote racist in itself; it seems like a fairly neutral description of the origins of a law, rather than an expression of Ghandi's own views on the matter. Considering the time and place, the phrase "alleged or real" strikes me as a surprisingly strong distancing from the argumentation behind the law.

Over all, I don't think that article made its point particularly well. Yes, a lot of the quotes uses racist rethoric, but they are almost all examples of public rethoric, and there's no way to tell whether Ghandi subscribed fully to the views inherent in his argumentation, or merely felt that those were the most efficent arguments to put forth. Rethoric is, after all, targeted at an audience, and for these texts the audience was overwhelmingly racist. Anti-racistic rethoric would not have been particularly efficent.

Some of the quotes strikes me as surprisingly uninteresting for the topic, and leaves me feeling "Is this the best they could find?" This one, for instance:

"As we were struggling along, we met a Kaffir who did not wear the loyal badge. He was armed with an assegai and was hiding himself. However, we safely rejoined the troops on the further hill, whilst they were sweeping with their carbines the bushes below."

What's so racist about this statement? It strikes me as matter-of-factly portrayal of events. The use of the word "Kaffir"? That was simply the word that was used to describe black South Africans at the time; I hardly consider Ghandi's use of it to be evidence of any racism on his part.
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Old 7th September 2005, 06:44 AM   #16
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One of my favorite Orwell essays, "Reflections on Ghandi."

http://www.k-1.com/Orwell/index.cgi/...ys/ghandi.html
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Old 10th September 2005, 09:33 PM   #17
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Re: Was Ghandi a racist?

Quote:
Originally posted by WhiteLion
Well here is one thing/claim I never thought I would hear from the WN's.
An article of the south african white supremacist Arthur Kemp.
Not very knowledge of Ghandi sad to say, anyone familiar with these sort of claims toward him?
There are supposed quotes from Ghandi therein as well.
I've heard the charge that Ghandi was a racist before, supposedly that he casually uttered comments about how Jews should jump off cliffs. It disturbs me, however, that this article comes from what appears to be a Holocaust-denial think tank. Look at their mission statement here. Bearing that in mind, I think we should be a little more earnest in verifying the accusations leveled against Ghandi with information from more reputable sources. Whatever personal biases may have tainted his character though, it would be the fruits of undeniably preposterous reasoning that we would use those failings to obfuscate the successes of his political acumen of which we can learn much.

Edit: I just realized you acknowledged Arthur Kemp to be a white supremacist. Sorry for stupidly looking over your comments which accompany your citation.
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Old 18th September 2005, 06:29 AM   #18
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Re: Re: Was Ghandi a racist?

Quote:
Originally posted by Batman Jr.
Whatever personal biases may have tainted his character though, it would be the fruits of undeniably preposterous reasoning that we would use those failings to obfuscate the successes of his political acumen of which we can learn much.
ie: "it would be illogical let Ghandi's faults obscure his worthy accomplishments."

This translation brought to you by the Stamp Out William F. Buckley-ese Organization. All rights reserved.
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Old 5th October 2005, 08:23 PM   #19
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man...frick a racist...I hate to even bring up a memeory of all the events india went through over the Bristish and rascist...Maybe he was ethnocentric? Or realized there is a difference...but I hate one for it? I doubt that much.
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Old 6th October 2005, 12:30 AM   #20
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Was Gandhi a racist?
There's certainly evidence to support that contention. In addition, it's pretty much beyond doubt that he was also a rampant misogynist.

Is there, in certain circles, a veneration which is based on a flawed perception of the man (not in the least place because Attenborough's film was hideously one-sided)?
Most certainly. Most pacifists are ignorant of the fact that Gandhi, like Martin Luther King Jr. after him, did not consider nonviolent coercion to be morally superior to war, as the purpose of both is, ultimately, coercion. John Lewis, another black American civil rights leader, quoted Gandhi as saying: "If I had the personal choice to make between no movement and a violent movement, I would choose a violent movement." Nonviolence was a tactic, not an expression of a moral principle.

Is Gandhi, as Kemp claims, "one of liberalism's icons"?
No. He is an icon of some liberals, which is not the same thing at all. Moreover, those people who do hold Gandhi in unjustifiably high regard (and not all of them are liberals) do not do so out of a conscious desire to knowingly inflict a falsehood on the world (as Kemp shoddily asserts), but simply because they don't know enough about him.

It's evident this article wasn't intended to inform people about Gandhi's true nature, but as an attack on liberalism. And it does a crap job of both.

(And thanks for the link, McFunley; that was an engaging read.)
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Old 6th October 2005, 07:23 PM   #21
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A few things you should realize while reviewing Gandhi

1) He came from a society that was (and in some areas still is) probably the most racist in the world. Given that background and the fact that the Gandhi in South Africa was in the early years quite young, his comments seem to me to be remarkably balanced. As Leif Roar said, his so called racist comments are mostly quotes from others.

2) With regard to the comments on the Jews, the actual comment had to do with the possibility of non violent resistance to Hitler. The operative word there is "resistance". Gandhi was very clear that there had to be resistance to oppression. In his view, non violent resistance was morally superior but passive acquiesance was worse than violent resistance. I see no logical or moral problem with that.

3) Gandhi was not perfect. I disagree with his views on Modern medicine (hence the enemas). However given the time and place he was as close to perfection as we are likely to see.
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