Saturday, March 6, 2010
Under the skin of Geert Wilders
Being a beatnik; donkey jacketed, side-burned, quiffed, d.a.’d, Aldermaston-marching late teenager in the early sixties, I had the utmost respect for Michael Foot and am sorry he has passed to that other place where idealism conquers cynicism and humility snuffs out ambition. I hope his soap box is a golden wing’d chariot so he can declaim forever from a moral height upon democratic principles. More or less at the time of his death there arrives in the UK a Dutch politician from the far right called Geert Wilders with a short film about Islam. He too declaims about democracy but his freedom is about keeping Holland for the Dutch and excluding all others. In those days when I found Foot’s rhetoric so persuasive, I also found the Dutch tolerance of youth culture in all its forms, seductive. Today (though I’d come across it before) the Lemba tribes of Zimbabwe have been shown (genetically and in many aspects of their current social/religious behaviour) to be a lost tribe of Israel dating back 2,500 years. If you take a swab to your inner cheek and send off the resulting evidence to a genes web site you will inevitably have African lineage. It’s true of us all.
Geneticists say we probably all descend from the same tribe in East Africa, long before Moses. The Lembas were just coming home. Wilders’ antecedents (the same folks that became the Lembas) instead settled up north and gradually whitened their skins under pallid suns. So it was with the Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists and all other god fearing folks in all their skin colours and eventual nationalities. They prospered in their different ways and slowly forgot their roots.
Now, tens of thousands of years later, they pretend to themselves that they are different. They develop hatreds. They develop pretentious self-esteem. What’s to be done?