Too Bad Newt Gingrich is Nuttier than a Fruitcake Because a "Kenyan Anti-Colonial" Worldview Would be Good
There's not much to say about this new right-wing attack, launched by intellectual cripple Dinesh D'Souza and advanced by New Gingrich, which holds that Obama is plagued by a "Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview." Yes, it smacks of plausibly deniable birtherism, and sure, the argument is, in Steve M.'s words, "a fact-challenged, unfocused, incoherent mess." What could be more ridiculous than levelling such a charge at a president who says he "believes in American exceptionalism," and who's relentlessly pursued -- and in some cases expanded -- Bush's "war on terror"?
And inserting "Kenyan" in there is a rather obvious dog-whistle (I hear they're black). After all, there's nothing particularly African about anti-colonialism, as George Washington, John Adams and Patrick Henry would tell you if they were alive today.
Of course, they're talking about the 20th-century anti-colonialism movement, which I suppose is being spun as another example of "reverse racism."
But do you know which president shared that worldview?
Here's John F. Kennedy addressing the United Nations in 1961:
My country favors a world of free and equal states. We agree with those who say that colonialism is a key issue in this Assembly. But let the full facts of that issue be discussed in full.
On the one hand is the fact that, since the close of World War II, a worldwide declaration of independence has transformed nearly 1 billion people and 9 million square miles into 42 free and independent states. Less than 2 percent of the world's population now lives in "dependent" territories.
I do not ignore the remaining problems of traditional colonialism which still confront this body. Those problems will be solved, with patience, good will, and determination. Within the limits of our responsibility in such matters, my Country intends to be a participant and not merely an observer, in the peaceful, expeditious movement of nations from the status of colonies to the partnership of equals. That continuing tide of self-determination, which runs so strong, has our sympathy and our support.
But colonialism in its harshest forms is not only the exploitation of new nations by old, of dark skins by light, or the subjugation of the poor by the rich. My Nation was once a colony, and we know what colonialism means; the exploitation and subjugation of the weak by the powerful, of the many by the few, of the governed who have given no consent to be governed, whatever their continent, their class, their color.
And that is why there is no ignoring the fact that the tide of selfdetermination has not reached the Communist empire where a population far larger than that officially termed "dependent" lives under governments installed by foreign troops instead of free institutions-- under a system which knows only one party and one belief--which suppresses free debate, and free elections, and free newspapers, and free books, and free trade unions--and which builds a wall to keep truth a stranger and its own citizens prisoners. Let us debate colonialism in full--and apply the principle of free choice and the practice of free plebiscites in every corner of the globe.
I should note that just 29 days after that address, Kennedy sent the first U.S. troops to participate in combat operations alongside the South Vietnamese. But it was a really good speech!
Anyway, I share that Kenyan anti-colonial worldview, as should all people of good conscience. Self-determination is nothing to sniff at, even if you're a right-winger.