I refer to the letter How mean-spirited to belittle Obama .
I am confident readers would not expect a serious intellectual or academic response to the above because this is a total negation of the theoretically structured original letter focused on giving recognition and seeking reconciliation with the descendants of indigenous native Americans and Afro-American slaves who were forced to sacrifice their lives to build America.
Indeed, avoiding name-calling, (which the writer has generously stooped to) , I have to say that his entire response is nothing more than a pathetic ranting of what might be termed a ‘red-neck’ imperialist still holding tenuously to the ideology of Manifest Destiny and desperately relying on evidence of slavery settings in other countries.
Any first year university student in the social sciences will be aware that one simply cannot make generalisations of the experiences in comparative settings, unless the theoretical framework and the parameters are clearly identified in the first place.
The evidence that he relies on slavery in other settings is therefore irrelevant to the American capitalist scenario that I had identified as the worst the world has ever known.
It seems that the writer may also be having his own agenda, because his response does not in any way directly address my call to Obama, at the height of his electoral success, to graciously provide this much needed recognition. No where in my letter was there any attempt to ‘belittle’ Obama.
In fact in an earlier article , I had gone so far as to say that Obama’s victory can be seen as a watershed in American politics. Therefore, one cannot escape the conclusion that the writer is possibly one among the now discredited ‘Neo-Cons’ of the Bush regime desperately seeking to climb the bandwagon of the Obama transformation team while the timing is right.
Finally, the writer has the audacity to suggest that those of us who have lived and studied in the US and are critical of the way of life of the US people must have had blinkers on.
May I, with respect and in all humility, point out that I was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship to study for the Masters Degree in political sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and subsequently also won a Fullbright Visiting Professor award at Cornell.
My period of stay at Madison was at the height of the Vietnam War, and the film ‘The War at Home’ was shot during this period. I am proud to say that some of us were involved in the film as leaders of Third World students in the capacity as liaison personnel between the Students for Democratic Society (mostly NY Jewish students) and representatives of the Black Panthers (because their leaders did not trust each other).
Indeed, we produced professional documentation on a number of related humanitarian issues that were widely distributed and we like to believe that some of these might have influenced the American withdrawal from Vietnam.
It would seem therefore, that on the basis of this letter as well as my earlier article, the writer’s comment, ‘We are all entitled to our opinions but some are sillier that others’ fits in very well with his own observations.