16 November 2009

Fort Hood and spectre of political correctness uncomfortable territory for most

- I've always wondered in the modern environment, why do we choose to "celebrate diversity" at the expense of unity?

Radioactive discussion ahead! Non-racist guy about to talk about the subject of race.

As a web author who falls on the more casual side of research and analysis (and is non-funded and lacks oversight), it's easy to synopsize, and I don't pretend to have the resources to give highly objective treatments to all material. It's not supposed to be perfect, it's editorializing and often times exploration - I happen to prefer to promote points of view or subjects consistent with my world-view and do not have to claim a journalist's objective orientation. With that up-front, one of the most challenging and potentially hazardous topics is that of... "diversity!" provided you're out of line with common rhetoric. I observe that conservatives are starting to speak out that "enough is enough" post- Fort Hood. That there was a terrorist in our midst, but "Protection of our soldiers came second, and diversity came first." (- Taken from an Economist article summarized 0n-air.) Where does fault truly lie? Were patterns suggesting the profile of an Islamist terrorist ignored?

My first experience with military lore and culture was in pop culture. "Tour of Duty," the 80s serial on CBS, was a brilliant examination of racial flare-ups in the service, and the need to put them aside to not only accomplish the mission, but for the characters to come to terms with their own humanity. For Pete's sake: You're in a combat zone, you're all on the same team, and you have a lot more in common than you think, so why fight one another?

So where are we today? I don't know that we common folks have much difficulty with getting along, at least at my level. On a different plane, I have observed that "diversity" is the territory of intellectual stalemates; it's become more of a platitude than a forum. Listen to Gen. Casey's speeches. Think about people in the press that've been sent to "Remedial diversity training" or your own required presentations, the ones I wish I could walk out of. Et cetera. NOBODY dares speak at these events except for a few goobers, and diversity is inclusive to a point. With the inability to confront issues in imperfect systems, if we cannot be honest in observation on all levels, how can meetings of the minds occur and how can we reach true understanding? Even in the military, approaches to diversity are flawed. Academics become furious, but human nature and our modern socialization still sticks out like a sore thumb.

Uncomfortable Example 1: I've seen a flyer on a military base promoting "Military association x is pleased to present Cultural Diversity Fair 2008! With booths, food and heritage from: - African Americans - Asian Americans - Pacific Islanders - Native Americans - Middle Eastern Americans." I know some people that walked by that sign every day on their way into work that felt pretty left out.

Uncomfortable Example 2: Flip through the channels and wonder about the disparities in programming geared toward your demographic! Cable t.v. is really skewed in favor of one race, and that's been odd to me since I can remember.

Uncomfortable Example 3: The White House nominated a "diversity advisor." What is this guy supposed to do? (At taxpayer cost!) Tell organizations they need to be more "diverse?" We can analyze Supreme Court decisions in university race quotas versus grades earned, or firefighters denied advancement in Connecticut, or firefighters forced to march in a gay pride ceremony in San Diego. Whatever we analyze, the same conclusion results: The institutionalization of diversity is not perfect!

Uncomfortable Example 4: The internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII. I argued strongly against this before and would write the same today. What was the world-view and experience then? How does it compare/contrast to the contemporary environment?

- I've always wondered in the modern environment, why do we choose to "celebrate diversity" at the expense of unity? What more of a uniquely American touchstone and rallying cry than unity? There are many, many red herrings and imbalances with regard to diversity, including a stance en contra of illegal immigration signifying some kind of overt racism. This kind of realistic problem for national security will not be easily overcome except through a shattering of the wall of political correctness that creates fear. Keep our progress, but lose the rose-colored glasses. "While not all Muslims are terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslim." I understand the positions our leaders are in when they must call for calm. Is all this fair, or not?

We are limited in that all we have to rely on is subjective experience and our recent past to judge the dogma of diversity. Clearly, people viewed one another with much more suspicion and demonized each other more frequently than today. 60 years ago - is not that long ago - the Civil Rights Movement. Human rights - here - are young, although we are global forerunners. Today, we are progressively much closer to where we need to be in terms of living diversity and need to begin approaching this movement in a different way instead of proselytizing. It will be eye-opening to follow the reporting and revelations in the coming months on this subject.

Recent Reporting

- The Christian Science Monitor, P. Jonsson:

“In the military everybody has to be treated the same, it’s what holds everybody together,” says Elaine Donnelly, the president of the Center for Military Readiness, a non-partisan group that focuses primarily on military personnel. “You have horizontal cohesion among the troops and you have vertical cohesion between the commander in chief and the troops that he leads. The vertical cohesion is now at risk, and the President should restore it, and realize this was not a breach, as he says, but a consequence of skewed priorities.”
To be sure, the Army has always been a leader in social equality, including efforts to integrate in the Jim Crow era, per the orders of President Harry Truman.
But traditionally the strength of the US military has been that it treats everybody the same.
Today’s diversity-conscious Army is moving in a different direction, critics say, molding itself to the sensitivities of the few, including
recent waivers to allow a Sikh soldier to wear a beard.
NPR reported that Army professionals taken aback by Hasan’s bizarre behavior explained that, in reporting him to superiors, they were “worried that they might be ‘discriminating’ against Hasan because of his seemingly extremist Islamic beliefs.”


- The Baltimore Sun, Ron Smith:

As we know from Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey's appearance on "Sunday Morning," a greater tragedy than the carnage inflicted on unarmed soldiers by an officer of their own army would be anything that called into question "diversity" as a priority of the American military. Diversity trumps everything, according to the Guardians of Correct Thought, within and without the military. ABC News reports that intelligence agencies were aware of Dr. Hasan's attempts to contact al-Qaeda but did nothing. It's reminiscent of the intelligence failures prior to the Sept. 11 attacks; bureaucrats bumbling about, unable to see what was in front of their noses until after the bloody fact. In this case, the CIA is denying the report that it refused to brief congressional intelligence committees on what knowledge the agency might have had on Major Hasan's efforts to communicate with terrorists. Who knows what the truth is, and whether we'll ever learn it? As we know from our president, we mustn't leap to conclusions about what prompted the shootings at Fort Hood.


- The Economist (Online comments)

We Americans continue to misunderstand what the international Muslim conflict is all about and why we seem to be the target of it. Conservative Muslims, especially conservative Imams, see western liberal ideas infiltrating their society with concepts such as education for women, women's rights, the rule of secular law, and separation of church and state (see Turkey for an example, but Egypt and Indonesia and, to some extent, Pakistan). The conservative Muslims want a society modeled on the Koran that locks in the practices of the 7th century. The US made a major mistake to align itself with these conservative Islamic forces to counter Soviet influence in Afghanistan. No one thought about what the future could bring when these 7th century minds were given 20th century weapons.
The tragedy at Fort Hood is just one more Muslim who has been a follower of the dark conservative Imams who blame the west for attempting to liberalize a society they want to see as unchanging. After all, they see the Koran as the full and true word of God.
The only way the west can counter these degenerates is to support fully those liberal Muslim leaders to help this major religion connect to the modern world. There are liberal Muslims in Turkey who are trying to re-interpret the words of Mohammad in light of modern society to erase some of the more backward ideas that have crept into the most conservative Muslim sects. Christianity did this, but only over 400 years from the 16th century to the 20th.

Sure Nidal Hassan was deranged & does not accurately reflect the mindset or proclivity of the majority of Muslims in America - or the West, for that matter.
However, anyone with an open & discerning mind, cannot deny or avoid noticing the fact that far more Muslims in western nations - first or second generation - profess or show significantly more empathy for, defend or justify heinous acts &/or condone Islamic terrorists who go on religious rampages (jihads) across the globe.
The deafening silence emanating from the so-called 'Moderate Muslim' quarter, after any such acts of mayhem by their Islamic counterparts, should have us all worried & questioning their 'silent' motive.
Political correctness, is often times a much abused & misused ideology, by ALL vested interest groups, who use it to their brazenly unfair advantage, every chance they get.
And that is so WRONG..


No comments: