Friday, October 2, 2009

To Think we Used to Run this Place!

How oblivious can folks be?  I just heard on CNN that the Chicago delegation to Copenhagen was planning a party tonight.  Oh, they weren’t partying in advance of the vote,no, said Tony Harris but they were all ready to party tonight.

To political junkies like me, sports is hardly worth mentioning. But we also know that everything is political.

When I worked in the Carter State Department as a speech writer for the Assistant Secretary of Cultural and Educational Affairs, Joe Duffey, I was privileged to receive every day on my desk a slew of cables on a variety of non-classified subjects from all over the world.  I’ll never forget the one that ended with the worlds: “And to think we used to run this place.”  Whatever the issue was, is unimportant.  What matters is the person writing the report somehow thought that the United States was destined to run the world forever.

Apparently, that conviction has had long legs: Tony Harris couldn’t get over the fact that America had lost a bid to host the summer Olympics ON THE FIRST ROUND! Around the time of my stint at State everyone knew the Bob Dylan song “Blowin in the Wind”. For those who may never have heard it, or forgotten it, the refrain is: “The answer, my friend is blowin in the wind.” (How many times must a cannonball fly before they’re forever banned, How many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free? How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn’t see?

The question of what country would be likely to win the 2026 summer Olympics seemed to me a pretty open and shut case: Europe and America had recently hosted Olympics; China had represented Asia, hosting this year’s games. Only Africa and Latin America had never hosted the games. Africa wasn’t in the running, so that left Brazil. So much for the really obvious. For those who follow the news, equally obvious was the fact that Brazil is an up and coming economic power, one of the four BRIC nations, with Russia, India and China, that are snapping at our heels. Not to mention that Brazil’s president, known as Lula around the world, is a former worker and trade union leader who was twice elected, and who had the cojones to say to the other world leaders that it was the blue-eyed people who had caused the financial meltdown.

Recently, CNN has been advertising an up-coming series on being Latino in America (whose correct name is “The United States of America”, as we’re likely to hear more and more often). Part of the media, at least, has gotten around to telling us that by 2050, minorities will be the majority. When in the early nineties I began to write the book that eventually became “A Taoist Politics: The Case for Sacredness”, (qwhich you can order from my website, or from Amazon, I wrote:

"As those eager for modernity migrate to the northern hemisphere, its current inhabitants need to accept that the 21st century is likely to be the color of honey in its countless varieties. Those who remain in the South need to realize that neither hatred nor resignation will lead to a better future, and also, that the past is never the future, for the simple reason that life consists of partly random movement and change."

It is long past time for the Caucasians of this world to begin to adapt to the fact that we constitute what could be called the absolute minority on the face of the planet, even as the planet demonstrates almost daily how inhospitable it can be to humans of every hue.

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