February 1, 2016 8 Comments
Jess’ choice yesterday to lead with Yeats’ Second Coming was in my view directly on point. I also agree with everything she said in the post. It does seem darker than the thirty’s do in retrospect, at least. For all the aberrations at Oxford then (“We resolve not to fight for King and Country”) and now (trying to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes, who in establishing his scholarships had more guts than almost anybody, in specifying that colour was to have no place in selecting winners). The left has always been racist, both here, and in Europe, witness the furor from the Democrats over TR having dinner with Booker T. Washington, or Wilson’s segregation of almost everything and the institution around that time of Jim Crow. Again we see those who refuse to study history, condemning
Of course the left has always been racist, witness the furor from the democrats over TR having dinner with Booker T. Washington, or Wilson segregation of almost anything and the institution around that time of Jim Crow. Again we see those who refuse to study history, condemning themselves or their children to reliving it.
A friend of ours, Francis Phillips, writing last week in the Catholic Herald, had something to say about the comparison as well.
[Speaking of a woman who recently died, who had come to Britain in 1939 as a refugee from Germany]
Everything about her life spoke to me of an age that is past: her loyalty to her German history as well as her patriotic love for her adopted country; her reserve, her independence and the quiet inner strength that her faith gave her.
It struck me that, despite the horrors of the war, she had come to adulthood and to England during a less complex time in our history: patriotism was not a suspect stance to hold; the concept of multiculturalism, once unthinkingly vaunted, now agonised over, had not been heard of; there was no migration crisis (the post-war refugee crisis was a European phenomenon) and global terror had not been invented.
With her death and the gradual decline in the numbers of the other wartime refugees to this country, we have lost both the quiet and dignified witness of their lives as well as the high regard they had for our country’s values. We hardly know what these values are any more. Paradoxically, the times seem darker now than in 1939.
It’s true, I think, they do. And while Jess’ points are very valid, there something else as well.
Are there any men left in Europe?
In you missed it, there was a row over the weekend between the Kremlin and Berlin, about a 13-year-old girl who disappeared for 30 hours and then claimed to have been held by ‘southern appearing aliens’, and sexually abused, not to say gang-raped. Somehow the story only got public by means of social media in the Russian émigré community. The authorities now say she recanted the story to ‘professionals’. Maybe so, it wouldn’t be the first time that a kid lied to stay out of trouble. But it’s troubling that Russia apparently doesn’t believe it, and that a good number of Americans don’t either.
Patterico had something to say about this (specifically New Years Eve) as well.
[A]t the risk of sounding old fashioned, and not jumping to any conclusions, note that I am simply chewing things over in my mind. Given that, as I read reports from Europe and the US about the horrible events that night, I am having trouble finding any mention of German men fighting back against the assailants. I did find this as yet unverified report from a doorman at a luxury hotel in the area. It speaks clearly to the horrific events and the utter terror these women experienced:
“Throughout the evening again and again women came to me and asked if they could just stand next to me so I could look after them. I still didn’t quite know what that was all about. They told me they were chased by these guys”.
The men who had chased the girls then attempted to attack again, but martial arts expert Jurevic was ready: “These guys that chased them, then they really tried to attack me. I’ll have to be honest, I beat them all up.
“I’ve never witnessed something like this, I always thought this stuff would be some sort of right wing propaganda. But it was real!”.
Aside from that, and the passing mention of two men who tried to protect their female companions and one’s daughter, I’m not seeing where German men came to the defense of the throngs of women being victimized that night. It’s strikes me as odd given that large numbers of women were forced to walk through gauntlets of Muslim males upon exiting the train station and elsewhere in the square:
When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the group we met, which was made up only of foreign men … We walked through the group of men, there was a tunnel through them, we walked through … I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and hit them, they men didn’t stop. I was horrified and I think I was touched around 100 times over the 200 metres.”
I may be old-fashioned here, or even a fish’s bicycle, but I was raised with that old Irish adage (even if I am Norwegian-American). “The first duty of the strong is to protect the weak“. That’s been true since, as John Ball had it, “Adam delved and Eve span”. If it’s no longer true, then most likely our civilization is doomed, and we’ll see the denouement of Yeats poem.
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?