I am in total disagreement with Dr. Iris Kern as regards the "conference" on racism. While I cannot but agree that racism remains one of our most serious problems (and the attacks on Muslim children in America last week show that this evil is alive and well), the agenda and actions of the Durban conference were almost as heinous.
The anti-Jewish focus of many of the delegate states (some of whom still condone slavery) made the entire event an exercise in hypocrisy. There is much that needs to be done for the black people of this world, and for others, too: the Australian aborigine, the Eskimos of Canada and Alaska, and the American Indian, to name just a few.
To focus on the grievances of one particular group was totally wrong. The
United States was correct in not sending a top delegation to this meeting.
And I, for one, am getting a bit sick and tired of some of the rhetoric of race here in the territory and the nation. Black leaders should recall that one hundred and thirty years ago Asians were targeted for equal or greater discrimination than blacks. Do we recall the "Yellow Peril" rhetoric of the times? The overt discrimination against the "heathen Chinee?" Even the concentration camps of the 1940's?
And today, substantial numbers of our best and brightest college students and young professionals are of Asiatic descent. How did this happen? Their culture, unlike the African-American one, provides for a tightly unified family structure, for a tremendous work ethic, and for a respect and almost reverence for education.
Looking around the Virgin Islands I see none of this. I see illegitimate children born to young teen-age girls. I see a dependency on "the gumment" for everything in life. I see ill-educated young people with no future.
Iris Kern has a good education, and I believe at least an intellectual understanding of what I have said.
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