Posted: April 21st, 2013 | Author: Chidike Okeem | Filed under: Blogs | 1 Comment »
P.W. Botha with Margaret Thatcher
After my last piece at The Washington Times Communities — READ IT HERE! — Thatcher devotees have e-mailed me several quotes where the late stateswoman made negative statements about South African apartheid, as if that constitutes unimpeachable evidence that she was not sympathetic to the immoral regime. This argument is farcical. Suggesting that Thatcher was not sympathetic to the abhorrent apartheid regime, simply because one can find quotes of her saying unflattering things about it, would be as intellectually dishonest as someone finding a quote of Obama saying he wants abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare” as evidence of him being sympathetic to the pro-life movement. Skilled politicians are generally smart enough not to be ebullient in public about supporting evil. However, observant and perceptive people are capable of looking at the big picture and drawing valid conclusions.
I’ll do that for you here.
Unfortunately for the “Thatcher was perfect!” crowd, history is not determined by slapping together favorable quotes of political figures. Honest historians look at the full picture. To suggest that Thatcher did not prop up and support the apartheid regime is a blatant falsehood that only a remarkably skilled prevaricator can say with a straight face. Baroness Thatcher’s husband, Denis Thatcher, had economic dealings in apartheid South Africa, and this was one of the reasons why she did not support economic sanctions against the racist state. Thatcher’s explanation in her autobiography—The Downing Street Years—of her opposing sanctions because she cared about the disproportionate impact it would have had on poor, black South Africans is revisionist nonsense. This is the same Thatcher who supported UN sanctions against Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Why didn’t her “ideological” opposition to sanctions show up then? Her “explanation” of her opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa is an insult to readers’ intelligence. In addition to Thatcher referring to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress as terrorists, she was also a staunch opponent of the anti-apartheid movement—as was the vast majority of the white right in the West.
If Thatcher was so anti-apartheid, why did she despise anti-apartheid activists so much? Surely she wasn’t so intellectually simplistic that she could not separate their socialism from their cause of ending black oppression! To Thatcher, capitalism was of paramount importance—even if racial oppression was occurring. In my view, there is little moral difference between the left’s support for the Soviet Union and the right’s support for apartheid. Both sides gleefully sat back and watched oppression occur just because their ideological goals were taking place.
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Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: Chidike Okeem | Filed under: Blogs | No Comments »
Margaret Thatcher and black conservatism
By Chidike Okeem
CALIFORNIA, April 9, 2013 —On April 8, 2013, Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of Britain, died after a stroke at the age of 87. Among many accomplishments, she was an influential force in winning the Cold War, and she helped to arrest the tentacles of socialism in Britain with her inspiring advocacy of the free market-based doctrine of Thatcherism. Her rise from being a grocer’s daughter to being one of the most powerful women in political history is an irrefutable testament to the elevating power of capitalism. As a result of her formidable debating skills, alluring personality, and powerful leadership, Thatcher is one of the greatest prime ministers in British history—and certainly one of the most influential world leaders of the 20th century.
However, no leader is perfect, and Thatcher has a number of troubling parts about her tenure as prime minister. The immoral sympathy she showed for the racist apartheid regime in South Africa is a glaring, indelible stain on her record. Thatcher notably referred to members of the African National Congress (ANC) as terrorists, which current British prime minister, David Cameron, has since apologized for. Despite working to destroy the immoral Soviet Union, Thatcher helped to prop up an equally immoral system in South Africa.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE!
Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: Chidike Okeem | Filed under: Blogs | No Comments »
Remembering Chinua Achebe
By Chidike Okeem
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE!
*UPDATE*: Article also posted at The Washington Times Communities
On Thursday, March 21st, 2013, the world lost an intellectual heavyweight in Professor Chinua Achebe. He died at the age of 82. Commonly regarded as the father of African literature because of his development of the field, Achebe penned many significant books—most influential of these being Things Fall Apart, a 1958 novel that examined the manifold effects of British colonialism on the culture of the Igbo tribe in southeastern Nigeria. At the point of Achebe’s death, he was a professor of English at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Most remarkable about Achebe’s life is the fact that his extraordinary pen and sui generis literary talent took him from the provincial African town of Ogidi to the hallowed halls of the Ivy League as a professor. Achebe excelled during his early educational pursuits and had such a virtuoso grasp of the English language that he earned the nickname “Dictionary.” The fact that Achebe’s work continues to be required reading all over the globe—from the primary school level to the graduate school level—makes it difficult to impeach his literary credibility. His rise from obscurity to international prominence is a testament to the lofty heights that can be achieved when tremendous talent is merged with the same level of tremendous devotion to hard work.
Readers, you will note that this is first article I have published on a site that isn’t VOICEOFCHID.com in a year! The honest reason for this is because I completely lost the motivation to do freelance writing for other websites, especially since my views on issues like Trayvon Martin, race, and Mitt Romney stood out like a sore thumb against other conservative writers. (Of course, I was right, and they were wrong.) If you know me by now, you’ll know I am not the kind of writer to conform to viewpoints with which I vehemently disagree just to be part of the crowd. Sometimes, you need to retreat into your own space and confidently voice your own views. VOICEOFCHID.com provided a safe, quick, and easy platform to write what I really think about issues. A good writer knows his audience, and while I don’t have a problem with making provocative arguments, I am not a troll, so I would never want to troll other websites with my ideas.
As far as my hiatus from writing outside of VOICEOFCHID.com, things are about to change. I’ve signed on as a Communities columnist for The Washington Times! (Read my bio/staff page.) So definitely stay tuned for my columns there. Also, I still have pieces that are exclusive to VOICEOFCHID.com coming soon.