Saturday, June 24, 2006

Guilt tourism

Andrew Hawkins
His ancestor had his way. Now he must pay.
25,000 Africans are glad that he's sorry now.

Who's sorry now?

Andrew Hawkins, for one. He and his friends enclosed themselves in chains -- bound for glory -- and asked forgiveness from 25,000 Africans in The Gambia, west Africa.

What had Hawkins done to the Africans that set off such conscience tremors? Well, nothing, but everything. He had allowed himself to be descended from Sir John Hawkins. Once an English hero for helping to defeat the Spanish Armada in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Hawkins is now stripped of his rank and demoted to villain for launching the European slave trade, thereby bringing Europe up to speed with the Muslim middle east and Africa itself.

“There was a huge procession of people representing cultural groups from around Africa,” Mr Hawkins said on his return to England yesterday. “We came in last and the atmosphere changed as we walked up. We knelt down and everything went very quiet.

“We made our apology in French, English and German. I apologised on behalf of my family. I apologised for the adults and children taken. There was a long pause and we didn’t really know what to expect. They could have said: ‘We don’t accept your apology. Go away.’ ”

Fortunately for Hawkins the Younger and his co-inculpationists, the country's vice president "was in a forgiving mood," the news story says. (Or, one suspects, she had the good manners to wait until retiring into the company of her advisors before she and they, quite rightly, fell about laughing and slapping their knees.) Things didn't go so well later in their Calvary charge.

During their visit to The Gambia, Mr Hawkins and his party again wore chains and staged a “reconciliation walk” through the rural village of Juffureh. The local elders were not impressed by the gesture, Mr Hawkins admitted, although their attitude softened after talks with the vistors.

“I think they wanted to see an emotional connection from us, and to see that we had gone there in humility,” Mr Hawkins said. “All I could say was that we have got to do more listening and learning.”

A little more learning might be a dangerous thing for Hawkins. He might learn that most slaves had been captured by African tribes who then sold them to Western traders. (The Gambian vice president might herself be descended from tribal slave merchants.) He might also learn that Britain was the first country in the world to abolish the slave trade, or how Africans behaved toward one another before the white man's intervention, as revoltingly described, for example, in Edward Rice's Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton.

No, Hawkins would probably be best advised to stick to his story. It's a briliant piece of moral gamesmanship. First, he makes a big score by debasing himself, unrolling his guilt like a Persian merchant displaying a carpet. But, you understand, he's not really apologizing for himself; it's a symbolic apology. His heart has metastasized to the point where he's ready to apologize for an ancestor 20 generations back! He begs forgiveness for carrying wicked DNA.

In the Olympics of white race self-hatred, it'll be hard to top that. Although I'm sure someone will, and I can't wait to see who the crown passes to next.

Meanwhile, the wise businessperson will catch a wave by starting the first agency to organize guilt tours. There is hardly a country or ethnic group on this thick planet that hasn't been done the nasty to by somebody else. Entrepreneurs! Listen up!

Why Send Your Apology
When You Can Deliver It Yourself?

We know how bad you feel and we're here to help, you Hellhound from a long line of exploiters of the Wretched of the Earth. We'll ease your guilt by doing everything in our power to get you the worst connections, the middle seat, and a no-star hotel.

Guilt Trips Travel™
Others can offer luxury — we promise expiatory punishment.

Among the most popular offerings are expected to be Indian reservation bus tours for Anglos wearing arrows stuck to their chests; for Germans to Jerusalem, where they will be given symbolic nonfatal doses of Zyklon B gas; and for Englishmen wearing kilts, to Scotland. Similar products are being developed.

The money should come rolling in, at least until the Department of Justice's Diversity Enforcement Branch steps in after someone notices that all the guilty customers are white.
* * *
Certain sections of this posting are in extremely poor taste. I didn't actually write it myself. It was dictated through a psychic medium and written by my ancestor, Punctilius Quintus Darbius (29-79 A.D.). That gentleman was killed at Pompeii just as he was putting the finishing touches on his Ode to Cilician Soybeans, widely expected at the time to prong Virgil. Anyway, I am very sorry. Very. Please, please, accept my apology.


David said...

The kind of thinking displayed by these people was brilliantly parsed by C S Lewis in a passage which I excerpt here.

Chris Roach said...

As Steve Sailer has poitned out, much of this is moral one-upsmanship among whites, a contest for status. It's no different than the "publicans" Jesus describes as praying publicly for attention. No whites will ever permit their kids to go to bad schools, give up their Volvos, move to Africa and live as slaves, or anything else to atone for alleged sins by their white ancestors. It's all a pose, like having a Free Tibet bumper sticker. It's doesn't cost much, and you can lord it over friends and acquaintenes at cocktail parties.