Thursday, 16 September 2010

Believe it or not, I’m with D’Souza on this one. I have nothing to say about Dinesh D’Souza’s highly praised article in Forbes because it’s predicated on the claim that Colonialism today is a dead issue. No one cares about it except the man in the White House. He is the last anticolonial. If you make the above claims after debating the relative merits of the “neocolonial” and “anticolonial” positions, you need to re-read your own article to see that the only thing “dead” about colonialism is your capacity to understand that it is logically implicit and historically complicit in its own legacy. Go figure. But as long as I’m on the subject of being stupendously wrong, I should note that the previous is not the central objection to D’Souza’s argument at the American Thinker: As much as I admire D’Souza, however, I must take issue with his argument. Yes, Obama does seem to espouse a certain inchoate anticolonialism, but the “dreams” do not come so much from his father as from his mother, and they have been given voice by Obama’s muse, terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers. What Cashill has done to that poor horse is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, but not entirely unexpected. He’s banked his career on the possibility that his claims are true and has no choice now but to continue to compile “evidence” to support them, such as: D’Souza cites “Frantz Fanon” as one of “Obama’s acknowledged intellectual influences.” What he overlooks is that in Fugitive Days, Ayers misspells Fanon’s first name as “Franz,” exactly as Obama does in Dreams. Also on the anticolonial front, both Ayers and Obama misspell in the same fashion the site of the South African massacre, Sharpeville. Wait a minute! I remember addressing this argument when it concerned prepositions: [B]oth Ayers and Obama misquote the opening line of Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” substituting “hog butcher to the world” for “hog butcher for the world.” This mutual error would be significant (an “A-level match”) if Ayers and Obama were the only two people who ever made it, but according to Google Book Search—a secret search engine to which only I have access—the same mistake has been made by Nelson Algren, Alan Lomax, Andrei Codrescu, H.L. Mencken, Paul Krugman, Perry Miller, Donald Hall, Ed McBain, Saul Bellow, S.J. Perelman, Nathanaël West, Ezra Pound, Wright Morris, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress. (To name but a few.) According to Cashill, I have now proven that Dreams From My Father was written by many a dead man of American letters, a living mystery writer, a New York Times columnist and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress. That said, since unique misspellings represent an entirely new line of argument for Cashill, I should give him the benefit of the doubt and fact-check this too. Let’s see: Google results for “Franz Fanon”: ~70,000 Google results for “Frantz Fanon”: ~416,000 Google results for “Sharpville”: ~94,200 Google results for “Sharpeville”: ~510,000 For most people, the fact that the correct...

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