Sunday, September 26, 2010

Enoch Powell -- too much immigration

A British lady responded to my note about Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton both being Classicists which considered the idea that a study of the classics might enable a person to better understand the implications of large-scale immigration. The lady mentioned Enoch Powell as also being a classicist. This was intended, as she later said, as a "frivolous" response, for Enoch Powell has been vilified over the years for some of his comments on immigration.

I did look him up in Wikipedia before posting my note including Powell alongside Hanson and Thornton as being especially insightful about the dangers of too much immigration, but after receiving the suggestion that there was something wrong with Powell I spent yesterday afternoon attempting to find out what it was. What I had seen on Wikipedia didn't warn me off, but perhaps if I dug deeper . . .

I found two YouTube documentaries on Enoch Powell. I watched the first one which is in 5 parts and is entitled "Rivers of Blood":

Enoch Powell -- Rivers of Blood Part 1:

Enoch Powell -- Rivers of Blood Part 2:

Enoch Powell -- Rivers of Blood Part 3:

Enoch Powell -- Rivers of Blood Part 4:

Enoch Powell -- Rivers of Blood Part 5:

Enoch Powell -- Rivers of Blood Part 6:

I just skimmed this next one because it seemed to use the same footage as the above. I didn't feel ambitious enough to look for the actual differences.

Enoch was Right -- Part 1:

Enoch was Right -- Part 2:

Enoch was Right -- Part 3:

My impression after watching the "Rivers of Blood" documentary is that the British multiculturalists and others vilified Powell for some poor uses of words. His main argument had to do with the dangers of too much immigration, but this argument seems never to have been dealt with by the multiculturalists. Instead they honed in on his use of such words as "pickaninny." But many of the words and expressions he was criticized for seem to have been voiced by others. He was quoting them. He was trying to describe the views of the people who had to deal first-hand with the immigrants.

When Powell delivered his Rivers of Blood speech in parliament, he was applauded. A majority of Britains, especially the working class people, seem to have adored him.

At the end of Rivers of Blood, a former multiculturalist comments that when in Britain they abandoned the idea of integration and encouraged immigrants to retain their own languages and cultures, they never foresaw that one day they would be confronted by a group that wanted Sharia Law and the right to engage in honor killings.

I heard comments in the first documentary to the effect that Enoch stirred up the immigrants in a bad way. He caused them to take up arms. If that is a true (which I don't believe) then he was at fault. But to blame his opinions for an immigrant "backlash" is very like blaming Terry Jones for intending to burn some Korans. Did Powell's opinions and Jones intensions cause backlashes? Many still think that this is possible: that such words cause others to commit violence. And it may be the multiculturalism amongst us that enables such an irrational notion to be taken seriously. In English and American law no murderer would be excused from his crime by claiming that an insult made him kill the person who insulted him. We in Britain and America value our right to think, write, and speak without fear of imprisonment or death. But as a result of high rates of immigration and multiculturalism, that "right" is being eroded.

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