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Saturday, February 9th 2008

The Racial Problem Is Worldwide

This is way off topic, but as a political buff I was rolling my eyes after running across this from Doris Lessing. The Noble laureate claims that Obama is bound to be assassinated if he’s elected president.

Obama, who is vying to become the first black president in US history, “would certainly not last long, a black man in the position of president. They would murder him,” Lessing, 88, told the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Okay, the woman is eighty-eight years old and her view is colored by time living in South Africa during Apartheid and such.

But I’ve laughed about Europeans’ view of race relations in America in recent years, and I think comments like this are a further example of the myopia plenty of Europeans have concerning world wide race relations.

As Europe deals with an incredible influx of immigrants from former colonial territories they’re seeing racial strife (or here) at least as significant as anything in the United States.

‘Hate crime’ is a loose term with vastly differing definitions in legislation by country, but it is incredible to note the per capita hate crime rates in the United Kingdom versus the United States. Europe is the new racial hot box (not that the United States doesn’t require continued work towards improving our own situation).

Doris Lessing probably needs to take account of the world she lives in nowadays and not that of her earlier years. Controlling for the increased number of firearms per capita in this country and America’s propensity for violence (i.e. American leaders in general are probably more likely to face assassination than most leaders of western Europe) the first African-American President is no more likely to be assassinated than the first black Prime Minister in the UK.

h/t Drudge