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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1261352-YOU-WHITE-WEST
Rated: E · Poetry · Cultural · #1261352
What the East thinks of the West. (Or, why the world is critical of US and its allies)
YOU, WHITE WEST



INTRODUCTION TO THE POEM
--The US and its allies often wonder (what innocence!) as to why the rest of the world is against them. The answer lies in historical truths, recorded in this poem. A full recording is beyond the limited realm of a poem.

Admittedly, this poem, though factual, may seem provocative to some viewers. However, it is largely objective and factual. Those who think they can’t absorb unwelcome historical facts are advised not to read further.




YOU, WHITE WEST




You, White West, who heard the tales
Of grandeur in the East,
Set sail to find a sea route
To gold of India.

On spotting America,
Columbus, mistaken,
Thought it was India where
The (Red) Indians lived.

Then followed the looting and
Raping of the Mayas,
And Aztecs and Incas who
Lived there since inception.

You, White West, did destroy their
Culture and libraries.
You usurped their land and brought
The blacks from Africa.

They were chained and herded in
Ships and brought to US,
Treating them as mere chattel,
Devoid of human rights.

On their blood and sweat and tears
You built up your towers
For which you sorely needed
Cheap energy in bulk.

You, White West, cut down forests.
Then you split the atom
And made the atomic bomb
To drop it in the East.

Then you cornered the Eastern
Reservoirs of the oil
In Arabian Desert
And the Central Asia.

For this you propped Israel
And carved out Pakistan
To act as your stooges for
Your Eastern power game.

You, White West, are at present
The biggest polluter
Of the earth through the burning
Of the fossil fuels.

Search your heart and, USA,
You’ll find a lurking doubt,
Whether it was moral to
Invent WMD.

Posterity will judge you
By your deeds, not your words.
O White West, led by US,
Your deeds are indeed vile.


• Written in 7-6-7-6 format.


M C Gupta
12 May 2007

**************************************

NOTE: A reader sent me a lengthy criticism of this poem, rating it 2 stars out of 5. His mail is too lengthy to be reproduced here. The main points made by him were replied to him as follows. I am appending the reply here since it is relevant to the background of the poem:

**********

Dear friend,
Thanks for your response. You have made it too lengthy. You have a right to do so. But you have made some statements that need to be rebutted / responded. Here are they:

**************

For style and format; your layout is reasonable. The content however is prejudiced.
>> I disagree. My content is factual. Please point out what is non-factual. Stating facts cannot be called prejudice.

**0
Clearly you consider India to be the gold spot of the world.
>> That is what you are saying, not I. Please do not bring in imaginary things.
**0
The Mayas, Incas and Aztecs - who lived there since inception - curious ?
>> I don’t know what you are saying. I do not understand your curiosity. However, you may do well to look up the book “HISTORY IS A WEAPON” BY Howard Zinn, available online at
http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html

This book chronicles the heroic deeds of Christopher Columbus, the apostle of the West and the Church, in subjugating the real owners of the American continent. A sample of those deeds is given in the opening lines of the first chapter as follows:
**
Chapter 1: Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress
Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:
“They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned... . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands were much like Indians on the mainland, who were remarkable (European observers were to say again and again) for their hospitality, their belief in sharing. These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.
Columbus wrote:
As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.
The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic-the Indies and Asia, gold and spices. For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to get to the Far East.

**0


Your use of "white' is evidence of racial prejudice.
>> No. It is reflective of the reality that a large proportion of the people living in the West are non-white but need to be excluded from the message of this poem because of reasons of fact.

**0
To my view the move and flow of most of the world is towards TOTALITARIAN RULE under which we all become slaves.
>> I do not subscribe to that view. As a matter of fact, the poem hints and even states the fact that the West believed in making slaves of the non-whites in the days of colonisation. Fortunately, the days of slavery are over but the tendency on the part of the West to lord over the rest of the world persists. That is the basic message of the poem and ample examples are given to support this view. I do not think that tendency will succeed and a totalitarian rule will ever come again.

**0
Under world communism and socialism, you comply or you are brainwashed or exterminated.
>>> You need to revise your concepts. As per the Indian Constitution, India is a “Socialist, secular, democratic republic”. I was born in 1942 and India became free in 1947. I and other citizens of India have no compulsion to comply with anything but the Constitution and the law and there has been no brainwashing or extermination of the (currently 1.2 billion) people so far.

**0

Your poem is interesting. But consider what will the world be under Totalitarian rule, consider what you will do when they come for you because you have your own idea, like the members of the Falun Gong.
>>> Please wake up and get out of your dreams. The USA has extolled capitalism and vilified socialism too much and too long with the result that many US citizens are literate but uneducated as regards a balanced and realistic world view. The consequences of crass capitalism are obvious now when the USA is sitting over trillions of dollars of debt and the condition is being euphemistically referred to as “economic melt down”.
**0

While explaining your notions of individualism versus popularity (which, mistakenly, you seem to be confusing with socialism), you have written as follows:
a-- Popularity today endorses pornography
>>> As a matter of fact, pornography is a distinctly Western phenomenon and is defended by the US Federal Court on the grounds of freedom of speech and expression / First Amendment. Why blame this on socialism / popularity? The Constitution of India also grants freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a) but this is tempered by Article 19(2) whereby this right is made subject to reasonable restrictions. In India and almost all over the East, flagrant pornography, of which you complain, is prohibited by law under the concept of reasonable restriction. If American / Western pornography piques you, maybe you might like to suggest your senators to borrow something from the Indian Constitution and bring in an amendment to the First Amendment.
b--The populist ideas of democracy carries with the insane idea that if you get killed and it is for the ‘greater good’ then it is democratic and OK.
>>> You will do some good to yourself by reading up a bit of the basics of jurisprudence. It is an internationally accepted jurisprudential concept that what is more important is the maximum good of the largest number of people and not the interests of an individual which may have to be sacrificed for the larger good. This concept was propounded at great length by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the late eighteenth century. According to him—“ Each individual may have a particular will (volunté particuliêre) which is different from the general will (volunté généale) of the people, but the particular will of each individual may be forced to submit to the general will because of the obligations that have been defined for all individuals by the terms of the social contract. The general will is not the same as the will of all individuals, because it is not the sum of all individual private interests.1 Unlike the combined will of all individuals, the general will is concerned with the public interest rather than with private interests.”


--M C Gupta
13 November 2011


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