Friday, March 28, 2008

Ethnic group rights or non-rights, migration, immigration and co-existence

Considerations for the world -

1. Which factors more: Equity and fairness, or Time passing since a conquering, and then comes the rule of tough (does England go back to the Saxons, or the Normans, or the Romans or the Celts); and would the US go back to the Native Americans (as a practical matter, hardly); whether the ethnic group now seeking recognition was itself the conquerer or instead followed on the coattails of conquerors since displaced (Kosovo); whether Scotland reverts to the "Scotties" in Ireland, the Basques away on their own from Spain and France, on the lineages cry, let us join with ourselves, and let us be. Then, most recently perhaps, the Tibetans from China.

2. Keep it IYBY. In your back yard.

We have a concept here in the US - NIMBY meaning Not In My Back Yard.That means that a solution to a problem may be fine so long as it does not affect me or my property. Put in the town water tower, but not in my back yard. That also applies to population changes - let them do as they like, so long as I and my lifestyle are not affected.

We look at areas like The Balkans, current borders a far cry from original ethnic borders, given its location as a crossroads for conquerors of religious and military and commercial bents over centuries. And our resolutions may well be too simplistic - these people are not in our back yard, think our officials, so impose a resolution and get on with it.

But would we be so fast to impose that solution in our own country? Doubtful. What criteria would work for multiple separatist situations, not just Kosovo.

3. Get rid. But where or how? And why?

Now, in the US, what to do with immigrants here, without documentation, having crossed open borders like an invitation for years, and the backlash is now against them by many who would like to turn back the clock

The Balkans have dealt with issues of "unwanted" and "uninvited" population groups (like successive conquerors) for centuries. What can we learn from the Balkans?
  • The issue moves from the legal or equitable right, of who to what; to a step beyond - what we have now, in 2008, and where to go with it now.
4. Dignity. The vital importance of it.

None of the earlier approaches have worked. They all included Rankism - me better than you.
Try the dignitarian approach instead.

We cannot undo history, we can only cope and adjust in a way that reasonably works, while affording full dignity to all groups - a new mindset. See ://; rankism and peer to peer studies at .//; and rankism at ://

Ethnic groups worldwide, and how to coexist.

Starting point: Here we are, up there in the top row of 18,000 in Hartford's main city center (listening to Barack Obama).

Background of issue: We were in process of correcting some errors in identifying a certain statue in Zagreb. Croatia - see Croatia Road Ways (our believed Officer Yallatchich turns out to be King Tomas, or Tomislav).

VM, who provided the correct information on Tomislav, asked about another issue common to all countries whose borders include ethnic groups that do not identify with the dominant: what rights attach to the defeated, the conquered, who now seek their own identity in a perhaps more (?) civilized and tolerant world.

Unresolved. But we in the meantime heard candidate Barack Obama here, and we would like to share our thoughts.

Immediate trigger. We heard Senator Barack Obama, with his mixed racial heritage and the claims of blacks and whites, and reds and yellows and blues and the just plain drabs, like me and, as ancestors of all colors and ethnicity we all have somewhere.

Who has what rights to land and identity.

Does power have to mean eradication, or can we get beyond that, for a common good.

Conflicts of laws addresses this in jurisdictional terms, with mixed results in acceptance, so this focuses on how to foster coexistence, so that separatist movements are not needed. People are ok with the arrangement.
  • So far in the US, the candidate addressing human issues on a global reference scale, and the dignity of people, is indeed, in our view so far, Barack Obama. He acknowledges all our own weird families and how that plays out in a culture. And uses that commonality to move forward.
  • We may well be into new analyses and understandings, as he suggests. We may need to look to the future, while respecting and acknowledging the inequities of the past - move on to consider entire mindsets, and administrations and assimilation, not deportations and population exchanges.
Only so many resources, yet populations at odds.

Can we overcome our fear of each other, that the gain of one group means the diminution of another's opportunities.

This is an open call for comment, because the Balkans have dealt with this for years, and the US is just beginning as a nation, and an identity, and we may yet trip over our own feet.
  • A starting point may be that small window of time where Islam in Spain coexisted for so many years with Jews and Christians, with handicaps and taxes to be sure in the "dhimmi" status of the Non Islam population. But it managed, without bloodshed.
What models can Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, offer the US. We start with offering a moratorium on acting against undocumented immigrants here, until a new administration can review the situation. See PoseJuxta, Plank, Legal Temporary Immigration Status.

My vote could go here or there because there is time left before decision is needed. But for Obama's speech on race, try this:

Video: Barack Obama in Philadelphia

Is there hope for America? Dare we be audacious? All of us. And hope? Watch the Powers drive it down again. Or try.

For war issues, contemporary, much stemming from missteps and lack of understanding of the dynamics between other countries' ethnic groups or religious divisions, hear his ideas at

We are working on ourselves. I may change my mind. But so far, this is the most reasonable, optimistic yet realistic candidate. So there we are.