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  • Beast of England

    Deleted due to the controversy this poem generated. R
    Last edited by Raoul D'Harmental; 07-14-2016, 02:33 PM.

  • #2
    Raoul, this is very impressive. Indeed you are a multi-talented artist. Top of the queue Raoul!

    Comment


    • Raoul D'Harmental
      Raoul D'Harmental commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks you Bobby. I am glad you liked this and that the strong words didn't cause offence! R

  • #3
    Raoul! Great to see your work again in the zone! Double standards seem to have always existed, but they are glaringly apparent these days - all over the place - as your work so keenly shows. The artwork is also striking (though I can't read the caption - even using zoom - which blurs the whole thing).

    Comment


    • Raoul D'Harmental
      Raoul D'Harmental commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi RLW, I have uploaded it again and although it is only a bit bigger, I think you might be able to read the words now. Thanks for reading and commenting and apologies if the strong words were offensive! R

  • #4
    Raoul, I am making some assumptions, maybe I am wrong but you could put me right. I suspect you are living in England, having been taken in from some other part of the world that perhaps does not enjoy the kinds of freedoms, opportunities and entitlements the UK affords. Can you understand how an old Anglophile, such as myself, might find the venom that drips from this piece frankly ungracious?

    Comment


    • Raoul D'Harmental
      Raoul D'Harmental commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi John. First of all, apologies for causing offence. It was not my intention to as this is a reactionary poem to my experiences after the referendum in particular and was meant as a therapeutic dump for my feelings at the time I wrote this. You are half-right about me because although I was born and bred in England and I am English, I happen to have a skin colour that makes me prone to being taken for an immigrant which is not something I mind at all, since I consider myself no different to any other person. However in the wake of the referendum result (which some have partially attributed to the forgotten working classes who attribute their woes to immigrants), I have twice been subjected to discriminatory insults, the latter of which prompted this strongly worded poem because I saw it as a way to let out my frustration (which though abated now is still latent). I do not want to speak of it to those close to me because I dont want to worry them so as I often do, I turned to my bad poetry to concentrate my scattered thoughts. So please accept my apologies if you were offended. It was not meant to. Also, I happen not to be proud of England at all in recent times so perhaps i should have kept it to myself.

      However, you have made me think about what voice an immigrant from a country less liberal than the UK should be allowed to have if they are offered sanctuary in the UK and I am afraid I disagree that it should be considered ungracious if his/her voice was not muted. Injustice though relative is still injustice and the more voices are raised against it the sooner society can go about righting it. I would hate to think an immigrant would feel compelled not to shout out about a wrong that has been done to him/her because it is a lesser wrong than would have been incurred in their native country. I am also sure you do not mean this but do correct me if I am wrong!

      Anyway, once again, I am sorry if I have caused any offence. I did not mean to! R
      Last edited by Raoul D'Harmental; 07-12-2016, 03:19 PM.

  • #5
    Well said and written Raoul - an injustice is still an injustice no matter how slight it seems. We are all equal and should be treated as such.

    Comment


    • #6
      Hello,
      Any time you write or speak with great emotion you will offend. If it did not offend, you have to ask yourself if it did it's job.
      That said, just because someone disagrees does not necessarily mean they are offended. Honest disagreement produces mutual understanding. We must always respect the opinions of others. That is the only way we can expect others to respect ours. Agreement is not a prerequisite to respect or understanding.

      Frankly, I am glad to see this honest debate here. Being courteous should not prevent honesty. I don't know much about current UK politics. I was not sure which side of the issue you stood on.

      This wonderful, moving expression of honest thought can be a battle cry for conflict anywhere, anytime.
      This is wonderful work.

      Comment


      • #7
        May I put it this way? I don't know what country your parents immigrated from Raoul, but if I were to write a piece entitled That Beast Such and Such might I be certain that you would take offense. Hello, rhymetime, You are absolutely right, it did its job ..... it did offend. Before we pop off with great emotion, we all must think. Regarding the "battle cry for conflict," I just hope none of the people I care for are slaughtered in it. Regarding UK politics, does not a 2000 year old culture have a right to defend itself and to continue to exist? The Brexit vote was a vote for a people to continue to exist as a people. If such a vote were taken in Kenya, by the porgeny of the Mau Mau killers, no one would question its validity, it moral rightness.

        Comment


        • Raoul D'Harmental
          Raoul D'Harmental commented
          Editing a comment
          Once again I am sorry. Just to clarify, the title 'Beast of England' was in reference to the song 'Beasts of England' in George Orwell's Animal Farm and was used to enhance the allegory in the poem. As for the right to defend oneself, I will have to say we hold very opposite views on this. Just to share mine, I am from Thomas Paine's school of thought which states that 'The world is my country, all humans are my brethren and to do good is my religion'. Furthermore, I am also an absurdist! So little's the wonder we disagree on this Once again, please accept my apology.

      • #8
        I absolutely loved this poem!

        To express outrage at ill-treatment, is merely human.

        It never ceases to amaze me, how elitist and discriminatory mankind can be. Our unwillingness to empathize with others is astounding!

        I did not read your poem as a literal cry for violent recrimination, but rather, an expression of frustration and outrage.


        Justifiable, I am sure.

        I perceive your poem as a warning to those who perpetrate injustice, that, in so doing, they sow the seeds of conflict, and aggressive reprisal. Violence is to be denounced and avoided, and we avoid it, by addressing the issues, not ignoring them.

        You need not apologize for asserting the right to be fairly treated. That is your basic human right, regardless of location.

        Sadly, most people are woefully ignorant of the conditions THE MAJORITY of people in the world are compelled to endure, every day of their lives.

        Furthermore, the institutions that could assist in their education, choose to expend most of their efforts, on the ravings of a bigot, or the latest Kim Kardashian sighting.

        And in the rare instance that humanitarian aid is extended to those in crisis, many expect that they endure all manner of indignities and abuse, in silence. For to dare speak up, and demand to to treated as an equal, is to be ungrateful. You should be thankful that we permit you to reside here, love it or leave it!
        Many Americans from the dominant culture, often express this same elitist mentality.

        The same people who profess love for God and country, remain callous to the suffering of their fellow man.

        It is a perpetual notion of cultural and racial bias, a sense of exceptionalism, essentially, white supremacy!

        It perpetuates the worst kind of hypocrisy, selective virtue!
        Last edited by DWAYNE; 07-14-2016, 06:01 AM.

        Comment


        • #9
          What is the definition of a racist? If it is someone who has animosity toward or acts against people based on race, then I suggest DWAYNE you take a good look at yourself. I hate to make this personal but you leave me no choice. When we read at the bottom of Raoul's hit piece on Britain and the British people "The sketch that accompanies this is mine and, along with the poem, might cause offense. Apologies if this is the case!" So, how does this work? Here is my drawing and poem, designed to insult you, but if you feel insulted (in other words, if your are not stupid) you have my very heartfelt apology! This is, of course, absurd and insults the reader's intelligence. While you are busy shouting racism as the cause for any problem you might have, large or small, you might want to consider a few inconvenient facts beginning with the knowledge that African Americans, despite the ill treatment by whites supremacists, virtually never quit this country in favor or Africa. The only exception I can think of is Barack Obama, Sr. You might want to look at your own heart and ask yourself how you would react if I, as a white person and a World Citizen, immigrated to Mosambique, for instance, insisted on being treated just like the native born and began producing writings and art work trashing the country and the culture. But then we already know, don't we? Hate speech is hard to define, but like pornography we know it when we see it.

          Comment


          • lunar glide
            lunar glide commented
            Editing a comment
            the question I have for world citizens before having any discussion is simply : do you lock your doors? I think the comments made by president bush at the memorial for the recently slain officers are appropriate even in our poetry : paraphrased -too often we judge others by their worst mistakes but ourselves by our best intentions.

          • John Wertz
            John Wertz commented
            Editing a comment
            Your thoughts, LG, are well taken. As a former police officer in a North East city, I take the deliberate killing of these police officers personally, perhaps too personally. I am still digesting President Bush's remarks, as to whether they were helpful or not. Race is such a difficult issue, not just in America as some would have us believe and especially in policing. We shy away from it when ever possible. I think this is wrong. When
            some (Eric Holder) says Americans are coward to talk about race, I am afraid what he means is lets have a one way conversation. I am 69 years old, too old to pander.

          • DWAYNE
            DWAYNE commented
            Editing a comment
            I fear you misunderstand me. I do not have any hostility toward anyone based on race. I believe all people should be treated fairly, equally, justly.

            I am surprised that you are, in your own words, making this personal, since, I have never attacked you personally.

            And NONE, I repeat, NONE of my previous comments, were directed at you! Why would they be? I have never, anywhere seen you demonstrate even a shred of racism, or ill-feeling toward anyone, based on race or any other characteristic.

            Thus far, you have been gracious to me, and I have attempted to act in kind. That we express different viewpoints is part and parcel of responding to art, which, at times, can be provocative!

            That being said, I defy you to show me one instance where I suggest, hatred for ANYONE!

            I am not a racist, I do not believe YOU are a racist either!

            My simple point is this. I understand Raoul's frustration at being mistreated by his fellow citizens!

            I understand someone taking offence, I am simply saying, that I do not!
            And merely expressing a contrary viewpoint, does not make me a racist!

            I do think it is a humanitarian act to take in people from other countries. I do not think that those who do, should mistreat them, and then expect them to just bear it because, after all, we did take you in, and you should be grateful!

            All people have a duty to be kind to each other, whether that person is a citizen or not, whether they are born in that country or not. This is basic human respect, and I have never, anywhere suggested otherwise!

            If you went to live in Mozambique, and were mistreated there because of your race, regardless of whether or not you became a citizen, THAT WOULD BE WRONG, and I would be just as adamantly against it!

            And if you expressed outrage at your mistreatment, you would have every right to!

            Would I suggest that you go out and indiscriminately presume, all people who share the race of the FEW people who have discriminated against you, are racist, and deserving of recrimination? No.
            THAT would indeed be both hypocritical and stupid, and perpetuate the same kind of racism I despise!

            When Raoul said he wishes no offence, I took him at his word, and interpreted his work accordingly: as a man simply expressing his frustration and anger.

            I have never, anywhere, suggested that anyone be racially discriminated against, vilified, or abused.

            I defy you to show me even one occasion where I have!
            Last edited by DWAYNE; 07-16-2016, 05:02 AM.

        • #10
          Content aside for the moment, the poem is well-written, and the artwork is wonderful, Raoul.

          Now, to the content... my feeling is that a poem that merely expresses an opinion, offensive or not, is free speech, and in Western countries, free speech is a basic right. It is also a basic right to be offended and to express such offense. I hope it doesn't get too heated.

          Comment


          • DWAYNE
            DWAYNE commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree. That is why we comment on these pieces, to express an opinion.

        • #11
          I do not believe in crying racism for every problem, big or small, just the ones that are rightly attributable to racism. People beating, insulting, and KILLING others based on race, certainly qualifies.

          And it is true, that despite ill-treatment from White supremacists, systemic racism and all manner of ills, most African-Americans, save those who left for Liberia, have not quit America in favour of Africa.

          For a number of reasons.

          First, our ancestors, be that unwillingly, be that under horrific circumstances, provided the free labour that built much of the material wealth of the country.

          Second, due to the stripping of our cultural identity, many of us have no idea what part of the vast continent of Africa, we originate from.

          Third, African-Americans, are AMERICANS!

          Why would they want to leave their home?
          Last edited by DWAYNE; 07-15-2016, 05:43 AM.

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