Tag: Armritsar massacre

Churchill and the “Feeble-Minded,” Part 2

Churchill and the “Feeble-Minded,” Part 2

Churchill in 1896.

con­tin­ued from part 1

Churchill’s ear­ly atti­tudes toward British “moral supe­ri­or­i­ty” were unfounded—but he was born into a world in which vir­tu­al­ly all his coun­try­men believed the same thing, from the Sov­er­eign to a Covent Gar­den gro­cer.

And yet it was Churchill, the aris­to­crat­ic Vic­to­ri­an, who argued that Sudanese had a “claim beyond the grave…no less good than that which any of our coun­try­men could make”; that in South Africa, Boer racism was intol­er­a­ble and the Indi­an minor­i­ty deserved the same rights as all British cit­i­zens. (This was some­thing Gand­hi nev­er for­got, though Churchill did,  and some­thing which Gand­hi praised years lat­er, when they were oppo­nents over the India Bill.)

It was this same Churchill who urged that shiploads of food be sent to a starv­ing Ger­many after the Great War end­ed the wartime block­ade; that the 1920 Arm­rit­sar mas­sacre in India must be con­demned and its per­pe­tra­tors pun­ished (“Fright­ful­ness is not a rem­e­dy known to the British phar­ma­copoeia”); that the coal min­ers should be com­pen­sat­ed after the 1926 Gen­er­al Strike; that car­pet bomb­ing Ger­man cities in World War II was moral­ly rep­re­hen­si­ble.…

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