POLITICS OF CULTURAL APARTHEID IN HAIKU
(Why is the cultural modification of haiku form /and literature in general/ racist?
By Dimitar Anakiev
Poets create bridges
among cultures, poetasters
create walls - the ELH
- - - Dimitar Anakiev
In the end of long discussion in HMC which followed publishing of my article Taliban of Haiku Community we have final conclusion published in comments by Taro Aizu– his report is supported by Paul David Mena and T.w. Rassmeussen. These three poets openly advocated racist viewpoint during discussion and openly refused to accept International P.E.N. standards in literature which determines: All forms are universal, all cultures are equal. Before answering their conclusion let me say that my article Taliban of Haiku Community in these few days were visited on my blog by about 100 people and no one left a comment or counter-argument even it was also sent to all main leaders of "Talibans Haiku Movement" in US, that is racist movement of ELH (English Language Haiku). It speaks for itself how weak is argumentation of racism in literature. But basically racism is not built on argumentation, it uses lies and manipulation, it counts on ignorance of masses that cannot understand subtle details of cultural politics. The same case is with "conclusion" of our racist friends in HMC. Let me cite the conclusion:
Taro Aizu (supported by Paul David Mena, T.w. Rassmeussen) wrote: "My conclusion of these discussions and aruguments is that all cultures are equal but diffrent and the difference is not a discrimination, nor racism but an abundance. So we have different forms of haiku according to our cultures or our personal ideas."
What we have here is typical racist maneuver that tries to explain racism as something "natural", "organic" and "factual". In last statement they basically say:
The form of JEWISH HAIKU and ARYAN HAIKU cannot be the same. The form of JAPANESE and ENGLISH haiku cannot be the same, the form of HAIKU WRITEN BY WHITE PEOPLE cannot be the same as HAIKU WRITEN BY YELLOW or BLACK PEOPLE... In fact, the last statement of Taro Aizu, his conclusion: " So we have different forms of haiku according to our cultures or our personal ideas", is pure and obviously lie because we all know from everyday practice that haiku in English and haiku in Japanese, and haiku in any other language is not culturaly limited (determined)– we have fixed, 575, form in English (by major poets like Kirkap and Wright) as well in Japanese and all other languages. We have "free form" in Japanese, English and other too. So, the point is that our racist friend do not want to accept that formal abundance is a result of INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM (that means, they do not accept the licentia poetica) and build their politics on false meaning of cultural differences. Quite contrary, the mission of poetry and all arts is to show that that all people are people independently of cultural differences. So racist (and all totalitarian) theories in literature and poetry comes from people that are basically not writers and poets but more and less poetasters which misuse the field of poetry and literature for ideologic work trying to subordinate poetry to culture and other ideological institutions.
Typical method of discussion for such "poets" doesn't come from talking on facts but from their ideas which are falsely presented as "true" and "facts". Anyone following our "discussion" in HMC can easily see that none of my statements in the article Taliban of Haiku Community is answered with counter-argument. Instead, facing arguments and facts they shift escaping the topic and offering "new topics" again and again. They just try to confuse uninformed readers and use this fog as a cover.
In my conclusion I can say that we have serious problem in International Haiku because the politics of subordinating poetry to cultural differences is a clear policy of cultural apartheid. The ELH movement is an expression of cultural apartheid. It is natural that leaders and followers of cultural apartheid do not accept International P.E.N. standards for cultural share similarly as apartheid regime in South Africa refused International human-rights standards. The reaction of multicultural international haiku community must be the same as the reaction of UN: to show and announce the apartheid and to isolate it. I think poets who advocates walls among the cultures in arts and literature do not belong to community of poets of any kind, particularly not international. Poets and artists that are responsible to the poetry and art cannot go blind by such negative phenomena, cannot stay silent. I am happy that our Haiku Master Class serves to educate poets about.