From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri 12 Sep 2003 - 05:10:31 GMT
>From: "Jonathan Davis" <email@example.com>
>Subject: RE: politically insane
>Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 12:46:34 +0100
> Hi Scott,
>From: Scott Chase [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: 10 September 2003 04:07
>Subject: Re: politically insane
> >>are there any black people on this list with something to say here?
>[Scott 1] I hope so.
>Though not black,
>[Jonathan] Why would being black add to ones fitness to discuss this
>matter? I always think it is dangerous to give credence to the idea
>that one's skin colour has an automatic effect on one's ability to
>think, perceive or understand.
>[Scott I'd point out that we should add some historical context of what
>African Americans have had to put up with from a largely white and
>Eurocentrized society. Not only are a good portion of them descended
>from ancestors that didn't voluntarily immigrate to the land of the
>"free" and home of the brave, they have been treated historically as
>untermenschen whether it be as "subhuman" slaves for several centuries
>or "separate but equal" under atrocious Jim Crow segregation.
>[Jonathan] Some African Americans give thanks that they were lucky
>enough to descended from those who were sold to the white slavers.
But the migration of their ancestors was not voluntary and the life their ancestors was subjected to was hardly similar to that of people who migrated voluntarily and were more easily assimilated into American society because of relatively less discrimination being suffered.
>are after all the richest and most successful group of black people in
>the world. Incidentally, do you not think that "separate but equal" is
>the core philosophy animating multiculturalism (the opposite being
I don't see multiculturalism as being a threat. It can be taken to extremes, but appreciating cultural and individual diversity and the treatment of these cultures equally doesn't seem to me to be that bad a thing. Do you see anything wrong with Kwanza or black history month?
>There is almost certainly still be a legacy from slavery. The questions
>is ask are: How much of it is relevant to contemporary problems? How is
>this legacy neutralised? How are the deleterious cultural artefacts
>rooted out? Is it overused as an excuse for social pathologies that may
>have other causes?
How about the legacy of racism? Has this pathology disappeared?
>[Scott] One of the relatively unknown pioneers of civil rights, Harry
>Moore, was *killed* by a bomb in 1951 not far from where I live a little
>before Parks and King made themselves be known. The civil rights
>movement helped turn things around for the better, but occupies just a
>small portion of the American historical timeline since slaves were
>brought over from Africa. An eyeblink really.
>[Jonathan] No, not an eye blink really - 52 years. During which time a
>destroyed Europe went from moonscape and 100 million dead to its current
>world ranking just behind the US.
Wasn't there a rebuilding effort that helped get Europe back on its feet? I think you are comparing apples and oranges here anyway, because we are not taking about nations being rebuilt and revitalized, but people who suffered slavery, racism, Jim Crow laws, lynchings and exclusion from the social power structure for so many years in a country that cared more for how Europe played out in the card game of the Cold War than the plight of her own African American citizens.
At the same time the US was engaged in WWII, blacks were given marginal
tasks in the military. One chance was given some black pilots at Tuskegee
and they exceeded expectations and despite a racist power structure, were
able to prove themselves doing bomber escort. Yet when black soldiers
returned home to the States, they were hardly given the same welcome as
Germany and the rest of Europe could rebuild. African-Americans still had to
force the issue to get themselves heard and to turn the tide of a social
climate that had long been against them.
>Need I point out the other social and
>cultural transformations that have taken place in the half century? US
>slavery was abolished 139 years ago. I think the excuse may be wearing
>thin. Black conservatives seem to think so.
How long ago was segregation ended? Emancipation was just one step in a long process of blacks gaining access to a piece of the pie.
>[Scott] Britain freed her slaves (eg- in Jamaica) well before the
>American Civil War and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, but even
>somebody coming of age much later such as Marcus Garvey wasn't too fond
>of the Brits and their historic foothold in Jamaica. That nation has
>suffered the legacy of slavery just as African American's have in the
>United States. Garveyism had influence not only on Rastafrianism, but
>also black militancy in the States. Malcolm X's dad was a Garveyite.
>[Jonathan] Garvey was a standard issues Afrocentrist racist. He openly
>admired Hitler and Mussolini as fellow Ethnocentrists. The man was
>raging white-hater and bigot deserving the full contempt of posterity. I
>also think it is hilarious that Garvey's Black Star Liner - set up to
>take former slaves back to Africa and stimulate commerce between
>dispersed black communities - failed when those former slaves realised
>the horror that is the African motherland. It lasted a whole 3 years.
>Whilst I agree with Garvey' emphasis on self-reliance, I am appalled by
>his "Race First" ideology, his Apartheid like separatism , delusional
>Afrocentrism, his militancy and general racism.
I don't see Garvey's legacy as entirely positive. He had his flaws.
>[Scott] IIRC Garvey and the great African American leader DuBois weren't
>all that keen on each other, as they represented two polar opposites in
>black political movements, Garvey as Back to Africa separatist, not
>unlike the Black Muslims, and DuBois an integrationist.
>[Jonathan] Correct. He was a racist of the highest order. DuBois and I
>would have been allies as integrationists. Odd that this is where the
>Civil Rights movement started out until it was hijacked by the radicals.
>Getting a back to the roots of that movement would mean no more FUBU
>(For Us By Us) and other racist, separatist efforts and a rediscovery of
>the old ideal of human universals and integration.
Given the context of history, I can understand why some blacks would become disillusioned and turn towards radicalism, though I would disagree with this radicalism.
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