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> Confederate Memorials, Should they be removed?
entspeak
post Oct 11 2017, 07:53 PM
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There have been two white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville recently and the past few months have been filled with discussions about the removal of memorials honoring Confederate military and government figures.

Should memorials erected to honor the acts and individuals who fought for the Confederacy be taken down (and, possibly, moved to places like museums?)

Why/Why not?
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AuthorMusician
post Feb 15 2018, 07:56 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Feb 15 2018, 10:06 AM) *
Racism created the institution of slavery as it worked in this country; racism created the confederacy; racism created the heroes of the confederacy; racism is why those statues were put up in the first place, decades after the civil war. And what do you think keeps those statues up? Let me guess, a love of history!! w00t.gif

Let me take a play out your playbook... I'm not saying that everyone that wants the confederate statues to stay up or think we should take our time pulling them down are racist individuals, I'm just saying racism is the determining and most relevant factor that keeps those statues up.


I'm still pondering the part I put in bold. I see another logical step that might fit before: Capitalism created the need for cheap labor, and that meant some people have to be made worth less than others. How about talking up how inferior one group is versus another? Do it so people could see differences as defects? Do it enough that the target group can be treated exactly like horses?

And so slavery happens after racism is established, and since the targets can be considered animals, the markets determine how they'll be used. For example, give just enough food and rest to keep them productive. Barn-like shelters, minimal clothing to protect investment and meeting social norms. No clothing on the auction block? Sure, makes perfect business sense.

No, I'm not a communist, but I do think that's exactly how business minds thought during the slave decades, and I do believe this thinking prompted the writings that became foundations of communism.

I'm also thinking about parallels in today's economics. Racism has become something else in this context, such as it's perfectly okay that a corporation does bankruptcy but a shameful thing if an individual does -- I guess because the corporations get stiffed?

Well, I'm pretty much in agreement otherwise. The Confederate statues are racist because the Confederacy was racist -- and so was a lot of the North too. Behind all that Minnesota nice borrowed from Canada? Seething hatred for anyone different. But I think that's been fading for a while as younger generations get the hell out or mellow out or grow up, or just get used to lots of different, equal races all mixed up by proximity and genetics.
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droop224
post Feb 15 2018, 09:32 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Feb 15 2018, 02:56 PM) *
QUOTE(droop224 @ Feb 15 2018, 10:06 AM) *
Racism created the institution of slavery as it worked in this country; racism created the confederacy; racism created the heroes of the confederacy; racism is why those statues were put up in the first place, decades after the civil war. And what do you think keeps those statues up? Let me guess, a love of history!! w00t.gif

Let me take a play out your playbook... I'm not saying that everyone that wants the confederate statues to stay up or think we should take our time pulling them down are racist individuals, I'm just saying racism is the determining and most relevant factor that keeps those statues up.


I'm still pondering the part I put in bold. I see another logical step that might fit before: Capitalism created the need for cheap labor, and that meant some people have to be made worth less than others. How about talking up how inferior one group is versus another? Do it so people could see differences as defects? Do it enough that the target group can be treated exactly like horses?

And so slavery happens after racism is established, and since the targets can be considered animals, the markets determine how they'll be used. For example, give just enough food and rest to keep them productive. Barn-like shelters, minimal clothing to protect investment and meeting social norms. No clothing on the auction block? Sure, makes perfect business sense.

No, I'm not a communist, but I do think that's exactly how business minds thought during the slave decades, and I do believe this thinking prompted the writings that became foundations of communism.

I'm also thinking about parallels in today's economics. Racism has become something else in this context, such as it's perfectly okay that a corporation does bankruptcy but a shameful thing if an individual does -- I guess because the corporations get stiffed?

Well, I'm pretty much in agreement otherwise. The Confederate statues are racist because the Confederacy was racist -- and so was a lot of the North too. Behind all that Minnesota nice borrowed from Canada? Seething hatred for anyone different. But I think that's been fading for a while as younger generations get the hell out or mellow out or grow up, or just get used to lots of different, equal races all mixed up by proximity and genetics.

Notice I say "Racism created the institution of slavery as it worked in this country" Slavery has always been about economics. About powerful humans using that power to enforce others to labor for them freely and against their will. That is the nature of slavery, so we are not in disagreement. However, basing servitude on race is what made ours racist. In its earliest form in the colonies one could point to the indentured servitude and see it was not all race based. But as our country was formed the idea that the inferiority of the Black made us perfect candidates for slavery is what made our system of slavery to be based on racism . They told that poor White... you can be poor, uneducated, penny-less, but you'd still be better than a Black slave if you stick with us. And the poor White bought off then... they bit off during Jim crow, and they bite off now (well those that do "if shoe fit")

So i got what you are saying, i definitely respect the economic part of the equation. But there were plenty of poor Whites to enslave, british born Whites, but in order to sell freedom and slavery i guess you needed a system that divided some humans into a subcategory based on race.


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net2007
post Feb 16 2018, 04:55 AM
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Just giving a heads up that I'll be able to finish a new round of replies within a couple days, it's been busy busy but I've almost got my current replies in two threads finished up.
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AuthorMusician
post Feb 16 2018, 04:11 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Feb 15 2018, 05:32 PM) *
So i got what you are saying, i definitely respect the economic part of the equation. But there were plenty of poor Whites to enslave, british born Whites, but in order to sell freedom and slavery i guess you needed a system that divided some humans into a subcategory based on race.

There were a lot of indigenous people too. The story I've come across is they made bad slaves because they'd stop eating and die. It's a lot more likely to me that they killed the whites whenever the opportunity arose, basically that it's a lot harder to enslave people who haven't been entirely defeated.

So that makes me think of the slave ships. I know how cold capitalism-think can get, so the horrid trip over ensured that the stock (thinking capitalism here) would be sapped of all resistance strength. Perfect slave material.

As for Europeans becoming enslaved, capitalism could only go so far -- vilify if possible (Irish, Chinese, et al), otherwise a deal had to be made -- indentured servitude to start, employment to follow. Another part of this is the Europeans had to be sold on the idea of relocating to the colonies and later-day states. In contrast, slaves from Africa were the things being bought and sold, so no need to sell them on relocation. Like widgets from the factory, they had no choice.

The formula: Lower Choice + Lower Power = Cheaper Labor

Maybe what's unique to the USA is the emphasis on skin color differences, but I suspect that's a situation around the globe and deep in human DNA. An individual can be too dark, too light, wrong color hair, too small, too large, wrong shape of facial features, and I'm not sure where this list would end.

I was once told, and in a serious manner, that I have too much hair for my age. Huh. Suppose I could shave it all off to appease the critic, but screw that. The critic has a problem, which is obviously hair loss while aging. I do grow my freak flag long, but that's so it's easier for Lydia to hack off ever so many months. Just grab the tail and slice it halfway up.

But you can't change skin color so easily, and it's a lot harder to hide than, say, a branding tattoo.

In capitalistic-think, product identification is therefore immediate. No wonder racists hate the idea of mixed marriages -- it messes with product branding rolleyes.gif And the racists think it's simply right, the correct way to be, filled with hatred toward others who are different -- which is necessary for the system to work.

But most racists, in fact all of them I've met along the way, never think it through. It's just who they are, and they have a right to be who they are, and it's not at all morally wrong to discriminate against their targets of hatred, since they have a right to be who they are, and so there. Deal with it.

The problem for these people caught in a vicious circular justification is that when you discriminate too much, it comes back in your face as something bad -- welfare state, violence, civil upheaval, devil's music on the radio, children talking back, no respect, no cool, no sex, no fun, blah poo icky fud-tud, world's going to hell, dam gubmnt!

But hey, there's Jesus and the Rapture, so . . .

We are the galaxy's masters of self-deception and earned crappy karma. It's probably what's preventing First Contact with alien civilizations that have figured it out a long time ago.

Anyway, I do see that racism has a limited shelf life. It depends on the races not mingling cultures and genes, and it is a losing battle to fight against this -- it is deeper in our DNA to sexually and culturally mix it up. It is the entire point of sexual reproduction, speaking from a biological POV: Mix it up, get stronger, reproduce more.

It is virtually impossible to stop and getting harder to slow down as new generations enter the world we've built, take a look around, and say, "Screw this. You've got problems I'll inherit, but that doesn't mean we won't fight to change it for the better."

Then the fun begins. But that's just me talking, and I really enjoy fighting to change it for the better. That's also DNA. Some even make it their careers, which I admire. Me, I opted for the frustrations of tech, the discipline of writing, and making something happen with music. Mileage varies, of course.
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Gray Seal
post Feb 16 2018, 06:55 PM
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Capitalism

wikipedia: is an economic system based upon private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets.

dictionary.com: an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth



Authoritarian

Wikipedia: Authoritarian personality is a state of mind or attitude characterized by belief in absolute obedience or submission to someone else's authority, as well as the administration of that belief through the oppression of one's subordinates.

dictionary.com: exercising complete or almost complete control over the will of another or of others

-----

Reading your last post it appears you are using the word "capitalism" incorrectly. If you substitute the word "authoritarian" it reads easier and makes sense.

Capitalism is based upon voluntary exchange. As slavery is not a voluntary exchange, without a doubt...slavery is not an aspect of capitalism.

It seems you may think that any sort of exchange between people means it is capitalism. This is not true. Capitalism has specific parameters and is not simply an exchange made between people.

Let us say the government mandates citizens may only buy green or blue socks. A citizen has multiple businesses who sell the blue socks and the citizen buys a pair of blue socks. The citizen made a choice. Is this capitalism? No. This is collectivism, authoritarian, and fascism. It is not capitalism. Making a choice or agreeing to make an exchange does not make the economic system capitalism. You have to know the entire market forces before knowing if it is capitalism.

Having slaves is not capitalism. It is authoritarianism.

Slavery is not a valid reason to dislike capitalism. Capitalism is a reason to not like slavery.
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entspeak
post Feb 16 2018, 10:42 PM
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And the conversation gets muddier and muddier. Whether or not slavery was an aspect of capitalism or authoritarianism is utterly irrelevant to the topic.

This post has been edited by entspeak: Feb 16 2018, 10:43 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Feb 17 2018, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Feb 16 2018, 06:42 PM) *
And the conversation gets muddier and muddier. Whether or not slavery was an aspect of capitalism or authoritarianism is utterly irrelevant to the topic.

Yet somehow human beings became commodities in the slave markets of the 16th-19th centuries, thereabout. From that, somehow the Jim Crow laws arose to keep the former commodities in the slave markets in their places.

I do agree that pure capitalism has to do with how money is handled in an economy, in this case, free markets versus highly regulated. I agree that stuff exchanges hands via the use of money, whether gold or fiat paper or computer blips.

The big ugly about slavery is that people become the stuff that exchanges hands. And why are people worth it?

Cheap labor.

I also agree that it's not restricted to capitalistic systems, but the capitalistic system has nothing built into it that prevents slavery from occurring. Slavery did indeed occur and was highly valued by those in this country, and before it became a country, who had the means to participate in the slave markets.

Later, there was an attempt to turn employees into slaves, and that led to the unionizing of the USA.

Anyway, I see a logical progression here and clear reasons why it all happened. So I'm probably wrong. However, I might not be, and that makes statuary in the South a bit easier to understand, even though I think it's promoting racism rather than an historically accurate representation of what it was.

I understand a lot of things that are quintessentially horrid mrsparkle.gif
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entspeak
post Feb 17 2018, 12:30 PM
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And now you seem to be attempting to try to fit a square peg in a round hole. You’ve already stated that you believe that the statues commemorate racism because the Confederacy was racist. The capitalism argument - as interesting as you may think it is - is irrelevant. The statues don’t commemorate capitalism.

This post has been edited by entspeak: Feb 17 2018, 12:39 PM
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Gray Seal
post Feb 17 2018, 08:50 PM
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Do Confederate memorials commemorate anything besides racism? Do they commemorate succession? Do they commemorate capitalism? Do they commemorate honor? Do they commemorate state's rights? Was the Confederacy about anything other than slavery?

I think there was a lot going on politically. It is not a bad idea to think about the history and all of its wrinkles. What was done right. What was done wrong.

The focus upon slavery as the only overwhelming facet of the succession is missing the point. The overwhelming facet was the right to succeed.

Perhaps the memorials do have a place as so many people have missed what issues were involved. We have "forgotten" important struggles and lessons.

Democracy was at issue. Central authority was an issue. Taxation was an issue.

Memorials. We can just "take them down"; out of sight and out of mind. Who needs to think about all of that when it is much easier to condense it down to racism? Who needs a memorial to remind us that the South was honorably sticking up for itself against the North and its President who were doing bad things.
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net2007
post Feb 18 2018, 02:29 AM
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nighttimer
QUOTE(nighttimer @ Feb 13 2018, 08:44 PM) *
QUOTE(net2007 @ Feb 13 2018, 01:33 PM) *
To address what's in bold first, if you're referencing me, I didn't suggest that, I said if it were up to me I'd arrange a vote to let majority rule on a local level, perhaps there are even other ways as well. Mrs. Pigpen can speak for herself and share her own views.


I wasn't referencing you. I was referencing Mrs. Pigpen's "these things take time" point. What I was referencing is your suggestion of leaving up to "majority rule" the symbols of a White majority triumphantly proclaiming their divine right to rule over and controls the bodies, minds and souls of a Black minority.

Majority rule when is race is factored has a tendency to favor what the majority of White people want. Last time they did that nearly 13 million Africans made their way to the New Land chained and lying in their feces in the cargo hold of ships.

QUOTE(net2007)
Those opinions don't matter equally to a fair chunk of people, but different biases from various racial and political groups offset a lot of that. When referencing the importance of the opinions African Americans and other minority groups (generally speaking), some of them have prejudices of their own to deal with, all races suffer from that to some degree. Whites certainly often have those issues to deal with as well but I think it's fair to mention that minority groups do get a lot of support from whites on a number of issues.


Then, it's equally fair to mention that minority groups do get a lot of opposition from Whites on a number of issues.

Nobody has ever said Blacks, Latinos and Asians and Native Americans don't have prejudices of their own. It's just that here in this country, Whites have weaponized their prejudices and bigotries into outright animus and bloody persecution of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans.

Deal with that issue.

QUOTE(net2007)
43% of them voted for Obama in 2012, which was more than they voted other Democrats running for office in recent history from my recollect.


Well, from my recollect, 53% of Whites voted against Obama in 2008 and for McCain and in 2012 it grew to 57% of Whites who voted against Obama and for Romney, so if you have a point to make here about how enlightened White people are because a minority among them chose to vote for the Black guy, why don't you make it?


We're going to be coming from different directions on a lot of this but there are certain things I agree with for sure. For example, where you said this....

"it's equally fair to mention that minority groups do get a lot of opposition from Whites on a number of issues."

Absolutely, I don't have any doubt of that.

Secondly, thanks for clarifying who you were referencing, I must have read your prior comment wrong. To talk about voting and where you're making a connection between majority rule being a white majority rule, in fairness that has often been the case throughout American history. I don't think whites were always necessarily voting against blacks, they were voting for issues which they found to be important to them, some of which black Americans agreed with, other times not so much. There were anti-black votes for sure but I think it was often the case that whites simply weren't considering what others may want. I believe a LOT of people, in a number of races, still vote that way to this day, in fact. People often vote in their own self-interest or that of like-minded individuals.

There's no doubt whites have often voted to keep whites in power or keep their interest center focus, where I may part from you is on how much of an impact that still has, this due primarily to those offsets I was talking about. Whites are still more likely to favor whites, just as minorities are often more likely to favor those in their respective race. From here I think we'd have to look at a few things, whites do still have a majority by the numbers, with Non-Hispanic Whites making up about 62% of the U.S. population. When looking at that, not enough white voters would be offset by biased votes cast by other races, whites would still have an advantage at the polls. With that said, my parents were born at a time where the white majority was much stronger (over 80%), so on the bases of that alone, we can already conclude that odds have improved at the polls for minority groups, but there's something else to consider as well.

The wild-card in this is in regards to how race affects the votes of each respective group. For this, I look at polling numbers more than anything, I'll go over that briefly just by saying that in recent history whites have been less likely to vote within their own race than blacks have been. I can pull in more polling numbers if you wish but I'll explain this first by responding to what you said earlier...

QUOTE
Well, from my recollect, 53% of Whites voted against Obama in 2008 and for McCain and in 2012 it grew to 57% of Whites who voted against Obama and for Romney, so if you have a point to make here about how enlightened White people are because a minority among them chose to vote for the Black guy, why don't you make it?


Numbers often shift depending on the situation, Obama (like Trump) spoke out the most those who think, or in some cases look, more like he does. I think that accounts for some of the lost numbers Obama suffered, and that the same thing is likely to repeat itself with Trump. If he doesn't lose the next election someone will come around to reverse as much as what he's done as what's happening to Obama's policies right now. The white vote did shift on the election before Obama's second term but the amount they favored Romney was still by a far lower margin than blacks who voted for Obama in both elections. The significance of that is lost some in the fact that Black Americans tend to vote Democrat and Obama is a Democrat, but even in the primaries when there were several other Democrats to choose from, the black vote still went to the only black candidate by over 80%.

I did a thread on voting trends years back where I found that similar outcomes have often played out in local elections. In many cases where there's a white and black candidate to choose from, the black population tends to vote highly in favor of the black candidate, including elections in my hometown of New Orleans. You'd be right by saying whites vote more commonly for whites but for the examples we showed, 57% compared to 80+% is a notable contrast and that result is consistent with a number of elections I've looked into.

I don't think that makes whites more "enlightened", some of the votes which were cast by whites for Obama were still race-based identity votes. I wouldn't doubt if there were some who voted for Obama because they thought that it would be a way of showing that they're not prejudiced. A vote for a member of another race doesn't free a person from having a problem with being prejudiced against another race but I've seen whites do stranger things than that before. I've seen some act as if a black American can't so much as take a criticism, as if they'll break down and not recover, so If you want to know of a problem I think whites need to "deal with" that'd be one of them. (To your prior point, I think that generally speaking, white Americans understand that white prejudices were weaponized.)

I'm not suggesting that doing the opposite of not being able to criticise and doing so for no reason is what people should be doing instead, my point is that people should be themselves and quite often that's not the case when racial tensions are high. For voting, a white person voting for a black person (or vice versa), doesn't make that person enlightened on racial matters, that could only be determined by knowing that person for some time to see what's what. Having said that, I'm glad some trends have changed, it's a positive sign overall. In regards to black Americans who are casting more votes for black candidates than vice versa, trends often change, perhaps in another 50 years that won't be the case. Best I can figure is that for some, there's still little trust. Personally, I don't think that'll be permanent but we shall see.

QUOTE
QUOTE(net2007)
Same would be true of abolishing slavery and ending segregation, cooperation between whites and blacks was needed given the overwhelming number of whites and the control they had over our police forces, military, government etc. etc. I don't say that because I think you should be thanking whites for how much freedom you have, those things shouldn't have happened to begin with but for the purpose of this discussion, it's relevant.


Oh, don't worry. I wasn't going to thank Whites for not lynching me and allowing me to sit by little Johnny and Jane in kindergarten. No chance of that. Because you're right it IS relevant. It's relevant because you're right, net2007. Without the support of Whites abolishing slavery and ending separation wouldn't have come as soon or with as relatively low numbers of lives lost. But let's not continue to foist this fairy tale that White Americans woke up one day and realized, "Hey, slavery was bad and segregation sucks!" It came about because Black folks had finally had enough of the crap and made it clear they were going to raise seven different kinds of hell until they got their freedom through either the bullet or the ballot.

Black people have made progress. No doubting that. But hey, White folks have made even bigger progress, right, Chris Rock?

QUOTE


When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before…

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship's improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, "Oh, he stopped punching her in the face." It's not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner's relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn't. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people.


Both sides have made progress. BOTH sides. Both sides have more progress to make.

QUOTE(net2007)
Fair enough on the point of America being defined by the best and worst it has to offer, I should have expanded. That's something I very much believe, let me just say that America isn't defined simply by the worst it has to offer alone. What I'm trying to get out here is that I think there's an inherent danger in focusing the vast majority of our energy on the negative aspects of another race, sex, political group, etc. etc. It's something that's prone to giving an incomplete picture of that group.


And what makes you think I don't have a complete picture? See, that's your American exceptionalism mindset kicking in yet again. Instead of referencing a book about Republicans I read probably a decade ago, you'd benefit far more than most from reading Ta-Neshi Coates bestseller and National Book Award winner, Between the World and Me.

Perhaps there has been, at some point in history, some great power whose elevation was exempt from the violent exploitation of other human bodies. If there has been, I have yet to discover it. But this banality of violence can never excuse America, because America makes no claim to the banal. America believes itself exceptional, the greatest and noblest nation ever to exist, a lone champion standing between the white city of democracy and the terrorists, despots, barbarians, and other enemies of civilization. One cannot, at once, claim to be superhuman and then plead mortal error. I propose to take our countrymen's claims of American exceptionalism seriously, which is to say I propose subjecting our country to an exceptional moral standard. This is difficult because there exists, all around us, an apparatus urging us to accept American innocence at face value and not to inquire too much

The forgetting is habit, is yet another necessary component of the Dream. They have forgotten the scale of theft that enriched them in slavery; the terror that allowed them, for a century, to pilfer the vote; the segregationist policy that gave them their suburbs. They have forgotten, because to remember would tumble them out of the beautiful Dream and force them to live down here with us, down here in the world. I am convinced that the Dreamers, at least the Dreamers of today, would rather live white than live free. In the Dream they are Buck Rogers, Prince Aragorn, an entire race of Skywalkers. To awaken them is to reveal that they are an empire of humans and, like all empires of humans, are built on the destruction of the body. It is to stain their nobility, to make them vulnerable, fallible, breakable humans.

And for so long I have wanted to escape into the Dream, to fold my country over my head like a blanket. But this has never been an option because the Dream rests on our backs, the bedding made from our bodies.

Coates would probably agree with George Carlin that the problem with The American Dream is you have to be asleep to believe it. I don't and I'm wide awake.


To cover as much of this as I'll be able to this round, a couple things I should state about myself upfront is that I often take things very literally and don't speak in absolutes unless the situation is so obvious that there's little or no wiggle room. As an example, matters of science are often less subjective than opinions on race or politics. (I sometimes even frustrate the conservatives with that approach laugh.gif) There are exceptions where a racial argument is definitive but let's look at what Chris Rock said....

QUOTE
"When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before…

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years."


When reading more of what he said, I believe I understand the overall point he's trying to make. White Americans had the majority of the progress to make because they were the ones who put the rules in place which suppressed black Americans. Do I think black Americans hold no responsibility for mending some of the racial tensions in America? No I don't, in large part, things have changed with segregation and slavery being over for some time, that doesn't mean that whites don't have anything left to do or that there aren't serious problems we face but all races needing to contribute to keep things fair and civil has never been more true than it is today.

Overall, I believe I agree with the basic premise behind his argument, having said that, he said a number of things which weren't true to drive home his point. I understand he's a comedian, maybe he's speaking in a way just to raise attention to the point he's making but what he said here is inaccurate either way....., "When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations."

I wonder if he's setting up his following point or if he actually believes that. On another note, regarding what you said here...

"Perhaps there has been, at some point in history, some great power whose elevation was exempt from the violent exploitation of other human bodies."

I wonder the same thing myself and can appreciate that, in a roundabout way, you're acknowledging that the mistreatment or "exploitation" of other human bodies is a problem that predates the African Slave Trade. White Americans have often been singled out as if similar problems haven't been rampant through human history. That doesn't minimize what happened to Africans who were brought to the U.S to be exploited and mistreated, but it offers a more complete picture of the world to address other things that have happened. To your point, I hope so NT, so much has happened throughout history which shouldn't have happened. The world has had a problem where the strong have often victimized the weak. I like to think that the abolishing of slavery in nations like the U.S. shows that we're on the path to healing a lot of that but our situation is still fragile, it'll take keeping focused to prevent the progress we've made from being reversed, we still have a long way to go.

To address American exceptionalism and the fact that I'm curious about what your range of knowledge is on white Americans....

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And what makes you think I don't have a complete picture? See, that's your American exceptionalism mindset kicking in yet again. Instead of referencing a book about Republicans I read probably a decade ago, you'd benefit far more than most from reading Ta-Neshi Coates bestseller and National Book Award winner, Between the World and Me.


I obviously don't know you personally and in fairness, you have said a number of things which show you're trying to be fair as well. My curiosity isn't a verdict, it's based on some of what I've read over the years from you at AD. The biggest disagreement I have with you in your last reply was what you said here....

"But let's not continue to foist this fairy tale that White Americans woke up one day and realized, "Hey, slavery was bad and segregation sucks!"

I've seen the argument made many times that whites don't have a clue how black Americans feel, that we can't relate, or are ignorant on matters of race. My view on that is that nobody will ever know exactly what it's like to be in someone else's shoes, having said that I think we can understand and sympathize with those who aren't like us on some level if we're willing to listen and exchange ideas. With what you said above, couldn't I make the same argument that you don't know what it's like to be a white American? I think many have felt genuinely bad that about both slavery and segregation, you're talking about a lot of people here.

Like I said, I don't know you on a personal level but I hope you're able to see that many white Americans do not have ill intent and feel for others. On a personal note, I don't feel responsible for things that happened before I was born and not in reference to you personally but I've never liked when someone does have the intention to guilt trip or race bait. Without being told why I should feel bad, I can look back at history and say, yea that nonsense shouldn't have happened. I do feel for others who hurt, I can't say I know exactly how others feel about the checkered history and lingering problems in our country, but I know what it is to be discriminated against and treated unfairly believe it or not, it's a long story that may surprise you if you knew it.

As far as American exceptionalism goes, I don't think America is the only country which has positive things to offer others. Depending on the topic, some nations do things better than us in fact. Do I think America is a horrible place? no I don't. There's American exceptionalism and another concept where some might as well believe that this country is so messed up that aliens landed and converted all of us into bloodsucking monsters of some kind. There are people who absolutely hate this country, many of whom are themselves Americans.

If a similar conversation to ours had been made in a state sponsor of terrorism, where members of two different races disagreed like we are, in some of these places one of us would get hurt or killed. In modern America that still happens, but in some locations killing someone because they disagree with you is common practice, it's the rule rather than the exception. I don't think we're unique in the fact that we at least try to adhere to rules which keep us civil, I think America along with some other nations are doing better than others though. In short, America being the only nation with great aspects, or America being horrible to the point where good aspects cant be appreciated, are both false narratives.

I'll end with this, I showed this once before at AD, it was pretty shocking to me and offers another perspective, take a look if you're willing, the video is only about five minutes long....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytdMUddGe-U

This is, by all accounts, a human rights issue which should be covered more than it is and it's taking place as we speak. It's in regards to a group that's often viewed as one which discriminates against others. While, in this case, that has been true in some circumstances, I feel that in modern times things have flipped to where this group is now one which is more commonly on the defense and discriminated against. As I mentioned before, trends often change, in regards to this and racial matters I'm hoping things balance out and improve from here. I feel the number one way people can make things better is to first consider how they're treating others. Fighting for a cause and exposing the ills of our society is all well and good but I think people can really help by making sure they're not contributing to ongoing problems themselves.

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QUOTE(net2007)
AD, as you probably know, has lost a lot of members, if the administrators don't get involved again or stop paying the annual cost for this domain, we could lose it.


What exactly is it you think you'd be losing, net2007? The AD you and I once were part of is long gone and all you have to do is look at this board's launch page and it tells you this place is one step away from being just another dead weblink in the Wayback Machine.


There are livelier places to drink. beer.gif Or debate. Everyone gone from this board ain't gone from the world, y'know. I'm the proof of that.


I hear you, AD is not where it once was. I'm active elsewhere but got my start largely with the members here, some of whom I've come to respect so I visit when I can. You and I don't see eye to eye on some things and have different backgrounds but at minimum good luck out there, it's been interesting. beer.gif
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