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Author Topic: White South African student punished for calling himself African American  (Read 9154 times) Average Rating: 0
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Linus7
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« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2004, 12:26:03 AM »

You are right, and this goes to show how arbitrary racial categories can be.  It may not be in our lifetime, but I truly think that mankind is slowly but surely creeping away from the poison of racism.  If you show me a white man who would not kiss the hand of St. Moses the Black and receive his blessing, or a Black man who would not kiss the hand of St. Demetrios and receive his blessing, just because of their perceived "races", I will show you two deluded individuals who do not know Christ.

I agree.

I used to wonder if I was the only one who ever read Numbers 12 in the Old Testament.
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The Caffeinator
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« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2004, 10:04:11 AM »

Quote
You said that racism is a reality and that there has to be a better way to address it than affirmative action.  If you can think of one I'd like to hear it.

Hmmm. I don't know. I think there should be criteria for hiring that doesn't include race. Nevermind college admissions, (although I do think there should be more opportunities for poor whites). There should be criteria for evaluating an applicants ability and worth to the company that doesn't involve race, and if it is shown that a less able applicant has been hired, a more capable applicant should have a right to complain. And therefore, there should be an institution to mediate these problems.

But then again, I wouldn't mind an exeption made for nephatism, so I don't know! Well...I'm not planning on running for congress anytime soon, so I guess it's a moot point. Smiley
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ania
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« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2004, 11:16:34 AM »

Ania - I think that socio-economic factors are the primary impetus for change in the scenario you are describing.  According to your account, the Blacks and other minorities in your school were among the top achievers.  The relatives of the prison inmates presumably come from a lower socio-economic class (unless this is a white-collar prison, which I doubt).  Do you think that the relatives of white inmates would behave any better?  Similar changes are currently taking place in my town, but here it is a Black on Black thing.  Lower class, less educated people are moving in from out of town and in a lot of ways, they are not mixing well with the local, more affluent, more educated populace, although almost everyone involved is Black.  These things happen as different populations migrate to different places.  I did  some undergrad work in another town where poor whites moved into a formerly more affluent area, and there were similar complaints.  The local middle-class whites termed the poor whites "white trash" and said they were messing up their community.

Actually, since I grew up in "Hicktown USA" I encountered quite a bit of white poverty & ignorance.  As far as achademics went, sadly most of the time the kids from the poorer neighborhoods & outskirts of town didn't get much help.  Just as a random aside though, it was often caused by their own parents, as once a father of a girl who a teacher friend of mine tried to convince to apply for scholorships said "She ain't need no learnin', she's gonna stay 'ere & 'elp on the farm."  The devide is most certainly concerning class, not race in my town.  Up until about 15 years ago, we had a most definate wrong side of the tracks.

You also mentioned the clothes, demeanor, language style, etc., of the new arrivals and how your brother's friends try to shy away from it.  All I can say is, don't judge a book by its cover.  I listen to hip hop.  I dress in contemporary fashion.  And yet I am not what some would take me to be.  I personally am very turned off by the various musical and fashion trends of the white youth culture like the "goths", the grunge guys, the purple mohawk and black nail polish people, the people who promote drugs like ecstasy and all that.  The people who want to feel like outcasts from society, although their parents are usually well to do.  Now there is a culture of self-pity and entitlement!  I find it silly and corny.  But that does not mean that I would totally write off a person who looked like that at first glance.

Yuck, goth & grunge...  Trust me, if I jugded books by their covers, I would not have the friends I do...  Back in highschool I was in the crowd with the peirced, tattooed, baggy pants, dyed hair yada yada crowd.  We weren't goth or grunge... skaters more or less, though very few of us actually skateboarded.  We were "the freaks" basicly in highschool, hanging out at coffee houses, decorating overpasses with poetry grafitee (sp?), and those of us who weren't straight-edge would sneak out back into an ally & smoke a bowl.  They are (despite some of their weirdness) some of the nicest people I've ever met.  
And if I went strictly by covers, I wouldn't be dating a Nepali at the moment (who's ever heard  of a Russian & Nepali mix???)

You also mentioned that scholarships, etc., should be based entirely on academic merit.  Just for the record, does that also rule out sex as a criteria?  Like I said earlier, the largest beneficiaries of welfare and affirmative action have been white women, and you can look that up.
I think that sex should be ruled out as criteria.  Both 1st & 2nd in my class were girls, and that has seemed to be the general trend back home for a long time.  If those girls managed to win 1st & 2nd, why on earth should women need help with academics?  I know there are sexists out there, the whole glass ceiling, yada yada...  I think those people should be eliminated, and not stunt the growth of a woman's own self-worth (not saying this happens frequently, but from time to time you get a fema-nazi who's real problem is an infiriority complex.).  My sister got full scholorship for her B.A., and then full scholorship again to Georgetown Uni. for her Masters strictly on schoolwork.  She is now competing for funding in an arena where sex has nothing to do with it (fellowships for research for phd thesis).  If women can compete there, why not in the highschool level???

Anyway, that's my rant for today.  Must be going.
Ciao Ciao,
Ania
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
ania
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« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2004, 11:19:59 AM »

Where's that EDIT button?HuhHuhHuh??  I can't spell or write correctly before at least noon!!!!!!
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2004, 06:12:18 PM »

Linus - Good point about Numbers 12.  I love that story.

Caffeinator - That is not a bad suggestion, but I do think that there needs to be some sort of clause in there for filing a grievance if the discrimination was racially based. But like you said, neither of us are running for office so we'll let the big wigs hammer that out.  BTW I don't object to a little nepotism (sp.?) either.  Shoot, if my dad owned a company, you'd better believe I'd expect a cushy job!  But that doesn't extend to racial preferences (I'm suddenly reminded of some skinhead guy I argued with one time who said "What is my race if not my extended family?"  My counter?  Since you only date others of your race then, does that make you incestuous?).  :cwm13:

Ania - I can dig what you are saying.  The only reason I said not to judge a book by its cover is 'cause you seemed to imply that everyone who had a little hip hop style to them was associated with the criminal element, and that's not true.  I mean, I know I'm not a criminal.  Wink It would be like saying that all of you skater kids were out huffing glue and doing whippets, up to no good.  Shame on you for graffitying those overpasses! I'm surprised at you! Shocked  Just kidding.  Keep listening to that Abba.

Peace Everybody!
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gregory2
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« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2004, 08:17:33 PM »

hey ania,
you asked us a while back to pray for your sister while she was taking exams (comps I presume for her master's or ph.d.).  how did that turn out?  what is she pursuing her ph.d. in??
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The Caffeinator
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« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2004, 09:41:01 PM »

Just a thought...Wouldn't Americans be beautiful is all american cultures amalgamated into one?

Not only would it be a beautiful culture, but also Americans would be physically beautiful (not that were not already!) I think it would be something like Brazilian beauty or Dominican.

Melt melting pot, melt!
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« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2004, 10:30:14 PM »

Just a thought...Wouldn't Americans be beautiful is all american cultures amalgamated into one?

Not only would it be a beautiful culture, but also Americans would be physically beautiful (not that were not already!) I think it would be something like Brazilian beauty or Dominican.

Melt melting pot, melt!

Yes, I think it would be beautiful too, although I also appreciate the beauty in diverse cultures.  I did a study once on why this happened in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and other countries as you describe, but not in the USA, South Africa, and some other places.  The short answer the approach of the "mother countries" to imperialism and colonialism.  The Latin based cultures (French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) were not adverse to mixing with the non-white peoples in their colonies.  They felt it was their duty to share their civilization with them (especially the French, who even gave their colonial subjects representation in Paris).  For some reason, the Northern Europeans (English, Dutch, and other "Germanic" types) considered themselves of superior stock (surpressing a chuckle) and would not mix (at least not in broad daylight, but at night it was a different story).  So in these places there remains a much clearer racial divide.  But I think that as time goes on, you will get your wish, and the neo-nazis will be pulling out what hair they haven't shaved off yet as we all "miscegenate".  I say with you, melt, melting pot, melt!
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« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2004, 12:50:22 PM »

British racism is legendery. It is perhaps one of the darker facets (historically) of a brilliant culture.

However, I have heard somewhere that Blacks have one of the lowest rates of assimilation of all the minorities. Asians and Hispanics intermarry quite frequently, but Blacks do not. (Or not as much).

Do you suppose this is because of racism against Blacks, or do you suppose the feeling is mutual?

Or perhaps the problem is historical or political? Asians and Hispanics are more recent immigrants, so there may be greater need to intermarry?
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Antonious Nikolas
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« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2004, 01:16:50 PM »

Great question.  I think it has to do with a number of factors, some of which you have already mentioned.  Of course there is prejudice on both sides, and as far as some whites are concerned, I think that mixing with Blacks carries a certain stigma.  Also in the Black community, since we have suffered so much prejudice, there is the idea of "betraying" the race by marrying outside of it.  

Then again, there is simply the matter of personal preference and attraction.  A lot of people genuinely just seem to be attracted to other people from their own group, although they have nothing against anyone else.  Can't fault anyone for that.

Also, as Linus mentioned earlier, there is that question of who is Black anyway.  Most Blacks in this country are mixed, so the idea of staying with other Blacks is kind of arbitrary.  You could be with a person who society would classify as Black, but who is really 60% or less African.  its like that old "one drop" rule.  to me, African-American is more of a cultural than a racial classification.  There are a lot of African-Americans who look more European than African.
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« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2004, 03:03:04 AM »

Isn't it just wonderful to see everyone getting along so well!
Antonius, you were correct about my words being taken out of context and distorted. Thank you for understanding. You know how it is when someone just wants to be right. They tend to pay less attention to what is meant or implied, while opting to attack whatever position the can to support their point however misguided it may be.
Since I'm unable to frequent this board as often as I may wish there was much to read. Since I read ten or so messages please excuse me for not attributing the info to it's source.
I say leave the measures that were taken right where they are. Affirmative action and welfare are not arbitrary handouts.While some may exploit and take advantage of the systems they are both in place to help bridge the gap between the haves and havenots. As Antonius has pointed out white women have benefitted the most from both programs, so this isn't about race.
 It is about class and unfortunately for far too long in this country the two were closely linked. Let's call a spade a spade if you will. We have history and precedent on our side. If left to their own devices what makes you think the American ruling class would not just go right back to it's exclusionary tactics. The small number of Native, African, Asian, and Latino Americans that have managed to overachieve against the odds would be no match without the scholarships, grants, fellowships, contracts, and various other opportunities that the two afore mentioned systems help to create along with other programs.
 Someone asked the question why do these people need special considerations. Spoken like someone who has never spent a day being discounted, disenfranchised, and disowned for simply being born of a different racial makeup, by a country that they helped make great. At the risk of sounding unpolitically correct, a little special consideration sure feels good after 350+ years of that other stuff. We won't mention it by name lest we detonate a few powder kegs. I can't speak for everyone but niether I nor my friends are looking for handouts, but surely you wouldn't begrudge us a fair shake right?
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« Reply #56 on: March 13, 2004, 03:44:17 AM »

As for the "melting pot" thing, I have my own theory. I'm not sure we need to be blended together so as to defy distinction. While I do believe Brazillians to be a very pleasant looking group of people,at least typical looking Brazillians that is, if you told me I had to have that and no skin of a darker or lighter hue I would be sad. I like dark skin. It's my preference and it just happens to be the skin I was born in. My wife is a very fair skinned African-American and thanks to her love I don't see any reason to rush into fondu.
Try this on for size. What's wrong with "The Stew Pot". Here me out. Just because you can tell a carrot from a potato and an onion from a pea doesn't mean they can't all come together to make a wonderful and unique dish while calling that one pot of stew home. They all have very distinctive tastes, even though the predominate beef flavor has permiated all of them, provided you simmer your stew properly. Don't make me turn into *Emmeril in here!
 If some of the peas and carrots decide they want to float around together it won't hurt a thing. Just like it doesn't hurt when two potatos get next to each other. You get my point. We can all live together respecting one another in peace, while maintaining our uniqueness. Just because it's wrong to treat one another poorly because of our differences, doesn't mean we should be in a rush to eliminate any and all differences. I submit that it's the individuality of each that makes the sum special.

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« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2004, 05:40:08 AM »

"The Stew Pot". I love it! Cheesy
Just please don't stress beef during the Fast <stomach groans>.

I always read 'Melting Pot' as a cultural thing, anyway.

Demetri
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Antonious Nikolas
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« Reply #58 on: March 15, 2004, 06:02:22 PM »

Lydell I really dig the whole "stew pot" thing.  That is a great analogy.  I definately don't want to see all cultures melted down so as to be indistinguishable from one another.  I think that there is great beauty in cultural diversity.  I love culture.  I revel in it.  Especially the African-American culture and the culture of the Orthodox Christian East.  At the same time I have absolutely no problem with inter-marriage between these arbitrary "racial" categories which were largely created and codified by European conquerors during the age of imperialism.  Then again you have to understand my frame of reference on this.  If it wasn't for people of different so-called "races" inter-marrying I wouldn't be here right now!  At least not in my present form.  Come to think of it, I don't know that many African-Americans who would.  When Marcus Garvey said that no "mulattoes" could participate in his "Back to Africa" movement, I don't think he was thinking too clearly.  Most of us in this country are already mixed to one degree or another (I'm reminded of the huge number of brothers who have told me "I got a little Indian in me...").  I wonder how, exactly, Marcus was planning to determine who could get on the boat and who couldn't?  Obviously darkness or lightness of complexion is not an effective barometer.  Anyway, maybe I'm putting to much business out in the street here.  Could be time to rap this discussion up Wink!
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« Reply #59 on: March 16, 2004, 02:39:36 PM »

Antonious, I believe racial lines are arbitrary. Cultural lines are not. To beat my "Stew Pot" thing completely into the ground, the idea that peas and carrots can be together is just fine... in a stew. Peas and carrots as baby food is what I thought everyone was suggesting with the melting pot theory. In a stew they are still peas and carrots (culturally). If they end up on one spoon(intermarry), you can still tell by sight(skin color), but more importantly by taste or flavor(cultural identity) which is which. I'm suggesting simply that there is nothing wrong with the idea of cultural identity. In a melting pot or in baby food the peas and the carrots are blended and they no longer look or taste like peas or carrots. They are a pea and carrot flavored mush at that point. The uniqueness of each is gone. Now I don't know about everyone else but I'm openminded enough and old enough to accept peas and carrots together without turning them into mush. However, you can't fault peas for liking peas either can you?("...personal preference and attraction.")
As for Garvey not "...thinking too clearly", I think the brother was just frustrated. Also, the social and cultural factors of the day need to be considered. There is the cultural infighting amongst blacks of different hues, which has it's origins in slavery. Lots of lighter skinned blacks in his time, especially those light enough to "pass" would not have wanted to go anyway. Now that's not to say that no light-skinned blacks would have gone, but plenty would have had an issue. If you're saying that he wouldn't have let any blacks of mixed ancestry on the boat, regardless of who they identified with culturally, I would submit that the pressure from those with lighter-skinned or mixed children would have probably made this rule impossible to follow, if not just simply the better judgement of his supporters. Since we're talking about fictional history who really knows?
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Antonious Nikolas
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« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2004, 09:43:36 PM »

Antonious, I believe racial lines are arbitrary. Cultural lines are not. To beat my "Stew Pot" thing completely into the ground, the idea that peas and carrots can be together is just fine... in a stew. Peas and carrots as baby food is what I thought everyone was suggesting with the melting pot theory. In a stew they are still peas and carrots (culturally). If they end up on one spoon(intermarry), you can still tell by sight(skin color), but more importantly by taste or flavor(cultural identity) which is which. I'm suggesting simply that there is nothing wrong with the idea of cultural identity. In a melting pot or in baby food the peas and the carrots are blended and they no longer look or taste like peas or carrots. They are a pea and carrot flavored mush at that point. The uniqueness of each is gone. Now I don't know about everyone else but I'm openminded enough and old enough to accept peas and carrots together without turning them into mush. However, you can't fault peas for liking peas either can you?("...personal preference and attraction.")


I agree.  Well stated.  I for one prefer stew to baby food.  Bump Chen Konichi.  You are the Iron Chef.*  This is what I have been saying all along.  I have been trying to make it clear from the beginning of this discussion that we as African-Americans constitute a unique ethnic and cultural unit which is distinct from that of the American mainstream and even from other Black African cultures.  This is why the little white boy from South Africa does not meet the criteria for the contest and should not have made up the posters.  When I was co-signing Caffeinator's statement about the melting pot, I wasn't calling for the complete eradication of distinct cultural units in the USA or anywhere else.  I love being able to go into Little Italy or China Town and check out the local music, cuisine, and culture.  All I'm saying is, if Maria from Little Italy wants to marry Lee from China town, all I would have to say to them would be congratulations.

There is another side to this, however.  I think that some people get intimidated and nervous when we as Black people start to talk about forming Little Italys or China Towns of our own.  Places where we would control the local economy and would not be content to merely be consumers in other people's stores.  Whenever someone tries to start something like this up, it is usually either burned down or sabotaged.  For example:

http://www.daveyd.com/blackwallpolitic.html


There is the cultural infighting amongst blacks of different hues...

Shhhhh!!!  Not in front of the Man!!!  That's our business, dog!  But seriously, I still have some issues with Marcus.  Of course you are right, there were a lot of lightskinned folks who would have balked at a voyage to Africa, but there were probably a whole lot of browskinned and darkskinned brothers who would have looked at Marcus just as crazily if he would have rolled up in their spot selling tickets back to the Motherland.  And even if the majority of the lightskinned people would have turned their noses up at the Black Star Line, Marcus was still over-stepping himself by making an across-the-board ban of all of us.  I wasn't suggesting that Marcus was going to ban every Black person with any mixed ancestry at all, but he did have an axe to grind with "mulattoes".  This was probably rooted in the cultural and social factors of the time, as you said.  Plus he had a big beef with my man W.E.B.

What I was trying to say about the mixed ancestry thing was this: If he was going to ban the mulattoes, it would be hypocritical of him to allow anyone else who was mixed to go just because they were a little darker, when the fact of the matter is, very few of us in this country are 100% African.  Perhaps you are right, and the common sense of his supporters would have outweighed his discriminatory tendencies, but we'll never know, because the powers that be brought the boot down on the brother before he had a chance to do too much.  Marcus was an interesting cat with a lot of contradictions in his personal and political life.  He was highly critical of the role of the Western Churches in the slave trade, and yet he remained a staunch Catholic until the day he died.  His role as a great man in the Black nationalist movement can never be discounted, however.  I think he was incredibly insightful and intelligent, and without him there could never have been a Malcolm or a Huey (or maybe even a Dr. King for that matter).  And this is coming from a brother who surely wouldn't have made it on the boat!  Wink  


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