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Black History Month

By Reginald Johnson in Culture
Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:14:00 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

We have started Black History Month in America. This is the month that we all honor the achievements of the African-American people who have helped make the world a better place. The origin of Black History Month started in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson created the first Negro History Week. Dr. Woodson was quoted for saying, "The goal was to popularize the truth. We are not interested so much in negro history as in history influenced by the negro." Today I would like to teach all of you some of the notable historic African-American figures in history.


Before we begin I will tell you why we have Black History Month when we do. Dr. Woodson had originally created Negro History Week because of the proximity to the birth days of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to become the Black History Month which we all celebrate today.

I now give you information on some of the greatest members of the African-American community and their effect on history.

  • Frederick Douglass. This man was born a slave in 1817. Although it was illegal to educate slaves, he secretly learned how to read with the help of his master's wife, Sophia Auld. It was unfortunate but Mr. Auld found out about this and put an end to his education. Frederick Douglass was not finished though. In 1838 he escaped slavery to New York City where he became a free man. Douglass went on to join abolitionist groups and start his own abolitionist paper called The North Star. Frederick Douglass became the most notable voice to rise up from slavery and demand freedom. I would even say that he was thought of as the George Washington for African-Americans.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This man is well known by everyone and regarded as the single most important figure in the African-American fight for equality. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929 as a preacher's son. Due to the racial conflicts that were heating up in The South at the time, Dr. King became a hero by not fighting against the racists, but becoming more educated and leading a peaceful revolution against oppression. He was well known for organizing peaceful protests and marches against racism while encouraging African-Americans to become better educated. A racist murdered Dr. King on April 4, 1968.
  • Rosa Parks. This woman became the symbol of the equality movement. In December of 1955, Rosa Parks was on a segregated bus in Montgomery Alabama. She was told to give up her seat for a white man, because African-Americans were treated as subhumans. She refused to give up her seat and was later charged and found guilty of breaking a law enforcing segregation.
  • George W. Bush. George Washington Bush was born in Pennsylvania in the 1790's. Like many free African-Americans in those days, he decided to head West with his family in search of land. Because of the racist laws excluding African-Americans he encountered when he reached Oregon in 1844, George W. Bush lead a group of African-American settlers to what was then a part of the Canadian territories in an area to be known as Bush Prarie. He was befriended by a white legislator named Michael Simmons who helped Bush make a legal claim to his land. George W. Bush was well liked in his area because of his great generosity. After a bad harvest for many in 1852, Bush kept his grain to help feed and give seeds for the future crops of his neighbors rather than selling it. The actions of this great man and his neighbors is the primary reason the state of Washington exists in America today.
  • Daniel Hale Williams. Dr. Williams became a very notable African-American in the medical industry when he invented open heart surgery. He discovered it during an emergency outside of the hospital and the story says that her performed it with a knife and a ballpoint pen.
  • Charles Drew. Yet another African-American surgeon, Dr. Drew developed a process for long term storage of blood. This process came into heavy use during World War II and is used all over the world today. If it was not for the actions of this great African American, the Red Cross would not be able to perform their job today.
  • George W. Carver. This man is often thought of as the African-American Thomas Edison. He had invented many things, however they were usually things we would think of as mundane. He developed over 300 products from peanuts and helped the suffering agricultural industry in the U.S. in the early 1900s.
I could write even more about other great African-Americans who have provided for our country and world. I will not write though, because I want you all to go research Black History for yourselves. Come back and try to teach the rest of us something about the great things performed by and for African-Americans through history. There is a matter of pride that one can obtain by learning this history and integrating it into our minds with the history learned in school. Black History Month exists because we are not sufficiently taught about these people in public education. Until the day comes when we can have history of all people integrated we will have a need for a Black History Month. This month, much like the men and women I mentioned above, were not only for African-Americans, but for all people. Use this month as a time of brotherhood and to learn about people you might not have thought about. Be a part of the history of a great and noble people.

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Poll
Who is the most significant African-American?
o Frederick Douglass 8%
o Martin Luther King Jr. 29%
o Rosa Parks 6%
o George W. Bush 31%
o Daniel H. Williams 0%
o Charles Drew 0%
o George W. Carver 6%
o All African-Americans are equal and important 18%

Votes: 61
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by Reginald Johnson


Display: Sort:
Black History Month | 129 comments (104 topical, 25 editorial, 2 hidden)
Probably no ballpoint pen (4.00 / 3) (#3)
by greyrat on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 01:52:13 PM EST

From Princeton:
In 1893 Dr. Daniel Hall Williams performed the first open heart surgery by removing a knife from the heart of a stabbing victim. He sutured a wound to the pericardium (the fluid sac surrounding the myocardium), from which the patient recovered and liv ed for several years afterward. He established a training school for nurses. He was the first Surgeon in Chief to divide the Freemen's Hospital in Washington, D.C. into separate departments to treat specific conditions: Medical, Surgical, Gynecological , Obstetrical, Dermatological, Genito-Urinary, and Throat and Chest. In 1891 he founded the Provident Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, the oldest free-standing black owned hospital in the United States.

~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

George Washington Bush was real. (4.20 / 5) (#9)
by drivers on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 01:59:18 PM EST

Wow. I thought "aha!" it's a troll when I saw the name George W. Bush (thinking of our current pres.), but I guess it is real. I learned something:
State owes much to George W. Bush -- a black pioneer

Awww, man.... (1.75 / 4) (#11)
by Jehreg on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:03:21 PM EST

You know, I really want to -1, or even 0 this one.... but I'm going to feel like a racist prick.

Can't win.

white guilt (3.75 / 8) (#14)
by Ludwig on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:16:30 PM EST

That's just what Reggie's counting on. Don't let yourself be guilted into anything.

Personally, I learned about almost all these people in elementary school, in a school that had about a 2% black population. I don't think we need a K5 article on this any more than we need one on long division or medieval heraldry or Charlotte's Web.

P.S. This thread should be Editorial.

[ Parent ]

Pretty interesting article (4.00 / 5) (#12)
by alprazolam on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:10:50 PM EST

Spurred by your suggesting of "do your own research", I found this page of African Americans in Science and Engineering which has some pretty interesting people.

I believe this is where Reggie (2.00 / 3) (#13)
by greyrat on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:15:08 PM EST

got all his info too. Hard to say without any bibliography...
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
NO (3.33 / 3) (#16)
by Reginald Johnson on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:23:44 PM EST

I got my information from a bunch of places. I think 5 web pages or more but that is one of them. I did put everything into my own words so it would be ok though.
----Give me my forty acres and a mule.----
[ Parent ]
THANK YOU (4.00 / 3) (#18)
by Reginald Johnson on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:29:19 PM EST

I looked at that web page. I wanted to check some of my facts before writing the article here and it was one of the places I checked up on the final two people of my story. Another place I looked at also had a good section on historic African-Americans but I had to go through two or three web pages each for Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr.
----Give me my forty acres and a mule.----
[ Parent ]
Hats off (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by nutate on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 02:47:38 PM EST

To the entire Reginald family. The best is yet to come, the best, is yet, to come.

[ Parent ]

Thank you, Brother Reginald (3.22 / 9) (#26)
by ennui on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:26:08 PM EST

I had a dream that one day, I should see an article by your hand make its way to the front page. I have a dream that all the bigots, racialists, crackers and Uncle Toms who have tried to suppress and oppress you will be denied, and the Truth that you bring to this site, will be heard in every field and shouted forth from the mountains!

Ignore those who would say you nay! Do not be hoodwinked! Do not be had! Do not be took! Do not be led astry, run amok, bamboozled! We shall be free at last, free at last! Thank the Lord God Almighty, we are free at last!

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone

Ok, I'm *asking* to be flamed... (4.25 / 20) (#27)
by m0rzo on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:27:43 PM EST

but it begs the question, what about White-European History Month? You see, I'd rather not have either but seeings as there is one it seems strange that there isn't another. Maybe I'm expecting too much. People of White-European extraction are blue-eyed devils after all...(In ol' Reggie's mind anyway)

I'm just illustrating a somewhat long-winded point; the point being that any month such as this just drives a wedge between communities.

Let's think of some other people (regardless of race) who we can remember...Socrates, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus, Gandhi, Confucious, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Karl Marx, Geronimo, ... shit, I could go on forever.

Secondary point: Why don't we just have a fucking HISTORY MONTH. There are kids growing up not knowing who half of these people are, why are we just restricting them to one section of society. It seems mighty unfair to other minority groups that the Jews, the Asians, Native Americans and Europeans don't get history months! Abolish this PC bullshit now!


My last sig was just plain offensive.

begs, does it? (2.00 / 6) (#31)
by imrdkl on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:38:04 PM EST

If your heart and conscience are truly persuaded by the "plea", then why not write your own article?

[ Parent ]
I'm merely... (4.33 / 3) (#32)
by m0rzo on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:41:49 PM EST

projecting my opinion on this article. Is that not the purpose of Kuro5hin, or perhaps I'm missing the point entirely? Then again, maybe you are.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Dude (1.16 / 6) (#34)
by imrdkl on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:58:54 PM EST

you were offtopic. I didn't moderate you like a pansy. I told you my opinion. Deal.

[ Parent ]
Right "Dude". (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by m0rzo on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:06:32 PM EST

Let's just leave it; I fail to see how I was off-topic perhaps someone else can enlighten me? If I'm so off-topic, why have several people reiterated what I said to some extent?

It's your perogative to vote how you choose.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Why would you vote no on the article (1.75 / 4) (#42)
by imrdkl on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:48:16 PM EST

if you have such strong opinions about it?

The same for your moderators.

[ Parent ]

Because... (3.66 / 3) (#46)
by m0rzo on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:56:45 PM EST

actually this reminds me of a piece of High School homework scribbled hastily during the bus journey to school. I don't expect to be told to go and research myself, I expect him to be thorough and find information for me. Compared to a lot of excellent articles that get posted here, this one is mediocre.

I would certainly have voted on it had it been thorough and well researched. Despite my posts, I don't feel exceptionally passionate about this, I'm simply giving my opinion.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Oh (2.00 / 3) (#50)
by imrdkl on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:43:25 PM EST

so yours was to be an editorial comment, then. Right?

[ Parent ]
the assumption (4.20 / 5) (#48)
by garlic on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:14:16 PM EST

the assumption is that every month is white history month. This is not a bad assumption if you consider that most historically known blacks that you can think of are known because of their civil rights activities.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Unlike, say (3.00 / 3) (#59)
by gloin on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 07:22:40 PM EST

the Pharoahs, who were likely Black. We don't know about them because of their civil rights history.

[ Parent ]
perhaps. (2.50 / 2) (#62)
by garlic on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:50:09 PM EST

perhaps, but that is actually controversial.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Elaborate. (none / 0) (#127)
by Estanislao Martínez on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 07:12:03 AM EST

I'm just illustrating a somewhat long-winded point; the point being that any month such as this just drives a wedge between communities.

I don't see how this "wedge" could arise other than through the ill-will of some people who act all offended about it, for political reasons.

Take into account the following words:

Slavery existed for thousands of years before the Atlantic slave trade was born, and in all societies. But in the thousand years of its existence, there never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians - Englishmen and Americans -- created one. If not for the anti-slavery attitudes and military power of white Englishmen and Americans, the slave trade would not have been brought to an end. [...] Where is the gratitude of black America and its leaders for those gifts?
--David Horowitz
The US is a country where major newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the Washington post attacked campus newspapers, qualifying them as anti-free speech, for refusing to publish a paid advertisement containing these statements, among others. A statement which, assuming that Horowitz knows the relevant bits of history, is a bald lie. Hell, I can show the whole thing to be wrong with one word: Haiti.

--em
[ Parent ]

Reverse racism? (3.82 / 17) (#28)
by scorbett on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:29:39 PM EST

Daniel Hale Williams. Dr. Williams became a very notable African-American in the medical industry when he invented open heart surgery. He discovered it during an emergency outside of the hospital and the story says that her performed it with a knife and a ballpoint pen.

I can draw one of three conclusions from this:

  1. Dr. Williams invented open heart surgery because he was a black man.
  2. Dr. Williams invented open heart surgery in spite of the fact that he was a black man.
  3. Dr. Williams invented open heart surgery. He also happened to be black.
You can apply the above to almost every one of your examples (Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being the obvious exceptions). The entire tone of your article seems directed to lead your audience towards conclusion number one, which is entirely illogical, or possibly towards conclusion number two, which is somewhat more defendable. However, I personally am leaning towards number three. The skin colour of these people is (or should be) irrelevant. Compiling a list of great black historical figures is just as racist, in its own way, as excluding blacks from history textbooks would be.

Having said that, I think this could have been a great article if you had focused on the black historical figures who are famous because they were black, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. The skin colour of these people is vitally important when telling their stories. In most of your other examples, it is irrelevant.

I was very tempted to vote this a -1, but I'm hesitant to do so for fear of being accused of racism myself. I therefore grudgingly give this a 0.

HeLLLO? Earth to Scorbett?! (2.50 / 6) (#36)
by snowlion on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:08:04 PM EST

I think it's pretty easy to understand.

Dr. Williams, a guy, became a NOTABLE African-American, as in, an African-American of NOTE, in the medical industry, as in he became an African-American who was of note in the medical industry, WHEN he invented OPEN HEART SURGERY. As in, he invented Open Heart Surgery, and became noteworthy in the medical industry.

It really doesn't get much clearer than that. I thought it was pretty clear. How could you miss it?

Are you worried that people will read this and think that black people are superior? What the fuck is that all about?

Have you ever been in a black neighborhood? Have you ever talked- and I mean talked for at least 2 hours, with a black person? Do you know what it is like for these people? There are all KINDS of problems alive today.

How in the world did you get the idea that people do great things because they are black from the article? HOW?! Please, show me how the article implies it.

You are either stupid, or a racist.

I'm hoping for the former, but suspect the latter.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Reasons (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:49:21 PM EST

I think the point he was trying to make is that it's utterly unclear why it should matter that Dr. Williams was black, any more than it matters that Dr. Spock was white.

Abstractly, of course, it shouldn't. But since the default assumption that you pickup in history classes, etc, is that *everyone* is white, it's helpful for the morale of black students to know that yes, black people did important things too. It's the same reason why it's useful for gay high schoolers to know that Walt Whitman was gay.

[ Parent ]

You'd have to have lived in a box... (2.50 / 2) (#51)
by snowlion on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:50:41 PM EST

...to know why its not important.

I've noticed that that the racist tendencies in society are saying, "Why don't we have a white history month? It'd be racist to say otherwise!"

Which is utter crap. White people are not the victims of racism. Black people are. That is clear to just about everyone, except for strange people who feel that they are somehow being oppressed. Have you ever read their propaganda? They talk about how people are made to feel bad for being white, and other stuff like that. Utter nonsense.. I can't stand it.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Okay (4.25 / 4) (#55)
by makaera on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 06:24:23 PM EST

I'm curious how you would defend affirmative action. Is it not a form of racism? Doesn't it create standards that are based solely on race and not on any other attribute?

----- Tips for K5 rookies
[ Parent ]

Defence of Affirmative Action (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by snowlion on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:31:20 PM EST

Sure.

Affirmative action helps black people go to college. It encourages black people to go to college.

Right now, lots and lots of black people view college as something beyond their reach. Black kids don't view going to college as "the thing to do." They have an understandable dislike for the system and how it treats them. Going to college is a thing that white kids do. This is a deadly belief. Black kids who DO want to go to school have to fight against their culture. It is harder for them to get into schools.

I think most people think college is great. Most black people think it's great, but don't think that the college route will work for them, for whatever reason.

Affirmative action helps them out.

Sure, admission is based on race. If you say that racism is anything that is based on race, then everybody is a racist, since we all treat each other differently on the basis of race (and to a larger degree, culture), which is totally understandable.

A word like "racist" is big. It's like the word "good": It covers more territory than it should, and can mean a zillion things.

Affirmative action is racist in that it is based on race. BTW, I'm a white person, college educated, advocating affirmative action.

Affirmative action is NOT racist in that it does NOT oppress people on the basis of race.

Whites have an unfair advantage over blacks in terms of going to college. The advantage is not measurable on performance/ability guidelines, the advantage is measurable on cultural lines.

You could argue that the whites who don't get to go to college because blacks were admitted on affirmative action lines are "oppressed", but I really think that's a silly line to take. I think it's fairly clear who is getting the raw end of the deal is here. Affirmative action is one thing that will help this along.

In short, it is racist in that it is admission by race. It is NOT racist in that it is not slavery. Most people understand racism to mean things like hating black people, having beliefs that are against black people ("They smell bad", "Never work", or something like that), or slavery. This is none of the above. Got it?

I hope that this isn't the first time you've heard this argument.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
Sorry, can't resist. (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by ubernostrum on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 09:19:17 PM EST

Flame away, call me a racist if you like, because you seem to be trying to cover yourself in every post in this thread by implying that anyone who doesn't agree with you is a racist or ignorant or both, and you seem to want to define racism as not agreeing with you. Personally, I thought it was treating people differently on the basis of who their ancestors happened to be, but that's my silly theory...I just hate everybody equally, black or white. So here goes, wait 'till I'm done to flame:

Affirmative action is NOT racist in that it does NOT oppress people on the basis of race.

I suppose it's true it's not oppression. But it's illegal (and considered racist) to promote a white person to a management position over a black person simply because the white person was white, why isn't it racism to let a black person into college over a white person simply because the black person is black? To "make up" for past atrocities? Well, everybody's got an atrocity or two in their past if you look a little...when do I get compensated for having Jewish great-grandparents lurking all over my family tree? They've been getting screwed for thousands of years, and anti-Semitism is still alive and well. I think I should get preferntial treatment over everyone else because of that. And you know, that's a good idea, because if we go and give preferntial treatment to everyone who's been oppressed or had ancestors who were oppressed, we have to give preferntial treatment to everyone, which leads to an utterly equal society. Good idea! Oh, wait...no, never mind.

You could argue that the whites who don't get to go to college because blacks were admitted on affirmative action lines are "oppressed", but I really think that's a silly line to take. I think it's fairly clear who is getting the raw end of the deal is here. Affirmative action is one thing that will help this along

Wow, that's stunning. Let me rephrase that a little more concisely for you:

"You could say that discriminating against whites to let blacks into college is oppressive, but that's silly - it's obvious the blacks are the ones being oppressed; they wouldn't go to college otherwise."

That makes no sense. Your argument seems to be based on the idea that a black person is somehow inherently incapable of competing with a white person (because of supposed "social factors"), and that's bullshit. I grew up in one of the poorest, most disadvantaged hellholes in the United States, in a poor family, in a shitty school system that couldn't have cared less about me, and if I can pull myself up by my own bootstraps, so can anybody else.

In short, it is racist in that it is admission by race. It is NOT racist in that it is not slavery. Most people understand racism to mean things like hating black people, having beliefs that are against black people ("They smell bad", "Never work", or something like that), or slavery. This is none of the above. Got it?

Oh, so racism only ever applies to black people, and only in those limited senses? I have some Hispanic and Asian friends who would like to talk to you about this word you're tossing around.

You say you're white and college-educated, but I don't believe the latter half of that. Go use the entrenched pig power structure and the good ol' boys network to get yourself into a decent school and learn things for a while, then come back here.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

a quibble (4.50 / 2) (#73)
by crayz on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 11:59:44 PM EST

In general I agree with what you're saying, but I see this argument too much to let go:

I grew up in one of the poorest, most disadvantaged hellholes in the United States, in a poor family, in a shitty school system that couldn't have cared less about me, and if I can pull myself up by my own bootstraps, so can anybody else.

Wow, great for you. And in my business I only hire women with less than 10% body fat. A few of the fat ones were able to lose the weight and join, so obviously my rule is completely fair. Do you really think that just because something is possible, it is fair to ask one set of people to do it, and another not to? Put more simply: do you not think equality of opportunity is a good goal for a society to strive for?

Regarding affirmative action, I would have no problem with it being modified to help anyone who comes from a poor/disadvantaged background. But when a rich black kid can get into a college over an equally qualified poor white kid, because some law seems to think the rich black kid had a tougher time in life, that law is bullshit.

[ Parent ]

Why I said that (none / 0) (#115)
by ubernostrum on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:58:36 PM EST

Because affirmative action implies a mind-set wherein whole groups of people are convinced that they are inherently incapable of succeeding in life because of their race or social condition. I see that as an evil on a par with slavery and racism; it's no better than when white European colonists would try to "civilize" the "poor dumb savages" of other parts of the world, and I find it reprehensible. There's nothing wrong with anyone that will kepe them from succeeding, as long as you treat everybody equally - no preferential treatment for anyone.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Here Goes (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by snowlion on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:44:13 AM EST

I don't mean to imply that anyone who doesn't agree with me is a racist. I have family in the south and have met racists, (as in, they have told me that they believe that black people are inferior to white people, and should be treated as such), and they have constantly bemoaned how the black conspiracy is trying to make white people feel inferior to blacks. So, when I hear someone saying the same bemoaning, I think, "That person is a racist. Either that, or they've heard something that a racist person said, and are repeating it." So, my apologies if you're in the second camp.

The reason that the laws do not appear to apply in reverse (why it's okay to promote a black person because he's black, but not a white person because he's white, whether in a company or in an education setting) is because there is a relevant difference between a white person and a black person, namely, that blacks are historically oppressed, and carry the effects of that oppression to this modern day. In our very own Pioneer Square, there was a huge racial battle in the streets about a year ago. Also, blacks are disadvantaged by the system that we have right now. So, that's a difference.

The laws really do apply in reverse; It's just that the reverse setting is not common. If white people were oppressed, then it would be okay to promote a white person because he was white, but it would not be okay to promote a black person because he was black. I think this is quite understandable; There is no asymmetry here.

As for Jewish vs. Black ancestry: The issue isn't about ancestry. The issue is about prejudice and mistreatment. If you are living in a time & place where Jews are mistreated, then you should get preferential treatment. If you are not, though, you should not. It should also be a matter of degree. I don't know the status of Jews in North America. I do suspect that Jews have it better than blacks in North America, since when I went to Mudd, there were far more Jews than black people. Namely, I knew about 3 Jewish people, but I didn't know any black people- there wasn't a single one at the school (~600 students).

Again, it's not about ancestry, it's about what's happening today, and about what will happen tomorrow.

Your next reply is based on a rephrasing that is totally off. Your reply is against a straw man. Resubmit, and I'll reply to it.

Next, the application of racism: Is it all about black people? No; Several people are the targets of racism, including Hispanics and Asians. I hope that nothing in my post implied that only black people should receive help from affirmative action. I grew up in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, and have seen a lot of racism directed against Mexicans, Chicanos, Hispanics. Racism is alive and well.

Yes, I am in fact both white and college-educated. I went to Harvey Mudd College. To use a tactic you used earlier back against you: "Do you believe that anyone who doesn't agree with you didn't go to college?"

Note that going to college isn't necessarily a sign of intelligence. If going to college was a sign of intelligence, than that would mean that almost all black people lack intelligence. Do you believe that?


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
You keep making blanket statements (none / 0) (#93)
by makaera on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:59:53 AM EST

Let's see some support for some of your statements. How are blacks "disadvantaged" by the system? The Pioneer Square riots are not evidence of oppression of blacks, both sides were at fault.

Wait a second, how is race different from ancestry? This seems to be a mighty fine and arbitrary line. What is happening today?

I don't know how to convince you of my sincerity. I am willing to be convinced that your position is correct. However, I'm going to need to see some proof. Vague statements are not going to convince me.

----- Tips for K5 rookies
[ Parent ]

Blanket Statements (4.50 / 2) (#118)
by snowlion on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:57:15 PM EST

Look, I can't well resort to mathematics when I talk here. "The people x where x is defined to be the set of historically oppressive people (with respect to statistical analysis within 2 sigmas blahblahblah)". Right?

I mean, you have to use your intuition as you read this. Words themselves are incredibly imprecise, and you and I have to rely on cultural knowledge to communicate. So when I say "White people are oppressive, and black people are oppressed", you are going to have to fill in for yourself that I also mean:

  • Irish, Jewish, and other traditionally white oppressed people exempt.
  • Only in the locals under discussion, to the degree within that local, and to the degree known about to the people in the conversation.
  • Not all "white people" (as constrained by the previous list items) are oppressive, and indeed many are not.

Okay?

Like, cut me some slack, folks. I'm not about to go into infinite detail whenever I talk about these things. I refuse to say non-Jewish non-Irish male white oppressors. If I say "the ruling white people", I'd have to make a whole 'nother set of qualifiers to stop a huge debate over there as well, as well as pay tribute to the black leaders in society. To you get the fucking picture?

To communicate in English, we have to make blanket statements, and if the recipients want to make a meaningful contribution to the discussion, you have to filter the blanket and figure out what is of substance, and what is not.

Does that make sense?

Okay, how are blacks disadvantaged by the system. That's easy, go to first hill, Seattle. Go south of downtown. Then go to Queen Anne. Tell me with a straight look on your face that black people are not disadvantaged.

The point about race and ancestry is not to say that they are not connected; They obviously are. (And if they obviously are, you need to do some cutting of blankets on your own; You have to try to get to the essence of the argument, rather than haggle over obvious things). The essence of what I was saying is that it matters more if someone is going to have prejudice against them, rather than their decent. Look, my girlfriend's sister is technically Colombian by birth, but she doesn't look the part. So she probably is not very susceptable to racism. If she looked the part, she would be more susceptable. Does that make sense? Can you understand the complexity of the situation? Or do I need to write a 5 page essay for you explaining how racism isn't necessarily tied to race, while race is definitely tied to ancestry? Do I need to write it for you? Or can you figure it out on your own?

This is really frustrating; Look at all the replies I've received. Someone's mad because I said that white people were historically very oppressive. Someone's mad because they think that I think that racism can only take the form of slavery. I really don't think that my comments deserve these complaints; I think they're pretty clear on their own. And still others are insisting that blacks don't have it any worse than whites.

You all aren't racist. Some of you probably are- Racists are attracted like a magnet to discussion on racism. They want to fight for their side.

My arguments aren't good right now because I'm getting just incredibly frustrated. Here's some literature for you.

The second is so full of links, I shouldn't need to provide more.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
We are getting somewhere (5.00 / 2) (#121)
by makaera on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:21:12 PM EST

I didn't want math, I just wanted a few examples of continuing oppression of black people. I was just offended that you continued to claim that there was a "system" (which to me implies a conspiracy) that repressed people based on their race. Rather it is circumstances of birth, that makes some people more advangated than others. I am a firm believer in a true meritocracy.

I am also not interested in haggling over the identities of the oppressors, that is completely irrelevant. All races are equally guilty of racism (at least that's been my experience).

Have you ever been discriminated against because of your race? I am white, but I also lived in a place where I was a small minority. At the college I attended the department I was in was 5% Caucasian (that's the most recent figure I have). For the last four years I have dealt with many people who disliked me because I was white. Some of them have told me that I'm just another stupid, lazy white guy. I understand what it is like to be the victim of racial discrimination.

You can say I'm bitter, I try not to be. The fact that many people are shallow-minded should not effect me. However, it seems to me that affirmative action goes against the statement that "all men are created equal." By asking for special treatment are black people claiming they are born inferior? I know this can't be true, so how can affirmative action be reconciled with that statement?

Finally, I want to apologize to you. I have had a lot of issues in my life related right now and I am suffering from sleep deprivation. That tends to make me just a little irrational. It seems that I upset you, I did not mean to do that. I just have never found a good justification for affirmative action. Thanks for all the links. I will be sure to check them out. As I read through this post, it seemed just a little incoherent; I'm sorry but I feel too tired to fix it.

----- Tips for K5 rookies
[ Parent ]

Quite Fair (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by snowlion on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 04:37:22 AM EST

Okay; I understand. Right. By system, I refer to the way we live; I don't mean conspiracy. When I say, "the system", I mean to include all of our collective cultures, governments (just a small part), pragmatics, histories, pretty much everything. I don't mean a particular government agency, or something like that. I can understand how you misunderstood, and the miscommunication is quite fair.

We both agree on desire for a meritocracy; That what we put in to life is roughly what we get out of it.

I agree with you that all races are more or less equally guilty of racism. Actually, that probably doesn't affect races that have cooperated and never had any problems with one another; I can't name any, but I can imagine that there have existed different cultures that have gotten along well with one another in the past. I don't know, maybe some island cultures or nomadic tribes in the past; Something. But this is going too far into a technical detail; I agree with the general thrust of your statement. There are racist black people just as there are racist white people. Whenever there is an oppression, some irrational anger tends to rage up on both sides, both on the oppressing side and the oppressed side. It is, largely, unproductive on both sides, though the oppressed bear the bulk of the weight of the oppression. (Most likely but possibly not quite- I don't know how the meters of karma keeps score.)

I have only once been discriminated against because of my race; When I went to school at E.A. Hall in Watsonville, 6th grade, the vast majority of the school was Latino. I was thrown into walls, lockers, door frames, had my things stolen, been peed on (P.E. showers) all sorts of things. I tried to make some friends, but no one really wanted to associate with me. This went on during the whole school year, after which I was transferred by my parents to another school for 7th grade. I only have a few vague memories of the school.

I don't think that black people are claiming to be born inferior, unless you mean economically inferior (having less money, rather than more), or socially inferior (viewed with suspicion or contempt, rather than trust or praise). I do think that otherwise perfectly willing and intelligent and capable black people (or, insert otherwise oppressed ethnicity here) have a greater challenge in breaking from their peers. I forget the title of the book, but it describes how black youth who persue good grades and study and try to do these things are frequently alienated by their peers- sort of a "Hey? Why are you trying to be so white?", and have to make a decision between their individual dreams, and their friends. When I was in high school, I never had to make such a decision; there was a plentiful nerd community. Then again, there also weren't any black students. But there was a substantial (50%, if I recall correctly) latino population, and none of them had joined our nerd group. I suspect the dynamic is similar.

I think that affirmative action will help some of these "rift" people, choosing between their grades and their friends, get into college.

Now, that's just my off the cuff observation. As for real statistical data; I'd look at the body of work on affirmative action, their arguments, their data. I'm not so familiar with it, but I have seen enough data to convince me that affirmative action works, and has been working, for some time. By working, I mean improving the living conditions and social standing of black people (and other minorities) in the United States.

I'd like to apologize to you, as well. Please sleep well, whether you agree with what I have said or not. If you like, you can email me (lion@speakeasy.org), which has a little less pressure than the public K5 forums. I have REALLY appreciated your reply, and it was quite fair, in all senses of the word.

Please take care.


--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
For the love of... (none / 0) (#109)
by /dev/niall on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:51:17 PM EST

The laws really do apply in reverse; It's just that the reverse setting is not common. If white people were oppressed, then it would be okay to promote a white person because he was white, but it would not be okay to promote a black person because he was black. I think this is quite understandable; There is no asymmetry here.

This sounds positively catholic. As in, it makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

It's okay to constantly see-saw who is being discriminated against at any particular time, rather than just say "fuck it" and ignore things as mundane as skin color when dealing with a promotion?

[ Parent ]

OK... (none / 0) (#114)
by ubernostrum on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:45:50 PM EST

So I'm not racist because I disagreed with you...that's good. But now it seems that if I don't support affirmative action, I'm either a racist or repeating the words of racists. Sorry, that just strikes me the wrong way. Let me put it clearly:

rac·ism
n.

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

This from a reputable source. Oddly enough, this would imply that affirmative action, which involves discrmination or prejudice based on race, is indeed racism. Now, it's true that black people have a shitty lot in life. And it's true that they have been horribly oppressed at various points in their existence. But, that does not entail that discriminating in their favor now is a proper solution - I believe the oft-quoted sentiment is "two wrongs don't make a right".

Now, is racism an evil thing to be abolished as completely as possible? Yes, absolutely. Having grown up in the American South, I've seen firsthand just how bad it can be. But affirmative action isn't the right answer. The problem is ignorance and fear, and THAT is what must be dealt with. Giving black kids preferential treatment in college will mean jack shit if they graduate into a world where people still hate them because of their skin color; if anything, the transition into the "real world" will be that much worse for them because of affirmative action.

So what's the real solution? Fight racism at its roots. Keep kids from growing up with the word "nigger" in their vocabulary. And ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO GO TO COLLEGE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR SKIN COLOR. State colleges and universities have to take you in a lot of places anyway (and where I grew up, in West Virginia, a high school diploma is pretty much a ticket to a free ride through any state college - if a poor, dumb, backwards state can pull it off, I know the richer, more "advanced" and "civilized" states can, too). So why does anyone need preferential treatment? Answer: no one does.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Reply to what was said, not what you anticipated (none / 0) (#129)
by Karmakaze on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 11:32:24 AM EST

ubernostrum complains
But now it seems that if I don't support affirmative action, I'm either a racist or repeating the words of racists.
Unfortunately, snowlion's actual statement was
...(as in, they have told me that they believe that black people are inferior to white people, and should be treated as such), and they have constantly bemoaned how the black conspiracy is trying to make white people feel inferior to blacks. So, when I hear someone saying the same bemoaning, I think, "That person is a racist. Either that, or they've heard something that a racist person said, and are repeating it."
That is, he said people who justify their disagreement with affirmative action by a) claiming black people are inferior to white people or b) bemoaning a black conspiracy to ruin white self-esteem are racist.

Now, to be fair in return, ubernostrum expressed neither of those sentiments.

Having a debate works a lot better of you respond to what your opponent actually says, not what you anticipate your opponent might say.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by makaera on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 10:23:13 PM EST

This is the first time someone has told me that "social pressures" explain why black people are unable to compete equally with white people for the purpose of college admissions. But why then are the decisions based on race? There are many regions of this country (e.g. parts of West Virginia) where white people (the so-called 'white trash') view college as the thing that "rich people do." However, affirmative action does not help them.

Why is black peoples dislike of the "system" understandable? I don't understand it. It seems to me to be an excuse. What is there about the "system" that is unfair?

Why is saying that championing the cause of whites who are denied the ability to go to college because of affirmative action silly? You have provided nothing in your arguments that supports that position. Anyone who is denied the opportunity to go to college because of their race (be they white, black, or anything else) is oppressed.

It seems to me that affirmative action is treading on dangerous ground. One of the strengths of America is that it is mostly a meritocracy (sp?). While affirmative action does not do much harm to this notion, I think it sets a bad precedent. While at one point in time it might have been a useful idea, I think that it has outlived its practicality.

----- Tips for K5 rookies
[ Parent ]

A better defence of affirmative action (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by driptray on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:29:18 AM EST

The formal defence of affirmative action, as I understand it, is that it is required in order for decisions to be made on merit.

Yes, you read that right.

Here's why - due to racism (or sexism in the case of women), what has come to be considered "merit" has been skewed in favour of one group over another. In other words, the supposedly neutral standards that are put forward as criteria for entrance to college, or for employment etc, are not neutral, but have been skewed in order to favour whites (or men) at the expense of blacks (or women).

In general terms, skills and attributes held by blacks and women have not been given as much weight as they should have, and in order to redress this, affirmative action is needed.

In other words, "merit" aint always "merit".


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
What you said is nice (none / 0) (#91)
by makaera on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:50:25 AM EST

How do you defend this statement:
Here's why - due to racism (or sexism in the case of women), what has come to be considered "merit" has been skewed in favour of one group over another. In other words, the supposedly neutral standards that are put forward as criteria for entrance to college, or for employment etc, are not neutral, but have been skewed in order to favour whites (or men) at the expense of blacks (or women).
I don't want to dismiss your argument, but I would like at least one example or proof before I consider its validity. Saying something does not make it true.

----- Tips for K5 rookies
[ Parent ]

America is a fine example. (none / 0) (#94)
by la princesa on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:04:25 AM EST

One has only to look at many common activities performed by businesses and governmental bodies to see that the merit of blacks (particularly males) is underrated as a matter of course. Denials of housing and loans when income and education levels are the same and racial profiling when whites commit similar or equal ratios of violent and nonviolent crimes are two obvious cases in point (the governmental body in question being law enforcement.) Bias against black Americans remains common, no matter how often biased non-blacks claim otherwise.

[ Parent ]
My quest for knowledge (none / 0) (#96)
by makaera on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:08:50 AM EST

Would it me to much to ask you to cite some statistics or to point me to some place where I could see proof of these allegations?

----- Tips for K5 rookies
[ Parent ]

Reprint from NYT (4.00 / 1) (#108)
by /dev/niall on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:35:44 PM EST

There's an article here from the New York Times.

[ Parent ]
It's a two way street (4.20 / 5) (#58)
by gloin on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 07:20:37 PM EST

They talk about how people are made to feel bad for being white, and other stuff like that. Utter nonsense

You really think this doesn't happen? There are a small minority of whites who live in predominantly black neighborhoods who attend largely minority schools; that's almost certainly the way they feel when they go home after school.

Sure, in majority-white schools, in majority-white neighborhoods, it doesn't happen. But the pain of the white kid in the inner city school is just as poignant to him as the pain of the black kid in the suburban school.

Not to mention that affirmative action in many instances creates a disparity between the standards needed for members of one race to be, for example, accepted into university and the standards needed for members of another. White kids who don't get into college because they've been discriminated against by affirmative action plans are just as much victims of racism as black kids who don't get into college because the authorities don't want any black people there.

[ Parent ]

White People? (4.50 / 2) (#64)
by ritlane on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 09:02:06 PM EST

White people are not the victims of racism. Black people are.

White People!? What is that supposed to mean.... or do we all look alike to you?

When you go on your PC tirades to fix history, please get your facts straight. By oppressors, you mean the English, Belgian, Spanish, and others.

The English, specifically, have oppressed my ancestors and me. My ancestors were oppressed in their homeland, and when we came here, dealt with racism against us. The Irish were hired to do jobs thought too dangerous for slaves, that is, when we could get hired, what with all the "No Irish Need Apply" signs hanging up. I am an Irish/Scottish mix (among others). So not only am I the product of English oppression, but now I have to be lumped together with them and asked to pay for their sins.

No thank you, I am Irish American, I am oppressed, recognize me. William Wallace is my Martin Luther King.

I'm still trying to decide whether I'm joking on this one



---Lane
I like fighting robots
[ Parent ]
oh shut up (none / 0) (#90)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:49:18 AM EST

a fine example of what Liam Kennedy calls "MOPE"; the erroneous blief that the Irish are the Most Oppressed People Ever.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Lighten up (none / 0) (#92)
by ritlane on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:55:15 AM EST

Actually, This was more of an attempt to make the poster realize the world does not break down into the "White versus Black" little lines.

As many people seem to ignore, "white people" are a diverse multicultural group. Each group has its own culture and history. Would it not be unfair to hold all pale skinned people responsible for the actions of others who merely look like them? You did not answer that fundamental question.

More specifically, these people often forget that "Black People" are not all one group either. Specifically, there are three very different groups with very different cultures:
  • Descendents of American Slaves
  • Descendents of Slaves in other New World Colonies
  • Post Slavery African Immigrants


If, as many people suggest, "White Racism" were the cause of all "Black People's" problems, would not each group be equally oppressed? (Hint, they are not, and have radically different incomes)

I think the point that I'm trying to make, is that the world is never as simple as many people would like to pigeon hole it to be. If we try to shoe horn the world into our distorted world view, we will end up seeing the problems as things they are not. The reason this angers me, is because I feel a lot of the "PC" type people are not ultimatly solving any problems, but simply making themselves feel good but making some self-rigeous uproar.



---Lane
I like fighting robots
[ Parent ]
NINA (none / 0) (#107)
by /dev/niall on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:27:52 PM EST

what with all the "No Irish Need Apply" signs hanging up.

I'm guilty of bringing this up in a previous comment, but truth be told there isn't all that much proof that these signs actually existed in the United States in the quantities you might believe.

Truth is Irish people love to complain, especially about how horrible life is, and what a hard time they've had at it. I don't for a second think that the Irish people have not been the victims of racism and oppression for hundreds of years, but they're certainly not alone on that count. History is full of people oppressed and oppressing.

[ Parent ]

Whoa, St. Paddy's day is coming up (none / 0) (#112)
by georgeha on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 01:47:54 PM EST

One thing about being married to a woman of Irish (also Alsace-Lorraine) descent is that it opened my eyes to the whole Irish opression in America thing, I will never forget the night of Irish music I was dragged to, with that "No Irish Need Apply" song. Criminy, that was over a hundred years ago, you don't hear my branch of the family grieving over German-American persecution in World War I (though, to be honest, German-Americans were the large majority of their town back then), you don't hear the Alsace-Lorraine branch of the family kvetching about the Franco-Prussian War.

Hmmm, this does sound like a hot topic that could certainly rile some Irish-descended feathers, but what website would be brave enough to post such a thing.

[ Parent ]

You'd have to have lived in a box (none / 0) (#78)
by TON on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:17:40 AM EST

White people are not the victims of racism.

I believe that is part of what makes racism so vicious. It is indiscriminate in its victims. In the end, it even turns upon those who hold it. What experiences, friendship, knowledge and peace are lost to those who live by racism? Doesn't that in the end make racists victims of their own ideology, weaknesses, or fears?

Leaving aside for a moment the ways in which lives are damaged by racism in economics, power, and respect, racism does in fact put one person in a box just as surely as it puts another outside that box. Is the inside any better than the outside?

Oh, and you're right. Scorbett is a moron.

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

Ted


[ Parent ]

Racism (none / 0) (#106)
by /dev/niall on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:21:53 PM EST

White people are not the victims of racism.

Thanks for clearing that up.

[ Parent ]

Ouch (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by JackStraw on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:12:44 PM EST

I feel your pain, as I too have been subject to the mindless forced worship of undeserving psuedo-heroes, and I see what you're getting at. In many cases, I'd agree.

However, think about Frederick Douglas, and how incredibly motivated and brave he was just to learn how to read? I mean, personally, I would have given up, I'm pretty sure.

So, I think that in most case, especially prior to 1950, it was *much* harder to be successful or influential as a black person, and as such their accomplishments to deserve considerable respect. In proportion, but still respect.

But trust me, I hear ya.

-The bus came by, I got on... that's when it all began.
[ Parent ]
Where is the racism? (none / 0) (#133)
by Kazon on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:24:20 AM EST

It would seem to me that the colour of a mans skin is incidental when he uses his talents and professional expertise to do what he does best. In the situation concerning Dr Williams, surely this whole thing comes down to one thing, he was the right man, in the right place, at the right time. He was not the right man because he was black, but because he was a doctor who had guts and an insight into problem solving outside of the operating theatre scenario. What made him a success was his talent, his vision and his training (so who trained him)? To say he did what he did because he was black is erronious and damaging to ethnic relations. Character makes a man not his colour.

[ Parent ]
I Have a Dream ... (4.46 / 13) (#29)
by gloin on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 03:30:52 PM EST

Shouldn't the real goal to be to ensure that the experience of African-Americans, and their contributions to our society, are taught as ordinary history? And doesn't 'Black History Month', like 'African American Studies', constitute ghetto history --- allowing, nay, encouraging, the extraction of the black experience from ordinary history? If you want to be in a ghetto, that's fine; but don't ask me to put you there.

-1 for being a loser (2.71 / 21) (#41)
by SnowBlind on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:19:53 PM EST

I am a Native American. (And Irish.)
When you get to 220+ million killed, and Africa is totally occupied by Europeans, you can start whining again.

If I can love this country, and not be angry, anyone can.


There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
typo? (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by bobpence on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:51:05 PM EST

Did you mean 20+ million? I'll admit some genocide on the part of my ancestor's cousins (my people mostly came over about 150 years ago), but I think it is an order of magnitude less than 220 million.

[ Parent ]
Ok. (4.50 / 4) (#53)
by SnowBlind on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 06:02:33 PM EST

Estimate is 220 million from North to South America, by American Indian advocates.

However, a more academic, and realistic number is ~100,000,000, based on American Holocaust by David Stannard, pg 150:

Finally, there is the unique subject of this book, the total extermination of many American Indian peoples and the near-extermination of others, in numbers that eventually totaled close to 100,000,000.
Remember, the Aztec capital reached a population of over 1 million long before London did, and Honduras was at about 8 million when Columbus landed, 5 years later the entire population was wiped out. (Ibid. pg. 50)
Half of the population of the Aztec empire (about 25 million) was wiped out by just Small Pox.
Won't even go into how many Irish were killed by stupid British rulers.
But, hey, like I said, it does not make me angry. I don't hate what America has become, instead I embrace what we have built, and take into consideration what would have happened if Peter the Great's men made it here first. Point is, even if Reginald really is a person, and not a persona, he still does'nt have much to stand on, and if he thinks does, ask him what his beloved Buffalo Soldiers did for a living: Kill Native Americans.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
contest? (2.00 / 1) (#116)
by adiffer on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:16:55 PM EST

I've never really understood why a member of one group would tell another that they don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to oppression, genocide, and other historical atrocities.

It's not a contest, you know?
-Dream Big. --Grow Up.
[ Parent ]

You're as pathetic as you are stupid. (2.16 / 6) (#52)
by Electric Angst on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:51:25 PM EST

Oh, since your ancestors faced worse atrocities than other people's ancestors, those people aren't allowed to celebrate their ancestor's victories over those triumphs, or even acknowledge that the triumphs happened. That's like one rape victim telling another. "You don't deserve counciling, since you were raped only once and I was raped twice."

Oh, and speaking of rape, a fair amount of the people in the United States who have some Native Ameican in them (particularly Native American/European mixes) are the result of European men raping Native American women. In which case, your argument is even more disgusting.


--
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." - Nietzsche
The Parent ]
Ok you are a loser too. (2.80 / 5) (#54)
by SnowBlind on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 06:09:36 PM EST

Umm, the point is I don't have a problem what long dead people did.
Those people he wants to take credit for being black were great because of who they were, not the color of their skin. To suggest otherwise is racist.

P.S. if you hav'nt figured out that Reggie is a troll, your stupider that you sound.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
The WTC terrorists are long dead, you OK with 'em? (2.25 / 4) (#66)
by Electric Angst on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 09:23:02 PM EST

Uhm, last time I checked, this story itself had no trolling in it. Of course, Reggie has trolled the diaries before, and he's an obvious character troll. Does that mean that this article is a troll? Well, I couldn't find anything trollish in it. It seemed like a pretty informative, well done piece to me, and that's the kind of stuff I vote up. The fact that you vote it down and then try to play "more victim than thou" labels you as a moron of remarkable shallowness.

Oh, and last time I checked, the color of their skin had a whole lot to do with the greatness of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. It seems like you're just trying to regurgitate the propaganda of conservative racists who try to hide their nature by calling for a "colorblind" (aka white) society. Well, guess what, color exists. Different races exist, and what race you are has just as much effect on your life as where, when, and into what economic class you were born.

So, basically, son of a rapist, go fuck yourself.


--
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." - Nietzsche
The Parent ]
Well put. (none / 0) (#77)
by SnowBlind on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 01:05:28 AM EST

Excellent personal attack in place of an actual argument.
Bravo!


There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
Well done (2.20 / 5) (#88)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:45:35 AM EST

Excellent sanctimonious little simper in place of an argument.
Bravo!

cunt.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Bhopal (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by /dev/niall on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:51:13 AM EST

Actually, it's more like 16,000. And counting.

[ Parent ]
absolutely (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:21:52 PM EST

I'm only counting those who died in the first two weeks, to forestall apologists with tendentious arguments about who "might have died anyway".

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Completely accurate then (4.00 / 1) (#110)
by /dev/niall on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:58:08 PM EST

Then you're right on target. I remember Bhopal in the news when I was a kid (about 8 or 9). Scared the crap out of me. Many years later, after finding out what had really happened I was scared again. And disgusted.

[ Parent ]
of course (4.00 / 1) (#132)
by eyespots on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 11:37:28 AM EST

Had terrorists blown up the plant and killed that many people, the whole world would be freaking out trying to find those responsible.

When a company does it, the world thinks it's a shame for a couple days and then slaps the company on the wrist.

What a disgrace that UC got away with that. If terrorists ever just became incorporated, and then they'd never get into trouble.

[ Parent ]

If you'll check, it had both... (3.00 / 1) (#89)
by Electric Angst on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:47:04 AM EST

Sometimes, the person I'm debating will warrent personal attacks alongside the rational arguments I make. It's a proud K5 tradition to mix the two in a single comment.

So, personal attacks aside, how do yo answer my argument? Would Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks still have been great people if they were white? If not, then how can you claim that skin color is irrelevant? Also, what exactly is there about this article that makes you call it a troll, aside from its author?


--
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." - Nietzsche
The Parent ]
Sorry. (1.00 / 1) (#95)
by SnowBlind on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:06:03 AM EST

Too busy fucking myself to bother with you.


There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
color (none / 0) (#119)
by garlic on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:17:55 PM EST

actually the color of their skin matters because it was harder for black people to be great. If you look at George Washington Bush, He had a hard time getting his land grant because he was black. He persevered and got it anyway. The skin color matters here for 2 reasons: 1. It means it was probably harder for them to do the things they did. 2. They can be an example to others who have disadvantages stacked up against them too.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Give me a break..... (1.50 / 4) (#67)
by morkeleb on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 10:07:20 PM EST

Think for just a moment. Just think about what a stupid thing that is to say. Do you think a guy like Sitting Bull or Crazy Horse would be caught dead saying something as pathetic as what you just said?
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Add poll option. (4.50 / 4) (#43)
by valeko on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:48:48 PM EST

One distinct African-American figure that I genuinely respect and admire to the greatest extent possible without having read a whole lot of his work is W.E.B. DuBois.


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

Did Woodson succeed? (4.60 / 5) (#47)
by bobpence on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:08:54 PM EST

Thanks for this article Reginald. This article is well-suited to be posted during this month. But how long will this month be needed?

According to the Univeristy of Virginia, which named a building in his honor, Dr. Woodson "believed that the best antidote to the racial chauvinism" was to bring the contributions of black Americans "to the attention of the literate public"; "Woodson saw Negro History Week as a mechanism through which to raise the consciousness of blacks as well as whites about the intimate linkages between the cultures and societies established by persons of African descent in the New World."

A dozen years ago in high school, I learned about Frederick Douglas, G.W. Carver, MLK, Rosa Parks, not to mention W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. I no more oppose writing and speaking about Black American history than I do Swedish American history, but I submit that Americans who made important contributions and were Swedes are sufficiently addressed in the typical curriculum. And I wonder if the same is now true for Black Americans.

Or are we still short of Dr. Woodson's goals? I suspect that, just as Miss Black America has (I think) died of success, someday soon Black History Month might not be needed.

A final note: The parents of G.W. Carver and G.W. Bush apparently help in some esteem a dead white male slave owner, one who is now held in low esteem by some who reject a sense of historical perspective. History does not justify, but it clarifies. And history teaches us that people and times change, even as dreams slowly become reality.

Bob

Carver (1.00 / 1) (#49)
by garlic on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:18:04 PM EST

I believe in your list of names, Carver is the only one not known specifically for his civil rights activities. Thats the problem.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Civil rights (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by PresJPolk on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 03:43:37 PM EST

Well, when from 1600-1870, roughly, blacks had basically no rights in this country, and from 1870-1970 their rights were largely ignored, what other pursuit was more important for blacks than civil rights?

It may be a sign of bad things in the past, but the facts of history can't be changed.

[ Parent ]
This might cause trouble... (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by makaera on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 06:31:18 PM EST

If you have any sense of humor left concerning race, check out the current version of the God and Devil Show. Warning: This is only for people who have a working sense of humor!!!!

----- Tips for K5 rookies

Why Only a Month? (4.33 / 3) (#63)
by Talez on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:57:03 PM EST

I've never understood why people make special allowances black history or heritage over here for a month or a week or whatever...

This implies to me that the history of black people is only worth discussing for the month and that after the month is over we should go back to discussing what the white man has done...

Wouldn't a better solution to teach the kids of today the great accomplishments made by every great person all year round, regardless of the colour of their skin?



Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
What does it matter? (3.60 / 5) (#70)
by Icehouseman on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 11:12:09 PM EST

There isn't an Asian history month; a European history month; a Native American history month or a Arab history month. My belief is that we should study all of human history, no matter race you are. Why should we continue to divide in to groups as such?
----------------
Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
Two reasons I don't like Black History Month (3.83 / 12) (#71)
by wji on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 11:25:06 PM EST

1) Black History is not one of the 12 most important things in civilization. It doesn't need a month.

2) We ignore probably the majority of black history because it happens to be a history of opression and class violence. If Martin Luther King is worth looking at, why not Malcom X, Carmicheal, and the rest of the non-non-violent crowd? Why are King's views on civil rights admissible, but not his beliefs on poverty? On Viet Nam?

We have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. Our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and maintain social stability for our investments. This tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and Peru. Increasingly the role our nation has taken is the role of those who refuse to give up the privileges and pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., 'A Time to Break the Silence', speech given
at Riverside Church New York City April 4, 1967

Why not the fact that the FBI tried to kill King?
King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all of us Negroes. White people in this country have enough frauds of their own but I am sure that they don't have one at this time that is any where near your equal. You are no clergyman and you know it. I repeat you are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that. ... King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significant. [sic] You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.
-- anonymous letter from FBI to Martin Luther King
obtained from FBI files using the Freedom Of Information Act

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

We need (3.33 / 3) (#75)
by razzmataz on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 12:46:34 AM EST

something with more pizzaz. Like Viking history month. We could have a Viking Pride March. Dress up as vikings, and chant "loot the village, burn the chapel" or something like that.

Just an idea....

-- I love the smell of fdisk in the morning...
[ Parent ]

Reason Number One (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by TON on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 04:44:01 AM EST

Black History is not one of the 12 most important things in civilization. It doesn't need a month.

How about all these? It doesn't seem to take much to get a month these days. I'm sick of the whole National Blah Blah Day/Week/Month. It just trivializes everything.

  • February is American Heart Month.
  • Good Oral Health Begins in the Womb. February Is National Children's Dental Health Month
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month
  • Sinus Pain Awareness Month
  • Wise Health Care Consumer Month
  • February Proclaimed Ethics Month by PRSA (Public Relations Society of America)
  • February Is National Bird Feeding Month
  • February is National Snack Food Month
  • CELEBRATE NATIONAL GRAPEFRUIT MONTH IN FEBRUARY - SAVE $2.00 ...

    Just google for plenty more, but you get the idea.

    "First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

    Ted


    [ Parent ]

  • Heh heh (none / 0) (#100)
    by wji on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:37:31 AM EST

    Februray is National Mental Pollution Month! Liberate yourself from opressive slogans and awareness campaigns!

    I think AdBusters would appreciate this.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    [ Parent ]

    Reason Number Two (3.50 / 2) (#80)
    by TON on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:00:21 AM EST

    We ignore probably the majority of black history because it happens to be a history of opression and class violence. If Martin Luther King is worth looking at, why not Malcom X, Carmicheal, and the rest of the non-non-violent crowd? Why are King's views on civil rights admissible, but not his beliefs on poverty? On Viet Nam?

    Now you're talking! Wji, those quotes were great. Why do we only get the "acceptable" paragons of peace or straight arrow industriousness? Please no messy lives to learn thank you. Aren't a lot of lives pretty messy? Richard Wright or Samuel Delaney anyone? I can hear it now. "Oh, they are great writers, but wait, gay role models? I dunno. Can't have that in schools."

    "First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

    Ted


    [ Parent ]

    Richard Wright is taught in many schools. (4.00 / 1) (#85)
    by la princesa on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:10:26 AM EST

    So is Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey for that matter. Granted, there could be even more diversity in teaching black American history, but there is a surprisingly broad sampling readily available at many public schools and libraries. The limited view of black American history you describe is increasingly less common. Sadly, the comments to this story reveal that limited views of blacks in America persist nevertheless.

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks, I hope so (none / 0) (#111)
    by TON on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 01:33:26 PM EST

    I guess I was just reflecting my own experience. Wright certainly was never mentioned in my high school, but that was a while ago, and in suburban Connecticut. Go figure!

    "First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

    Ted


    [ Parent ]

    Where are the... (3.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Betcour on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:48:06 AM EST

    - Native-American History Month
    - Asian-American History Month
    - South-American History Month
    - Europeano-American History Month

    ? I never thought making minorities "special" (special holidays, quotas, etc..) was the right way to make people equal in the end.

    [ Parent ]
    South-American History Month (none / 0) (#125)
    by Gris Grue on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 05:41:56 AM EST

    That'd be "South-American-American History Month."

    Consistency!


    If a bad zombie gets you, he will weep on you, or take away your whiskey, or hurt your daughter's bones.
    [ Parent ]
    My bad ! (none / 0) (#126)
    by Betcour on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 06:05:44 AM EST

    As a French-European, I have to admit you are very right.

    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps I'm missing something ... (4.66 / 3) (#84)
    by iwnbap on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 06:07:39 AM EST

    I thought the article was moderately interesting; a few characters I hadn't heard about, a few I had - I would have thought one long article on the history/biography of one might have been more interesting (or at least links to this kind of thing), and perhaps the tone is a little didactic, but they're minor niggles. Altogether I agreed with the sentiment of the last paragraph.

    What I find extraordinary is the number of comments below to the effect of "why bother celebrating Black History Month/ why not have <insert cultural group X here> month" etc. They seem to miss the point entirely that these people above did some interesting and apparently useful things, and that ought to be celebrated, and the fact that they were black gives a common theme and an opportunity to reflect on what they had in common. I would presume that it was a bit hard to become a doctor or an inventor being black at the turn of the century; thsi makes these people interesting. Why is it (seemingly) offensive or incongrouous to celebrate the triumphs and stuggles of black people? Presumably you have Labour Day to celebrate the triumphs/struggles of the working man/woman, Independence Day (and a few similar) to celebrate founding a nation and booting the Brits, and Thanksgiving for the early settlers and what not. Why is it so hard to celebrate the achievements of a few blacks without making snide comments?

    well ... (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by gregholmes on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 05:37:17 AM EST

    Of course they are interesting. I don't think too many are denying that. On the other hand, I have my doubts of whether we'd hear much of non-black man who discovered many interesting uses for peanuts, but let that go.

    It's a touchy subject. I understand the perceived need for it. But a whole month?

    College theories aside, some of us aren't racists. A lot of us, actually. A didactic campaign for a whole month, is, well, a bit much. I'd love a history month, period. That would be amazing; every day, an intersting story from history on the front page of the paper, without the inevitable cynical thought behind it (it's there because it's about left-handed red heads).

    Unless other countries have emulated this, then you don't understand if you are non-USian. It's a very odd experience; media outlets that ignore history unless it directly relates to today's up-to-the-minute action start telling us about historical achievements, major and minor, out of context.



    [ Parent ]
    How I see it. (long) (4.81 / 11) (#87)
    by Kasreyn on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 07:35:12 AM EST

    I'm about to say something that will probably convince a certain fixed percentage of stuck-up, politically-correct types that I must be racist for saying it. Not much I can do about that, so:

    The hell with Black History Month.

    Now that's out of the way, I'll explain. Still with me?

    Why should we have a Black History Month? Why do we need that special reminder of the wonderful things blacks have done for our country? Simply because black history is apparently not given much attention during the OTHER 11 months of the year. I agree that that's a problem. Black History Month is the wrong solution, though. Instead of devoting one month to lip-service for blacks, then forgetting them for the rest of the year (let's face it, that's how it's treated), let's consider this notion. How about we study history in a balanced, unbiased way throughout ALL the year? What's with these special months and titles and priviledges?

    No offense intended to a lot of black people who are doing their best and trying to improve things for themselves and everyone in general - they have my wholehearted empathy - but Affirmative Action, Political Correctness, and this particular spawn of their loins are having the opposite effect, in my opinion. Why? They foster divisiveness.

    Affirmative Action is an idea that goes something like this: "Well hey, racism is bad. It would take a hell of a lot of effort and work towards understanding to solve it. Too much work for us! So instead we'll just practise reverse racism and give ourselves special names and priviledges." Affirmative Action is all about elevating oppressed minorities, which is bullshit. Is that the best we can do? Is that what we settle for? Let's stop oppressing the minorities in the first place, then there'll be no need to elevate them!

    Plus, this sort of thing is counter-productive, folks. Whenever you create divisions, in-groups and out-groups, by the mere basis of race, the forces of ignorance have won a battle. Black History Month may make a lot of black people happy, and I'm sure it helps call attention to many noteworthy accomplishments of black people that may have otherwise not received fair coverage (I'll not pretend that there isn't still a lot of anti-black prejudice coloring how the public perceives history). But it's strengthening this poisonous mindset people have - that people can be divided into neat little race-labelled categories. That mindset is the same one that allows otherwise good people to stand aside at a lynching. Or a holocaust.

    Here's a better idea, people: Stop being proud of being black. Stop being proud of being white. Stop being proud of being hispanic. START being proud of being HUMAN. Nothing more, nothing less. THAT'S how we'll end racism, is when we see it that way. Another example that comes to my mind is Star Trek (the original series). Ever notice how the crew came from many different races of humans? But they never treated each other as having special priviledges or rights based thereon. There was no "black history month" onboard the Enterprise. If you had described such a thing to them, they'd have been puzzled as to why it would be NEEDED. Because we're all human, and no smaller distinction matters.

    So, once again: I'm all in favor of "popularizing the truth." I consider truth a good; I also consider the actions of courageous and dedicated men like Douglass and King to be worthy of their place in the history books. But I see devoting a month especially to them - for no more important reason than their skin color - I see that as working against the very goals those men lived and died for.


    -Kasreyn

    P.S. The reader is left to draw his own conclusions about my particular ethnicity. If I were asked to name my greatest heroes, they would span quite a few racial and religious categories and labels, but the only label I see fit to apply to them or myself is "human".
    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    Agreed (none / 0) (#98)
    by patman on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:41:19 AM EST

    Wow. What a comment to start out a kuro5hin account with.
    I've always felt that history is greater than the sum of it's parts. You can't just grab a piece of history(whether it be Black History, Women's History, or whatever) and analyze it.
    Fact is, everything that happens in the world makes a difference on everything else.

    If we're skimping on a section of history, we need to bring it in WHERE APPROPRIATE. Not a separate month, but a concerted effort throughout the whole of history.

    [ Parent ]
    Start out? (none / 0) (#99)
    by Kasreyn on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:36:06 AM EST

    What, you think I'm new here? =P


    -Kasreyn


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    [ Parent ]
    Heck no! (none / 0) (#103)
    by patman on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:42:34 AM EST

    I was talking about me. My first post to k5 deals with one of the most hot-button topics in American - and i took the less popular position.

    [ Parent ]
    i disagree (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by clark9000 on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 11:39:28 AM EST

    OK, everytime Black History Month comes up, many people say "What's the point of BHM? Why don't we just appreciate African-Americans all year long?" Well OK, what's the point of any special day or period? Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving in November, when really we should just be thankful all year long? Why Mother's Day? Why Father's Day? Why President's Day? Labor Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day? Birthdays? Shouldn't we just appreciate these people all year long and be done with holidays altogether? I would argue that these days have importance and serve to draw issues into the cultural consciousness in a way that wouldn't be possible if we just decided to appreciate stuff equally all year long. But whatever the reasoning, if you want to get rid of Black History Month, you should at least be prepared to do away with every single other holiday. So, are you?

    Second of all, if you don't want to observe Black History Month, you don't have to. I happen to find Black history interesting, so if Reginald Johnson wants to post some stories about black heroes, I'll read about them. If you're not interested, you don't have to. Also, everyone complains about the lack of other months, ie, Native American History Month, European History Month, etc etc. Well, no one involoved in Black History Month celebrations is interfering, to my knowledge, with the creation of other "months". They're just doing their thing. And if they want to, why not?

    I can see your point about how labeling people, or identifying people with certain races serves to divide us. This is a valid point, and I agree to some extent. However, as you say, racism still exists. Suppose someone says "Black people are no good." It is easier to disprove the person by saying "But Black people have done great things: GW Carver did x, y, z etc," than by saying "But people have done great things. A person did x,y,z etc." So what, your racist will say. Therefore, to combat racism, it is at least somewhat necessary to identify people as belonging to races.

    Finally, as an aside, I would note that on the Enterprise, Worf certainly takes pride in being Klingon. He occasionally talks about Klingon history, customs and culture and teaches his son about Klingon history as I recall.
    _____
    Much madness is divinest sense
    To a discerning eye;
    Much sense the starkest madness.

    -- E. Dickinson
    [ Parent ]
    affirmative action (none / 0) (#123)
    by rehan on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 04:15:46 AM EST

    How about we study history in a balanced, unbiased way throughout ALL the year?

    Everyone wants that end, the disagreement is about the means. And you don't even provide a means :) It's just "let's do it"

    The same applies to your Affirmative Action comment.

    In defence of affirmative action if you make the assumption that the people from the 2 groups (oppressed-A, unoppressed-B) are equally talented, educated etc. Then a fair hiring process would employ them in proportion ot their populations.

    However, as this isn't the case then you are taking extra people (the less talented ones) from group B and dumping the corresponding number from A. This means that, overall, you're not employing the most talented people. Hence it's not necessarily a policy of unfairness and ineffiency.

    Also, I support it as a possible solution to "jump-start" equality. For example, you might hope that women would be less biased against hiring women, so by "artifically" employing more women, the hiring rates become fairer which will then have the same knock-on effect again. A chain reaction.

    I'm not sure about the correctness of any of these defences, but it seems there's as much merit in them as the usual arguments.


    Stay Frosty and Alert


    [ Parent ]
    Thanks for playing (none / 0) (#128)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 07:42:39 AM EST

    I'm about to say something that will probably convince a certain fixed percentage of stuck-up, politically-correct types that I must be racist for saying it.

    You seem to be under the delusion that not only you are right, but that anybody who disagrees with you does so out of irrationality.

    Why should we have a Black History Month? Why do we need that special reminder of the wonderful things blacks have done for our country? Simply because black history is apparently not given much attention during the OTHER 11 months of the year. I agree that that's a problem. Black History Month is the wrong solution, though. Instead of devoting one month to lip-service for blacks, then forgetting them for the rest of the year (let's face it, that's how it's treated), let's consider this notion. How about we study history in a balanced, unbiased way throughout ALL the year? What's with these special months and titles and priviledges?

    Yeah, sure. From this moment on I eagerly await a monthly essay from your part, submitted to k5, on black history. (Which will inevitably get voted down, in favor of the Siggy's latest "I'm about to kill myself because my self-help book says blacks and women have it easier than me".)

    BTW, which group of people are you talking about when you use the pronoun "we" above? (My apologies, your majesty, if this your humble servant were to be wrong on his presumption that it's not the royal plural.) How exactly do you propose that this somehow collective year-long study of African-USian history be distributed among "us"? (Let me venture the guess that whichever answer you had in mind involved no actual plans for you to have to learn anything about black history.)

    Anyway, are you under some sort of illusion that historians who research black history only do so in the month of February? What the hell are you trying to say with your suggestion?

    Affirmative Action, Political Correctness, and this particular spawn of their loins are having the opposite effect, in my opinion. Why? They foster divisiveness.

    "Divisiveness" as in "They will not get my support for their cause, the elimination of racial divisions, as long as they actually keep on pursuing their goals"? Your "objection" is trivial and self-defeating.

    Affirmative Action is all about elevating oppressed minorities, which is bullshit. Is that the best we can do? Is that what we settle for? Let's stop oppressing the minorities in the first place, then there'll be no need to elevate them!

    Jesus, how could I not see that!

    Given that a significant part of the oppression of minorities is their exclusion from the labor market, your statement can be recast as follows: "Let's stop having a society where minorities are disadvantaged in the job market, and they won't be disadvantaged in the job market!"

    Here's a better idea, people: Stop being proud of being black. Stop being proud of being white. Stop being proud of being hispanic. START being proud of being HUMAN.

    Nope. You won't be granted the privilege of keeping very real racial issues at the unconscious level and live your life as if they weren't there. Have a nice day.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Why There Is a Black History Month... (4.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Baldrson on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 05:55:14 PM EST

    ...and not a <name-a-group> history month:

    Genetic Omni-dominance

    -------- Empty the Cities --------


    If you want <name-a-group> month... (none / 0) (#131)
    by SIGFPE on Mon Feb 11, 2002 at 06:53:49 PM EST

    ...organise it. If lots of people like it then it'll become popular. If nobody likes it then it won't last long. There's a free market in ideas. If you're idea's any good it'll catch on.
    SIGFPE
    [ Parent ]
    Obligatory shout out to Chris Rock. (4.50 / 2) (#120)
    by Apuleius on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 10:07:48 PM EST

    And why is Black History Month in February? Because it's 28 days long. The Man would not stand for it to be in June or July. It's just another way for The Man to keep us down.


    There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
    Mis-placed pride (4.50 / 2) (#122)
    by Postalgeist on Fri Feb 08, 2002 at 01:12:15 AM EST

    The trouble with race-based pride is simple. Why should one feel pride in the accomplishments of another because they have a similar skin color. Jimmy Carter and Martin King, Jr. have more in common than Martin King, Jr. and Mike Tyson. Be proud of having similar accomplishments, not skin color. Another flaw with racial pride is that some may say, "Joe Smith was the first black president." If that is an accomplishment due merely to the color of his skin, it obviously was not an insurmountable hurdle. Therefore, the reason that no other black man has been president is obviously not due to color. Which means every black person celebrated during Black History Month is a reminder of the failure to achieve of all the other black people. Trying to boost your self-worth with the accomplishments of others is doomed to failure. Gee, I am white like Elvis Presley, therefore I am proud of my musical talent. Nope, doesn't work. Sorry. As many others have stated, let's be humans, and let us strive to be great like King and the others, rather than be happy with just being black.

    Black History Month | 129 comments (104 topical, 25 editorial, 2 hidden)
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