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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003 at 11:29 PM
In response to the piece by Sam Francis below, which focuses on how African American critic Shelby Steele takes out of context Howard Dean's ridiculous embrace of the confederate flag to pacify Southern Racists. Mr. Francis, in turn, takes Steele's words out of context.
No, whites do not have a monopoly on "evil" in the world or in the history of the world. But with that said, currently two governments with a particular Anglo-Saxon character to them are perpetuating alot of "evil," i.e. the U.S. and Britain. The invasion of Iraq is in some respects an Anglo-American invasion, and it certainly is a racist war.
Actually, whites do have a race and ethnicity based on their European and Caucasoid roots in the Caucus Mountains of Central Europe, but the construction of the concept of "whiteness" or white supremacy in the U.S. provides a means for them to shrug off their ethnic specificity and just be white.
With respect to colonialism, we hear alot of European-origin apologists in the U.S. (whites) who claim that if, say, the
Native Americans or Aztecs had their way, they would have crossed the ocean and tried to colonize Europe. They try to play the role-reversal game and imagine a world turned upside down. BULLSHIT.
Its really simple. For instance, whereas the expansion of the European empire in the 15th and 16th century was predicated on the enslavement of another people in other countries, Africans and Native Americans, the earlier Moorish Empire and the later Ottoman one were not based on caucasian slavery.
Some historical perspective. The Christian European monarchs of the period were invested in the pre-merchant capitalist system of feudalism, which was based on the notion of private property. Native Americans had
no notion of private property, they believed that the land belonged to everybody. Even the Aztecs believed this and they had their own pseudo-imperialistic empire in Mexico, that had slavery, but based on competition and warfare amongst different tribes for who had the most prowess to run society. While they had notions of class based on merit, not privilege, they did not have a notion of race. Europeans brought that over and used it as an ideology to demonize that native people of the Western Hemisphere. Basically they said, "you guys don't believe in private property, you must be uncivlized." The Spanish conquistador Sepulveda also didn't like the fact that native people had a democratic society that actually voted on who was to be king, rather than the king by divine right stuff in feudal Europe (an idea which Disney appropriated for the Lion King). The U.S.'s initial construction of a federal government was based on the democratic model of the native Iroquois nation, who were then slaughtered by Anglo-American colonists. Ironically, it was the British Crown that supported many of the northern native tribes who became embroiled in the conflict between the Patriots and the Loyalists.
The point is that whites are not essentially responsible for all the evil in the world, past and present. It is the spread of merchant capitalism, which later became transnational capitalism, that has channeled the greed and avarice of Europeans, particularly Anglos and Spaniards, which became the evil of colonization and imperialism.
People in the U.S. who call themselves "white" are simply out of touch with their cultural roots, and there is not much in this society to make them want to change otherwise. But they should look at the example of the Germans, the Irish, and the Jews, ethnic white groups that do hold on to their European traditions.
By the way, the Irish also had a society that didn't believe in private property until Anglo-Saxons like Oliver Cromwell colonized the isle and drove that people into poverty, provoking many of them to come to the U.S. where they became white.
In the present, Latino and African American race movements speak from the experience of being historically robbed of their culture and land by Anglo-Saxons colonization in the U.S. These groups are also more heterogeneous than many paranoid whites care to consider. Many Latinos actually consider themselves "white" based on their assimilation and skin color. Many blacks accept the subservient role to white supremacy that enables their social mobility (e.g. Condoleeza, Colin, and Clarence).
White power is a bad word because it has already done enough damage in the history of the U.S. as is. We can also talk about the nazi's, but while Mr. Francis refutes them being the post-boys for a white identity movement, he still perpetuates the notion of the white fear of race mixing. Next to some Asian groups like the Japanese and the Chinese, U.S. caucasians have been one of the groups most obsessed with the ridiculous notion of racial purity. To quote that young gentlemen from the movie "Pi", 'none of you are pure.'
Mr. Francis indirectly reinforces this idea with his mind.
U.S. whites shouldn't fear the change in America, but welcome it. If they fear losing their culture, well, Mr. Francis, what culture are you losing (besides capitalist culture) if
your words suggest you feel you don't have one to begin with.
The future of American is a racially-mixed society and paranoid Americans of caucasian decent need to get over it.
The superflous notion of white is already "mixed" to begin with, consisting of Anglo, Scot, German, Pole, Jew, Swede, you name it. Why lump everybody together in the name of some facetious notion of racial purity when there is no such thing.
To help you get over your "fear of a black planet," try to deal with your white privilege issues and read some of the work of Peggy McIntosh, Tim Wise, and George Lipsitz, "white people" who have gotten over these issues and can help you get over yours.
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