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How White People Got So Rich

 
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Alias_Avi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 13 2014 at 3:13pm
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You don't have to worry about reparations. This is merely an intellectual exercise. Everybody knows black people will NEVER be compensated for what happened to them. Everybody knows that white people can barely talk about the legacy of slavery, do not, in the majority, understand its true implications and nearly always, whenever anyone brings it up, tell black people they are living in the past and they should just forget about all that. Tsk, tsk. We've got a black president now, we've come a long way, my family wasn't even in the country when that happened, etc., etc.. So, don't worry, Nico, reparations are not really on the table.

I appreciate articles like this because I think it's important to at least TALK about what happened. Let's have some truth and reconciliation. What's more to your point, I would say that the issues of inequality in the United States are deeply rooted in slavery and the re-enslavement of black people during the so-called Jim Crow era. It was necessary to create a discourse justifying slavery in a country whose framers declared 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness' (Such beautiful, eloquent words, such an incredibly radical idea worthy of pursuit!) That discourse was racism. Racism and fear that black people are going to come and take yours-which is kind of the vibe that I'm picking up from your post, although that's probably not what you meant- has been used as a wedge again and again. The social safety net has been dismantled because of that kind of propositional framing. Remember the strapping young bucks buying steaks on welfare money conjured by Reagan? - well his speechwriters, at least. It seemed that this was something that only affected black people but in the end it was all of us. And so this is American history. We might not like to look at it because it embarrasses us, but damn, I never thought about how slavery underpinned so many things. Medical science? That's kind of like the guy doing those experiments in the Nazi camps. It's awful to think that human beings were sacrificed this way and do we continue to do this today because somehow we've got it in our heads even at a level that we may not be aware of because it's so ingrained, that some folks just aren't folks? (Trayvon, Rashinda, Jordan) I'd like to know about that, I think it's important and of course people look at that horrible wrong and think money can make up for that (and people at root, I think, are afraid that blacks are going to come and take it all away from us!) but I really don't think it can. It was too big, too horrible. But at least we can talk about how we're all the white chick sitting pretty on that black chick's back in that photo that made everybody so uncomfortable (it was printed out of context and people really misunderstood what the artist was trying to say). Maybe we're not so exceptional and other people are not so horrible and we should talk about better policies for everyone, like you say, but not expect black people to live with white people's cognitive dissonance and pretend that slavery has no legacy.

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trudawg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote trudawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2014 at 2:46am
Got my book in the mail today. Haven't been able to put it down all evening


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2014 at 12:27pm
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