Titus' post about racism made me think of this. It is okay to have BET (the Black Entertainment channel), Black Men, Ebony, Black Women, and Black Hair magazines but people would shit bricks if someone made WET (white entertainment), White Men, Ivory, White Women, and White Hair magazines. Typically when I make this argument, people bring up the fact that there are plenty of TV channels and magazines that cater to white people. This may be somewhat true, however in this day and age, I have seen few major publications and networks the cater EXCLUSIVELY to white people and blatantly market their products as such.
Let's talk about minority history months. I understand why they exist - I think they are bullshit. At one point in time, minorities were not being recognized for their actions, and as a result, these months were set apart to ensure they get the recognition they deserve. Well, I think we need to get past this. It is time for there to just be "history". People who do great things, regardless of race, get the recognition they deserve. Why? Because, if I talk about somebody and how great of a "white American" they are, then I would be pinned as a racist, but for someone to specify how great of a Black, Hispanic, Asian what-have-you American, it's okay.
TL;DR: Racism isn't exclusively white. Lets get rid of this self segregation bullshit and just be people. Who gives a damn if someone is black, white, yellow, brown, red, or purple?
Agreed. But there are some people in this country who are stuck on race because it is expedient for them in some way or another and moving past it would hurt their success.
Take affirmative action for example. Is it really needed? I would argue it is not and the best way to ensure fairness (which, after all, is supposed to be the "goal" of AA) is to institute merit based systems and ditch the race game. But there are still supporters of AA out there. Sure, some of them, most of them probably, have only the best intentions, but they're stuck on race for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is political advantage (think Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton).
Of course there are other reasons for racism against whites; I just hit on one reason here. It's really quite fascinating to pick the brain and ideology of a non-white, or white guilt, racist.
White guilt. Good term. That is essentially what it comes down to, people trying to make you feel guilty for being white. What pisses me off the most is when people buy into this and start apologizing for the color of their skin. It makes me what to drop kick them in the mouth.
I know how you feel. Just recently I was in a debate about an affirmative action plan that my university is mulling. Being a conservative, I am against it. My liberal colleagues were all for it, and one them even said that he was "willing to pay for the sins of the past" i.e., slavery and Jim Crow. It was at that point in the discussion that I knew all hope was lost. He is white, by the way, and apparently still feels responsible for slavery, which I'll never understand. The question I ask white guilt people is "am I responsible for the sins of my father?" Well, of course I'm not and I think that proves my point. These are the people who believe in collective guilt; they believe that groups have rights, which is an absolutely absurd belief when you boil it down.
What really gets me though is the moral supremacy they always claim to have. It's always their way or the highway. Any alternative to their racial plans (like AA) is either racist or morally wrong or both. They always always always claim the moral high ground and it seems to me that many people are gullible enough to believe them. Once they get the moral monopoly anyone who opposes them is toast. I've had to learn that the hard way.
If you do not carry with you the sins of your fathers, do you mean you only inherit the stuff you like, or want to inherit, from generations before you, but none of the unpleasant parts?
How about kids growing up today--what if they say: Well, that massive federal debt: Sins of the fathers, friend, & they're not heritable. We're not good for those monies-
Tsk, tsk Titus. I'm surprised you put forward such a poor analogy. But to your first question: your question assumes that I had a fortunate upbringing ("inherit the stuff I like," in your words) because I am white and that upbringing was made possible because my ancestors were white and got ahead because of it. In other words, you assume that I inherited my good upbringing solely because of my skin color, but you ignore the hard work of my parents, and their parents, and my immigrant ancestors. You ignore the sacrifices that were made for me to give me a good education (multiple jobs, going back to school for my parents, and shelling out the extra money for private school). Your question ignores every factor and assumes that my good upbringing was a product solely of my skin color and nothing more. Your question assumes that "the stuff I like, or want to inherit" was made possible because of my skin color and nothing more. Quite unfortunate.
Regarding your analogy: it fails and falls flat. Money and race are two completely different things. They are on two different planes of morality that you apparently cannot distinguish between. Example: murder and battery. Both are wrong, but one is more wrong than the other. Same thing with money and race- huge federal debt is a moral issue I believe, but racial transgressions were so much worse. Your analogy doesn't make the distinction.
I said simply: Do you merely inherit what you like & not the rest? I did not say you had a fortunate upbringing or that it has anything to do with the color of your skin--which should be turning red right about now. Read plain English. You said you insist you are not responsible for the sins of your father. That this is obvious to you. Well, responsible is one thing--but you might yet answer for them...
You get the bad stuff with the good. & furthermore, your country was once torn apart & the slaughter has since been unequalled by any other war--& Lincoln suggested that maybe divine retribution for the sins of the fathers. The fact that this does not occur to you, although racism was the problem then, too, suggests to me that you do not take your political problems seriously.
Now, to go to the example I picked for my hypothetical. I do not mean to compare the two cases. I did not compare them. Had I done so, I would have used a comparison, or likeness, or simile. No need for analogy.
The connection between money & slavery should be obvious to you. Your self-centered moralism seems to blind you. Have you no learning in American politics? Right & wrong are not matters of morality fundamentally, but of justice, & justice is a political matter, & it deals with how men associate, what duties fall to each in relation to others. But maybe the connection is not obvious to you. Money stands for a man's property, because it is used to trade all other goods man can call his property & their values are conventionally given in money; on the other hand, slaves were once included in that property, also bought & sold in money. Your gov't, for example, deals with monies first of all in taxation & spending; your form of gov't may be called a commercial republic.
The connection is here not to compare the two, but to point out the fundamental thing here: A man's substance, what he calls his own. Your rejection of 'white guilt' assumes, to speak like the merchants, that assets, but not liabilities, are heritable.
Not sure how the analogy applies here Titus. If we, whites, inherit the sins of our fathers, do the minorities whose families are on welfare inherit the sins of their fathers or are they allowed a 'pass' on that? Furthermore how far back would you have us go to inherit? If we go back far enough I'm sure all of us could find a forefather who owned slaves or condoned slavery. My most recent ancestors, up to great-great grandfather did not own slaves. My grand-father on my father's side was a share-cropper in the south and died at the ripe old age of 42. His father was a preacher.
Bloody murder, now that kid's gonna be the death of me! No analogy whatsoever involved.
I'm serious, however, about the problem of inheritance. If the luck of being born in America counts, so also does whatever problem threatens the country in your time, even if it's the country going to hell the most expensive way known to man.
You are right to ask, however, how much do you inherit & how far back. I have short answers, but it took me long years to get them. Maybe they weren't even worth the time, come to think of it. I'll give you a few of the examples that seem to me to matter. But more broadyly speaking, this is something people learn, I think, when they learn the good & the bad about America.
For example, you do not have to pay the price for slavery--your forefathers did that. But part of the price for the Revolution, for democracy, specifically, meant that the South could not be Reconstructed. That would have been very undemocratic--& the Northerners would likely have done a bad job, being convinced democrats themselves. So that had consequences that played out throughout the 20th century...
Another part of the price for democracy & progress is a peculiarly unimpressive generation of politicians. They've been getting less impressive for generations now...
This is the sort of thing I have in mind. America must be paid for in all the ways that count politically, whether Americans like it or not. The only question is how they deal with the price they must pay. That's politics. Few things go back to the Founding, a few to the Civil War; most are rather recent.
Let's say America survives another hundred years. Your kids will have to explain to your grandkids how come the economy went to hell to kick off the 21st century. Might not be easy to explain; might not be easy for them to live with it, either. But politics affects the causation you learn when you study policies or issues--& all these emasculating concepts. In politics, the sins of the fathers are passed on most of the time; it being politics, sometimes people do not even know that's the case...
Oh I quite agree that we, as Americans, need to pay for our sins, including that of electing the politicians we have and enabling them to do what it is that they do and have done. However, I do't believe that payment should include supporting generations of non-workers simply because someone in their family tree was owned by someone else. My main point was that if we go back far enough everyone, be they white, black, yellow, brown, or whatever, could find someone in their family tree that was owned by someone else (think serfdom for example).
I agree wholeheartedly about the generations of quite unimpressive American politicians and their actions or lack thereof.
My family has lived on the same property in NE Georgia since 1754. My sister still lives there. Our ancestors owned slaves. My great-grandfather lost a leg in the War of Northern Aggression. Ask me if I feel guilty.
Take the example of Johnny Danger. His facetious love of his own requires that he & his suffer everything he does not like about the world Mr. Obama wants to create, & America be damned. He does not deserve the good things in life, because he implicitly denies what he owes to America--or Northern aggression, if he wants to call it that...
As for paying for people's failed children, you're doing it today & will do it to your dying day, whenever God or science will see fit that it should come. It's a cross to bear. Too much democracy might not exactly kill you, but it can certainly be a drag... You see, the problem with having had great problems is that solving them creates other problems. & America has certainly had great problems.
Then again, countries that do not have great problems are simply destroyed. Remember the wisdom of Woody Allen: "More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair & utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." Mankind here is conveniently to be understood to mean America, like in Federalist #1 or the Gettysburg Address. I feel sure, your American American man, confronted with this problem, sees immediately a simple solution that might appear stupid, & indeed angry, & which Woody has lived his life fearing... I wish you good luck with the ordeal, & you may rely on me, as hitherto, to take a friendly interest, with all my faculties attuned...
I feel like somebody needs to give you the facts of life talk. Whoever that's going to be, they're going to have a lot of work to do.
But start with a few observations. First, Americans are stuck on race. It's not just some, or a few. The Dem party does not work without its appeal to immigrant populations, which is as old the immigrant populations, though the party itself is somewhat older. That's a part of the system, not some fluke--the Dems look like the winning party in these latter days.
Secondly, you're talking about a country where many blacks, maybe a majority, do very bad--at least compared to the national averge, still very white. Just look up the statistics concerning family facts & then educational / income facts. Obviously, you yourselves have not caused these disasters. There are good arguments to be made that the conservative principles you may espouse would help the black population just like they've helped the original white population. But the disasters are here & they are a serious political problem. Ignore it at your peril.
Thirdly, there is a political problem here. Education is a good place to look at--affirmative action is passe: It has been replaced by diversity. At least as a matter of principle, affirmative action for blacks in college was limited--its success would lead to a more racially representative academia & therefore its own elimination actually. Diversity is not like that: Diversity is forever, & must forever be imposed, whether or not it makes sense academically. Diversity was prepared, however, by race quotas--because both were advertised as matters of justice. Or if you look below higher education, what is education for black people doing for them?
Race does not seem to be going away. It is not a kind of obsolete fixture. It is more powerful now than it was a half-century ago. It is more widespread. It is gaining new ground. For example, the leading organization for Hispanics--how is that a race!--is called The Race. & this may be before your times, but Tom Wolfe has a new novel out, & it's about race. God willing, you'll live with this problem for a long time to come...