All things Racist...USA edition (2 Viewers)

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Farb

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But the narrative is the 'white man' and if that narrative went away, the liberals would lose half their voting block. Everyone knows it, it has just been imbedded into them that they can longer view the world with a balanced view. Everything and I mean everything is viewed through the lens of 'white man bad'. It is almost a religion. Actually, it is a religion.
 

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There's a lot of historical ignorance in the following few pages. I don't post much anymore, but just weighing in on a few thoughts:

1. The discussion of European (notice I did not use the term "Western Civilization" because these two terms are often conflated by White Supremacists and those who peddle their rhetoric and ideology, unwittingly or not) atrocities is often met by the same response in discussing contemporary racism, systemic racism, and white supremacy: whataboutism and the accusation of "self-hatred" or some other silly accusation of levying guilt.

2. The lauding of "Western Civilization" is hilarious because professional historians don't even define "Western Civilization" as those who seek to defend or deflect the history of European (white) oppression through colonization, imperialism, and other forms of oppression. Western Civilization is defined and discussed with an inclusion of Islamic and Near Eastern cultures and civilizations. Western Civilization does not mean just examining exclusively what Europeans did and their civilization; in fact, "Europeans" for much of early Western Civ. were tribal, primitive people.

3. Defining "Western Civilization" through the lens of European (re: white) history is not only ignorant, it also supposes an inherent superiority. This idea that native people were given the blessings of capitalism, democracy and enlightenment is a false relic of the past and the rhetoric of Empire builders, white supremacists, etc. After the rise of Trump and the Alt-Right, I guess I should not be surprised that proslavery rhetoric appear here in discussing the history of civilizations, this notion of "progress" and the history of European autrocities.

4. Where's that meme "that word you keep using..." I think applies to how "presentism is being used the past few pages.


Understanding history is key to understanding how historic systemic racism existed in past cultures and deflecting such discussion and understanding shouldn't be relegated to a crass reductionist analysis of "every civilization has committed autrocities" and gish galloping.
 
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Paul

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There's a lot of historical ignorance in the following few pages. I don't post much anymore, but just weighing in on a few thoughts:

1. The discussion of European (notice I did not use the term "Western Civilization" because these two terms are often conflated by White Supremacists and those who peddle their rhetoric and ideology, unwittingly or not) atrocities is often met by the same response in discussing contemporary racism, systemic racism, and white supremacy: whataboutism and the accusation of "self-hatred" or some other silly accusation of levying guilt.

2. The lauding of "Western Civilization" is hilarious because professional historians don't even define "Western Civilization" as those who seek to defend or deflect the history of European (white) oppression through colonization, imperialism, and other forms of oppression. Western Civilization is defined and discussed with an inclusion of Islamic and Near Eastern cultures and civilizations. Western Civilization does not mean just examining exclusively what Europeans did and their civilization; in fact, "Europeans" for much of early Western Civ. were tribal, primitive people.

3. Defining "Western Civilization" through the lens of European (re: white) history is not only ignorant, it also supposes an inherent superiority. This idea that native people were given the blessings of capitalism, democracy and enlightenment is a false relic of the past and the rhetoric of Empire builders, white supremacists, etc. After the rise of Trump and the Alt-Right, I guess I should not be surprised that proslavery rhetoric appear here in discussing the history of civilizations, this notion of "progress" and the history of European autrocities.
1.Could you paste the part where I lauded Western Civilization?
2. Western Civilization starts with Egypt.
3. Where did I say native people were given the blessings of capitalism? Please paste.
4. Why do you call whites supreme? I think they are average, just like anyone else.
5. Trump is an idiot. Bringing Trump onto this is cheap 3rd grade sophistry. That is worse than your gigantic straw man.

4. Where's that meme "that word you keep using..." I think applies to how "presentism is being used the past few pages.


Understanding history is key to understanding how historic systemic racism existed in past cultures and deflecting such discussion and understanding shouldn't be relegated to a crass reductionist analysis of "every civilization has committed autrocities" and gish galloping.
To fully understand history you have to get rid of your presentism.
When I said every civilization has done atrocities I was very clear about "two wrongs do not make a right". That all civilizations were barbaric simply means MANKIND is barbaric. And that includes all humans in the planet, not just one group.
 

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1.Could you paste the part where I lauded Western Civilization?
2. Western Civilization starts with Egypt.
3. Where did I say native people were given the blessings of capitalism? Please paste.
4. Why do you call whites supreme? I think they are average, just like anyone else.
5. Trump is an idiot. Bringing Trump onto this is cheap 3rd grade sophistry. That is worse than your gigantic straw man.


To fully understand history you have to get rid of your presentism.
When I said every civilization has done atrocities I was very clear about "two wrongs do not make a right". That all civilizations were barbaric simply means MANKIND is barbaric. And that includes all humans in the planet, not just one group.

Waste someone else's time; I don't think you're engaging in good faith discussion, so I'll just go back to lurking.
 

wardorican

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You are a presentist.
Presentism is never a good idea.
What does that mean? In your own words.

I know you copied the definition, but I wasn't framing anything with a modern lens.
 
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wardorican

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1.Could you paste the part where I lauded Western Civilization?
2. Western Civilization starts with Egypt.
3. Where did I say native people were given the blessings of capitalism? Please paste.
4. Why do you call whites supreme? I think they are average, just like anyone else.
5. Trump is an idiot. Bringing Trump onto this is cheap 3rd grade sophistry. That is worse than your gigantic straw man.


To fully understand history you have to get rid of your presentism.
When I said every civilization has done atrocities I was very clear about "two wrongs do not make a right". That all civilizations were barbaric simply means MANKIND is barbaric. And that includes all humans in the planet, not just one group.
Isn't considering all older civilizations 'barbaric' essentially 'presentist'?
 

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What does that mean? In your own words.
Judging the ancient past with the standards of 2021. Imagine this couple on the top image judging and putting down how people dressed for the beach in the late 19th century (see bottom image).
bgus_2092564_001.jpg
00cover6BI6_0.png


In historical analysis, presentism is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Some modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of cultural bias, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter.[1] The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common fallacy when writing about the past. WIKI
 
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I'm reminded of Justice Jackson's words in Barnette v West Virginia: "The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own."

It seems to me that we, as Americans, have no qualms or issues talking about difficult things when the topic doesn't involve us. No one would question someone's right to free speech in burning the Chinese national flag or defecating on the North Korean flag. The principle of freedom, free speech, is easy to acknowledge when the symbol isn't one of your own. Substitute those flags with our flag, though, and persons become less resolute in their principles.

Emotionally, they would suppress freedom to protect a symbol they love. And, yet, as Justice Jackson artfully penned, that is when we must be the most vigilant in upholding our principles. Not when it is obscure, external and easy but when it's hard. When it involves something we identify with, love, when it's about US.

Similarly, I see the teaching and learning of history the same way. It is easy to discuss the Holocaust and Nazi Germany and be critical of those events. No one will accuse you of engaging in presentism by calling out and being critical of Nazi Germany and Hitler. An immoral act is immoral, despite the decade, and we have no qualms calling it how we see it for another's atrocity. And, yet, some persons lose their resolve to be as truthful, honest and critical when the history, and atrocity, become our OWN. Emotion overrides principle.

And that is a mistake. If we are unable or unwilling to discuss our own history as openly, as honestly and as critically as we do another's then we aren't a nation of principles, we are a nation of cowards and hypocrites. Thumping our moral chest about what's foreign while shrinking and hiding behind the nuance of what's domestic. I understand the pragmatism of a historians need to be unbiased in their recounting of history.

But, the way presentism is being misused in this thread is analogous to a young child wildly thrashing back and forth with a newly discovered, sharpened machete. Ill of intent it is dangerous; if deliberate, it is disingenuous. It suggests that chattel slavery being morally bankrupt and heinous is a modern day thought and ideology. Which is fallacy. Abolitionism, as a movement, in what would become the United States dates back to the colonial era. Germantown Quakers were protesting the enslavement of Blacks in 1688. Which suggests that there was a pocket of society that saw chattel slavery for the immoral act that it was. That that thought wasn't the predominant ideology of the time and many of our founding fathers engaged in the activity is an unfortunate FACT. But, it is a fact that needs to be taught honestly and, yes, critically.

We need to discuss the fact that when Thomas Jefferson wrote "all men are created equal" in the DoI he meant all WHITE men are created equal and were free to self-govern. Jefferson was a slaver and saw Blacks as chattel. In no way shape or form did he consider them his equal with the right to participate in this self-governance. To deny that, to downplay that, to whitewash it is shameful and cowardly. It is THE reason so many Americans today do not understand the dynamics of race relations today, its impact on minority communities and are oblivious to the Black experience in America today.

If we are the country we purport to be, it is time to stop hiding from the truth. It is called Truth and Reconciliation for a reason. It has to happen in that order. Too many want to leap to the Reconciliation (just move on, I didn't own slaves) while avoiding or shading the Truth. That is a recipe for failure and why we are where we are regarding race in this country. "Once you become aware, you become responsible." It seems to me that many are invested in being or staying unaware to avoid the social responsibility to act. How petty. How small. Frankly, how un-American.
 

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Similarly, I see the teaching and learning of history the same way. It is easy to discuss the Holocaust and Nazi Germany and be critical of those events. No one will accuse you of engaging in presentism by calling out and being critical of Nazi Germany and Hitler. An immoral act is immoral, despite the decade, and we have no qualms calling it how we see it for another's atrocity. And, yet, some persons lose their resolve to be as truthful, honest and critical when the history, and atrocity, become our OWN. Emotion overrides principle.
Avoiding presentism does not mean the historian accepts the evil of the past. However, the previous evil is best understood by analyzing the circumstances and culture of the era.

Emotion affects all of us regarding this issues and then justification or rationalization are not far away. America is a nation created by Englishmen of their era. They were sons on the enlightenment with many flaws that must be assessed in context even if they are flaws. Benjamin Franklin thought some Germans were too swarthy. Yes, they were racists.
And that is a mistake. If we are unable or unwilling to discuss our own history as openly, as honestly and as critically as we do another's then we aren't a nation of principles, we are a nation of cowards and hypocrites. Thumping our moral chest about what's foreign while shrinking and hiding behind the nuance of what's domestic. I understand the pragmatism of a historians need to be unbiased in their recounting of history.
When do we stop talking about the fact that America was founded by racist white men? When do we stop recounting and remembering the suffering and atrocities? That is certainly not a secret. I come from a country that also had slavery, everybody knows the history, and yet we do not try to relive that history on a daily basis. Somehow people in Latin America moved on. I fully understand that remembering and commemorating the painful past is empowering for those that were victimized. This recollection also stimulates unity and fellowship and a sense of community. However, it would be nice to be fully healed. I am reminded of the husband that was unfaithful to the wife. They decided to stay married, but the wife recriminates her husband on a daily basis and fails to fully forget or forgive the infidelity. The unability to forgive eventually ends the marriage.
But, the way presentism is being misused in this thread is analogous to a young child wildly thrashing back and forth with a newly discovered, sharpened machete. Ill of intent it is dangerous; if deliberate, it is disingenuous. It suggests that chattel slavery being morally bankrupt and heinous is a modern day thought and ideology. Which is fallacy. Abolitionism, as a movement, in what would become the United States dates back to the colonial era. Germantown Quakers were protesting the enslavement of Blacks in 1688. Which suggests that there was a pocket of society that saw chattel slavery for the immoral act that it was. That that thought wasn't the predominant ideology of the time and many of our founding fathers engaged in the activity is an unfortunate FACT. But, it is a fact that needs to be taught honestly and, yes, critically.
Avoiding presentism does not mean the historian does not see the immorality. To avoid presentism is just a way to better understand the past. Why do powerful nations tried to conquer the weak? This needs to be seen in context and as I said above it goes all the way back to the Homo Sapiens driving the Neanderthals into extinction. What they did was immora;, but it is better understood by avoiding presentism.
We need to discuss the fact that when Thomas Jefferson wrote "all men are created equal" in the DoI he meant all WHITE men are created equal and were free to self-govern. Jefferson was a slaver and saw Blacks as chattel. In no way shape or form did he consider them his equal with the right to participate in this self-governance. To deny that, to downplay that, to whitewash it is shameful and cowardly. It is THE reason so many Americans today do not understand the dynamics of race relations today, its impact on minority communities and are oblivious to the Black experience in America today.
See above. You cannot let it go. I don't know anyone in the world that thinks Jefferson was correct.
If we are the country we purport to be, it is time to stop hiding from the truth. It is called Truth and Reconciliation for a reason. It has to happen in that order. Too many want to leap to the Reconciliation (just move on, I didn't own slaves) while avoiding or shading the Truth. That is a recipe for failure and why we are where we are regarding race in this country. "Once you become aware, you become responsible." It seems to me that many are invested in being or staying unaware to avoid the social responsibility to act. How petty. How small. Frankly, how un-American.
See the unfaithful scorned marriage analogy. I hope there is no divorce.

What is the social responsibility to act? This is the first time in world history that one ethnic group places its fate and well being in the hands of another ethnic group. That is not a plan.
 

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I'm reminded of Justice Jackson's words in Barnette v West Virginia: "The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own."

It seems to me that we, as Americans, have no qualms or issues talking about difficult things when the topic doesn't involve us. No one would question someone's right to free speech in burning the Chinese national flag or defecating on the North Korean flag. The principle of freedom, free speech, is easy to acknowledge when the symbol isn't one of your own. Substitute those flags with our flag, though, and persons become less resolute in their principles.

Emotionally, they would suppress freedom to protect a symbol they love. And, yet, as Justice Jackson artfully penned, that is when we must be the most vigilant in upholding our principles. Not when it is obscure, external and easy but when it's hard. When it involves something we identify with, love, when it's about US.

Similarly, I see the teaching and learning of history the same way. It is easy to discuss the Holocaust and Nazi Germany and be critical of those events. No one will accuse you of engaging in presentism by calling out and being critical of Nazi Germany and Hitler. An immoral act is immoral, despite the decade, and we have no qualms calling it how we see it for another's atrocity. And, yet, some persons lose their resolve to be as truthful, honest and critical when the history, and atrocity, become our OWN. Emotion overrides principle.

And that is a mistake. If we are unable or unwilling to discuss our own history as openly, as honestly and as critically as we do another's then we aren't a nation of principles, we are a nation of cowards and hypocrites. Thumping our moral chest about what's foreign while shrinking and hiding behind the nuance of what's domestic. I understand the pragmatism of a historians need to be unbiased in their recounting of history.

But, the way presentism is being misused in this thread is analogous to a young child wildly thrashing back and forth with a newly discovered, sharpened machete. Ill of intent it is dangerous; if deliberate, it is disingenuous. It suggests that chattel slavery being morally bankrupt and heinous is a modern day thought and ideology. Which is fallacy. Abolitionism, as a movement, in what would become the United States dates back to the colonial era. Germantown Quakers were protesting the enslavement of Blacks in 1688. Which suggests that there was a pocket of society that saw chattel slavery for the immoral act that it was. That that thought wasn't the predominant ideology of the time and many of our founding fathers engaged in the activity is an unfortunate FACT. But, it is a fact that needs to be taught honestly and, yes, critically.

We need to discuss the fact that when Thomas Jefferson wrote "all men are created equal" in the DoI he meant all WHITE men are created equal and were free to self-govern. Jefferson was a slaver and saw Blacks as chattel. In no way shape or form did he consider them his equal with the right to participate in this self-governance. To deny that, to downplay that, to whitewash it is shameful and cowardly. It is THE reason so many Americans today do not understand the dynamics of race relations today, its impact on minority communities and are oblivious to the Black experience in America today.

If we are the country we purport to be, it is time to stop hiding from the truth. It is called Truth and Reconciliation for a reason. It has to happen in that order. Too many want to leap to the Reconciliation (just move on, I didn't own slaves) while avoiding or shading the Truth. That is a recipe for failure and why we are where we are regarding race in this country. "Once you become aware, you become responsible." It seems to me that many are invested in being or staying unaware to avoid the social responsibility to act. How petty. How small. Frankly, how un-American.

So, I don't know how widespread it is or what, but, when I took American history at Lafayette High school in the late 80s, I was taught about slavery and learned that many of the founders owned slaves. Learned about the 3/5ths compromise and I memorized Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. We also talked about individuals who led the movement to abolish slavery. At least in my experience, I never really saw any denying it in history class. Maybe I had a good teacher, idk. He never shied away from difficult questions and answered candidly. I don't remember if Juneteenth was covered though. I do recall we talked about it taking a long time before all of the former slaves learned they had been freed because of the lack of quick communication methods back then.

Of course, I never really talked about it with anyone outside of school. But that was the case for just about any school subject. Most kids I associated with back then deliberately avoided talking anything related to school, lol.

I certainly think it all should be taught, the good, the bad and the ugly. I know some people want to avoid looking under the provervial hood of the car and see that mess of an engine. Ignoring the engine will eventually cause the car to break down, and I agree, ignoring our history will lead to a breakdown in our society.

The thing is, I don't know what other schools teach in their American history classes, but if they're anything like what I experienced, everyone should have been exposed to that part of our history. Now some students will deny or ignore what is being taught, but I guess there will always be those who prefer to romanticize or rewrite US history, but, I don't know that there's anything that can be done about it other than to speak against it.
 

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We don’t. As long as there’s history to tell, it’s worth telling accurately.
Perennial grievances are not healthy. It leads to division, resentment, tribalism, hopelessness, anger, nihilism, etc. It is like the marriage that never heals following infidelity, unity is never achieved and the marriage ends.

Remembering the painful past on a daily basis is not healthy. I know quite well this suggests no empathy. But, the offended party gets more respect with less complaining. Everybody admires the guy that does not rub his chest after being hit by a pitcher in a baseball game. This is my perspective as an outsider to American history.
 

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So, I don't know how widespread it is or what, but, when I took American history at Lafayette High school in the late 80s, I was taught about slavery and learned that many of the founders owned slaves. Learned about the 3/5ths compromise and I memorized Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. We also talked about individuals who led the movement to abolish slavery. At least in my experience, I never really saw any denying it in history class. Maybe I had a good teacher, idk. He never shied away from difficult questions and answered candidly. I don't remember if Juneteenth was covered though. I do recall we talked about it taking a long time before all of the former slaves learned they had been freed because of the lack of quick communication methods back then.

Of course, I never really talked about it with anyone outside of school. But that was the case for just about any school subject. Most kids I associated with back then deliberately avoided talking anything related to school, lol.

I certainly think it all should be taught, the good, the bad and the ugly. I know some people want to avoid looking under the provervial hood of the car and see that mess of an engine. Ignoring the engine will eventually cause the car to break down, and I agree, ignoring our history will lead to a breakdown in our society.

The thing is, I don't know what other schools teach in their American history classes, but if they're anything like what I experienced, everyone should have been exposed to that part of our history. Now some students will deny or ignore what is being taught, but I guess there will always be those who prefer to romanticize or rewrite US history, but, I don't know that there's anything that can be done about it other than to speak against it.
My children were taught all those things and more. I went to high school outside the USA and also knew the history of slavery in America.
 

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