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Topic subjectOrigin of Racism...
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=22304
22304, Origin of Racism...
Posted by GirlChild, Thu Aug-17-00 03:54 AM
After having a long and interesting convo with my man McFeely last night, I was wondering if anyone could find any material, that could trace the origin of racism. I don't mean the racism that began in the Western World, I mean, where did it begin? Was there racism in Kemet (Egypt), or is racism a relatively young entity that is only 5 centuries old?

If you have any information on books, readings, whatever, I would greatly appreciate it.

Your thoughts please...

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22305, RE: Origin of Racism...
Posted by guest, Thu Aug-17-00 04:14 AM
I just saw a documentary on racism in school this summer. According to the documentary racism originate with the expansion of western civilization and the slave trade. "white people had to view Africans as less than human in order to justify their brutuality and enslavement of another human being"quote from film. I'll get you the title of the film for you.

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22306, RE: Origin of Racism...
Posted by k_orr, Thu Aug-17-00 05:25 AM
>I just saw a documentary on
>racism in school this summer.
>According to the documentary racism
>originate with the expansion of
>western civilization and the slave
>trade. "white people had to
>view Africans as less than
>human in order to justify
>their brutuality and enslavement of
>another human being"quote from film.
>I'll get you the title
>of the film for you.

Europeans have been enslaving for years. Same with Black Muslims in Africa now. Same with upper crust Haitian families in Haiti today.

The roots of racism probably lie in the idea of race. People didn't always define themselves by race.

k. orr
22307, mos Def
Posted by guest, Thu Aug-17-00 10:28 AM
"The roots of racism probably lie in the idea of race. People didn't always define themselves by race."

The logic is obvious- but can only be realized once you break yourself of the notion that race as this society imposes it is a matter of the natural order of humankind- it quite simply isnt.

Racism didnt start as a practical utility in social development until a few guys like Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Joseph Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain decided that skin color was the primary variance among humans and that that property alone could determine a great number of things in regards to origin, behavior, and intellect.

people bought into the idea as encouraged by evolutionary science that in nature some species are more evolved then others so certainly the idea that dark skinned people look more like their ape ancestors couldnt be too far fetched. Applying this ideology as a means of justifing slavery and colonialism bred this mentality throughout the world and when it came time to lock in the national security of the revolutionary US they further distilled this us and them mentality to disavow all ideas of culture and foreign influence. People who were formerly British were now British American and before too long they were just american- but of course they needed an additional label to distinguish them from the lesser evolved (or 3/5) american and hence called themselves "White."

the problem is that racism still exists in that people still refer to themselves by ideas that were only available through racist thought.

If "whites" were not unilaterally and semantically racist- they would call themselves European Americans in the same fashion that all other ethnicities are obligated (by census) to refer to themselves.

22308, On top of that
Posted by guest, Thu Aug-17-00 10:34 AM
"If "whites" were not unilaterally and semantically racist- they would call themselves European Americans in the same fashion that all other ethnicities are obligated (by census) to refer to themselves."

Similarly If "whites" were not unilaterally and semantically racist- they might call themselves "Caucasian" but even then would have to admit that as anthropologists and social scientists see it- the term Caucasian regards a whole lot of non-"white" peoples.

bottom line: the only doctrine or teaching that substantiates "whites" as group beyond the preconcieved and misguided notion of so-called "white" people is racist theory.

If you dont support racist theory then- I must say it again- YOU ARE NOT WHITE.

22309, Not wholly on point
Posted by janey, Thu Aug-17-00 06:02 AM
or maybe it is, although not as a historical matter. Just to judge from the posts on these boards, which confirms my own experience, don't you find that the first reaction that people have to anything that differs from them is fear and mistrust?

When we look at what we identify as "Self" and what we identify as "Other" -- or "Us" and "Them" -- we establish hierarchies of who we are willing to include in our circle. There's a small group of people that we think of as family, then maybe there's friends, and then there are Like Minded Individuals that we might include, and then there are these ever-widening circles in which we include ourselves: Chicagoans, Democrats, Americans, etc.

And we're willing to extend ourselves to the smaller circle, even to our own detriment (I'll give my sister money if she needs it, without asking for it back. Or I'll take a leave of absence from work so I can be with my mother while she's ill.). But I have to draw a line, right, because I can't take a leave of absence from work to nurse the homeless stranger down the street. So I have to classify him as "other" or else I won't have a way to distinguish between who I'm willing to extend myself to and who I'm not.

So there's some comfort in saying "Not like me" because it wraps us in a cocoon beyond which we don't have to reach. And that distinction -- Not Like Me -- then can take on a life of its own. I know that I'm not willing to help those who are Not Like Me, so I can guess that they're not willing to help me, so that makes them, if not my enemy, then at least competitive with me. And then I end up with these hierarchies of

Like Me = comfortable, supportive, good, right
Not Like Me = threatening, competitive, bad, wrong

So the more willing we are to see different as just different, and not wrong or bad, then the less willing we'll be to harm someone just because they are different. But as long as we have these distinctions, we have a method of feeling justified for everything from not helping to actually harming.

Did that make any sense?

22310, janey..
Posted by BooDaah, Thu Aug-17-00 06:07 AM
u r the bomb. if i wasn't such a cheap bastard, I'd send you some flowers just for being so daggum lucid.

kudos 2 your commentaries.

BooDaah-OkayActivist Moderator
Sister SheRise's Activist Stew Recipe:
Step1:inform yourself step/Step2:inform others/Step3:discuss the problem/Step4: DISCUSS SOLUTIONS/Step5:EXECUTE SOLUTIONS/Step6:evaluate the results/Step7:start over at 1 until desired result is accomplished.

22311, That is so sweet
Posted by janey, Thu Aug-17-00 06:08 AM
I have a flower on my desk and, for today, it will be a gift from you. :*

22312, RE: Not wholly on point
Posted by guest, Fri Aug-18-00 09:58 AM
One thing that we must understand is that when looking for a historical origin of something we must look past the way things are today. Yes, today when tend to look at things objectively or in terms of "me" and "them". However, this way of thought is a fairly new one which was introduced to the world by the group of people who call themselves "white". In the cultures of the people who in this society are considered "non-white" people it has been an understood fact that we are cosmic beings connected to all things. We are all part of a whole with no part existing without the other. What the "white" group did was to begin to seperate things and pit them against each other. Even the human being was divided and each divided part were said to be in conflict(such as reason vs. emotion, mental vs. physical, etc.). While in other schools of thought balance and harmony was looked at as two parts coexisting equally, the "white" group's way of looking at it was that harmony was achieved when the "better" part conquered the "lesser" part. This way of thinking, while already existing in this group's thought, was put into words by Plato, one of the Greek culture's "greatest" philosophers.
Now the question is where did this way of thinking come from? One theory is that it is due to the harsh climate that the "white" or melanin recessive people lived in for some time. It is stated that due to climatic situations such as the "Ice Age" (which they give the impression was all over the world in school when that is not possible) which are not conducive to life and are harsh, hostile, and deadly, a mindstate was born from that which was equally as hostile. You see, if your environment is nourishing and giving then you tend to follow that pattern as well, but if your environment is want that is hostile towards life then you will develop a hostile way of thinking. I've got more to say, but there's a storm going on and the lights are blinking so I'll send this for now.
22313, Interesting
Posted by janey, Sun Aug-20-00 08:37 AM
I would have thought that the origin of "self" vs. "other" could essentially be traced back to the first infant who looked up from its mother's breast and realized that baby and mother were not the same.

But to show you how truly ignorant I am, I would not have characterized the Ice Age as relatively recent. Where exactly did it fall in the development of humankind?

22314, I'm not sure, but
Posted by guest, Thu Aug-17-00 07:59 AM
I've read books that might spark your interest.
One book ("Trapped Behind The Ice") talks about how the albino offspring of the African people fled to the "Caucus mountains" and turned cold and violent due to the weather.
It brings up certin points, but then again on the flip-side, how can I surely prove this information to be right.
Sure, I know that Africn Moors ruled Spain and other parts of Europe, and I also know that "we" let the Portugese onto our land (otherwise, they wouldn't have been able to enslave us).
All I know is that I haven't heard of any other race that has imperialized and abused the land of indigenous people like the "Caucasian" race has.
All I'm saying is that there are devils in all shades of the rainbow.
(This is for any of you Muslims) If Yacub grafted the devil (White man), and Yacub was a Black man (who was supposedbly a sinister scientist), then what does that say about us?????????????????

"Am I going crazy, or is it the world around me?!!"- Angelo Moore (Fishbone)

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22315, Ghandi resents that
Posted by guest, Thu Aug-17-00 10:14 AM
"All I know is that I haven't heard of any other race that has imperialized and abused the land of indigenous people like the "Caucasian" race has."

Cauacasian signifies far more peoples than would be classified as "white" please dont use the term so brashly without understanding who you are condemning.

22316, Okay, let me clarify.
Posted by guest, Thu Aug-17-00 10:36 AM
I was refering to people of the "White European" descent, if I should be so bold to say.
I understand the issue about the falsehood of "racial classification", but let's suppose I was born in Europe....................., would I (perhaps) be a European-American?
22317, Mos def
Posted by guest, Fri Aug-18-00 04:08 AM
The truth of cultural classification precludes mischaracterizations based on perception and presumption and this is crucial in a day and age were those perceptions are largely infected by racism.

If you have European lineage that means you're European American- even if you're Black; that may not seem consistent but it would nonetheless be true the only people that might dispute that are trying to gather themselves and there supposed culture along fallacious premises.

The point is skin color does not suffice as commonality - especially since alot of "whites" dont have common skin color. Reffering to people by culture still allows regard to be made of human gatherings that may be primarily Caucasian or Mongolian or Negro but nonetheless have a great deal of variety. This is quite simply the true nature of human development- the world population as long as time records has been genetically heterongenous. Whereas race and the specific idea of "whiteness" provides that people of pale skin are exclusive no social science can quantify or support that as such race classification cant provide an accurate perception of major human development.

You're statement refers to people of ""White European" descent" but the race qualifier you've used diminshes the capacity to point out who is the culprit. Several Europeans have Negro and Mongolian lineage (especially the Spanish) and several of those kind would still be responsible for history's indiscretions- you're statement might preclude those non-white people of European descent setting them apart and aside- they may even be disregarded altogether.

22318, on top of that
Posted by guest, Fri Aug-18-00 04:13 AM
The succint crinmes of history were committed by peoples, cultures, and nations and those people should be held accountable.

We cannot continue to hold whatever race responsible for our history for the ideology that signifies them as "white" is just another one of those forementioned crimes.

When people say that White people have ruined the world that leaves the door wide open for "white" people to say- well it wasnt "my people"- cuz all White people certainly arent the same.

The race fallacy theory challenges those people directly, if they have excused themselves from accountability then they must remove themselves from the characterization of being white- whatever culture find to replace- if its is an accurate one- will have an easily demonstrated set of things that the person must be accountable to.

No man can escape the truth.

22319, BOOM
Posted by guest, Sat Aug-19-00 08:46 AM
thanks man, you cleared it up, 1nce again.
It makes sense, it's not just you rambling on about a dense topic, you actually have substantiated your point.

"your daughter gives head to old dudes in limozenes, too"- (from Quasimoto "The Unseen")

22320, I once read an article....
Posted by mikaela_h, Sat Aug-19-00 04:20 PM
that traced racism to capitalism and colonialism....when I come to ny, I'll bring you a copy, it's pretty interesting...

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22321, explorers...
Posted by guest, Mon Aug-21-00 12:13 AM

>Your thoughts please...

not the origin, just adding two cents..in more recent, deliberate terms it makes me think of the way 'explorers' viewed themselves as such.

I'm thinking in itself that somehow suggests they viewed indigenous cultures as 'lower', prolly prior to ever encountering them.

and when we did meet up we only 'confirmed' their suspicions. but you only know what you know, I guess - standards simply weren't met or acknowledged.

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