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Someone posted this in the "?" forum last week. I guess they thought we'd be inhibited in our responses. Nevertheless, I think the topic does deserve our thought and commentary. Feel free to respond in this forum or "?".

Thoughts?

MBM


quote:
Originally posted by Anonymously Honest:

Are black people really committed to their freedom or are we just too drunk and medicated to care anymore? Around the world we see people fighting for their freedom who gladly give of their lives and who generally fight with a commitment and perseverance that seems totally lacking here. Either we fight for our freedom or we stand back and allow ourselves to be walked on. Which is it? Why is it that we aren't fighting more aggressively for what we deserve here? Are we fighting at all? We all know that power does not cede power without confrontation. How are we confronting power to move ourselves forward?

While the world accuses some Arab groups of being terrorists and extremists, they are fighting with all they have for what they believe in. I can respect that. Have we ever fought like that? Are we fighting at all? Are we doing anything to improve our condition?

We've got a little middle class now. Some of us drive a bmw and surround ourselves with some trinkets and we get fat. We think we made it. Isn't that what white folks want? For the poor uneducated blacks, let's just keep pumping drugs into their neighborhoods. Let's keep up the good work in keeping a good percentage of black males behind bars. For the uppity niggers though, let's give a bone here and there and make them think they've made it. All the while, nothing is getting done and the status quo persists.

WHAT ARE WE DOING? WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING? DO WE CARE ANYMORE? We come to this site, talk a good game, talk about our blackness and mix in a little Afro-centrism here and there. WTF is that doing to move us forward though? We're just jerking ourselves off - it make feel; good, but has NO productive purpose. Nothing will come of it.

It's going to be a real shame if we leave our children an America that is not demonstrably better than the one we inherited. In the 1950's and 1960's some of us actually sacrificed our lives. For what? So we can chill online and talk about it, but is that really doing anything?

WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING? WHAT CAN WE DO? DON'T OUR CHILDREN DESERVE A BETTER AMERICA? ARE WE DOING ANYTHING TO DELIVER IT?

I am posting this anonymously and want you to respond that way too so we can get completely free and honest opinions.

© MBM

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Indeed...

Comfort breeds complacency.

To me, the single worst thing for Black people was integration and assimilation. As soon as we felt like we "arrived", all sense of struggle departed.

We as a people have become more divided than ever, as exemplified by some of the threads here, and as a result our progress has been stilted.

If we do not become "we" again, our fate will be sealed. IMHO.
You know I agree.

We don't even have a sense of outrage when we have the gutting of the Voting Rights Act thrown in our face.

This is something many of our parents bled, and some die for.

And...we just keep on steppin'

Some of us even say, 'That's not for me.'

AND...some of these have the temerity to call someone else, 'Tom.'

Puhleeze!!!!

This attitude is not even worth characterization.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
Indeed...

Comfort breeds complacency.

To me, the single worst thing for Black people was integration and assimilation. As soon as we felt like we "arrived", all sense of struggle departed.

We as a people have become more divided than ever, as exemplified by some of the threads here, and as a result our progress has been stilted.

If we do not become "we" again, our fate will be sealed. IMHO.
Well, it certainly wasn't like there weren't any warners...

I agree with the topic-sentiments and what you've stated here AUDIO. Those sentiments are part and parcel of what I say (or try to) all the time...

The fact of that matter is we weren't all that together in the first place. Obviously, because some of us can settle with things as they are as long as we're "comfortable" then we all really didn't want the same things. Some of us just wanted to be comfortable which had little to do with Liberation in and of itself.

This is a tired conversation to me. Not because the brothers thoughts are wrong. Again, I agree with them. They echo my sentiments exactly. We got sold a Bill Of Goods. We know it and apparently are slap happy about it. ...Some of us...

The unfortunate part about it is this White Supremacy system - that some of us feel like we must almost categorically defer to - rewards that complacency.

Some of us would like to see the Objective Objective (Liberation) as a subjective thing that's a matter of opinion. Something relative.

So, in some people's minds, despite their complaints (if they don't try to minimize or dismiss them - Black Conservatives) we are "relatively" free.

Now this is something I get mad about!! upset
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
Indeed...

Comfort breeds complacency.

To me, the single worst thing for Black people was integration and assimilation. As soon as we felt like we "arrived", all sense of struggle departed.

We as a people have become more divided than ever, as exemplified by some of the threads here, and as a result our progress has been stilted.

If we do not become "we" again, our fate will be sealed. IMHO.


I've got a question for ya, AG ...

Do you believe that it is/was possible for a happy medium of the two to exist - integration and "us" separately? And if so, do you think that would be the best case senario, or that we should try to keep it separate but equal?

(Just as a premise behind my question, I personally, am under the believe and opinion that the fact that Black folks are non-immigrants here is a distinction that causes big differences between us and others that arrive here as it respects the promise of "America" and what that was supposed to mean. With that comes into play that different opportunities and accordances were not/are not available to us in the same ways that they are to others. That being said, I wonder just how much inclusion into the American fabric are we/should we be embracing.)

But my question is, how much or how little separation/integration would you like to see or do you think is necessary as it respects our well-being?
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

I would hope people could read Yssys Malcolm X tag with greater discernment...


Posted here:

Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.

Malcolm X, 1965



So, my read of the quote suggests, first, that there should be diversity of thought within our community. Second, it suggests that a traditional black nationalist agenda might not have been on X's mind at the moment he said this.

Am I misreading the quote? Doesn't this seem to be counter to what we typically think of as Malcolm's (and the Nation's) approach? This must have been after his split with NOI?

BTW - this quote reminds me of a discussion we had a year or so ago about the Martin/Malcolm debate. Most people were more supportive of Malcolm's approach because they saw Martin's pacifism as weakness as opposed to as a strategic approach to achieving objectives. This quote puts that discussion in interesting perspective.
My memory always gets fuzzy on the dates but that was the year he died and he broke with the NOI I believe in the spring of 1964.

Those fairly well acquainted with Malcolm X are aware of his emphasis on HUMAN RIGHTS.

That point of emphasis and perspective was/is seen as something that goes beyond (mere) Civil Rights that MLK advocated.

By definition, Human Rights are much more all encompassing. Civil Rights, by definition, are inherently restrictive.

But, really my point was to say that the focus is on (or should be on) whatever it takes to ensure our human rights (however WE define them) are respected and our ability to exercise them fostered...

To me, that's change in perspective that releases us from the entrapment of the EITHER-OR thingy with Integration vs. Separation.

MBM, I would like nothing more than to revisit that discussion sometime. Perhaps we can move past ideology and (mis)perceptions and really talk about this...
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
We've got a little middle class now. Some of us drive a bmw and surround ourselves with some trinkets and we get fat.


THE INFAMOUS "FRUSTRATION STAGE" THE WHOLE WORLD IS DOING NOTHING

Frankly these kinds of assaults on African Americans are becoming stale. If its not some high-strung, bourgeois, black conservative like Bill Cosby complaining about how poor blacks should become educated in order to propel themselves out of poverty, its some pro-black, 'I got something to prove', militant complaining about how rich blacks have forgotten about the struggle. The truth of the matter is that black people are in a unique situation here in this country. Our unique historical experiences compells us to live double lives in America. Consequently, you cannot compare us to the Jihads who ran the planes into the Twin Towers. Those people have a completely different mentality, they have never been enculturated into America in the ways that African-Americans have, and their sole purpose in life is to carry out a death wish. Now you may find this quality admirable, but most sane people would not. Secondly, everyone does not share the same conception of liberation as you do. The degree to which you believe black people have achieved liberation may be completely different from mine. Of course I am not at all satisfied with the fact that a disproportionate number of black males are in jails, lacking in education and literacy, are being diagnosed with mental and behavioral disabilities, and are incapable of assumming the responsibilty of being a contributing husband and father, but all of these issues, which have developed over a period of hundreds of years, cannot all be coveniently addressed in one day, by one people, and all at the same time. That's never going to happen. Each of us can play a part in addressing these issues and it will not always be done collectively. Lastly and more importantly, what are you doing to help African Americans achieve the liberation that you feel we deserve? Perhaps you can provide us with some creative ideas other than firing the same recycled complaints made by those sharing your mentality. I for one work directly with African American children on a daily basis which gives me opportunities to shape minds, build character and self-esteem, and develop pride in their culture's accomplishments and world contributions. So I think a little growing up is in order for this poster who feels that because he or she is reading people's discussion about African American experience that no one is "doing anything." I would certainly appreciate it if this poster would muster up enough courage to post threads in the main forums so that his or her conceptions of liberation can be challenged in the open.
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Rowe,

(Still reading your post...)

But LIBERATION is an Objective Objective.
There are no different conceptions.

Liberation is one set absolute thing.
Everything else is a different idea altogether.
So, those different conceptions need to come up with more precise terms that indicate their compromises to the absolute.

I can understand and agree with your exacting sentiments:
quote:
Frankly these kinds of assaults on African Americans are becoming stale. If its not some high-strung, bourgeois, black conservative like Bill Cosby complaining about how poor blacks should become educated in order to propel themselves out of poverty, its some pro-black, 'I got something to prove', militant complaining about how rich blacks have forgotten about the struggle and they aren't "doing anything."


What the fuck do you want us to do???

I think it's clear:
"Around the world we see people fighting for their freedom who gladly give of their lives..."
"Commitment To Our Liberation"

It may not be specific but it is no less clear.
AUDIO and I seem to understand where he was coming from without taking it personal.

You are to be commended for your personal/professional efforts. But, I think the context was in a collective sense no matter how it was articulated at times.

Again, LIBERATION is an OBJECTIVE OBJECTIVE.
There is no subjective definitions of it. Perhaps some lazy articulations of what it is that spins it into something with divergent meanings depending of the beholder but it has an absolute meaning for our situation (and in general).
Let me just ask you this then, if you saw an African American driving a Mercedes Benz or a BMW, would you automatically and unreasonably jump to the conclusion that this person's cares nothing about the plight of African Americans, that they are "doing nothing?" The question that I have is, why do we resent African Americans who are trying to better themselves as well as belittle those who are struggling? Its as if you're screwed no matter what you do. Everyone is a critic. To some, there is absolutely nothing that black people can do or achieve that will make them happy or satisfied. And I'm just sick of hearing the endless complaints about it. What are their expectations? Why don't they just come out describing to folks what should be done, and importantly, what they have done that is and has been successful?
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The reason why I stated that everyone has different conceptions of liberation, or more specifically, different ways of achieving liberation is because, for some, if you're not out in the streets riotting, boycotting, and raising hell, you're not interested in liberation. For some black folks, this kind of behavior is what is believed to be necessary in order to achieve 'liberation' while for other blacks folks, demanding equal opportunities in the workforce and higher education are necessary to achieve liberation. That is why I made this distinction.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
The reason why I stated that everyone has different conceptions of liberation, or more specifically, different ways of achieving liberation is because, for some, if you're not out in the streets riotting, boycotting, and raising hell, you're not interested in liberation. For some black folks, this kind of behavior is what is believed to be necessary in order to achieve 'liberation' while for other blacks folks, demanding equal opportunities in the workforce and higher education are necessary to achieve liberation. That is why I made this distinction.
None of those things address what it is.

Demanding Equal Opportunities???

LIBERATION is more than that.
Where is the freedom in that? and that alone?

Opportunities to work for what?
To work for whom?

Education for what?
Education designed and directed by whom and for what?

Boycotting for what?

LIBERATION is way beyond some concept of Demanding "Equality".
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

But my question is, how much or how little separation/integration would you like to see or do you think is necessary as it respects our well-being?


EBONY, it's not an issue of Integration or Separation.

I would hope people could read Yssys Malcolm X tag with greater discernment...


Nmaginate ...

What is not an issue of intergration or separation? And to whom? Confused You?
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

EBONY, it's not an issue of Integration or Separation.

I would hope people could read Yssys Malcolm X tag with greater discernment...
Nmaginate ...

What is not an issue of intergration or separation? And to whom? Confused You?

Ebony, please... I responded directly to your post.

And, as for something that respects our well-being, neither Integration as a model nor Separation as a model (as those things have been articulated) are necessary for the assertion and acquistion of that "Respect Factor".

I'm saying both models as we know it are problematic. Neither one, again, is necessary (i.e. there is another option(s)... as in no False Dichotomy of EITHER - OR) for what the clear issue is as Malcolm X lined out:

We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.

  • Ebony, you tell me how Integration as it has been conceived asserts and affords us that recognition.

  • You tell me how Separation as it has been conceived asserts and champions that recognition IN THIS SOCIETY. Asserts that in a way that's obtainable IN THIS SOCIETY without inviting undue challenges.

    Okay, we "Separate" tomorrow... What happens?
    Will we be secure in that Separation IN THIS SOCIETY or elsewhere?

    And we already know what's problematic with Integration considering we still have legitimate grievances that Integration hasn't addressed. It has arguably lead to DIS-Integration. That's sorta what we talk about in terms of the lack of Black Unity and focus...

When you address that (please, if you will ma'am) tell me how this is suppose to be something that's about me and my subjective view of things? That is, show me how what I'm saying (which apparently you have no clue) is the function of me making a purely personal preference type view as opposed at a more objective, Thinking Outside The Box view...

So, basically, you're saying that we can only obtain "recognition as free humans in this society" through the traditional conceptions of Integration or Separation.

Illustrate how it is that you can and have eliminated other possibilities. Once you do that you can suggest or demonstrate that my comments are driven by something of personal bias or preference.

Your response is really rather awkward and absurd. If I had my choice, all things being equal, I would choose Separation in a heartbeat. But my ideas, much to your chagrin, aren't driven strictly by what my preference is (in a purely personal way).

I would hope we could have a serious discussion about this...
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quote:
So, basically, you're saying that we can only obtain "recognition as free humans in this society" through the traditional conceptions of Integration or Separation.
Ebony, there is such a thing called an Objective Analysis. One can approach that by simply asking the right questions.

The fundamental questions here then is:
  • WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET "recognition as free humans in this society"?

  • WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE "recognition as free humans in this society"?

Also... what does it mean to be FREE HUMANS (collectively)?
And how and in what way must that be recognized (institutionalized perhaps) in order to ensure that the recognition is solidified and not something that is recognized on a whim or ocassionally if ever really at all?

Explain how recognition and respect for our well-being can only be articulated by speaking of Separation or Integration (or some combination thereof)? Explain how either or both do can or will accomplish that?... (Obtain recognition and secure protection for our well-being?)

( Confused huh? ... I guess you really can have just a little Separation if you want and still call it Separation. And I guess you can have just a little Integration if you want and still call it Integration.)
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
I've got a question for ya, AG ...

Do you believe that it is/was possible for a happy medium of the two to exist - integration and "us" separately? And if so, do you think that would be the best case senario, or that we should try to keep it separate but equal?


On it's face no... by virtue of the definition of the term "integration", but in reality we could have integrated w/o "givin' up our own shit".

When we achieved integration we made the mistake of assimilating - taking on the identity of the oppressor rather that maintaining our own - abandoning our own neighborhood "corner sto'" in order to go to the big chain supermarket. Giving up making sure that our kids got educated properly and instead letting white folks and television educate them. Now we are the point where we don't trust our own and in some cases can't trust our own (BET comes to mind) to do right by us.

quote:


...how much or how little separation/integration would you like to see or do you think is necessary as it respects our well-being?


To answer you second question, I have, as long as I can remember, been of the school of thought that we should have adopted the "separate but equal" doctrine and fought to maintain that. (I say that from the perspective of hindsight, as I was not "on the front lines" during the struggle) The reason I say that is because white folks, for the most part, want nothing to do with you and will go to great lengths to keep their lives separate from ours. (white flight comes to mind) - interacting only when they have to. Some examples:
    1. Just about every white person that I have either worked with or been social with, when we got out of the environ in which they were "comfortable" with me, did not recognize me! I would see them on the street and until I practically hit them on the head, they didn't know me. "...sorry dude, I didn't see you..."

    2. If you look at TV - "Seinfeld" and "Friends" in particular, set in major metropolitan areas, with no Black people!!! (outside of the occassional characature)( I might add that both shows were a part of "must see tv" which was started by... The Cosby Show!! NBC was a perpetual loser in the ratings until then)

    3. Star Wars - six movies... set in the distant future, with 2 Black guys - not even at the same time! (You know they were probably related)



What more do you need? They didn't want us near them in the past, they don't want us in the present, and definetely don't want as part of the future.

Do For Self and others like you.

quote:
(Just as a premise behind my question, I personally, am under the believe and opinion that the fact that Black folks are non-immigrants here is a distinction that causes big differences between us and others that arrive here as it respects the promise of "America" and what that was supposed to mean. With that comes into play that different opportunities and accordances were not/are not available to us in the same ways that they are to others. That being said, I wonder just how much inclusion into the American fabric are we/should we be embracing.)


The fact that we are not immigrants in the modern sense does have a definite impact on how we are viewed and how we view others.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

The fundamental questions here then is:
+ _WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET "recognition as free humans in this society"?

+ WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE "recognition as free humans in this society"?_
Also... what does it mean to be FREE HUMANS (collectively)?

And how and in what way must that be recognized (institutionalized perhaps) in order to ensure that the recognition is solidified and not something that is recognized on a whim or occasionally if ever really at all?



Nmaginate, as always, you raise interesting and complex questions. I do see the concepts of integration and separation interlaced with freedom - at least when considering those concepts here in present day (white) America. If we are to seek equality (in the broadest definition of the word) can we reasonably do that without more fully integrating ourselves in this society? How will we know when we are recognized as "free humans" here? Isn't implicit in this concept the notion that society - i.e. America - i.e. white folks - must consider us as "free humans"? If part of racism comes from the white majority just fundamentally not knowing us, not understanding us etc. - then it would seem like greater interaction would be one of the only ways to achieve that objective (being considered "free humans" in America).

This raises the serious question of whether that will ever happen in this society. Will the white majority ever look at any people of color as true peers? Will they ever cede their dominion over their society? In other threads we talked about the extraordinary insecurity of white folks. They conquer and exploit for tangible gain, but discriminate and hate to fulfill some Neanderthal psychological need to feel superior - better than others. With that as context, can we ever expect to be completely and absolutely "free" in theoir world?

One could argue that the only time whites will embrace equality is when they are forced to. It will probably take until they represent only a third or so of the American population until they acquiesce to the concept of equality. That will be when they have no choice but to acknowledge equality for others - since their rights and freedom might then be in question.

With regard to separatism, I guess the question comes to mind, will WE believe we are equal and free under a separatist context? Juxtaposed against the backdrop of current America, would we consider ourselves "free humans" if we somehow got our land somewhere? I would hope so, but I'm honestly not sure. We would be redefining and restructuring society to our benefit, but would our concept of freedom be at all impacted by global influences? Would we be "free humans" in our own land even if we were still niggers to the rest of the world? How broadly are we defining "society" - global or national or state or community or neighborhood? Heck, there are plenty of people, women in particular, who don't feel like "free humans" in their own homes.

I guess the final question that comes to mind (which I think is where Nmaginate is coming from), is what will it take for us to consider ourselves "free"? Perhaps we have to get to that psychological place even before we can consider more external aspirations of freedom. Could we consider ourselves "free humans" even while others do not? Even if others do not, what impact would our believing in our innate value and freedom have on our existence in a patently unfair and unfree world?

Very interesting stuff!
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How will we know when we are recognized as "free humans" here?---MBM

With regard to separatism, I guess the question comes to mind, will WE believe we are equal and free under a separatist context?---MBM

I guess the final question that comes to mind (which I think is where Nmaginate is coming from), is what will it take for us to consider ourselves "free"?---MBM

Nmaginate, you do ponder what seems to be imponderables. I think you are right to do it.

Considering the alternatives helps prevent a bad choice.

I think MBM answered is first two questions with his third question. It puts self-determination in the mix.

Self-determination resolves all of these issues.

Without self-determination we simply 'Yes, but..' ourselves into submission.

One of the primary rules of good management when solving a problem is to first consider ONLY those options which achieve the goal.

All other alternatives leave in the condition you are currently in.


Ancestral nationality is freedom for the individual.

Everything else is a job project.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
Ebony, please... I responded directly to your post.


Nmaginate,

My "post" was a very specific question to AG that had to do specifically with the issues of integration and separation. Therefore, your comment was in dire need of clarification, as my discussion had everything to do with those two subjects. And not to be rude, but nothing to do with you ... unless you chose to answer the question I had asked! Which you didn't.

My question had nothing to do with the article, except, perhaps, for the fact of the similarity of the subject matter. My question was to AudioGuy in response to the statement that he had made and for further clarification on his opinion of integration and separation. Your comment ... well, I'm still not sure what your comment was in reference to although I'm sure you probably told me somewhere in your subsequent responses.

I am satisfied that AG has most adequately understood and answered my question that I posed to him. That was the objective of my post, and it has been met. As for some other discussion that you may wish to have with me, that's a whole other bridge to be crossed if and when we get there.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
They conquer and exploit for tangible gain, but discriminate and hate to fulfill some Neanderthal psychological need to feel superior - better than others.



We know that Europeans have a problem with difference and some theorists argue that this problem with difference emanates from their recognition of their minority status in a world that is a colored majority. Their response to this reality comes in the form of a inflated ego for being "unique" and "different" from the rest of the world. This uniqueness is translated into feelings of entitlement and superiority. Consequently, not only are Europeans obviously different from the rest of the world in appearance, they have developed unique physiological and biological needs and characteristics, a unique concept of time and space, unique concepts of morality and justice, as well as unique ideas about spirituality and the value of religion whereas all other groups in the world (Africans, American Natives, Asians, etc.) share many similarities in their belief systems and worldviews. Therefore, the question becomes not what blacks must do to get whites to recognize us "as their equal," but rather, how to get people of color around the world to finally accept and understand that whites are NOT our equal. Thus, they must be dealt with according to how they act, which includes xenophobic, offensive, and anti-social behaviors. Because as long as whites acknowledge that their skin is not brown, and more importantly, that they are very different from the rest of the world's majority, they will continue to suffer from this problem.
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MBM,

That *recognition* is two-pronged. And as it has always been with our struggle, once we recognize what must be done then and only then do we "force Whites" to come to that realization.

What you missed when considering what's implicit in recognition... was the fact that it must be asserted - by us. We can't assert something and then, in turn, for Whites to recognize and respect it if we don't recognize and respect it ourselves.

Thinking in terms of what Whites will accept is acquiescence. And I love you but such thinking is self-defeating.

Does it mean that nothing good can come out of taking that attitude? No.

Does it mean that we will continue to revisit these same questions? Yes!

Let me share this with you and see what you think because I'm sure you can see the core idea and how it intersects with what I'm saying about ASSERTING our right as FREE HUMAN BEINGS, in a collective sense:
quote:
Interviewer:
To what extent do you consider it important to frame a movement against racism in a way that affects whites' perceptions of blacks (or other races) in a positive way?

TIM WISE:
"Not very. At least not as the means to an ends...precisely because progress on racism has never been related to how whites felt about black people. Rather, progress has come via movement activity forcing elites to make changes, whether or not the mass of whites supported such changes. None of the civil rights acts of the 1960's were supported by the majority of whites. Neither was desegregation via the Brown v Board decision. And needless to say, neither was abolition of slavery. But interestingly, after laws were changed, more and more people (though admittedly not enough) came to accede to the new norm, and actually reduced their opposition to such laws and changes. Keep in mind, most people are conformist. They assume the laws are legitimate, and the state is legitimate. As a result, when activists force changes, over time (sometimes a very short time), most people come to at least passively accept those changes..."
Maybe its me, but that says something...

I believe, as that Q & A illustrated, that framing things in terms of What Whites Do and How Whites Think as if to make things contingent on that is Improper Framing.

Moveover, MBM... I have not denounce the function of Integration in terms of how that may or may not have changed some White racist views (if that can really be argued... that White views have effectively changed via Integration Osmosis)... In fact, I have chosen no side.

How it is that people can approach this conversation from the position of trying to argue for Integration when we all speak to things problematic that have resulted from it is rather disingenuous to me. That type of view skirts the issue. You can't simultaneous argue that Integration Is It (so to speak) while... all the while on every other subject we're talking about how, in essence, Integration as it exists has helped put us in the situation we're in today.

I most certainly understand the dilemma.
All the more reason why my questions seek to bring clarity to it.

Again, it's not about EITHER OR. Integration or Separation. We have some tough questions to answer in order for us to know exactly what our objective is.

  • Is Integration the Objective?
    Or is it Freedom/Equality?

  • Is Separation the Objective?
    Or is it Freedom/Equality?


    (We can define all those terms if you like.)

    MBM, can you are that Integration can or will afford us with the ability to acquire and/or assert our right as self-determining FREE HUMAN BEINGS (as a collective)?

    I would really like to see and argument be made for it if we want to stay inside the EITHER OR box.
  • quote:
    Originally posted by Rowe:
    ...The question that I have is, why do we resent African Americans who are trying to better themselves as well as belittle those who are struggling? Its as if you're screwed no matter what you do. Everyone is a critic...


    There is nothing wrong with achieving greater heights. But... if you don't bring someone with you, you have acheived nothing.

      "...none of us are free,
      none of us are free,
      none of are free if one us is chained,
      none of are free..."

      -Ray Charles


    Indeed.
    quote:
    Originally posted by EbonyRose:

    Your comment ... well, I'm still not sure what your comment was in reference to...

    I am satisfied that AG has most adequately understood and answered my question that I posed to _him_. That was the objective of my post, and it has been met. As for some other discussion that you may wish to have with me, that's a whole other bridge to be crossed if and when we get there.
    And I'm satisfied that MBM most adequately understood what I was saying.

    The Bridge is here and now...
    quote:
    Originally posted by AudioGuy:
    But... if you don't bring someone with you, you have acheived nothing.



    Of course, but why this automatic thinking that simply because someone is doing well for themselves that they are not helping others? Where does that mentality come from? In fact, doing well for yourself puts you in a better position to help others than remaining poor. Therefore, rather than show resentment towards blacks who are successful and grouping them with the likes of "Uncle Toms," "Oreos" and other belittling epithets, we should acknowledge their accomplishments, praise them for their unstoppable determination, and inquire about how they did it. How did they make it out of grips of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and premature death of which every black person seems to be destined? Why are blacks so uncomfortable with achieving and asking others for help? Why are we so uncomfortable with acquiring wealth, saving money, and counting ourselves among the successful?
    Last edited {1}
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:

    MBM, can you are that Integration can or will afford us with the ability to acquire and/or assert our right as self-determining FREE HUMAN BEINGS (as a collective)?

    I would really like to see and argument be made for it if we want to stay inside the EITHER OR box.


    If the following assumptions are accepted:

    1) America, for the foreseeable future, will remain a white society dominated by white people.

    2) In the short term, there will be no fundamental change in the way whites see themselves and their relationship to others.

    3) Incremental gains can be made by working within their systems/society, in a manner as has been done to date.

    . . . then certainly an argument can be made that creating greater/more productive interaction within the current system will create greater incremental gains (since white folks aren't going to suddenly wake up and sing Kumbaya). Now, some can argue point three, but the word "incremental" is key there. The question is, will those incremental gains - one day - aggregate to create the condition where we will be "free human beings"?

    To be clear, I'm not necessarily making this argument personally - I think the solution is much more complex and nuanced. Nevertheless, you asked if I could construct such an argument and, well, here it is. brosmile

    At the end of the day, in 1,000 years, who knows, the level of mixed race people, both here and around the world, may be such that our current conception of race is completely irrelevant. Maybe people of color become "free" when the conceptions of color no longer practically exist, or, as suggested earlier, when the balance of power shifts to other groups who may be more sensitive to issues of equality and freedom. More than likely, if we all become one big mutt of a race, we'll find other things (gender, class, etc.) to discriminate with.

    You know there actually could be some pretty bazaar strategies created around this subject. IF the objective is to be considered "free" in a society that currently does not see us as such - another way to achieve that is to eliminate the conditions which cause you to be in the sub-standard position. If every black person went out and sought to mate with white folks and others - thereby - essentially marginalizing our differences - that could be a way of becoming "free". Now - that definition of freedom might be a whole lot different than most would consider, but if "freedom" is the absolute objective - then wholesale marginalization of the black race through "interbreeding" is a way of achieving that objective.

    *THIS IS NOT MY STRATEGY. I AM NOT PROPOSING THIS.*

    It is an extreme argument that addresses your question though. I guess it raises the additional question of whether being a "free human" is really an ultimate and appropriate objective? This argument would seem to suggest that there are things that we should not be willing to do to become "free".
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rowe:
    Of course, but why this automatic thinking that simply because someone is doing well for themselves that they are not helping others? Where does that mentality come from? In fact, doing well for yourself puts you in a better position to help others than remaining poor...


    In the circles that I run in, the only thinking that is "automatic" is critical thinking... In other words those who are doing well for themselves only get criticized when they do not bring others with them.


    quote:
    ...Therefore, rather than show resentment towards blacks who are successful and grouping them with the likes of "Uncle Toms," "Oreos" and other childish and belittling epithets, we should acknoweledge their accomplishments, praise them for their unstoppable determination, and inquire about how they did it. How did they make it out of grips of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and premature death of which every black person seems to be destined?


    The fact that we have inquire is a statement in of itself. That info, my sister, is what should be "automatic".
    quote:
    Could we consider ourselves "free humans" even while others do not?

    While this question is a little awkward in the Too Abstract sense (i.e. removed from the central issue), my answer is that it doesn't matter in that respect what others think.

    If we determine and construct the appropriate vehicles whereby we consider ourselves "free", vehicles that ASSERT and, inherently, recognize our human right to be self-determining people... vehicles that actually result in that freedom of self-determination then what other people think is meaningless.

    If and when we are practicing freedom and have the mechanism by which to full exercise that freedom then of what use are the opinions of others?

    If you have freedom as a permanent possession, institutionalized and established? Who can take that away from you simply by what they think?

    Our goal, IMO, is not to eliminate most or all racism in the minds/hearts of White people. Our goal is to eradicate the effects that White racism has on us. That is one of the attractive things about the idea of Separation. It forwards the idea that there is a way to build a shelter or fortress that protects you from White Racism.

    If we are Separate and Do For Ourselves then that reduces if not eliminates at least some of the exposure to White Racism via the job market, etc.

    quote:
    Even if others do not, what impact would our believing in our innate value and freedom have on our existence in a patently unfair and unfree world?
    I can't remember when and where I say out but I believe Marcus Garvey echoed the idea that what we lack is FAITH.

    And we can never be free until we, ourselves, believe we can and have a clear conception of what that entails.

    The question is not only how do we obtain it (freedom) but how do we maintain it and perpetuate it. Institutionalize it.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:

    quote:
    Could we consider ourselves "free humans" even while others do not?


    While this question is a little awkward in the Too Abstract sense (i.e. removed from the central issue), my answer is that it doesn't matter in that respect what others think.

    If we determine and construct the appropriate vehicles whereby we consider ourselves "free", vehicles that ASSERT and, inherently, recognize our human right to be self-determining people... vehicles that actually result in that freedom of self-determination then what other people think is meaningless.


    Your comments beg the question of who and how freedom will be defined. By us? By our relationship to the broader society? Again, we live in a world which, for the most part, is defined by others' values and objectives. Is our freedom a function of some self-defined criteria, or is it defined by existing on par with the rights and privileges that the majority enjoys? Even if we build our own vehicles to liberation, if we live within a society that does not also respect those vehicles, that doesn't respect us, then what is there real value?

    quote:
    If and when we are practicing freedom and have the mechanism by which to full exercise that freedom then of what use are the opinions of others?


    It seems here that you speak less of equity and freedom and more, in practical terms, of might and power.

    quote:
    If you have freedom as a permanent possession, institutionalized and established? Who can take that away from you simply by what they think?


    Ask Iraq. brosmile
    Are black people really committed to their freedom or are we just too drunk and medicated to care anymore? Around the world we see people fighting for their freedom who gladly give of their lives and who generally fight with a commitment and perseverance that seems totally lacking here. Either we fight for our freedom or we stand back and allow ourselves to be walked on. Which is it?---Anonymously Honest

    Confounded comfort. We are indeed sitting back. And...we are comfortable.

    Today's generation is confounded. They don't know what to be mad about. They/we know when we are being done wrong, but if it isn't happening directly to us, IT'S NOT REAL.

    It is confounding.

    Intellect combined with ineptness.


    Why is it that we aren't fighting more aggressively for what we deserve here?---Anonymously Honest

    We don't know that we deserve anything different. Those of us who do don't know how to interpret the information we have to do differently.

    Those being abuse don't know how, except to 'act out.'

    Those not being abuse, and know how, don't feel the need because they are 'doing alright.' They do, however, bitch. They know how to do that.

    It makes great 'in the know' conversation.


    Are we fighting at all?

    Does the Pope schit in the woods????

    We all know that power does not cede power without confrontation. How are we confronting power to move ourselves forward?---Anonymously Honest

    We aren't.

    In fact, when pushed individually, we deny there is anything wrong.

    Clearly, you have noticed.

    By the way, IF A PERSON NEEDS ANONYMITY TO SPEAK ON HIS OWN BEHALF, HE DESERVES THE ANONYMINTY AMERICA PUTS ON HIM.


    PEACE

    Jim Chester
    All very cute MBM...

    But seriously, how FREE is the FREEDOM you speak to if you define it and limit it to something that you presume will not draw the ire of the Iraq like sovereignty takers?
    quote:
    It seems here that you speak less of equity and freedom and more, in practical terms, of might and power.
    It seems like you're having an argument with yourself:
    "Is our freedom a function of some self-defined criteria, or is it defined by existing on par with the rights and privileges that the majority enjoys?"

    You're trying to project your own intrapersonal debate onto me. I have NOT spoken to or about simple "rights and privileges on par with the majority".

    How do you have FREEDOM when that definition is tied to something via ROWE's emphatic statement (from the thread I made a while ago) that you said couldn't be obtained - Blacks having or attaining the same privileges Whites have as the majority?

    Might & power, aside... I'm talking about a definition that isn't contigent on the Horse and Carrot idea of basing our FREEDOM purely on whether we have the same "rights and privileges" that Whites do. Surely if they can Invade Iraq at will... then they can just as easily (in fact more easily) maintain a comfortable distance between us and them espedially when we buy into the notion that all we want to do is "be like them".

    So, are you going to really deal with the issue at hand or make cute little jokes, MBM.

    You know me... I say OWN YOUR BIAS.
    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:

    If the following assumptions are accepted:

    1) America, for the foreseeable future, will remain a white society dominated by white people.

    2) In the short term, there will be no fundamental change in the way whites see themselves and their relationship to others.

    3) Incremental gains can be made by working within their systems/society, in a manner as has been done to date.
    MBM, you know that's not going to happen. You know we (you and I at the very least) don't agree on No. 3.

    You and I both know what needs to be accepted and agreed upon is what the goals are. Your Assumption-Acceptance routine is a diversion away from that process.

    Okay... Let's go down your chosen path.

    Please detail the incremental changes that "working within the system" gaurantees... incremental changes that will eventually... someday... sometime... add up to the ulimate acquisition of said goal.

    That is, you define what your goal is and how this route will get you there in a gauranteed fashion... you know since that's the way it has worked to-date.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rowe:...all other groups in the world (Africans, American Natives, Asians, etc.) share many similarities in their belief systems and worldviews.


    That's a bunch of bull and you know it. Asian and Pacific island cultures, especially, have much more in common with Europeans than with Africans.

    quote:
    Therefore, the question becomes not what blacks must do to get whites to recognize us "as their equal," but rather, how to get people of color around the world to finally accept and understand that whites are NOT our equal.


    Well, good luck in your quest to convince those "people of color around the world" that they are all negroes in spirit and not white. But don't be surprised if you get laughed out of town (or off the island) for exhibiting such wacky black hubris.
    [/QUOTE]Well, good luck in your quest to convince those "people of color around the world" that they are all negroes in spirit and not white. But don't be surprised if you get laughed out of town (or off the island) for exhibiting such wacky black hubris.[/QUOTE]

    Be advised this site like any other is a privilage not a right. Tread softly or get axed.
    quote:
    Originally posted by AudioGuy:
    ... but in reality we could have integrated w/o "givin' up our own shit".


    Amen to that, my brotha!! upfro Truer words were never spoken!!

    I could imagine at the time, however, it all seemed like a pretty good idea. Roll Eyes The battle against exclusion would, seemingly, be for inclusion.

    I say the matter just needs a little tweeking and fine tuning to become a workable solution. You know ... a little of this ... and a little of that ... Smile
    quote:
    Originally posted by EbonyRose:

    I say the matter just needs a little tweeking and fine tuning to become a workable solution. You know ... a little of this ... and a little of that ... Smile
    Ebony, in my never-ending quest to contradict you Wink I have to say (quote) this:

    "For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you've got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values." - MLK

    Could you tell me what exactly can be merely tweeked and fine tuned to make this workable solution?
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:

    quote:
    Could we consider ourselves "free humans" even while others do not?

    While this question is a little awkward in the Too Abstract sense (i.e. removed from the central issue), my answer is that it doesn't matter in that respect what others think.


    It's funny. I think in your quest to ground the discussion in "reality" you've actually allowed it to drift into the ether. Freedom can obviously be either a practical condition or a conceptual aspiration. Respectfully, in concept, one can discuss "vehicles" and "free human beings" - but what do those things mean?

    In application, freedom is a relative concept that is determined by perception. There won't be a glass ball that will fall to mark our arrival. We either gauge our condition based upon our relationship to those who currently enjoy the greatest degree of freedom in society, or we create a proprietary standard to determine our condition. Either way, perception is at the core. I have merely asked the question who determines when we are free? Who defines free? What defines free? If the standard of freedom established by society does not define our condition then, to a certain degree, we can just decide to be free whenever we get the resolve to do so. If there is no connection to broader society then what, in your opinion, has to occur for us to be free? How will we know that we are free if we don't look to society to help set the standard? If our freedom is not predicated upon the broader set of freedoms established by American society, that's cool, but what's the standard, who establishes it, and how do we determine when we've "arrived"?

    quote:
    If we determine and construct the appropriate vehicles whereby we consider ourselves "free", vehicles that ASSERT and, inherently, recognize our human right to be self-determining people... vehicles that actually result in that freedom of self-determination then what other people think is meaningless.


    Vehicles? Please suggest a few to put this in some sort of context.

    As with the Iraq example, there will always be those who question our "self-determination". What would seem to be the important thing is not that there are challenges to our self-determination, but how we respond to them. Buddhism suggests that the person who is most "free" is the one is free from the greatest degree of earthly vices. They would say that the monk who has rejected all manner of external human needs is the one who has freed his soul and psyche the most. Since you seem to be defining freedom (appropriately so) in a different context, it would seem that you have no choice but to consider how your concept of freedom interacts with the world. Sure, we can believe something, but isn't the true test of those beliefs when we have to, in some way, justify it or prove it to others? In my head I can believe that I am 100% free, but isn't the true test of my freedom when I try to express that freedom in some way? We live in a world that is getting increasingly smaller. Is it really reasonable to expect an isolated body (country, community, etc.) to be able to live completely without interaction with others outside of that body? Won't true freedom only be reflected when others value that freedom in their interaction with us?

    quote:
    If and when we are practicing freedom and have the mechanism by which to full exercise that freedom then of what use are the opinions of others?


    What "freedom" are you referring to? National freedom? Personal freedom? Under this definition, who is free? Is the United States of America "free"? If you and I aren't free, yet we are Americans, is the US of A really free? Again, it seems that you speak of an internal condition more than anything else. Your analogy suggests a national parity that seems impractical. Is Canada free? Can they do what they want without regard to the world community? Is China free? They are the largest country in the world and have zealously guarded their own sense of Chinese nationalism and "freedom", but are they really free? Are the people free? Each family can, by law, only have one child per family. Is that freedom?

    I'm still looking for your definition. Our world is predicated upon interdependence. In practical terms, how do we establish our freedom without also needing to impress upon others the fact that we are free?

    quote:
    Our goal, IMO, is not to eliminate most or all racism in the minds/hearts of White people. Our goal is to eradicate the effects that White racism has on us.


    Interesting. One could read this and say that you're just telling us to get thicker skins. Please articulate your vision of how, in America, we could achieve this. Whites can remain racist, but we develop the independent means to flourish despite that. I'm not arguing with you, I'd just like some practical thoughts about what this looks like.

    quote:
    That is one of the attractive things about the idea of Separation. It forwards the idea that there is a way to build a shelter or fortress that protects you from White Racism.


    Which is more important to you, inoculating yourself from white racism or being free? Again, I'd love your vision of how this might occur.

    quote:
    If we are Separate and Do For Ourselves then that reduces if not eliminates at least some of the exposure to White Racism via the job market, etc.


    So, you envision creating an entirely separate economy etc.? If the world is trading with the rest of the world, how will this enclave work solely within itself? If there's racism and discrimination and exploitation that occurs between sovereign nations (just ask Oshun Auset!) then how will this nationalist "island" prevent itself from also experiencing it? What corner of the earth has been able to keep white racism from seeping in? How will we shield ourselves from it?


    quote:
    quote:
    Even if others do not, what impact would our believing in our innate value and freedom have on our existence in a patently unfair and unfree world?
    I can't remember when and where I say out but I believe Marcus Garvey echoed the idea that what we lack is FAITH.


    Faith is a function of vision. Articulate the vision a bit better and you might generate greater faith. brosmile

    quote:
    And we can never be free until we, ourselves, believe we can and have a clear conception of what that entails.


    There are a variety of visions of freedom. You are articulating one, which I am very excited to read more about.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:

    But seriously, how FREE is the FREEDOM you speak to if you define it and limit it to something that you presume will not draw the ire of the Iraq like sovereignty takers?


    It has nothing to do with "ire" and everything to do with defining freedom. Is freedom enjoying the same rights and privileges of society that the person/group with the greatest freedoms has - or - some independent measure?


    quote:
    quote:
    It seems here that you speak less of equity and freedom and more, in practical terms, of might and power.
    It seems like you're having an argument with yourself:
    _"Is our freedom a function of some self-defined criteria, or is it defined by existing on par with the rights and privileges that the majority enjoys?"_


    Answer the question yourself? You speak of ethereal and nebulous concepts, but seem not interested in defining in practical real terms what the freedom that you talk about is.


    quote:
    Might & power, aside... I'm talking about a definition that isn't contigent on the Horse and Carrot idea of basing our FREEDOM purely on whether we have the same "rights and privileges" that Whites do. Surely if they can Invade Iraq at will... then they can just as easily (in fact more easily) maintain a comfortable distance between us and them espedially when we buy into the notion that all we want to do is "be like them".

    So, are you going to really deal with the issue at hand or make cute little jokes, MBM.


    You're flailing around here. DEFINE FREEDOM. How can anyone expect to achieve a goal unless it is clearly articulated? Unless I've missed it, I have yet to see your definition of an independent freedom not bound by society or global interdependence. If you just want to say that you are free, then do so. Just don't expect others to, on its face, lay down and accept that.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:

    Please detail the incremental changes that "working within the system" gaurantees... incremental changes that will eventually... someday... sometime... add up to the ulimate acquisition of said goal.


    Nothing is guaranteed. We're talking about paths that will lead most productively to progress. Are you offering a guaranteed strategy?

    Your answer is simple though. As an African American, I am in a better position in this country in 2005 than in 1619. Period.

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