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I've noticed that many of our lengthy, heated, or otherwise colorful discussions have as a common thread ˜definition' and /or ˜interpretation' differences.

So, I thought it might be interesting for us to see how we define certain ˜words', such as Conservative, or Liberal; or ˜terms' such as Right to Life, or Right to Choose, especially with respect to specific context.

As a beginning, I would like to ask the active membership to define

The word ˜patriotic' in the context of African American culture in this country.

In Kewsi Efume's autobiography he indicated that although it was quite easy to get election to congress because of his Black power positions, however when he got to Washington he quickly learned those same positions rendered him unproductive in an environment that required a large degree of cooperation for everything. At some point he felt his constituents sent him to congress to improve their conditions, so he consciously toned down his approach in order to get effective cooperation. Later on, he was accused that he had ˜sold-out' in order to ˜fit-in', and that the people sent him there in order to ˜Speak Truth to Power',

What is your definition of the term "Speaking Truth to Power" in light of the above, with regard to Cynthia Mckinney's experiences (see post about her in this forum), or any other context that you would want to share.



or


Feel free to define any other word or term that is important to you and wish to share.

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An African American Board Game Of Wealth & Success.

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Empowerment, in addition "interpretation differences," we also need to mention that there are one too many hot-heads in this forum. You cannot disagree with the hot-head without the individual attempting to bite your head off. I don't ever remember this much tension and disrespect spouted at responders before. It is as if these people enter the forum with the sole purpose of soliciting an argument rather than participating in a productive debate.

The second thing I wanted to address are the redundant and paltry discussions about what blacks aren't doing, what blacks need to do, what blacks haven't done, what blacks should do, what blacks should have done, why can't blacks be this way, why can't blacks be that way is overkill. I mean, at some point, you need to just come to grips with what is, rather than what ought to be. The world 'ought' to be perfect, but its not. All of us, ALL OF US are disgusted and unhappy with some aspect of the African American Experience. Everybody has a complaint, so your complaint about blacks is not something "enlightening" and "special" and never been heard before. Just quickly state the classic problem, then follow up with what is hopefully a new and applicable solution.

Finally, to answer your question, traditionally concepts such as "conservative," "liberal," and "patriotic" have had no origin or place in the African community because these are culturally-specific and culturally-created terms that meet the political needs of the European-American majority. None of the terms mean anything to the majority of the worlds people.

[This message was edited by Rowe on November 26, 2003 at 02:10 PM.]
I'll define a word that is important to me, and African America.

IDENTITY:

In the context of Americans of unknown African ancestry, identity takes on tremendous significance. My defintion is: IDENTITY is that delineation of self and all others like you in such a manner as to narrowly circumscribe the common history, ancestry, experience, tradition, and heritage.

Notably both color and race are incidental to the defintion.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
...hot-heads ..... political discussions ... exacerbated to the point ... of arguing ... rather than participating in a productive debate.



Ok, the term 'hot-head' in the context of political discussion.

[paraphasing for clarity] I take it the question is, when does spirited discussion pass the line of 'productive debate' into the relm of 'argument'?

I often see, espeically on other boards, discontent shared quickly and often when the discussion is 'unproductive'; however, I rarely see the beneficiaries of productive debate acknowledge the fact.

Given the context of the word 'argument' especially in relation to the term 'productive debate',
- what are the identifiable elements of Productive debate,
- what are the check and balances surrounding such elements that permit for a proper airing of the issues being debated,
and
- how do you insure subject matter interest long enough to achieve maximum benefit?
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
I'll define ...

IDENTITY:...

In the context of Americans of unknown African ancestry, ... IDENTITY is that delineation of self and all others like you in such a manner as to narrowly circumscribe the common history, ancestry, experience, tradition, and heritage.

Notably both color and race are incidental to the defintion.



Ok, I got the denotative meaning, but in terms of ordinary usage how does the definition apply, how would I use 'Identity' to decribe myself as an American of unknown African ancestry?

Hey, come to think of it, you mentioned 'color' and 'race', are they not synonymous in America?
A discussion escalates into an argument when a disagreement between two parties is reduced to name-calling, disrespect, and the exchanging of insults.

A debate involves two or more parties calmly exchanging facts, opinions, disagreements, and perspectives about one or more topics.

[This message was edited by Rowe on November 26, 2003 at 12:07 PM.]
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Hey Empowerment, is the whole objective of this discussion is to sit here and exchange subjective defintions with you or are you going to follow up with your discussion by making a solid response?


My intent was, and is, to find out what is important to us, from an individual prespective, for exameple, when I mentioned "speaking truth to power" I wanted to know what it ment to you or how you chose to define it.

However, if you chose a different term to define, and I found an interest in responding (which I did), I would partcipate in the discussion of the meaning of your word or term.
Rep. Rowe:

My definition of "Speaking Truth to Power" is someone, especially one without direct power, indicating to someone else that they perceive, or who has actual power, their will or desire. A civil protest march or rally is a great example of ˜speaking truth to power', but it could also be written petitions, and/or phone calls as well.

However, once one secures power and wants to secure more power they should use strategies akin to ˜power struggles' rather than ˜speaking truth to power'. Power struggles take place by people that have relatively close authority.

I believe Efume, and McKinney were empowered by, and understood clearly the ˜speak truth to power' movement, but had many difficulties with respect to the ˜power struggles' in order to realize much of the gains they envisioned for their respective districts.

As the top executive in the NAACP Mr. Efume is in a perfect position. In terms of his position within the organization he is power, so people appeal to him. Yet his ability to ˜speak truth to power' is magnified immensely by the quantity of members in the organization.

I believe Congresswoman McKinney, would be a better service to the Black community as a top executive for another such organization.
quote:
The word ˜patriotic' in the context of African American culture in this country.


So many words.....I'll start with this one for now.
For me patriotism is sticking up for the ideology the country was founded upon. Whether the founding fathers really meant equally for all I can not answer. I often get asked (as do many brothers and sisters) why do you fight for the white man?
I do what I do b/c I do believe democracy is a good idea and from all the countries I've visited and seen we do have a good life despite the many problems that are evident on a daily basis. The arguement is always the same, as I'm told that I should worry about Africa first. Sorry but I see myself as an American so my loyalty lie s therein. Patriotism doesn't always mean fighting but getting out voting and supporting the community also shows patriotism.


Catch
"Ok, I got the denotative meaning, but in terms of ordinary usage how does the definition apply, how would I use 'Identity' to decribe myself as an American of unknown African ancestry?

I thought would be good to start with what is my defintion of identity. With that done, I would not tell you how to describe yourself. You should do that. I would describe myself as having an identity that of African American-American.

"Hey, come to think of it, you mentioned 'color' and 'race', are they not synonymous in America?" --- Our Empowerment


Could be, I guess. The default standard for color is "white" and "non-white." The default standard for race is Caucasian and non-Caucasian. They are not the same thing although they include/reference the same people. The benchmark target of the color standard in "black." The benchmark target of the race standard is Negro. Again, they are not quite the same thing. And in this case, there is a preferred target even within the broad objective in both cases, namely Americans of unknown African ancestry.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
Patriotic....Not!!!

I define myself as an African in America...period. For I have the right to define self. To further define me. I am African first for the blood of my ancestor are in touch with the very essence of my soul. And to paraphase "Maya Angelo": it is in my walk, the sway of my hips, the slope of my breast, the windows to my soul, the chocolateness of my sun-kissed skin, I am African phenomonally...happenstance...well, by way of the a slave ship...they drop my mommy and daddy here in America so many years ago...we lived, we died, we slaved, we be free, they were with me in the beginning and have awaken self in me now.

Peace,

WHEN THE HELL FORCES IS KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR AND THE DEVIL IS OUT TO DESTROY, GOD COMMANDS YOU TO ORDER PEACE INTO YOU LIFE. MMMMM...IS THAT NOT WONDERFUL. LIVE, LOVE, AND GET ON YOUR KNEES \O/ KDO
Reply to Ocatchings:

"I often get asked (as do many brothers and sisters) why do you fight for the white man? I do what I do b/c I do believe democracy is a good idea and from all the countries I've visited and seen we do have a good life..."-OCATCHINGS

What Accounts For Europe's Successful Domination Of The World?

Let me ask you something Ocatchings. Prior to Europeans arriving to America and establishing a "democratic" society, do you suppose the countries that you visited, including the continent of Africa, lived in complete turmoil and chaos while waiting for late arriving Europeans to crawl out their caves and show them how to organize and manage their high-civilizations properly? Also, explain how is it that at the same time Europeans began to emerge as a global superpower and amass substantial wealth that all other places on earth were dramatically reduced from highly developed and complex cultures and civilizations with thousand year old Kingdoms to "Third World," "underdeveloped," countries? How did that happen? Do you even care? Or do you just sit back and marvel in all the many ways that you can spend American dollars? Do you actually believe that America and Europe became the wealthiest places on the planet simply because of their so-called "free-for-all," "peace on earth," democratic society? If you're going to fight for something Ocatchings, the smart thing to do is learn all you can about what you're fighting for.

[This message was edited by Rowe on November 26, 2003 at 01:35 PM.]
Reply to Empowerment:

Empowerment: My definition of "Speaking Truth to Power" is someone, especially one without direct power, indicating to someone else that they perceive, or who has actual power, their will or desire. A civil protest march or rally is a great example of ˜speaking truth to power', but it could also be written petitions, and/or phone calls as well.

Rowe: I mean no disrespect. However, "Speaking Truth To Power" especially when it concerns African Americans soliciting sympathy from whites is a waste of black people's effort and time. Why do I say this? Because for white people to relinquish their power; that is, voluntarily give up their elite status, racial priviledges and preference, and economic advantage to minorities means to totally dissemble a cultural structure that was initially established and maintained ultimately for the benefit of a white majority. In other words, African Americans, as well as other minorities, need to find another way to ascend to the status where they believe they belong, because its never going to happen in a culture and/or society where European-Americans are the majority.

Empowerment: However, once one secures power and wants to secure more power they should use strategies akin to ˜power struggles' rather than ˜speaking truth to power'. Power struggles take place by people that have relatively close authority.

Rowe: There will never be a "power struggle" between European Americans and African Americans because Europeans understand the way culture works, they are masters at cultural imperialism (domination) and universalism, with their culture and way of life usually taking precedence. This is how they got ole' Ocatchings here thinking that a "democractic" society is the best society for EVERYBODY on the planet. Where's the 'freedom' in that? He doesn't understand that long before Europeans arrived to America with their ideas about how to run a society, Africans, Asians and other indigenous peoples had very organized, affluent, and highly developed civilizations. But Africans, and other indigeous people, lack the desire to globally control and dominate; this is primarly why they are constantly being dominated and what I think accounts for European's successful domination of the world. Europeans simply have the desire to do so. They don't know how to behave, unless they are in control. Its an inseparable part of their culture. In addition to this, Europeans are masters of persuasion and lipservice. They still have people following their lying lips. They know what they're good at and they do it well.

Empowerment: I believe Efume, and McKinney were empowered by, and understood clearly the ˜speak truth to power' movement, but had many difficulties with respect to the ˜power struggles' in order to realize much of the gains they envisioned for their respective districts.

Rowe: I applaud anyone that is community-oriented and enjoys doing things for someone other than themselves. However, many African American leaders are ignorant about how to relate to European-American political leaders. There is a specific way that you must interact and talk to Europeans. These are people that can detect a person's weakness very quickly and use it incisively. They are forever looking for incompetencies and shortcomings, a reason why they should remain in control and you should remain in the subordinate position. They are a very competitive, political, and confrontational people. Yet, many African American leaders will naively try to relate to white leaders in the ways they would relate to fellow African American leaders and I believe this is when they're thrown for loop.

[This message was edited by Rowe on December 02, 2003 at 05:22 PM.]
African American" This is a linchpin term in the language of America. It is a much used term with a variety of meanings.

To many who are not of African ancestry, the term refers to all those who are of African ancestry.

To a few truly uninformed, it means any person of African descent. The best example of this I can recall is the teacher from Colorado who appeared on "The Roseanne Show". The teacher was being recognized for her work in mitigating the slave trade in Sudan. She told Roseanne (Barr) she had been motivated by a picture she saw in national magazine of this "beautifuL little African American girl along with many other African American children" being sold into slavery in Sudan.

The variations on interpretation go on.

My defintion of African American requires that it be spelled without a hyphen. That is derivative to being of African America, which, as a geo-political, proper noun, has no hyphen. The defintion is: of or pertaining to African America; an American of unknown African ancestry, wholly or in part.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
Word -- Punk
Context -- Bush in Iraq on Thanksgiving



Bush is a 'punk' because when it came to him sending other people to Iraq he spoke like a cowboy on crack (perhaps he was), but when he went to Iraq it was a total secret, in the middle of the night, and his plane landed without passenger lights. To to futher define the word 'punk', Bush stayed for less than 2 hours, and he didn't even leave the airport during his whole stay.

Bush is a PUNK!
I'm not sure I understand the point of debating the same issue on two different threads and forums. Nevertheless . . .

Do you think anyone in America thinks that Al Sharpton is a viable candidate for president? Do you even think that Al thinks he is?

The word "serious" is used in its most common form. The phrase "presidential politics" connotes the fact that he is running for president.

OP, what are you getting at here? Confused


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
... The word "serious" is used in its most common form. The phrase "presidential politics" connotes the fact that he is running for president....



When you say 'in its most common form', do you mean, as in, 'not joking', 'actually am', or 'what does it look like'? Or in the more common form like 'put my money where my mouth is', 'watch and see', or 'wanna bet'.

See if you define the word, then I will be able to use your definition to determine the validity of the candidacy of each candidate for all presidential campaigns.

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