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I find the whole notion of "transcending race" to be rather pathetic. Michael Jackson transcended race. Michael Jordan transcended race. Etc. Often the phrase is delivered as an accolade, as in "Barack Obama was so good that his popularity transcended race".

Whatever . . .

All this means is that the particular African American had dialed down their blackness in a way that white America wasn't threatened by it. In other words, this means that they were sufficiently white - perhaps not in looks - but in manner and approach, that the fact of their blackness was no longer offensive.

Is that really an accomplishment? sck

© MBM

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quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
I find the whole notion of "transcending race" to be rather pathetic. ...
All this means is that the particular African American had dialed down their blackness in a way that white America wasn't threatened by it. In other words, this means that they were sufficiently white - perhaps not in looks - but in manner and approach, that the fact of their blackness was no longer offensive.


Can you define some of the key concepts here? What is meant by "dialing down ones blackness"? How are you defining blackness?

And when you become "sufficiently white" in manner and approach, what does that mean?

In providing these definitions, consider the question of what elements of "blackness" are offensive to whites.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
I find the whole notion of "transcending race" to be rather pathetic. Michael Jackson transcended race. Michael Jordan transcended race. Etc. Often the phrase is delivered as an accolade, as in "Barack Obama was so good that his popularity transcended race".

Whatever . . .

All this means is that the particular African American had dialed down their blackness in a way that white America wasn't threatened by it. In other words, this means that they were sufficiently white - perhaps not in looks - but in manner and approach, that the fact of their blackness was no longer offensive.



Pretty much...

quote:

Is that really an accomplishment? sck


Nope...
I think I get your point.

I say 'transcending race' is to be translated as 'not a threat' to European Americans.

Put Michael Jordan, and any one or all of those espousing 'transcsion', in a small room with backlighting on him, it would immediately be a different story.

Once they realize that backlit figure is a 'black' you first stress, then pandemonium is on your hands.

Get me out of here!!!!!!!!!!!

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

I find the whole notion of "transcending race" to be rather pathetic.



I agree that the notion of "transcending" one's ethnic background is strange but not because i believe people necessarily "dial down" their ethnic characteristics although some do lighten themselves and purse their lips just so to affect a valley girl accent...

In contemplating the term, i just find it weird that the dominant culture's enjoyment of a person's talents means they are now raceless...(transcendant) munch
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

I find the whole notion of "transcending race" to be rather pathetic.



I agree that the notion of "transcending" one's ethnic background is strange but not because i believe people necessarily "dial down" their ethnic characteristics although some do lighten themselves and purse their lips just so to affect a valley girl accent...

In contemplating the term, i just find it weird that the dominant culture's enjoyment of a person's talents means they are now raceless...(transcendant) munch


Yeah, that's how I feel about it too.

I think it's an expression of racial chauvinism, conscious or unconscious, that the dominant group/white people are sufficiently pleased enough to look past the skin color of a person when usually they would not.

To me it rings as a backhanded compliment.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

I find the whole notion of "transcending race" to be rather pathetic.



I agree that the notion of "transcending" one's ethnic background is strange but not because i believe people necessarily "dial down" their ethnic characteristics although some do lighten themselves and purse their lips just so to affect a valley girl accent...

In contemplating the term, i just find it weird that the dominant culture's enjoyment of a person's talents means they are now raceless...(transcendant) munch


Yeah, that's how I feel about it too.

I think it's an expression of racial chauvinism, conscious or unconscious, that the dominant group/white people are sufficiently pleased enough to look past the skin color of a person when usually they would not.

To me it rings as a backhanded compliment.


Essentially, I agree...but...

I think it is important that when European Americans say 'race' they do indeed mean exactly that...RACE.

They are not meaning ethnicity.

The total extent of their reference is...color.

Therefore, when they are talking about 'transcendence' they are referencing the 'color construction' of our society...no more.

It is a 'gutter' discussion which is reinforcing their repression of us as a people.

It is a part of the system of 'Under-value, Under-estimate, and Marginalize' us individually, and as a people.

Backhanded is a polite term for what is intended.

It is a refusal-to-acknowledge, and not a simple failure.


PEACE

Jim Chester
What I've noticed over the decades is when a particular entertainer is so good at what they do, other races of people want to take ownership of their genius.That is something neither the entertainer nor the athlete nor the black race in general can stop.


Michael Jackson is the only black man in the history of the human race that has truly transcended his own ethnicity.

No other black entertainer or athlete has changed their physical appearance to mimic that of caucasians.

Barack Obama cannot help who he is.

I don't recall Michael Jordan ever changing his personality characteristics to appeal to the masses enough to transcend race. Do you think Denzel Washington sold himself out in the effect of transcending race? What about Sammy Davis Jr.?

Muddy Waters transcended race when he influenced Mick Jagger and his band to name themselves after one of his songs.

Chuck Berry transcended race when the Beach Boys took his style. Every black musician in existence during Jerry Lee Lewis' and Elvis Presley's time transcended race through them.

Bob Marley transcended race, Jimi Hendrix transcended race. Joe Lewis transcended race.
I get your point.

I think 'transcending race' would have to demonstrate 'standing without race' not 'standing in spite of race'.

To be imitated, is not 'transcendence'.

Transcendence is sort of like...sublimation.

Carbon dioxide becoming a gas without having been a liquid, for example.

Michael Jackson was a 'black' man in our society regardless of his complexion.

And that is not intended to be either derogatory, or cynical.

Michael Jackson never tried to 'hide'...'pass'.

He never denied his family.

He never denied his ethnicity.

He always fully embraced who he was.

The talk about 'transcendence' is an American thing.

The world accepted Michael for his talent and performance on their merit.

America presents Michael to the world through America's lens of racism.

PEACE

Jim Chester

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