by baldilocks

In the first part, I expressed my ambivalence toward Black History Month; here, I mean to make the case for its necessity.

The Second Mind

A few months back, a person at another blog asked this question:  how has America’s slave history affected present-day black Americans? The answer sits right in front of our eyes, and is so common that it almost never goes noticed: nearly all black Americans who are not recent African immigrants or the progeny of recent African immigrants have European surnames. [i] This phenomenon is a direct result of American slavery.

Upon Emancipation, some former slaves took the last names of their most recent former master; others retained the names of earlier masters; still others appropriated their own surnames, often that of American presidents up to 1865. (This is the reason there are so many black Americans with last names of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Johnson.)

But the point is that, black Americans were, under pain of punishment, severed from their pre-American histories and our names reflect this severance, the special circumstances of the author notwithstanding.

To quote myself:

Black Americans—specifically, the descendants of American slavery–are the most American of Americans. […] Unlike all other immigrants to America, our ancestors were forcibly cut off from all of the totems of their various West African tribes: names, languages, family structures, belief systems.  These things have buoyed all other ethnic groups—including recent African immigrants—in their sojourn to this country and all of them had the choice to hold onto the elements of their cultures that fit into the American ideal and discard those which were incompatible.  American slaves were granted no such luxury.  Our ancestors were emptied of their identities and re-created in the image of what America had for them.

The Ottoman Empire provided a precedent for this practice and the stripping of the old identity coupled with the prohibition of other forms of indigenous African communication had a similar purpose: to cut off “un-coded” communication between slaves, and, thereby, prevent conspiracies. Moreover, as the Ottoman Empire aspired to create soldiers in its own image, America aspired to create a slave-class in its own image. And the long-term effect of this practice remains embedded in our very identities.

So what is the big deal about not knowing the history of one’s people? I am often shocked to hear  Americans who celebrate the vision and foresight of the American Founders ask that question. We—all Americans—rightly hearken to the ideals on which this country is based in order to get some perspective on the present and as guidance on how to proceed in the future. And we examine this country’s success and failures for the same reasons. And further, many Americans celebrate being descended from Mayflower passengers or from specific American Indian tribes; or from Japan, or Ireland, or…

Black Americans, however, cannot point to an actual ethnic heritage which contributed to the mix that is America, for the reasons specified. And the ad hoc heritage which we are continuously building and fashioning is rooted in slavery–foundationally shaky and something about which many of us are unjustifiably ashamed. And, as a result of that misplaced shame, all too many of us take that shame, turn it outward, and use it as a cudgel in an attempt to shame white Americans. The result: white guilt.

It’s time for that mindset to end and there are two methods of ending it.

First, we need to stop viewing the slavery of our ancestors as a subject of shame. It is what it is and it is more than what it is…it removed us from the influences of idolatry and Islam. That’s how God works and he did something similar with the ancient Israelites.

Secondly, black history needs to shake off the “rah-rah, Team Black” aspect and focus on the truth–good and bad–as much as possible. Something which will be an aid: technological advances in DNA testing. This has served to lift the fog which used to surround American slave ancestry and I predict that those who avail themselves of it will become less focused on the victimology inherent in celebrating the depredations of slavery and more focused on the the good and bad of our American heritage and of our singular African tribal heritage–if desired.

Next part: what’s in it for white people?

To Be Continued…


[i] Between the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the 1850s and the Mboya Airlift of 1959, black African immigration to the USA was kept at almost zero.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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I was looking at Chris Cillizza’s piece in the post concerning Rand Paul and Bill Clinton some posts around it I was instantly reminded me of Robert Stacy McCain’s exchanges with Jesse Myerson.

The Success of Jesse Myerson’s attempt to rationalize communism success is dependent on reaching a group of Salon readers who are not at all familiar with the actual reality of communism. If their only knowledge of it is “The soviets were our enemies 30 years ago” as opposed to stuff that is happening in Cuba right now like this:

An explosion of repression greeted anti-Castro activists in Cuba on Sunday morning in Santiago de Cuba and other cities as they tried to make their way to churches for Mass. In Santiago, there were at least 169 arrests of activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), the Damas De Blanco, or “Ladies In White,” and other organizations.

& this  (translated from the Spanish via Chrome)

  • 179 arrested  violently on February 9 Sunday, today, in various parts of the province of Santiago de Cuba
  • 50 detainees with great violence in Palma Soriano on Friday, February 7
  • 28 detainees with great violence in Santiago de Cuba on Thursday 6th
  • 9 arrested Wednesday night in Petty 5, 3 of them were under age 6 who were also arrested
  • 36 arrested in Santa Clara on Monday 3, along with Guillermo Fariñas , spokesman UNPACU
  • 30 Ladies in White were arrested on February 2, Sunday in Santiago de Cuba

Robert Stacy McCain’s solid arguments not withstanding unless the young and low info voter audience that is Myerson’s target readership in Salon hear Stacy points, they will make no more sound than a tree falling in the forest no matter what  GEICO ads say.

The same dynamic is in play with Cillizza. His piece talk about the reasons why Rand Paul is making the case he is. All the reasons are concern things other than the democrat “War on woman” meme. In fact you can read the entire piece and not find the words “war on woman” anywhere in it.

I suspect that’s by design.

Meanwhile Ann Althouse gives a series of reasons for Paul’s attacks which includes the following:

Someone on the Republican side needs to be able to counter the “war on women” propaganda of the Democrats, and no one else seems to have the guts or skill to do it properly.

Her piece and four reasons for Paul’s attacks were linked and copied on Instapundit and made the HotAir headlines.

Now Althouse is a well read blog (alexa rank 79,554 worldwide & 17,632 in the US) The Hotair group blog is impressive (5,687/1,212) and while only a single person Instapundit is,  well Instapundit. (5,713/1330)

But the reach of the Washington Post greater by a factor of more than 10 in terms of Alexa Rank ( 299/88) not to mention MSM coverage so as long as Cillizza makes sure the average Washington Post reader, particularly ones born in 1984 or after, are focusing on his piece’s final paragraph:

Whatever the reason for Paul’s focus on Clinton’s private life, it’s a reminder (although we didn’t need one) that the Kentucky Senator operates under a different code of conduct than his colleagues and the people he will compete against for the 2016 nomination. It’s what makes him intriguing — and dangerous.

rather than statements from Senator Paul like this one:

for goodness sakes he [Bill Clinton] paid an $800,000 fine for sexual harassment

then the takeaway for those young unmarried women who vote democrat will be:

That GOP 2016 candidate Rand Paul is trying to bring down Hillary’s presidential bid by attacking her husband’s personal life.

rather than

THE Major fundraiser for Democrats crying “war on women” is a repeat sexual harasser who once paid $850,000 to settle a sexual harassment case.

and that dear readers is how the MSM game is played.

Hey Ezra Klien says there might still be a “journo-list” maybe he can get a spot in it, if he doesn’t have one already.

Note, Paul should have said $850K rather than $800K and it was a settlement.
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Lt. Aldo Raine: Y’know… Utivich ‘n myself heard that deal you made with the brass. “End the war tonight”?… I’d make that deal. How ’bout you Utivich, you make that deal?

Pfc. Smithson Utivich:
I’d make that deal
Lt. Aldo Raine: I don’t blame ya! Damn good deal! And that purty little nest you feathered for yourself. Well, if you’re willing to barbecue the whole high command, I ‘spose that’s worth certain considerations. But I do have one question. When you get to your little place on Nantucket Island, I ‘magine you’re gonna take off that handsome-lookin’ S.S. uniform of yours, ain’tcha?… That’s what I thought. Now that I can’t abide. How ’bout you Utivich, can you abide it?

Pfc. Smithson Utivich: Not one damn bit, sir.

Lt. Aldo Raine: I mean, if I had my way… you’d wear that goddamn uniform for the rest of your pecker-suckin’ life. But I’m aware that ain’t practical, I mean at some point you’re gonna hafta take it off. So. I’m ‘onna give you a little somethin’ you can’t take off.

Inglorious Bastards 2009

This weekend on the Radio show during Da Magnificent Panel the question of Rand Paul bringing Bill Clinton into the whole War on Women battle the question of Bill Clinton the question was put to my liberal panelist Maxine Baptiste.

She bluntly and without equivocation described it as old news and pointed to president Clinton’s record on “woman’s issues” as more than trumping Rand Paul who voted the wrong way on such bills. I asked her directly about actions vs votes. That took 2nd place to the voting record. Here’s the clip:

On Reliable Sources Sally Kohn did the same, The Bill Clinton actions (which Sally made a point of disapproving of) did not matter and in fact made him morally superior to Republicans who might have a voting record that she does not approve of.

As I have been watching a lot of Sherlock lately I instantly thought of Sherlock & his speech concerning Billy Kincaid as transcribed at Ariane Devere’s site

John Watson: The best man.
Sherlock Holmes: The best man?
John: What do you think?
Sherlock: Billy Kincaid.
John: Sorry, what?
Sherlock: Billy Kincaid, the Camden Garrotter. Best man I ever knew. Vast contributions to charity, never disclosed. Personally managed to save three hospitals from closure and ran the best and safest children’s homes in north England. Yes, every now and again there’d be some garrottings, but stacking up the lives saved against the garrottings, on balance I’d say …
John: For my wedding! For me. I need a best man.
Sherlock: Oh, right.
John: Maybe not a garrotter.

Here’s the video (until it gets pulled)

The moral implications of women actually standing behind Bill Clinton as a “war on Women” messenger (as Bob Filner did in 1998) is as astounding as the NAACP’s standing behind Carlos Henriquez or it would be if the Democrats in their drift toward Marxism hadn’t decided the ends justify the means that every situation is the end of World War 2 and the deal is always a Damn good deal but I suspect the left are more Sherlock than Aldo. The question is have they reached the point where they can not only abide the removal of that uniform but long as they get the votes and the power from a person will put up with a few more garrottings as well?

If you want to hear the full panel discussion on the Kentucky Primary & General race here it is:

Oh and we didn’t even touch on this guy.

Update: Related  How DARE you say judge people who mutilate women

Feminist Icon Germaine Greer Supports Female Genital Mutilation On Grounds Of Cultural Sensitivity. Female eunuchs are okay, so long as they’re not Europeans, I guess.

 

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