Jun 112020
 


Cy Twombly Achilles’ Shield 1978

 

Virtue signaling in the US of A has already reached new heights, and there’s little reason to believe it won’t reach even much higher as we happily signal along. In the process, we will find that applying logic to the undertaking will take us to unanticipated, and highly undesirable (for most protesters), places. But by then a lot of damage, whether we think that’s a good thing or not, will have been done.

HBO opened a Pandora’s Box all of its own when it pulled Gone With the Wind, despite that fact that Hattie McDaniel was the first black American Oscar nominee AND winner. Let’s erase that too. Along with ALL other films that depict slavery in the “wrong” light, or, better yet, that depict slavery at all.

Let’s ban all links to slavery, let’s pretend it never existed, because if we don’t we will find it’s impossible to decide between what we do and do not want to last. not all people have the same preferences or opinions, and neither do all black people.

And while we’re talking movies, and Columbus statues are toppled across the nation because Christopher (before there were any “Americans”) treated indigenous Americans poorly, do let’s ban all Hollywood westerns in which “Indians” are depicted as cannon fodder. No more John Wayne for you. Gone even the few non-westerns Wayne appeared in, because his name and face are forever linked to killing “Indians”. No more Duke.

 

And why stop there? Just to name an example, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, arguably a great book and a good movie, depicts a white man “being compassionate” to a black man oppressed by other white men. Can’t have that, the oppression is obviously racist and so is the good(!) white(!) man who’s the protagonist of the story, written by a white woman(!).

Let’s leaf through all American and other world literature of the past half millennium that describes slavery, including that which talks about “good white” men. There are no good white men!

Anything to do with native Americans must go. Because they were badly treated throughout the 500 years of history they share with white people (Europeans). They still are, just like African Americans. Same difference. Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison? Don’t think so. They were all talking about slavery. And we’re toppling statues in order to stop that talk.

Frederick Douglass? You got to be kidding. His autobiography is called “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave“. Isn’t that enough to topple him? James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, they all remind us of a period we don’t want to be reminded of anymore. It’s enough! No more slavery!

Martin Luther King? Get serious, he talks about nothing but oppression. He even claims black people in his lifetime were still slaves. Muhammad Ali is obviously not welcome anymore, he spoke just about exclusively from the viewpoint of an oppressed man.

 

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States of America. George Washington was a slaveholder, he’s obviously out. D.C. stands for District of Columbia, named after Columbus, so that needs a new name. The country gets its name from a Columbus contemporary and fellow explorer who was a slave holder and treated indigenous populations of the countries he “visited” no better than Columbus did. Wikipedia:

Amerigo Vespucci wrote his will in April 1511. He left most of his modest estate, including five household slaves, to his wife.


[..] After Hispaniola they made a brief slave raid in the Bahamas, capturing 232 natives and then returned to Spain.

There once was a time when Washington, D.C. was the capital of the United States of America. But those days must soon be gone. How can you hold on to a name for your capital city that belongs to a man who was a brazen slave holder? Or the district the capital is in? And how can you breathe in a country named after a despicable Italian slaveholder and slave trader?

The US constitution was largely written by slave holders. We’re going to need a new one.

 

 

There are 1747 “symbols of the Confederacy” in the US. I’m guessing Pelosi, once those 11 statues at the Capitol have been toppled, will start work on getting rid of the other 1736 too. And mind you, this doesn’t yet include Columbus, Vespucci, or anyone else who’s “mistreated”, enslaved, murdered, native Americans. We will easily have twice the 1747 number once we include those.

For that matter, if you’re Nancy Pelosi, how and why do you dress up in the “kente cloth” fabrics that originate with the Asanthi people that ruled in present-day Ghana from mid-1600s to mid-1900s, and were themselves … slaveholders and slave traders? Who sold god knows how many African slaves to European slave traders? How can you dress up in the garb of slave traders to protest the mistreatment of the grandchildren of slaves? Short circuit? Temporary?

 

 

For all the protesters other than Pelosi, who herself obviously joined in only for political reasons, here’s a question: Do you oppose slavery, or only slavery on US soil? Because, you know, the Romans had slaves, many African tribes had slaves, present day Chinese people did. Australia? Slave country if I ever saw one. The deeper you dig into history, the more you will find. I don’t want to bore you with an extensive list, because it would be too extensive.

 

 

Or maybe a second question, though it has mostly already been answered: Is this protest only about slavery, or about the oppression of people(s) in general? It’s already been answered in toppling the Columbus statues, since Christopher was not a slavetrader as far as we know, so, see above, we’re talking about both “indians” and “negroes”.

I use both derogatory terms on purpose, precisely because they paint the picture of what things used to be like. That they are no longer tolerated tells a story all by itself. And yes, much more is needed, but can that be achieved by toppling statues and banning books and movies? Is that how those two terms were banned?

We cannot escape our past and probably that’s the reason we shouldn’t try. What we need to do, what our role in the story is, is to not follow in the “footsteps of wrong”, and to do better. Do we have a better chance at doing better and escaping “wrong” if and when we ban all symbols of it, so we can no longer see it?

Or is our best chance to let all these things last so we can point at them to say: that is wrong!? If all the statues and books and movies are gone, how will our children know?

And I haven’t even mentioned the music yet, the unique melting pot of European melodies and African beats that gave the world blues and jazz and rock, all born from the plantation life that so many stories depict, and the music itself, growing under the statuesque eyes of the likes of Jefferson Davis or George Washington.

Maybe if you like your blues and jazz and rock and rap, you should call for the statues and books to remain standing, because without the narratives they bear witness to, there would be no blues, or anything that came after. Maybe you should celebrate your ancestors’ genius that gave America (or whatever you wind up calling it soon) its music, which, accidentally, has conquered all the countries of all the slavetraders of the past.

Maybe the music, the books, represent your ancestors’ victory over their oppressors, and maybe you risk tainting that hard-fought victory by trying to erase the memories of those they fought against to attain it.

And no, you can’t just pick the books and statues and music you would like and dump everything else. It doesn’t work that way. Your neighbor might have slightly different criteria and pick other favorites, and so on.

You can’t say we’ll hold on to Toni Morrison and throw out Harper Lee, you can’t dump Gone With the Wind but keep Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, because each of these are part of the exact same story.

It’s a package deal, called history. And you’re not going to get the best end of that deal by pretending history doesn’t exist.

 

 

 

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Home Forums No More Washington or America

This topic contains 18 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  TonyPrep 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • #59858

    Cy Twombly Achilles’ Shield 1978   Virtue signaling in the US of A has already reached new heights, and there’s little reason to believe it won’t
    [See the full post at: No More Washington or America]

    #59862

    Dr. D
    Participant

    You’re right: D.C. just named “Black Lives Matter” street. Not to be out-signaled, DeBlasio named a street in each of the 5 burroughs after BLM. Bigot. What you need to do is name EVERY Street in EVERY town, county and city “BLM Street”, or Boulevard, or Avenue, Highway, etc, otherwise, YOU JUST DON’T CARE.

    But look on the bright side: you’ll always know where you are! You’re on Black Lives Matter Street. And you can never leave.

    #59863

    Dr. D
    Participant

    One thing’s for sure: erasing “Paw Patrol” shows what kind of serious and important people they are.

    #59864

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    All the history I’ve read says that we have a compulsion to tear down the old before building anew. By anew, I do not mean ‘significantly different’. Just new. New palce temple mausoleum much like the old palace temple mausoleum. New emperor much like the old emperor. New population much like the old population that we decimated, exiled, and enslaved.

    Slavery, bad old school chattel-in-chains slavery, has never seemed more likely to again become an openly major part of human civilization since 1865. Never mind Libya etc. We’re talking a major disruptive growth industry. Somebody’s got to work for peanuts getting the last vestiges of petroleum and coal out of the pits. As peak oil rides its downward slope, peak slavery begins its upward curve.

    I’ve read that hoary old rotten quote by Orwell quite a bit lately. Something about the future being a boot stamping someone’s face over and over.

    To put it mildly: FUCK THAT SHYTE. Only serious losers fall for that crap. Here is the shape of the future since the first hominid discovered how to blow tunes from a bird’s wing bone:

    luff

    Pretty World

    Why don’t we take a little piece of summer sky
    Hang it on a tree
    For that’s the way to start to make a pretty world
    For you and for me

    And for the sun we’ll find a lemon bright balloon
    You can hold the string
    Oh don’t you know that little world of ours will be
    The prettiest thing

    We can have rain enough for the stream
    To hold our happy faces
    When we want a breeze, I’ll blow you a kiss or two
    Take me in your arms and our little world
    Will be the place of places
    Nothing left to make but breakfast and love

    We’ll hang a little sign that just says Paradise
    Population two
    And we together can make a pretty world
    For me and for you
    For you
    It’s what I wanted to do for you
    To make a world – with you!

    Da Blooz

    In the cold water of a stream
    Sitting I washed my clothes
    While sitting and washing my clothes
    I was thinking about my dear mother.

    While sitting and washing my clothes
    I was thinking about my dear mother.

    On the edge of а high hill
    Willow branches are swaying
    While the willow branches are swaying
    I was thinking about my dear mother.

    Even the willow branches are swaying
    I was thinking about my dear mother.

    In the cold well water
    (She was) sitting and washing her hands
    While sitting and washing her hands
    I was thinking of my dear mother.

    While sitting and washing her hands
    I was thinking of my dear mother.

    Bushes and trees are curved by the wind
    I have thought about my dear mother
    In the bitter water of spring
    I was thinking about my mother
    Who gave me birth.

    We can blame… the leaders. We can blame… the institutions. We can blame… each other. We can blame… God or suitable stand-in. We can blame… ourselves.

    We can blame like pros. In ten years, we can tumble statues of Trump. Or lord knows whom. We can stomp ’em with our wornout boots over and over. cuz after all, it’s always somebody else’s fault. I just work here.

    #59865

    zerosum
    Participant

    My opinion:
    Groups of enablers, influencers working for competing groups of elitists trying to manipulate the minds of the irrelevant rifraf.

    My garden is flourishing and has already supplied me with a delicious harvest of spinach.
    ——-
    @ Mr. House
    I enjoyed reading the Harper Essay, although it is meant to be read and digested by “my betters”

    https://harpers.org/archive/2020/05/how-the-anti-populists-stopped-bernie-sanders/

    populism is the ism that goes with mob rule.

    “Populism” was a word used to express the horror of seeing hierarchies collapse and the lowly clamber to places where they did not belong.

    Elites rule us because elites should rule us. They are in charge because they are the best.

    This essay is excerpted from The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism, which will be published next month by Metropolitan Books.
    – Thomas Frank is an American political analyst, historian, and journalist.

    #59867

    Ken Barrows
    Participant

    When we refer to history–to date–it’s been to a poorer time. Has always been. But in 20-30 years it won’t be. And all of these issues won’t matter at all.

    #59871

    casamurphy
    Participant

    Black Lives Matter protests are large because USA society continually strives to disregard the continual suppression of blacks. Saying, “Well All Lives Matter” is just more disregard. It’s as if your house is burning and when you call the fire department to complain about how long it is taking them to arrive they tell you, but lots of other people’s house burn all the time. That’s being told your house doesn’t matter. And as to where to “draw the line” about dismantling honorific public memorials…in the USA it is simple and clear: With Confederate symbols. The Confederate rebellion aimed to destroy the United States and to maintain slavery. Those f**king traitors who caused over 600000 war dead then raised monuments to their lost cause in order to terrorize blacks after the war and they deserve no public honor. Any good old boy who will boycott Nascar now that they have banned the Confederate flag at their events can simply make sure the door doesn’t hit their whiny-ass on the way out of the respectable house of civil society. Such losers may try to rewrite history, but no, the winners get to write history. You do not see Nazi monuments in Germany, so all you USA white supremacists need to just get over it.

    #59872

    Huskynut
    Participant

    Casamurphy – I call bullshit to your argument.
    And for an eloquent and thorough rebuttal (which I can in no way match), take a few minutes to read and digest this open letter:
    https://pastebin.com/WBzAFDgA

    I love the writer leads with the strength and moral weight of their argument, which is utterly persuasive and compelling, and only at the end says – yeah, and btw I’m of colour. That totally exemplifies what can be achieved by taking responsibility for one’s state in life and getting on with it, rather than playing the perpetual victim.

    #59873

    WES
    Participant

    Rioters toppled a statue of a confederate soldier in Portsmouth, Virginia, last night, while police watched.

    Unfortunately it seems a black lives matter organiser was badly hit on the head by the falling 600 pound statue.

    The woman directing the mob, dropped her 10 pound sledge hammer, and slipped away into the darkness.

    Clearly his b!ack life didn’t matter. Maybe he was considered just a slave to the cause?

    #59874

    WES
    Participant

    When I look back at history, the common theme for my ancestors leaving the old world for the new world, is they did not like being treated as slaves!

    #59875

    casamurphy
    Participant

    JFK’s speech to the nation following the Alabama National Guard protecting the admission of the first black students to the state’s public university is very poignant when juxtaposed to the rantings of Mr. Trump.

    #59876

    casamurphy
    Participant

    @huskynut Yeah, “You’re just playing the victim, lots of other people’s houses burn down all the time!” My argument stands. White racist USA citizens will do almost anything to deflect and disregard the suppression of blacks. Those of us that want the suppression to be addressed don’t ask for that improvement because we disregard the value of all lives or the virtue of taking responsibility for one’s state in life. To accuse us of such disregard simply highlights the disregard our accusers have for equal rights in our society. Indeed, we simply are asking all our fellow citizens to not only accept responsibility for their state in life but to also accept their responsibility to uphold the ideals of a just society.

    #59877

    CuriousGeorge
    Participant

    This whole article struck me as woe be me, because this change (if it actually happens) impacts ones perception of the universe. Well that is the whole point behind change.

    As a white European I intellectually understand that we have wreaked havoc upon Africa and black people and I also understand that I have no understanding of the effects that that may have caused because I have never ever walked in those shoes.

    So if Black Life Matter wants to get rid of stuff, and destroy something along the way, including our understanding of “stuff” that is near and dear to white progressives (whatever that crappy phrase means or implies) – good, because it will force me to evaluate my understanding and my beliefs and change them, and hopefully it will do the same for most of us.

    So I think casamurphy has it quite right. Lets see on how white “progressive” individuals deal with with real change that they do not control.

    #59878

    Huskynut
    Participant

    casamurphy – you never stopped and read that letter did you?

    #59879

    dustbinofhistory
    Participant

    Its kinda pathetic the amount of collective stupidity on display here with these protests, makes me despair for our future.

    The fact that so many still seem so oblivious to some of the realities of human nature, of life itself, with species, sub species continuously striving for dominance, fitness … the realities of tribalism (which we seemingly try so hard to deny exist), in group preference, ethnocentrism, xenophobism, pathalogical altruism in some. Huntington’s quote comes to mind:

    The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.

    Anyway, so what’s next, what’s the endgame here? Apropriation of the white man’s property and savings? Having to leave our houses for all those who’m whitey has wronged, past or present in whatever way? No one ever seems to think of what would happen if the tables were turned, if we were the minority. Everything would be utopia huh, no more discrimination, no more preferential treatments … human nature, societal dynamics simply gone.

    Funny after 2008 and occupy that the US fell so hard for the oligarchy’s divide and conquer shtick. One would almost start to side with the elites on this one. Why do the peons in their gullibility, stupidity deserve any better really.
    Hedges’ latest article is a great run down of the mess were in. The fact that so many are still oblivious to all of this is greatly dissapointing. The global plutocracy must be laughing there asses off.

    To the list of dynamics, of traits at play, one could add ecological overshoot induced violence, misery, disorganization, etc. Look up the summary of Catton’s book on wiki. Does a much better job. That wer’e not even close to discussing these things, or labour’s surplus, loss of bargaining power … deflationary trends, Fed policies is disheartening.

    #59881

    casamurphy
    Participant

    @huskynut You stated your opinion of what the letter said and my comment addressed that so I showed respect to you. What you gave me in return is judgment and jumping to conclusions. Do you have no appreciation for the efforts of others? Your judgment of whether or not I read the letter is not only meaningless but also rude unless you state your reasons for that claim. Cite a passage from the article here and build your case, but oops, unfortunately, you won’t be able to do that in a way that our public can appreciate since the hosts of that article apparently thought about as much of the article as I did your description of its value: This page has been removed!
    This page is no longer available. It has either expired, been removed by its creator, or removed by one of the Pastebin staff.

    #59902

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Wrongthink.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell, 1984

    Let’s get started on those statues! Then we’ll erase Mammy and GWTW, all black Oscars, all slave artifacts in museums, American history, then black voices who disagree, then all people who ever sinned, including Lincoln, Churchill, and Wm Wilberforce, then the United States of free speech, free action, and 10 Human Rights, then at last history altogether, so we cannot learn from it, “it” being “reality.” Then there will only be the Party, the eternal now, which being unable to defend ourselves, as ignorant as animals, will stamp on our faces forever.

    In 1984 Winston’s sole job was exactly what you propose: Erasing history. Rewriting it. You approve of its erasure in the missing article, and laud their suppression of basic human rights — free speech — without even reading, with no curiosity or alarm. Does this not give you pause? Assange is in prison for this, for trying to tell you the truth, which includes both good things about us all, but also bad. You seem to approve of the censorship that would have him silenced, imprisoned, and the war crimes he revealed hidden, the criminal state that committed them, protected. Don’t.

    “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” And violent power, of the State, of the billionaire oligarchs, control the PRESENT, they choose WHICH statues and histories fall, since all men sin, yourself included. These wealthy oligarchs to a man are SUPPORTING BLM, which shows clearer than I ever could that they consider BLM, the riots, the political actions as SUPPORTING themselves, their injustice, the violent State, and the [white] people who run it. Unreflective suppport is therefore helping them, and therefore by your definition hurting black people and the fight against racism. …Which is not a stretch at all, since it is exactly these people, these method, this party, who have done the same thing in every DNC state and city where conditions specifically against Black Community have gotten worse for 50 years in a row, while non-DNC areas have slowly improved. So whatever method they are using, it’s clearly counterproductive. Erasing human rights, free speech, discussion of history clearly does not help the Black Community and cause. How could it?

    It’s not the actions or discussion itself that’s the problem, but the method: the end justifies the means. Clearly statues come down all the time, monuments are renamed, but we have a democratic PROCESS by which to do it. I don’t just go to the “Jackson Building” and burn it down, because later we find it was named after Michael Jackson, not Stonewall. You may think I’m kidding, but I’m not: GwtW was only latest in criminal line of embarrassments. Removing Wilberforce, the PM who ended British slavery, was only yesterday. Erasing the California mural by Aurnotoff last year was another, where the artist portrayed Washington as killing Indians, a shocking and revolutionary political statement in 1930, but the existence of Washington AT ALL, in any way, even to discuss his pros and cons and history could not be permitted in our new environment of universal tolerance. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/28/us/san-francisco-murals.html The AntiFascists erased Churchill, a man whose legacy is defined by fighting fascism. So that makes the statue-pullers…Fascists, I guess? Without discussions, words, artifacts, we don’t know who we are, and are sheep to the slaughter, unthinking, unknowing, unaware. …Which is exactly what is occurring in BLM right now, as people ask questions (Shocking! How dare you!) “you got half a billion dollars this month, where’s our money going?” Seems fair. Except those donations are going TO WHITE PEOPLE, as it is a shell corp for a group that donates primarily to DNC candidates, almost exclusively Presidential ones. Who — Biden, Klobuchar, Buttigeig, Warren, Sanders — are all white. There’s an argument there, but without free speech, we can’t ask, can’t know this, can’t improve, and the same black experience will keep happening as the same black money will keep getting pulled out of the same cities like Chicago and Baltimore, and will keep getting worse as they have for decades, with more black people getting killed by it.

    I cannot condone the death of free speech, the elation of its suppression, nor can I condone violence, murder, and arson as a means of discussion, to make changes by any means necessary, because I feel like it. “I want it, so I took it.” This is against every thing spoken by Dr. King and is a travesty of his name and movement, an immense disservice to the Black cause, and seeing black riots on TV for a month may both set back stereotypes by 20 years and get Donald Trump reelected.

    In his hallmark speech Dr. King said “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.

    Those out today are against Dr. King and everything he stood for. I am for Dr. King’s dream and what he stood for. Too bad without history, without discussion, everyone else forgot. And that is why we don’t erase history, ESPECIALLY the bad parts, ESPECIALLY the bad speech. Choose.

    #59903

    Ilargi-
    I like it when you write instead of cite, and the thought-provoking comments here indicate others do, too.
    Thanks.

    #60012

    TonyPrep
    Participant

    I don’t know what to make of all this. You don’t learn history from statues or movies, so I don’t necessarily see the censoring of those things as the re-writing of history. At the same time, we need to remember what was bad about slavery and the mistreatment of minorities (or the mistreatment of anyone who we don’t think of as “in our tribe”). However, although I don’t think human nature can be altered (just as the characteristic behaviour of no species can be altered), I can’t help thinking that the near constant picking out of particular races or particular traits (e.g. “policeman murders unarmed black man who posed no threat”, rather than “policeman murders unarmed man who posed no threat”) , doesn’t help us think of people as all having the same rights and responsibilities.

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