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Old 10-10-2013, 02:59 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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@ london ... and in America, Native Americans are given reservations and rights to build/run/own casinos. How are we doing as far as relating to each other as races (one conquerer, one conquered) in a friendly spirit that breaks down the old barriers?

@ nycindie ... well, I think we are in agreement, and I certainly agree that it would be a mess of epic proportions trying to figure out what reparations to make to who. Just one more reason why, instead of the white man trying to make right all the unfathomable sins of the past, it would be better if the now-mixed-and-mingled races would take it upon themselves to "be the bigger persons," forgive, and yes, even trust.

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"And then what is to be done about interracial people? Should they hate the white parts of themselves?"
A truly formidable riddle. I remember in Malcom X (the movie), how his mother disliked the lightness of her skin tone, and purposely married a very dark-skinned man so that her children would look "properly black."

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"As the genealogists would say, how can you make reparation to someone who is descended from both slaves and slave owners?"
It then seems necessary to tell such mixed persons: "A lot of shit happened in the past. A lot of white people did some really bad things. Fortunately, we are moving away from the times when blacks and whites strove to exist as enemies, people are beginning to realize that both races have much good to share with one another, and the sins of those old white people are slowly receding. Eventually black people will have their chance to heal, and America will be a much happier country." And the talk is as far as you can take it. You can't try to repair anything. You can only explain that, "Well, this is what happened, this was the result, this is what we're trying to do about it, and this is how we hope things will be eventually."

Reminds me a little of Dr. Seuss' story of the Sneetches. The star-bellied Sneetches were the privelaged class at the beginning of the story. Then, Sylvester McMonkey McBean shows up on the scene with a machine that can put stars on the plain-bellied Sneetches (for a mere buck a pop). Predictably, the plain-bellied Sneetches seize the opportunity and now all the Sneetches have stars.

"But wait," say the original star-bearing Sneetches. "McBean's machine didn't make you equal to us, it just made you *look* equal. This is a social debacle that cries out for rectification."

Well, luckily, McBean's machine can also remove stars. So now the "originally superior" Sneetches pay their fares and get their stars removed. "Aha!" they shout to the "originally inferior" Sneetches. "Now we can plainly see who the superior Sneetches are. You can't hide behind those stars anymore!"

At which point, of course, the now-star-bellied Sneetches race off to Sylvester McMonkey McBean to get their stars removed (and re-level the playing field). Well, by this time, the superior Sneetches are thinking ahead and getting their stars put back on. Predictably, the situation quickly devolves into complete chaos. Sneetches are getting stars added and subtracted non-stop. Nobody even knows who the last Sneetch was to get his "star status" corrected.

By the time it's all over, McBean drives off with his machine and a shitload of money, leaving behind two impossibly jumbled races of now-impoverished Sneetches, and chuckling to himself, "You can't teach a Sneetch."

In the TV version of the book, the Sneetches do learn their lesson. They start to realize how absurd the whole star-counting business was in the first place. They find themselves laughing at weird instances where some Sneetch ended up with three stars on his belly. The chaos was so ridiculous it was comical. And so, happily for our friends the Sneetches, they throw aside the barriers of race and privelage and share the good things in life together.

Outside the United States is a whole world of different kinds of black-white relations. We could almost call ourselves unique in our level of black/white tensions if it weren't for apartheid in South Africa. Surprising that we can't learn more from multi-national cultures.

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"I think the best thing we can do is get to know people who are different from what we are, challenge the stereotypes, recognize our own prejudices, and relate to each other as human beings."
We all have enough stars-on and stars-off by now (and McBean is rich enough) to let the healing begin, yes?
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