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March 15, 2005


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I have to say, I loved the "shuga" quote. That was great. I am a bit lost with this post, however, because I understand you to be saying two things that are not paradoxical:
1) "niggah" is essentially the same as "dago" in that the connotation means "not white."
2) the people who "honestly feel friendly" are white folks - in relation to black folks (the paradox being the reticence of whites to acknowledge a shared humanity).

What follows is based on this understanding...rescue me if I am wrong (to borrow from dr._maulana_karenga).

In the first instance, there are clearly similarities in the contemporary implications of the word, but the core of these terms lies in their historical significance. As such, "dago" serves as more than a pejorative...it is a call to arms or more properly a call to nuts seeking seminal injections leading to "purity" of the northern Italian type. "Dago" also serves as an appeal to diligence and defense because it was African military strength that led to the genetic coupling in the south and in Sicily, etc. The same is true of Spain. So, I believe these nuances are critical because the audience is different. "Dago's" may not be Aryans but they are still part of the G-7.

In the second case, I would simply say that I doubt there is an honest feeling of friendliness - but rather a Jeffersonian dread of consequences. TJ lamented the future of America because the presence of Blacks provided an enduring reminder of the imbalance. One poster on the other side stated he believed whites wanted racism to end...hardly, the preference is for the consequences of repurcussions to end - with white supremacy intact. The white collective has no desire to compete with Blacks or the rest of the world on even footing. Which generation would forego the illegally gotten gains of their ancestors? So, to my mind, there is no paradox here. There is a gulf between the spoken word and the lived practice - but that is as American as apple pie, the three-fifths compromise and the crack in the liberty bell.


The whole quote;

We're not discussing people here who are lying when they claim not to feel racially superior, or not to feel some desire to keep black people down. We're discussing people who honestly feel friendly, but withold somewhere in their minds a willingness to be equally human.

They're not the enemy.

My point is simply that whether conscious or unconscious, there is an abiding enmity. The paradox - as I read DW unselfconsciously express it - is that in the Murkan psyche - an irreconcilable *friendly feeling* and *humanity denying* somehow manage to co-exist.

This is an assertion I don't question, at all. As a matter of fact, his stating it comprised for me a type of validating admission. For one, the verbal and non-verbal (subconscious) machinery harbor a great many irreconcilable differences. Further, thinking and emotional cognitive bands tend to be at cross-purposes with one another in the Murkan psyche, as well.

With such pronounced psycho-social conflict (immaturity) over the shared humanity of black folk, it concerns me greatly to see racial genetic science being seriously advocated by someone like Leroi. Instead of being *just* another frontier of disciplined empirical inquiry, over the backdrop of the racially conflicted Murkan psyche, this line of inquiry strikes me as being entirely too much like Morbius with Krell found technology


I don't think its a paradox at all. In fact, what appears to some to be a paradox of sorts, seems to me to be a certain certainty about the nature of
"race relations" (has there really ever been such a thing?) in this country.

You say:
"Solve this paradox; We're discussing people who honestly feel friendly, but withold somewhere in
their minds a willingness to be equally human."

You seem to be asking: "How it is possible for someone who is generally friendly to exclude certain individuals from the notion of a 'shared humanity'"? I submit to you that this is quite easy and that people do it everyday.

How? It is my belief that each man has at least some idea or opinion about race. At some point in this country's history, perceptual "blackness" (or simply, skin-black) somehow became associated with a certain notion about black as a way of being.

In other words, everyone is likely to have some notion about black as a way of being. (In my America, the preceding sentence would be a shield of armor and nobility for every black person in the country. There are days when I dream about being filthy rich just so I could buy copies of 'Being and Time' to hit people in the face with.) EVERY American has an opinion about it. Blacks AND Whites. And everyone else for that matter. But blacks and whites especially.

It is very possible that someone's notion about black as a way of Being could have been acquired outside of any actual experience with a single
black person: so that someone who appeared to be (or was in fact) generally polite and cordial, could in fact still have some peculiar notion about black as way of being (namely, a way of being black which is held to be 'generally' inferior; which, as we all know, is the most commonly held view of the white folk).

However, the juciest part of this formulation is: 'generally' inferior to whom? Why compare "blackness" to ANYTHING? This goes back to the 'shared humanity' part of the paradox. If black identity was not shaped solely in opposition to "white norms", then how much of the dominant conception of black as a way of being has been defined solely by whites? 'A good chunk of
it', is my answer.

As far as that science goes: do we really need to throw more science at race when it is precisely what comes after-the-fact that is the most interesting part? We should throw more common sense and philosophy at the 'problem' of race, not more science: or hasn't Leroi noticed that black and white toddlers don't give a damn who they play with?

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