Black People : Black vs. Black: By Who's Standard?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by MrSolo, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. MrSolo

    MrSolo Banned MEMBER

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    Regardless of their physical features, attitudes and so forth, “white” folks are pretty much very easily identified as being white – (save) white-looking Latinos and other ethnicities that appear to benefit accordingly. As a secondary note, whites also seem to be extraordinarily preoccupied with being as white as they can possibly be – in looks, in attitude, in dominance and otherwise – (save) tanning themselves into the nearest skin cancer treatment center – “I told you so”. What white folks ‘have’ done though, is to successfully separate themselves from the great masses (i.e., the world’s people of color) by defining a standard so rigid and narrow that anyone who doesn’t meet that standard would never be identified or classified as “white” in the general populace and in any sense of the word.

    On the other hand, “blacks” by definition, come in all skin tones, physical features, hair textures and the like, and are reared from and within many different cultures. Additionally, it’s been well argued that those who are more “black” looking go out of their way to ensure that those who are not, are by default associated with being “black”, in any context. Therein lies the rub, and growing hostility as well, much to the chagrin of those who injected the phrase “African American” into the equation. At this point, “African American” was not a factor.

    Does one speck (i.e., subject to interpretation) of “black” blood really make a person black? Does heritage? Does ethnicity? Does culture? Does belief? Albeit, in regards to race, “black” has been transformed from being a mere skin tone association to being a major deficit of cultural, ethnic and aptitude traits associated with inferiority, and not lacking thereof. American “blacks” (i.e., U.S. [and non-U.S. for that matter]), if you want to call them that, are slowing evolving into a non-black non-white aggregation of so many ethnic roots that it’s becoming virtually impossible to tell who’s who and who’s what.

    Living in a race conscious society, those who desire to escape from their “blackness” (who ever they may be) and are at first glance “black” in no figment of the imagination, are now feeling threatened. Those, who are the byproduct of a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment, resent being held back by what they perceive as the “black once, black always” movement. In any case, the divisions have grown.

    As a result, some serious infighting has evolved within the white-assigned white-recognized “black” community, and it’s growing at an ever-increasing pace. Though few of us are really what one would consider truly black by color, enough of us by definition have now become preoccupied with privilege as defined by the “white” standard of life. In the end though, it will all come down to socioeconomic status and class rather than race alone, but in the meantime – all of us need to start looking down the road to the world of tomorrow instead of handicapping ourselves by the events of the past. Time itself, is going to dictate how successfully people of color undermine the prevailing “white standard”. You don’t have to be black to not be white, but you do have to smart enough to know who’s black.
     
  2. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Although I use the term "black" for purposes of unity and for lack of a better term, actually I consider myself and most other people of African descent various shades of brown.

    White peope basically started calling us "black" to contrast us and put us opposite of themselves but it's not a very accurate description of our people.
     
  3. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    "In the end though, it will all come down to socioeconomic status and class rather than race alone, but in the meantime - aoo of us need to start looking down the road to the world of tomorrow instead of handicapping ourselves
    by events of the past."

    Excellent point!
     
  4. pfa1451usa

    pfa1451usa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Check up from the neck up...

    In the early seventies (70’s) I had an opportunity to visit Liberia as a foreign exchange student.

    The Taubman family (most oppressive and filled with nepotism, descendants of former slaves from America) ruled to the exclusion of most all Africans in that country. It did not take me long to determine that as an “Afro-American” I was considered with considerable suspicion and derision from many.

    The history of America begins with its primary establishment as a penal colony for Europe. For one to assume those brought here from Africa were of one particular mind-set or class is absurd. To assume that the initial gene-pool of Europeans were the bottom of the barrel does indeed have historical precedent.

    The Black-American experience is unique in the history of mankind. Never before have a people been subjected to slavery, exclusion, violence and oppression and in a short period of time (approximately one hundred and forty (140) some years) risen to the level that we have.

    Champions of industry, commerce, Secretary’s of State, Joint Chief of Staff, Senators and Congressman, great inventors and craftsman, originators of the only truly unique American cultural form (jazz), educators, doctors, scientists, civil and human rights pioneers and entrepreneurs.

    I for one need neither to identify with Europe nor Africa, instead I will take considerable pride and solace in knowing I am of a unique branch of the tree of homo-sapiens. Before you buy into where we are, take care to acknowledge from whence we came. In the process attempt to identify any other cultural or specific people who have done so. You may find yourself wanting.
     
  5. Coach707

    Coach707 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I agree with much of what you say MrSolo, but I believe that it is HOW you use history that will make a difference. Reflecting and learning from the past does not "handicap" us if we use our history the right way. If it is just complaining about the past, and making excuses as to why things are this way, I could see your point. But if its reflecting on the past to debate and create a solution for the issues in our community, Im all for that. I believe that We need reflection daily. I dont think that things would be spiraling out of control in our communities if the new generation felt 1/3 of the pain that the people before and of the Civil rights movement endured.
     
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