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View Diary: Why? CNN and NPR Present a Potpourri of Tragic Mulattoes Before a National Audience (285 comments)

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  •  Something you said really penetrated (1+ / 0-)
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    mali muso

    and I thank you for that. It was the part about your parents talking about reaching out and helping other African Americans without necessarily excluding white brothers and sisters. I have found and have never really analyzed why this is, that when Black brothers and sisters have spoken about supporting "their own," that is, not to exclude or speak ill of those not African American, my reaction has been (with not intending it so) that that is somehow exclusionary or even exceptionalist. I wonder if other white people react similarly. I've even been told when I've bothered to argue this point, to Black friends, that there is nothing farther from the truth, that the intent has nothing to do with exclusion and certainly not with ill-will toward whites. The motive is tied directly to identification, and therefore, I imagine, to identity. I wonder if someone can expand on this for me. I do believe that this is a helpful insight if I am seeing it correctly. Any help? Thank you for this writing and for that insight. Best,

    I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by dannyboy1 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 05:53:12 AM PST

    •  great question and kind insight (2+ / 0-)
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      Plantsmantx, decembersue

      black americans for a variety of reasons have had to be self-supporting and sustaining historically. we also have fictive kinship networks that go all the way back to slavery. sometimes family is what you make of it. now, i know lots of white folks and others who are not black just (if not more so) generous too.

      so i would never want to point out race as a causal variable that over determines generosity or kindness. that would be wrong and imprecise.

      there is research that suggests that white americans see and understand race as a zero sum game. here, meaning that if their group is not being advantaged or privileged then some other group is taking something from them. this is the basis of the type of racial resentment, rage, and anger we saw on the party of millions of white voters this last election and that romney and the tea party gop tried to mine for victory.

      what you are picking up on could be a function of that dynamic where self-help and mutual aid by people of color is looked upon as somehow "anti-white."

      •  If you need to see the research on that (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure the election results in my district, MN-06, should suffice...

        The whole "Jim Graves is a muslim terrorist sympathiser" thing (yes, she went there) was a dog whistle about Somalis.

      •  This is helpful, too. (0+ / 0-)

        I can see this as well. I remember writing a paper on James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time (decades ago) and, of course, taking it personally, when he spoke directly to the fact that whites will never really be able to "know" what it's like to be black but that blacks have pretty clear insights into what it is to be white by virtue of their historical (and ongoing) exposure to whites via jobs keeping their houses and raising their kids. However, though I took umbrage, I do believe that there's a lot of truth to this in the sense that in those historical relationships between blacks and whites, African Americans have been placed in situations in which the "real" them did not belong to be shown, whereas the "real" white was shown all the time in intimate family relations. Vincent Harding characterizes the small acts of "rebellion" that almost every relationship blacks have had to engage in with whites in this country's history represent part of the history of black protest in American (in There is a River). I think this is still all too true in the majority of our interactions (maybe unfortunately or just as a matter of what is--what do you think?). I wish it were different but, as you say, the last election proves how this legacy of our race relations is a force to still be reckoned with if we really ever want to emerge from the pathology of our history. I think individually we can make headway, but as a culture, it's still pretty huge. What do you think?

        I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

        by dannyboy1 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:06:20 AM PST

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        •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

          Would you please read this link (if I can get it on here) if you get a chance and tell me what you think? The link is to a diary I wrote on December 7, in case I don't successfully get it here. I'm new here and am still learning protocol. Thank you.

          I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

          by dannyboy1 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:14:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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