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View Diary: On Angola, America's Racist Slave History is Celebrated (59 comments)

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  •  Well (11+ / 0-)

    I did not compare Angola to Auschwitz. I compared Angola of today to Angola of 1850. The German example was designed to be instructive, and it was designed to shine light on the absurdity of the idea of using an old slave plantation - a place where many of this country's most disgusting crimes took place - as a base for a mode of punishment akin to slave labor.

    It was to point out the repugnance of such an idea. To say - if Germany did this to its convicted offenders, would we have a sense of moral outrage? And to serve as a reminder that America's history of chattel slavery is every bit as detestable as what took place in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. That reminder is necessary because, unfortunately, we don't treat it as such. If we did, we'd be uncomfortable using a place like Angola in the way it's used today.

    I would normally abstain from throwing around pie, but amidst questions of my "judgment," I will note that my diaries are designed to be thought-provoking, and many of the points I make require a dedication to thought that goes an inch or two below the surface. It seems that your capacity to comment on this diary and my judgment has outpaced your ability to parse the diary for the (pretty) obvious point it was making.

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

    by Grizzard on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:04:44 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's your diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, cks175

      I think it would be more effective to close with the analogy, rather than open with it.

      But your intent was to provoke, and for that purpose the order of you examples does provoke more than if the order was reversed. The structure will cause some readers to ignore your message.

    •  Should reread yourself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Upper West

      Looks to me like you do, in fact, portray Angola today as a direct continuation of Angola of 1850, and thus comparable to Auschwitz.

      Some phrases you use: "To call it slavery might be an overstatement...These "games" are all-too familiar to those who have studied slavery..These efforts are not dissimilar from the things that happened with slaves in the early 19th century…we punish people through slave-like labor..."

      Let me suggest that if you intended otherwise, it could have been more carefully written.

      •  I never compared Angola (3+ / 0-)

        of 1850 to Auschwitz at any time.

        Perhaps my writing could have been more clear, but I can't compensate for those who will willfully miss the point.

        I compared Angola of now to Angola of then. The German example is meant to illustrate the absurdity of our system, which fails to truly recognize the wrongs of the past. It's meant to illustrate what Germany might be like if they followed our example, and to make the reader consider what he/she might think of Germany if it employed such a system. And then the reader might question why he/she doesn't have the same sort of outrage over America's unwillingness to deal effectively with its own racial demons.

        "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

        by Grizzard on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:58:21 AM PST

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        •  American unwillingness (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Upper West

          I dunno. We passed the Civil War amendments, the Civil Rights Act, and have enacted a host of anti-discrimination laws, erected a large anti-discrimination bureaucracy, and have spent tens of billions on attempts to ensure a more equal society. If that isn't recognition of the wrongs of the past and an effort to redress injury, I don't know what is. Is there room to improve—sure. But IMO you paint an unjustifiably bleak picture with way too broad a brush.

          •  Well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac

            I see it on a daily basis. Until you've walked into a holding tank outside of a court, it's difficult to fathom exactly what I'm talking about. Try to find a respectable looking white face in those tanks; you can't do it. It's young and old black men, a large number of Latino men, and black women of all ages. If you see a white woman or a white man, they're poor, homeless, or both. But maybe Houston is different from everywhere else. My suspicion is that it's a lot like other places, especially in the South.

            Frankly, I think one of the reasons why institutionalized racism continues to persist is precisely because of responses like yours. Even well-meaning people like yourself believe that things like the "Civil War amendments, the Civil Rights Act, etc." have done substantial work in ensuring justice. That's a nice thought, but it's an unrealized dream.

            Laws only register as a "recognition" of past wrongs if their wording AND their effect take action to correct those past wrongs. As it stands, we have facially neutral laws that are far too easy to manipulate and apply in a racially disparate way. And we're too busy patting ourselves on the back for the empty promises of racial reform to see that those reforms haven't taken hold in the criminal system.

            "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

            by Grizzard on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:38:17 PM PST

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            •  I married a black woman, and she tells me (0+ / 0-)

              stories,
              such as her day in court,
              when she was in a car crash,
              and her car insurance was not in effect,
              since she was a day late on her premium payment,
              and she was not given any leniency.

              The very next case
              was a white woman,
              nearly the same facts bearing on the case,
              late on paying her premium,
              was in a crash.

              The white woman was let off.

              At that point,
              my Tonia shouted at the judge,
              "That's fuckin unfair.  The only reason you're in the position you're in, is that you never got caught.  Or maybe you got leniency, like you gave this bitch.  You wipe your ass the same way I wipe mine!"

              The judge said,
              "You shut up!"

              Tonia said,
              "No.  Fuck that!  If anything's supposed to be happening, we should both be walking out of here today, not her getting let out on O.R., and me getting six months probation."

              Tonia got and a week's worth of jail, for contempt of court, and lost her job.

              Anyway.

              Thanks again.

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