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25856 Posts in 9933 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 289 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
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Author Topic: Race and Sex; Paradigms of White Supremacy and Fem  (Read 8488 times)
Tyehimba
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« on: July 02, 2003, 11:27:04 PM »

The global rise of Eurocentrism has seen the concomitant rise of white supremacy and gender discrimination, the likes of which has never been seen before in human history The patriarchal archetype of Western civilization is rampant with racism and sexism. Racism can be defined as a systematic exclusion, discrimination, and oppression of a group of people based upon certain characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, size and shape of lips etc. Racism which is often more overt than sexism is far more than prejudice based on race, it is the creation of systems, mechanisms and institutions that deliberately seek to keep a people down on the basis of race. Racism is more than random individual acts. It is not merely 'I hate Afrikans' or 'I hate Indians,' but rather it is the power and capacity to systematically back up that thought with action. This racism has its genesis around the time of the slave trade in the 15th/16th century with race being used both as a pretext and a justification for the enslavement, degradation and extermination of indigenous people across the globe. This racism is quite different from the cultural chauvinism and ethnocentricity that existed before.

Sexism is the systematic discrimination and oppression of a particular sex, in this case the female sex. Sexism is clearly present in mostly all of the mainstream religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. For instance in the biblical creation myth of Adam and Eve, the woman is blamed for the downfall of 'man'. I choose to deal with racism and sexism together because they are both the products of the same patriarchal white supremacist paradigm that is the essence of Western civilization. It is this paradigm that has spewed destruction, oppression and corruption everywhere it has set its foot. Thus the inferior status occupied by the woman and the subsequent oppression meted out to her is justified and attributed to the divine will of God. And who would want to go against the infallible divine word of God as manifested by the Bible, the Church, the Pastor, the Koran etc. People have been 'psyched' to believe that it is blasphemous to challenge these so-called authorities and holy texts. It is a historical fact that the Christian Church was instrumental in creating and perpetuating the rationale that sustained the concept of superior/inferior divisions of humanity along the lines of race and sex. It was the Christian Church that sanctioned enslavement of the 'pagan' people and in fact the first slave ship was named the SS Jesus Christ of Lubeck.

According to the esteemed historian John Henrick Clarke "It is too often forgotten that when the Europeans gained enough maritime skill, and gun power to conquer most of the world, they not only colonized the bulk of the world's people but they colonized the interpretation of history itself. Human history was rewritten to favor them at the expense of other people. The roots of modern racism can be traced to this conquest and colonization." Racism/white supremacy has now reached new peaks during the processes of colonialism and neo-colonialism and even now where the form of oppressors have changed, the oppression remains. To get an understanding of the extent of the scourge of white supremacy (white over brown over black) one only has to look at who constitutes the developed countries versus who constitutes the (under) developing countries. Who are the world powers that impose themselves on everyone else? The developed countries are white and conversely the majority of (under) developing, so called 'third world' countries are non-white. This is no accident. The wealth of all the developed countries have been attained from the resources (both natural and human) of less physically developed countries by often resorting to murder, trickery and violence.

Generally speaking, it has now become politically incorrect to be overtly racist. The worldly powers that be perpetuate illusions of 'one love', 'rainbow people', 'multi-ethnic/multi-cultural society', 'national unity' etc. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the concept one love, this very attractive expression (like the rest) is often used to mask injustice and oppression and maintain the current status quo of white supremacy. Even though people say often that race does not matter to them, when push comes to shove, a different story often immerges. Such illusions of 'one love' are dangerous because they give the impression that everything is smooth and harmonious and therefore ignoring the oppressive reality of many people. If a person discusses race and racism (far less discuss sexism), the person will be automatically branded racist. So colorblindness is encouraged on all fronts resulting in superficial ideas that all people are the same except for certain different characteristics like hair and skin color. At the surface level this might seem very enticing and attractive, but deeper analysis reveals that this only encourages ignorance of historical experiences of people that are very essential for their development and a proper understanding of themselves. It is a historical fact that different peoples have had different experiences, therefore their needs in some aspects will naturally be different. This is especially highlighted by the failure of European education, religion and politics to deal adequately with the unique needs of non-white people.

One giant misconception is that racism and sexism can be individually wished away. But no matter how many 'abracadabras' people mutter, racism and sexism won't disappear into thin air. How can such things simply disappear when they have been imbedded in us for centuries? We are being constantly bombarded by racist/sexist myths via the media, via the educational systems, via organized religion, via our family. So much that most people are not even aware of it. And because some people are not experiencing it directly, it is hard for them to relate and understand the quantum of oppression and discrimination that certain people face on a day-to-day basis. Who feels it, knows it. For example white people often can't understand the white privilege that is reserved for them and if they do they just ignore it. It is also equally difficult for them to understand racism properly because they are not experiencing racism firsthand. Likewise, males have great difficulty in understanding the nature of sexism and their own role in it because they lack the direct experience of this oppression. So most of these people can do no better than perpetuate patronizing attitudes without properly understanding their own role in the oppressive cycle and what they can do to curb it.

Understanding certain myths that have often been deliberately created to maintain a certain (dis)order is very essential to understanding ourselves and the world at large. For example, in Trinidad and Tobago, an island in the Caribbean where I currently reside, there is a gigantic myth that Afrikan people are not very good at business. Examining this carefully would reveal that after emancipation from chattel slavery Afrikans refused to work on the plantations any longer and so the colonial authorities began bringing in East Indians to work on the plantations in a process called indentureship. Deliberate policies were concocted to keep the Indians and Afrikans divided so that unity against the common colonial master would be difficult. After indentureship had officially ended, East Indians were given a lot of land and more people including Syrians, Lebanese and Chinese were brought in (and treated favorably) to act as a buffer between the lower classes and the colonial population. Despite the fact that a lot of Afrikans entered into business ventures, they were deliberately squeezed out by an unrelenting racist neo-colonialist ruled society, whose idea of a civilized society did not include successful Afrikan businessmen. Syrians, Lebanese and Chinese people became integrated into the ruling class following the social stratification of white over brown over black. The very few Afrikan businessmen that survived had to overcome massive hurdles (including disingenuous foreclosures on property) that were erected by the colonialist financial institutions, which fear the possibility of blacks gaining any sort of power. Often such issues can't be discussed openly without accusations being made by reactionary elements of 'dwelling in the past'.

I'm not writing to argue that males and females are totally the same, because I don't think that they are. Rather, they have complementary roles. The restricting of the female principle is a characteristic of a patriarchal/male-dominated society that certainly was not one of ancient indigenous societies. The role of women in developing a nation is very important and it is often said that a nation can rise no higher than the level of their women. It is also said that once you teach a woman you teach a nation, because she will pass on that knowledge to her children. This is important because before a woman can nurture consciousness in others she must first nurture it in herself. Women must explore the unique capabilities and powers of their divine femininity and be guided by the love, integrity, intuition and sensuality that lie there within.

Amon Hotep in an article titled Developing Woman stated "Women must not see themselves as opposition to men, just their equal. Women should seek out the strengths and powers of their own feminine nature. This male-dominated world has taught that strength and power can only be derived from the masculine nature and through masculine expression. Nothing can be further from the truth. True strength and power can only be derived from the harmony that comes from free men and women."

It is true that our females are no longer celebrated; they are degraded and saturated with the poisonous self hatred of male ignorance and arrogance. For example women who don't look a certain way or don't conform to certain Eurocentric notions of beauty are made to feel inferior and less than. So the essence of a woman…her feminine divinity is ignored, and thus the whole world suffers. The cosmic creation dance of the male and female energies is not reflected in the world because certain fools thought/think it wise to ignore the feminine aspect. This imbalance is largely responsible for the societal ills, wanton destruction of flora and fauna and environment pollution seen across the globe. It is typical male arrogance that thinks that everything can be controlled and conquered though brute physical force. It is this ignorant male arrogance that is responsible for unleashing onto the world the likes of George Bush, Ian Smith, King Leopold, Cecil Rhodes, Mussolini, Hitler and a host of other globetrotting male megalomaniacs. It must be understood that superiority complexes along the lines of race and sex have caused complementary inferiority complexes to become imbedded in the psyche of the beneficiaries. Notions of inferiority are common among and even propagated by members of the oppressed class, whether it be black people, women, or both.

Furthermore, despite the best attempts by Eurocentric pseudo-science to prove otherwise, it has now been proved beyond reasonable doubt that humanity started in Afrika. It is now understood by many that everyone originated from a common Afrikan ancestor and that different racial characteristics came about as people trekked out to different parts of the globe and their bodies changed over time to suit the unique climatic conditions. This information should be beneficial to some people especially as it is likely to encourage discussions about race and racism and the impact it has had on the world. It is very imperative that in aiming towards a higher level of humanity, reasoning about sexism and racism be encouraged and not swept under the carpet. Despite the good intentions of people there are no shortcuts or substitutes for reasoning through certain key issues (that affect us all directly or indirectly) in order to arrive at a higher level of understanding.

Ras Tyehimba
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2003, 01:53:30 AM »

GREAT POST/TOPIC Ras Tyehimba  . You make excellent points Wink !

I hate to sound like a cliché but until brothers and sisters can learn to view each other as Equals, the Community will not overcome its obstacles. The battle of the Sexes is none fiercer than we see in the black community. Tensions between Men and Women are so High. The focus is usually on Men's issues when discussing African Culture. And we need to recognize that Women face issues too that are just as detrimental to our existence. I hear a lot of Brothers complaining that Black Women don't understand their Plights, but I submit that Black Men need to start understanding ours. Please, we're all black, there's no need to prove that Black Men have it worse. And I feel that too many Sisters don't speak up about this Disparity because they don't want to be viewed as the emasculating matriarch. Africans both males and females do not recognize these issues yet, there is definitely SEXISM in our community.
Black Men should dive more into the Experiences, Challenges, and Perspectives of Black women! I certainly think Brothers don't always make it easy.

Concerning Multiculturalism, 'One Love' or whatever..the bottom line is when we live in a Multiethnic country everything should Respect and Reflect that! Instead, Europeans and Americans want Everyone to assimilate to the White notions of society. That's not EQUALITY or INTEGRATION!

Thanks again for a GREAT Post!

Kelani-
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Rootsie
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2003, 07:12:43 AM »

Yes Tyehimba, this is an excellent essay!
    I came here as an angry white person, a person born through no fault of my own into the 'enemy camp'.  Every day it seems, I discover new tentacles of this monster of my privilege, none of which I ever sought or inherently deserve.
    One of the things that makes it so difficult for whites to come correct is  because we have this virtually inborn sense of entitlement that permeates nearly every aspect of our lives, even if we may consider ourselves 'conscious.' There is always more work to do.
    Whites are attracted by the livity of Rastafari because they feel, often unconsciously, ah here is a chance to relieve myself of the burden of being the 'bad guy'. Well that is okay as far as it goes, wanting to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, but what is required after that is some painstaking work of self-examination which, because of this very privilege and the intellectual and moral LAZINESS that goes with it, most find too difficult to do.
    And so they want to short-circuit the conversation and resort to platitudes about love. They also expect blacks to relieve them of the burden of guilt they feel. As if black people exist simply for their comfort. This is no different than the worst slavemaster.
    Well one and all knows that ultimately Love yes is the answer, but people who labor under the burden of privilege also labor with an imperfect understanding of love. Love and Truth, for example, are one. So where there is not Truth, there can be no Love.  It is most defintely NOT loving to come to a justifiably angry black person and say 'hey get over it let bygones be bygones. I personally am not downpressing you I am your sister. One Love.' This is truly grotesque and displays the worst kind of ignorance.
     What white people have to deal with, one and all, and this is painful to the extreme let I tell you, is that by their very existence in a white skin they benefit DIRECTLY from a system that mangles black people. And to retreat into the bushes and pretend that they don't carry their privilege with them anyway is a terrible dishonesty.
    We must find the way in each of our lives to use the resources we are given for free as a result of our privilege and dedicate them to educational purposes to defeat this system of white supremacy which holds both black and white in bondage.
    Many of the whites here who sight up Rasta are from a middle class background, or more. It is a matter of personal integrity for people to get a grip on how they use the excess they have been given, and dedicate what is beyond their personal physical needs, both time and money, to bring this system down.
    I am in the midst of coming to terms with this, and it is very challenging, and seems in many way like it's the 'last thing to go.' It is all well and good for me to engage other whites in this conversation, which I do every day of my working life and here as well, but another  to make my life a testament and witness to these beliefs. Some days I'm squirming like a worm on a hook, facing more ugly truths, just when I thought I was free and clear...
    'Feelgoodism' is the way of white privilege. We hear the Afrikans here speaking their pain, and it is the way of courage and integrity to listen, and respond in very real ways, life-changing ways, not just ganja, dreadlocks, and reggae as symbols of solidarity. No. not the symbols but the real thing itself.
    Change your life to align with the truths you know. And the very thing you have not been looking at is the very thing you must address.
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Ras_Joe
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2003, 10:54:09 AM »

Beautiful and Uplifting Post.

  Yes Brother Tyehimba the ills of White Supremacy must be overcome in order for ones to live in truth. Ones must realize that we(male/female) may seem different but come from the same source which is Jah. This in I overstanding is not just freedom of self but of all. So I say One Nation Under the Truth.

Jah Bless My Blessed Brother,
Ras Joe
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ooggooles
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 12:11:04 PM »

Greetings.

I'm not for equality between brothers and sisters or between the so called "races." I'm for equity. Lets face it, there are concrete actual differences between men and women. There are real differences between black people and white people, between you and me. I'm not say lets treat women or men or other races however we want. No not at all. What I am saying is I have to realize that as a male I cannot get pregnant. I have to accept this. Certain things I have to let women decide for themselves and for other women. The same thing applies to the races ass well. What often happens is the we attempt to go back to our roots, but wo don't go far enough to the original source. (This is from my personal experience agree with it or disagree with it if you want).The idea of Equality is such an example. This Idea of equality is very different that the original concept of the sexes (male & female not femanine or mascaline) that lies deep with in our KMT/BLACK/MALANIN/AFRICAN souls. For me to say that "I am not equal to a woman" is not me saying that I am better or worse than a woman. Of course not, certain things cannot be compared. What I want and need is equatity for the roles that belong to men and women. Equity not Equality.

Things like equality, one love, integration are subtle psychological warfare tactics. Like a toad that is place into a pot of cold water that is slowly brought to a boil, one doesn't even notice that our brains have been cooked. Life is a game of chess. I'm not worried about the white men who are in bondage because of white supremacy, Just like I don't worry about the opponents king on the chess board. The aim is to free the black man not the white man. Should some white men benefit from the black mans un-impeeded freedon and controll over his own destinity that is a side issue. A very real one but not my goal or purpose. Those ideas are delay tactics designed to by white supremacist and carfully introduced into the KMT/BLACKMAN/MALANIN-MAN/AFRICAN mine set over an extended period of time for one purpose and one purpose only, to use that idea to delay us long enough so that they (white-spreamacist) can design effective campaings to re-colonize the spirit of  KMT/BLACKMAN/MALANIN-MAN/AFRICAN PEOPLE. History has can and deos testify to it.

JAH
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