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25514 Posts in 9751 Topics by 980 Members Latest Member: - Roots Dawta Most online today: 49 (July 03, 2005, 11:25:30 PM)
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Author Topic: Greetings from Afrika!!  (Read 22342 times)
Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2004, 09:16:34 PM »

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Light skin privilege is an unspoken rule, the person who receives the benefits from having light skin does not have a say in the matter even if they wish not to receive the benefits because they are light skinned.. That's why the notion that Negroid/Black/Africans and multiracial mixed Blacks are entitled to equal contemplation does seem disturbing to me....


Alafia everyone,

For those that don't know...O couldn't tell from my picture...My mother is European/White and my father is African/Black....I identify socially, historically, and politically as an African/Black.

Kelani,

I agree that the oppression suffered under the white supremacist/colour caste system, that capitalism has created as an excuse and rational for exploitation, is much more severe for the darker people...that is the nature of a colour caste system...so equal 'contemplation' shouldn't be given...but since both of our oppression derives from the same source(oppression because of Black/African or "multi-racial of African ancestry") we should link up to fight the common oppressor. We suffer for the same reason, because of our Black/African ancestry...to varying degrees because of the colour caste system....and lighter skin priveledge must be acknowledged...but the light skinned or multi racial people are still oppressed.

Quote
The "we are all Afro-Black" attitude "no matter our genetic background" that is found in many multiracial Blacks from receiving an Afro-centered education and information that they believe is relevant to their lives still not does reflect on who they are. By the time a light skin multiracial child gets older the relevance of this Afrocentric information in his or her live is questioned because ultimately he or she will get in and out the white exploitative and oppressive system perfectly fine but Negroid/dark-skinned/Black/African group get challenged.


I respectfully disagree,(as you knew I probably would Wink)

For me, the "we are all Black/African" attitude came from my experience with whites and this system...not from recieving an African centered education(which nobody actually "recieves"...we all have to actually seek it out...) I'm "older now" and actually it(the African centered perspective) is more relavant now than ever before.  I definately do not agree that we "get in and out of the white exploitative and oppressive system perfectly"...That is quite an overstatement of the facts...Although I concur that their are many advantages that light skin gives you(although most are superficial)...however much you may not want them...the Euro/White dominated system NEVER treats you as one of "theirs" on a personal or on a systematic level. That would be a violation of the caste system. Some priveledges are given, but oppression is still there. Historical examples of this can be given...The "Coloured" community in Africa(Zim, & S. Africa for example) The Creole community in places like Louisianna. Entire population like those in Brazil(and other parts of South/Central America,  & the Carribean) that are obviousely filled with "multi racial" people but these people are still oppressed and exploited because their African heritage(also their indigenous heritage) is used as a means to keep the elitist white supremacist economic lines drawn. My darker skinned brothers and sister have it harder...but I/we by know means get by "perfectly"(without experiencing colour based oppression)...and never have.

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My thinking is that if multiracial Afrocentric Blacks could embrace and acknowledge their European background (as opposed to be perpetually reject it) that could be a first step in establishing better understanding between the races.


Because of the way most 'multi-racial'/light skinned African people run from their African heritage and historically "claim", or are prouder of their "other", or European heritage...I don't think that this is a solution to race relations. If it was the solution, it would have already worked by now.  Most of the multiracial/light skinned African people reject, or don't deal with their African heritage...Most darker Black/Africans don't even deal with their African heritage outside of skin colour. (in the west at least)...It's not that we reject or don't acknowledge our "other" or Euro-white heritage...it's that the system cares very little about it accept when it benefits the "divide and conquor" techniques, and therefore promotes and fosters the continuation of the capitalist colour caste system.

The only way to establish better understanding between the races IMHO is to destroy the capitalist system that created and perpetuates the colour caste system in the first place. Blacks of all mixtures/hues have tried, to no avail, to be accepted by their white counterparts...It isn't "us", or lack of communication on our part that isethe problem...Look at all the integrationalism that has failed...IMHO Unified political nationalism based on common heritage(political, social, historical, and racial) and attatchment to a historical land mass(Africa)is the only way to make racism moot. Power only backs down in the face of a unified ideologically trained show of power..."communication" with whites can only be done when we are eating from the table equally. If we are just sitting at it and not eating from it...they have no reason to listen.

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And when you really listen to many multiracial Afrocentric Blacks (like you Gman) talk about their perceptions of their European background it is really clear that there's not much communication with their white European relatives going on too.


Why is that? Gman's story I don't know...but if he is living in Great Brittian it seems he would have a lot of communication with his Euro/White family...And if he doesn't...Does the muti-racial child really have the choice in that matter? Are we supposed to force ouselves on people that don't treat us as equals...that don't identify with us...don't really care about our struggles or even want to discuss them(even though sometimes they aren't conscious of this behavior)?

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I think that until they talk about race issues without the emotional denial of who they are things won't get any better. Most Negroid/Black/Africans will agree that some type of frank talk between multiracial Blacks with their European brothers is a good step toward starting the healing process.


I don't think their is a denial of who I/we are genetically...that would be illogical and impossible...If anything the reverse is true in mass...the denial of our African heritage and it's significance in our social relations(the Vin Deisel/mixed folks.com thread started by you on this forum comes to mind)...as well as everyone running around the U.S. claiming they have "Indian" in their family...not to mention all the people in the rest of the western hemisphere who are phenotypically African/Black who are running around identifying as Spanish, or anything other than African...I think that under this system, historically ,socially, and politically we have always been a part of the African/Black and therfore the oppressed group. I think putting the load of race relations on your fellow oppressed brothers and sisters(although the oppression is not to the same degree) is taking the blame and the responsibility away from where it belongs... the capitalist elite and the Euro/Whites in power who established and perpetuated this colour caste system as well as still benefit from it.

Euro-White folks(and society) is who and what let me know at an early age...and every day after, that I am "Black"/African under this system...I don't deny relation to them, "they" (in mass) treat me/us as different and not as an equal  because I/we have African ancestry.  I'm not going to spend my life trying to change people who treat me as less than an equal...especially when often those people want me to aspire to change myself...thats up to them to reconcile that contradiction...I would rather fight the capitalism that created and fosters the colour caste system in the first place.

In refference to your earlier post...I don't think that mutli-racial people(especially in the west) need a whole lot of exposure or education on their Euro-White heritage. The Euro-White dominated educational, cultural, and social system has the entire planet learning European history, culture, and values.(not just people with some European heritage)  It is  always the African(and other people's) history that is neglected on a societal and personal level for everyone.

Gman,

I doubt growing up around European/Whites would have had you identify with them more. I grew up around a lot...they let me know I wasn't, and am still not considered one of "them"...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On another note...I found this on another forum. I found it quite relavant to the discussion at hand....It was written by an African borm man living in Europe, in response to a European/White man who asked the question..."Why does a mixed person have to be automatically African?"

European culture is an Exclusive Collective Society, they exclude people. Africa is Inclusive Collective Society, they accept all their relations and refer to them as brothers. If I see a mixed person I regard him as a relation of mine and as equal any other brother of mine, in other words, mixed is just a sub collective within a super collective called Africa. Just as there are many ethnic groups in Africa, they are African because I choose to accept them as truly and equally brothers. It is up to them to accept that level of love and enlightenment which eliminates need for complex skin colour defining barriers, and it is up to all other races to accept their mixed people as their own, because everybody needs family, and when you are in a family you need to know that you are equal to every other member of that family. That is why Africans call mixed people Africans, they are family, and we need to demonstrate that.  (They are) the same as us, one with us.  The difference is not in the colour of skin to us, we don't see it, cause we know the body is just a vessel we see the spirit of the person. How this person chooses to relate with his other half is up to him, how his other half chooses to relate with him is up to them. We can not talk for them they have control over their own personal choices. We can only advice them based on our past and present experiences.

Europeans on the other hand have historically excluded mixed people, so most of your questions are not just questions in reality, they start with a falsehood statememt before stating the question: e.g. "Why does a mixed person have to be automatically African?" This statement is actually a statement by Europeans who invented the one drop rule, now generations later after all the damage has been done you try to twist it like Africans said it. Africans have demonstrated their cultural inclusivity. Europeans have demonstrated their cultural exclusivity
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Forward to a united Africa!
kristine
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2004, 10:22:24 PM »

Multi-racial children are just that, multi-race. History reveals the co-mingling of humans (of various races) long before the concept of racial categorization. I feel these children have a right and need to explore both sides of their identity as they choose. It is up to the parents (and extended families who are able) to guide the child. I do not suggest that this be forced on them with a particular agenda, but should be handled, hopefully with co operation, by both parents as the desire arises and is made known by the child.  
 
I feel the suggestions that this be a tool to end racism are pure folly on the part of anyone clinging to such a faulty belief system. The individual who would make that suggestion is obviously not directly experienced, and so therefore is making wild assumptions in an attempt to avoid the responsibilities of each and every one of us to do our best daily to break down the Racist System. I would suggest anyone who makes such a suggestion, needs to spend some more time getting educated out of such ignorance. There is no longer any excuse not to.  
 
The day-to-day reaction to mixed children by society in general does have the impact on some to question there own hidden beliefs (and prejudices) regarding race. I have seen a multitude of such reactions. Generally Black people tend to be more tolerant and accepting of mixed children. Part of this I feel is due to familiarity with race mixing. After all, until recently, and in many instances even so still today, white people will shun and exclude fellow whites who have in their minds "betrayed their race."  I have witnessed some really strange ideas as well that mixed race children are somehow more attractive than their counter parts of other races. Anyone who subscribes to this idea in my mind really needs to dig deeper as there could be other issues they have failed to address.  
 
Personally I subscribe to the views in line with the management of this board regarding leadership in this Black Movement to be in the hands of capable Dark skinned Africans, in particular Dark skinned African women. However I would suggest that with careful and proper guidance, mixed children can have a function as a bridge to knowledge of both sides of the various race issues, although they will not be able to ever really experience the full impact of being Black or White, and yes, ultimately they, themselves will have to settle where they feel they fit best, hopefully totally comfortable relating to both sides of their identity. Their experiences will be unique and should be addressed accordingly. After all they too have a right to exist as full members of this human experience.



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Ayinde
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2004, 12:44:58 AM »

Many would like to believe their special white or light-skinned friends and family are somehow above being racist. This is understandable, as many will consider it disrespectful to their parents, other family members and friends to admit to others that their family and friends are racist, and are part of the oppressor group to some degree.

Usually people operate as if truth is a democracy, so they do not weigh arguments properly, but instead they play for popular support. This keeps most people personally dishonest. Anyhow, this is my personal take on some comments here.

This 'we are all oppressed' line is also the line that whites use, as many of them are also oppressed in the white-dominated system. This is because the White system is about materially enriching a few White males while all others are expendable. Many whites tend to play down the privileges they get in the system and use the line, "let us all get together to fight the system".  
 
Many mixed blacks of lighter complexion do not know how ugly that sounds, as they are not the ones on the receiving end of the worst in the system. They are not the ones who the system negatively impacts the most. Mixed blacks even play a part in the sustained oppression of dark-skinned blacks. Generally speaking I find that lighter-skinned mixed Blacks are very tolerant of token accommodations, as these usually materially benefit them first ahead of darker-skinned Blacks. So the line, "let us all get together to fight the system" that seems to play down the privileges and abuses from light-skinned ones, can be taken to mean that we should all get together to promote light-skinned people.
 
How people interpret language and speak are conditioned by their direct experiences, together with how they have informed themselves. If dark-skinned Blacks lack an awareness of the development of European thought together with the origins of what Europeans co-opted badly from Africa, they are not in a good position to express themselves in their own best interest, or give more enlightening interpretations to things. Everything they speak or do will be about sustaining White dominance. They will in effect be making moves which run counter to their own self-interest, and which further, are anti-black.    
 
Mixed-race people do understand the language of oppression, but many lack the deeper sustained experiences of the system to move with urgency. Generally speaking, they remain unable to feel and act from the urgency of the dark-skinned Black experience. Remember, I said that many Blacks also are not as sensitive because of their ignorance of the system, and of history in general. Many are unable to properly articulate their experiences.
 
Dark-skinned Blacks who are very sensitive and receptive have one or two things in common. They have deliberately studied the history and/or they have received very traumatic negative experiences in the system, which allowed their senses to be heightened. These Blacks are usually more sensitive to the movements in the system as well as to the motivations of people. Some can falsely feel that we have special problems instead of realizing that we may have special insights.
 
Whites and light-skinned mixed-race people are at a material advantage in terms of this corrupt Eurocentric system, but they have a natural sensitivity disadvantage.  
 
This is the gap that light-skinned ones do not perceive, and since this English language was not developed to express the feelings of Blacks in general, and to an even greater degree the feelings of more sensitive darker-skinned Blacks, we are left continually looking for better ways to express ourselves. Others do not get the depth of what we say. We must use the same words, but our understandings are not the same. Later I will give an example of this.  
 
Light-skinned ones who engage Black issues are usually more preoccupied with bridging the racial divide than with rooting out the problem, so the moves they find acceptable will usually be unacceptable to a more informed Black-skinned kinky-haired person. Also, since most people have a poor perception of self, they tend to promote their image as the ideal.  This can come over as just a token shade away from the white saviour complex. Generally speaking, from my personal experiences, I find informed light-skinned ones to be more into symbols than substance; they are more comfortable with language than with meaning. They confuse information with knowledge, and are unable to identify with legitimate experiences that do not conform to their assumptions. They are more into the show of doing than into real service.  
 
There is no getting around the fact that lighter-skinned people, for all of their good intentions, cannot be as directly sensitive to the system as informed darker-skinned Blacks, and by extension they are also less receptive to many forces. If they have integrity, they will always be aware of this and other truths when they see and hear them, and can use that to guide their conduct like all others.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2004, 02:47:09 AM »

PatriotWarrior,

You mentioned that you visited Zambia & Zimbabwe. When you have some time can you tell us some more about the Black people in those photos, and what is it like for ordinary Black people in Zimbabwe.

Regards,
Ayinde
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2004, 07:27:58 AM »

Quote
Many would like to believe their special white or light-skinned friends and family are somehow above being racist. This is understandable, as many will consider it disrespectful to their parents, other family members and friends to admit to others that their family and friends are racist, and are part of the oppressor group to some degree.

Usually people operate as if truth is a democracy, so they do not weigh arguments properly, but instead they play for popular support. This keeps most people personally dishonest. Anyhow, this is my personal take on some comments here.

This 'we are all oppressed' line is also the line that whites use, as many of them are also oppressed in the white-dominated system. This is because the White system is about materially enriching a few White males while all others are expendable. Many whites tend to play down the privileges they get in the system and use the line, "let us all get together to fight the system".  
 
Many mixed blacks of lighter complexion do not know how ugly that sounds, as they are not the ones on the receiving end of the worst in the system. They are not the ones who the system negatively impacts the most. Mixed blacks even play a part in the sustained oppression of dark-skinned blacks. Generally speaking I find that lighter-skinned mixed Blacks are very tolerant of token accommodations, as these usually materially benefit them first ahead of darker-skinned Blacks. So the line, "let us all get together to fight the system" that seems to play down the privileges and abuses from light-skinned ones, can be taken to mean that we should all get together to promote light-skinned people.
 
How people interpret language and speak are conditioned by their direct experiences, together with how they have informed themselves. If dark-skinned Blacks lack an awareness of the development of European thought together with the origins of what Europeans co-opted badly from Africa, they are not in a good position to express themselves in their own best interest, or give more enlightening interpretations to things. Everything they speak or do will be about sustaining White dominance. They will in effect be making moves which run counter to their own self-interest, and which further, are anti-black.    
 
Mixed-race people do understand the language of oppression, but many lack the deeper sustained experiences of the system to move with urgency. Generally speaking, they remain unable to feel and act from the urgency of the dark-skinned Black experience. Remember, I said that many Blacks also are not as sensitive because of their ignorance of the system, and of history in general. Many are unable to properly articulate their experiences.
 
Dark-skinned Blacks who are very sensitive and receptive have one or two things in common. They have deliberately studied the history and/or they have received very traumatic negative experiences in the system, which allowed their senses to be heightened. These Blacks are usually more sensitive to the movements in the system as well as to the motivations of people. Some can falsely feel that we have special problems instead of realizing that we may have special insights.
 
Whites and light-skinned mixed-race people are at a material advantage in terms of this corrupt Eurocentric system, but they have a natural sensitivity disadvantage.  
 
This is the gap that light-skinned ones do not perceive, and since this English language was not developed to express the feelings of Blacks in general, and to an even greater degree the feelings of more sensitive darker-skinned Blacks, we are left continually looking for better ways to express ourselves. Others do not get the depth of what we say. We must use the same words, but our understandings are not the same. Later I will give an example of this.  
 
Light-skinned ones who engage Black issues are usually more preoccupied with bridging the racial divide than with rooting out the problem, so the moves they find acceptable will usually be unacceptable to a more informed Black-skinned kinky-haired person. Also, since most people have a poor perception of self, they tend to promote their image as the ideal.  This can come over as just a token shade away from the white saviour complex. Generally speaking, from my personal experiences, I find informed light-skinned ones to be more into symbols than substance; they are more comfortable with language than with meaning. They confuse information with knowledge, and are unable to identify with legitimate experiences that do not conform to their assumptions. They are more into the show of doing than into real service.  
 
There is no getting around the fact that lighter-skinned people, for all of their good intentions, cannot be as directly sensitive to the system as informed darker-skinned Blacks, and by extension they are also less receptive to many forces. If they have integrity, they will always be aware of this and other truths when they see and hear them, and can use that to guide their conduct like all others.

Another great post, Ayinde. I concur with all the comments you posted here. Keep us learning more!!!

B.K
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2004, 07:30:13 AM »

Quote

I agree that the oppression suffered under the white supremacist/colour caste system, that capitalism has created as an excuse and rational for exploitation, is much more severe for the darker people...that is the nature of a colour caste system...so equal 'contemplation' shouldn't be given...but since both of our oppression derives from the same source(oppression because of Black/African or "multi-racial of African ancestry") we should link up to fight the common oppressor. We suffer for the same reason, because of our Black/African ancestry...to varying degrees because of the colour caste system....and lighter skin priveledge must be acknowledged...but the light skinned or multi racial people are still oppressed.

The only way to establish better understanding between the races IMHO is to destroy the capitalist system that created and perpetuates the colour caste system in the first place. Blacks of all mixtures/hues have tried, to no avail, to be accepted by their white counterparts...It isn't "us", or lack of communication on our part that isethe problem...Look at all the integrationalism that has failed...IMHO Unified political nationalism based on common heritage(political, social, historical, and racial) and attatchment to a historical land mass(Africa)is the only way to make racism moot. Power only backs down in the face of a unified ideologically trained show of power..."communication" with whites can only be done when we are eating from the table equally. If we are just sitting at it and not eating from it...they have no reason to listen.


It is well known that multiracial people or "brown" people in countries like Brazil and South America have long prevented dark-skinned/ pure Black/Africans from achieving full equality. If you exam racism within these countries you will see that the historical acceptance of people of mixed heritage has prevented Negroid/Blacks from demanding and getting equality in those countries. Even in the US, in the West Indies and in Africa the loyalty and unity of mixed-race people with dark-skinned/ pure Black/Africans only produced the race/color hierarchy.

The rainbow that the Black race is today came from perhaps one of the greatest affront to us as Negroid/Black/Africans as the white racist oppressors wantonly raped our women during the times of slavery. As a result, the icon of beauty is now long straight hair, sharp noses and of course most societies in the world goes by those standards. We all know that inside our communities those mixed Black folks with light skin and European features are more preferred and are considered to be more attractive, even more intelligent than darker-skinned Blacks. If you don't believe me check out some Rap and R&B videos. How many times have you seen these Black dark skinned brothers serenading a woman of their hue? There are still Blacks who would disapprove of their children dating and/or marrying someone who has the complexion of smooth ebony. Skin color has a major say in who we choose to love, befriend or choose to hang with. Negroid/Black African people in all places are still feeling the affects of this status-quo in their mind.

The racial/class divisions in this world are clearly defined. Most people of dark skinned who have "Negroid/Black" features, appearance and genetic background are poor, and most middle class and wealthy are "caucasian/white" or "people with light skin" with European or Semitic features and genetic background. It is therefore intellectual dishonesty to dismiss that it's the pure Black/dark-skinned/Africans who are victims of the most egregious assault possible through the institution of white colonialism. Therefore, I maintain that all Black people will fight the racist and oppressive white system and their brainwashing societies more efficiently if multiracial/Black/militants tactics and organizations of Black liberation were also put into practice within their own white family units.

Quote
I feel the suggestions that this be a tool to end racism are pure folly on the part of anyone clinging to such a faulty belief system. The individual who would make that suggestion is obviously not directly experienced, and so therefore is making wild assumptions in an attempt to avoid the responsibilities of each and every one of us to do our best daily to break down the Racist System. I would suggest anyone who makes such a suggestion, needs to spend some more time getting educated out of such ignorance. There is no longer any excuse not to.  


It seems I'm not the only one displaying ignorance in this topic. Any sane person who wants to fight racism sees the serious urgency of multiracial people who considered themselves "Black" or "African" to help smack white oppressive and extremist society by been increasingly vocal on racial issues more so in their own family units! Speaking as a white woman, I can see why your point is so subjective. You are less likely to be victimized by your white peer than a Black/African person. And since you and your kind are so fixated on denial, then you got every reason to claim ignorance on my Negroid/Black/African part.

You've pointed out the need of each and every one of us to take responsibility to break down the Racist System, well THINK that each time as a dark-skinned/pure Black/African person start talking about the need for institutions and images beneficial for Black people to a white person, most of the time this white person challenges and condemn the attitude and actions of the dark-skinned/pure Black/African one. Then, multiracial and multiethnic Black/militants ought to challenge their own white brothers, white mothers or white fathers! After all, the white parents achieved to infiltrate our people, have sexual intercourses and breed multiracial children with them. I don't see why the white parents of mixed-race offspring wouldn't be interested in supporting the sincere demands raised by their healthy children and/or by their Black/African sexual partners.

Don't you see how it is important for children of mixed heritage to know every one of their folks and cultures? WHY multiracial Blacks should avoid talking about racial issues within their own families and by doing so perhaps taking the blame away from their own weakness? Multiracial Black militants cannot accurately fight racism by just focusing on Black people. They have to cross their other racial/ethnic heritage committed to gain equity and justice for the dark-skinned/pure Black/African people.

B.K
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2004, 02:00:27 PM »

Quote
Many would like to believe their special white or light-skinned friends and family are somehow above being racist. This is understandable, as many will consider it disrespectful to their parents, other family members and friends to admit to others that their family and friends are racist, and are part of the oppressor group to some degree.


This statement is assuming that the white family members aren't overtly racist...The white fanmily memebers aren't above being racist...overtly and subconsciousely.They often ARE racist and therfore the child doesn't have a communication line open whith the white family members...and the child often HAS also criticized and confronted them for this behavior. The truth, IMHO, is never disrespectful. Speaking from personal experience...I have very little contact with the white side of my family because they are racist and offensive. They would never think/admit they are racist and offensive, but they are....Just like most white people with their institutionalized and systematic belief systems are racist even if it is not overt. Why would I subject myself to that on a consistant basis? Personaly, I get enough of that from white folks in the outside world...I don't look past racism with my "white" side of the family...I confront it head on, which doesn't make for the most pleasant conversation(of course) and therefore distance is the only solution..They aren't "comfortable" around me because they know I will correct and fight with them on any behavior or belief systems they espouse that even hints towards overt or subconcious racism. If it has already been confronted, and the individualsm don't change their behavior, Why would the Black child continue to try to constantly fight?  The only thing I feel I can, and should be worrying changing is the systematic racism...Criminals aren't made, they are created by society. The only way to not develop criminals is to change society. I feel the same way about racism...Society's structure must change and that must be done by the people who are the victims of the racism...The slave can only free themselves. Making racism moot by having a strong, unified, and liberated Africa will do much more than me constantly and repeatedly trying to change the mind of individuals...I hate to sound cold hearted about it. But I see the whites in my family as the majority of other white people behaviorally....firmly entrenched in the white global superiority system. I always attack racism when confronted with it, within and outside of the family....That is why I am saying it is not feasable to expect the multi-racial/Black children to actually change the hearts and minds of racist family members...I tried it...I also see it as a secondary contradiction...and when the primary contradiction is handled(a unified Africa and liberated African people globally, and capitalism is destroyed)...it will be minimized, elliminated, or at the least, made moot by internal national stregth.

Quote
This 'we are all oppressed' line is also the line that whites use, as many of them are also oppressed in the white-dominated system. This is because the White system is about materially enriching a few White males while all others are expendable. Many whites tend to play down the privileges they get in the system and use the line, "let us all get together to fight the system".


I must disagree with this...Whites are not opressed ...They are exploited because they are not the elites. Blacks and all other people of colour are oppressed and exploited . Whites who claim to be oprressed are full of it, or at the least, are confusing exploitation with oppression...The white superiority system doesn't function that way.  Their labour is exploited because they are part of the masses...the workers...the lower economic classes...But we live in a racial system and class system...Their class may be exploited but they are not oppressed under the racial/colour caste system. Oppression and exploitation are intertwined, but are not identical...just like race and class are intertwined and overlap, but are not identical. To lump my statement about us(people of colour)  being oppressed with whites who say falsely that they are oppressed (which means they are denying their advantage over EVERYONE else) is not fair.  I know, and have stated this oppression is to varying degrees depending on amount of melanin...those with the most melanin or darkest complexions suffering the worst...I fight vigorousely against this. I'm aware of the fact that I also have an advantage in this messed up society because I have lighter skin...that's the nature of the colour caste system, and that is one of the reasons why I advocate the destruction of this system. 
 
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Many mixed blacks of lighter complexion do not know how ugly that sounds, as they are not the ones on the receiving end of the worst in the system. They are not the ones who the system negatively impacts the most. Mixed blacks even play a part in the sustained oppression of dark-skinned blacks. Generally speaking I find that lighter-skinned mixed Blacks are very tolerant of token accommodations, as these usually materially benefit them first ahead of darker-skinned Blacks. So the line, "let us all get together to fight the system" that seems to play down the privileges and abuses from light-skinned ones, can be taken to mean that we should all get together to promote light-skinned people.
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I must agree with you on this one...Most lighter skinned Blacks enjoy or at the least don't admit the advantages their lighter skin affords them...Some people are happy with oppression as long as someone else is being oppressed more that them...I personally find that disgusting and plain old stupid. I actually often play up the abuses of lighter skinned Blacks towards darker one's because most light/mixed people aren't used to hearing a light skinned Black critical of that behavior(especially in the South)...So my constant criticism and confrontation of it gives it some sort of credibility and  legitimacy in the minds of the confused and bamboozled light-skinned/mixed-race majority. The lighter Blacks know on a subconcious level that what they often say and do is wrong...The capitalist/imperialist system has many Black people taking material benefits anyway they can, even if it is immoral, unethical, and self destructive to their extended community....even their own family!  When I say we must "all unite" I mean that on the level that All people of African heritage must unite...We are all oppressed because of our common African heritage...The source of the varying degrees of oppression is the same. I realize the limited oppression I recieve will only be done away with by the same means that the severe oppression of my darker brothers and sisters will be done away with. The destruction of capitalism/imperialism/zionism, and the formation of a unified liberated Africa. Untill Africa is strong. All of her sons and daughters abroad will be oppressed, most lighter Blacks are ok with the status qho as long as they suffer less. Some people are comfortable with oppression if someone is oppressed more than them...I'm not one of those people and I recognize that I am in the minority of people who phenotypically look like me.
 
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How people interpret language and speak are conditioned by their direct experiences, together with how they have informed themselves. If dark-skinned Blacks lack an awareness of the development of European thought together with the origins of what Europeans co-opted badly from Africa, they are not in a good position to express themselves in their own best interest, or give more enlightening interpretations to things. Everything they speak or do will be about sustaining White dominance. They will in effect be making moves which run counter to their own self-interest, and which further, are anti-black.
 

I feel like this statement can be applied to all Blacks of every colour...and actually all people of colour.  
 
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Mixed-race people do understand the language of oppression, but many lack the deeper sustained experiences of the system to move with urgency. Generally speaking, they remain unable to feel and act from the urgency of the dark-skinned Black experience. Remember, I said that many Blacks also are not as sensitive because of their ignorance of the system, and of history in general. Many are unable to properly articulate their experiences.


I agree with this, I see mixed/light skinned Blacks who don't have the urgency needed because they aren't experincing the worst oppression this society has to offer. The cadres in the Pan-African group I am a member of see me as a anomoly because of the generation I grew up in. The younger generation that didn't experience the overt racism that I did at the hands of the system and the white community don't have the same sense of urgency I do...They aren't capable of seeing the bigger picture of the global white supremacist structure. I was actually "lucky" enough to get the harsher end of it due to my age(although I realize it wasn't as harsh as the darker Blacks of my age group)...I say I was "lucky" because I am thankful I got sensitized.

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Dark-skinned Blacks who are very sensitive and receptive have one or two things in common. They have deliberately studied the history and/or they have received very traumatic negative experiences in the system, which allowed their senses to be heightened. These Blacks are usually more sensitive to the movements in the system as well as to the motivations of people. Some can falsely feel that we have special problems instead of realizing that we may have special insights.

Whites and light-skinned mixed-race people are at a material advantage in terms of this corrupt Eurocentric system, but they have a natural sensitivity disadvantage.


I am one of the few lighter Blacks who recieved severe traumatic negative experiences...due to my age and circumstances...and I have studied the history...This has hieghtened my senses especially in comparison with others of my phenotypical description and appearance. Unfortunately a lot of the lighter/mixed race people see darker people as having special problems(or a chip on thir shoulder)....I do not. I recognizr it as special insight and righteous anger. You are correct that most lighter skinned mixed race people are at a natural sensititvity disadvantage...and it is just that...a disadvantage.
 
 
 
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Light-skinned ones who engage Black issues are usually more preoccupied with bridging the racial divide than with rooting out the problem, so the moves they find acceptable will usually be unacceptable to a more informed Black-skinned kinky-haired person. Also, since most people have a poor perception of self, they tend to promote their image as the ideal.  This can come over as just a token shade away from the white saviour complex.


I agree with this also. I don't see "bridging the divide" as something productive or even likely. The liberation of Africa and all people of African descent will create the results most lights and whites(and misinformed Blacks) think that integrationalism and "getting along" will give. I might look like a young W.E.B.DuBois, but I think much more like a Marcus Garvey...because of my experiences. The ideal image is that of the masses of African people. The masses are Black and kinky haired, and that needs to be the image promoted for liberation, especially since it is the image that this society attacks and belittles the most.

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Generally speaking, from my personal experiences, I find informed light-skinned ones to be more into symbols than substance; they are more comfortable with language than with meaning. They confuse information with knowledge, and are unable to identify with legitimate experiences that do not conform to their assumptions. They are more into the show of doing than into real service.
 

Please expand on this.  I think this contradiction in the behavior of many "informed" light/mixed- race people needs to be pointed out and deserves further light shed upon it.
 
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There is no getting around the fact that lighter-skinned people, for all of their good intentions, cannot be as directly sensitive to the system as informed darker-skinned Blacks, and by extension they are also less receptive to many forces. If they have integrity, they will always be aware of this and other truths when they see and hear them, and can use that to guide their conduct like all others.


This is good advice to those lighter skinned people in denial of, or who are comfortable with their advantage(or disadvantage if you value attaining consciouseness and liberation) under the colour caste/white supremacy system.

In closing I would say that the "all of us unite" statment I made came under attack from the fact that most light skinned people do not acknowledge and fight agains the advantage they recieve. I am not one of them. Of course darker Blacks shouldn't want to unite with lighter ones who are pusing their own selfish interests...but for those of us who know better and reject such foolishness(I realize we are in the minority) We can come together as people of African heritage and defeat this oppressive system.

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It is well known that multiracial people or "brown" people in countries like Brazil and South America have long prevented dark-skinned/ pure Black/Africans from achieving full equality. If you exam racism within these countries you will see that the historical acceptance of people of mixed heritage has prevented Negroid/Blacks from demanding and getting equality in those countries. Even in the US, in the West Indies and in Africa the loyalty and unity of mixed-race people with dark-skinned/ pure Black/Africans only produced the race/color hierarchy.

The rainbow that the Black race is today came from perhaps one of the greatest affront to us as Negroid/Black/Africans as the white racist oppressors wantonly raped our women during the times of slavery. As a result, the icon of beauty is now long straight hair, sharp noses and of course most societies in the world goes by those standards. We all know that inside our communities those mixed Black folks with light skin and European features are more preferred and are considered to be more attractive, even more intelligent than darker-skinned Blacks. If you don't believe me check out some Rap and R&B videos. How many times have you seen these Black dark skinned brothers serenading a woman of their hue? There are still Blacks who would disapprove of their children dating and/or marrying someone who has the complexion of smooth ebony. Skin color has a major say in who we choose to love, befriend or choose to hang with. Negroid/Black African people in all places are still feeling the affects of this status-quo in their mind.

The racial/class divisions in this world are clearly defined. Most people of dark skinned who have "Negroid/Black" features, appearance and genetic background are poor, and most middle class and wealthy are "caucasian/white" or "people with light skin" with European or Semitic features and genetic background. It is therefore intellectual dishonesty to dismiss that it's the pure Black/dark-skinned/Africans who are victims of the most egregious assault possible through the institution of white colonialism. Therefore, I maintain that all Black people will fight the racist and oppressive white system and their brainwashing societies more efficiently if multiracial/Black/militants tactics and organizations of Black liberation were also put into practice within their own white family units.



Kelani,

I will keep my response short to your post, because you know me,  know I am aware of this and sickened by it, and actively fight against it. Most of my post to Ayinde adresses what was said in yours also.

The overwhelming majority of people that are mixed-race Blacks/light-skinned are in denial or enjoy their own material  advantage too much to criticize their own behavior as a grouping, let alone fight for the distruction of their advantage for the betterment of the masses. I am very thankful to my painful life experiences that sensitized me to what it is like to be the most oppressed(I realize I still didn't experience the worst this society has to offer because I am lighter...but I have had some experiences with overt and sublimnal racism that even some darker people I have shared them with admit they haven't gone through) I also realize these experiences are not what the majority of light-skinned/mixed-race people go through, and that leads to their lack of sensitivity for the severe oppression darker Blacks experience...I know both you and Ayinde were speaking to the majority in these posts...and on that level I must agree with what was stated. I just wanted to clarify that my statement of "lets unite and organize together" isn't coming from someone under such illusions. You stated that...

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Black people will fight the racist and oppressive white system and their brainwashing societies more efficiently if multiracial/Black/militants tactics and organizations of Black liberation were also put into practice within their own white family units.


My question is....Don't you think that if someone is a "multiracial/Black/militant" that confrontational tactics have already been used with their white family members and the broader white community?  "Multiracial/Black/militant" is almost an oxymoran in this society. Could anyone honestly be a militant if they aren't confrontational on the most basic level...the family unit? Also, isn't this precicely what might have made the few and rare "multiracial/Black/militant" that exist, the militant nationalists that they are?...the experience of interpersonal confrontations with race within the family unit and the larger white supremacist society made them militant(more than likely IMHO). With all the material advantages that light skinned people have in this society...Why would the few light skinned...and even fewer mixed-race people that are militant Black nationalists, not take advantage of their given skin advantage, and instead choose to actively fight againt the system that gives them such an advantage, unless they had  life experiences that sensitized them into becoming militant nationalists in the first place?....Wouldn't you say people like Malcolm X(or his mother who was a U.N.I.A. Garveyite) and Queen Mother Moore would be examples of the exception to the rule on light-skinned/mixed-race peoples lack of "awareness" of oppression? (I'm not putting myself in the category of these people...except ideologically perhaps...) I understand your request to have mixed-race people talk to their white family members...I often criticize other mixed-race people for living in denial and not dealing with the internal family racial dynamic...As well as light skinned people that are comfortable with modern day "passing"...But these people are not militants, I often call them "one-lovers" for lack of a better term. If you are doing a call to confrontational action towards whites by people that are actual "multiracial/Black/militant nationalists"...you may be preaching to the choir...

kristine,

Calling Kelani ignorant, or labelling her opinion as that of ignorance, just because you don't agree with her stance, is laughable as well as rediculous, insulting, and counter productive... Don't you think?
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PatriotWarrior
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2004, 03:58:31 PM »

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... and that rarely white Europeans question multiracial Blacks about their ethnicity anyway. Nonetheless, the mother of your child is still full caucasian, therefore why your child should consider herself Blacker? Why she should automatically be thrown into the Afro-Black category when she is someone born in Germany of German heritage? Do you think it's fair to prevent your child to appreciate equally her European roots? Her mother is German, so IMO, I think she should associate with her European part as well,


It is true that (white) Europeans rarely question multiracial blacks –- or anyone multiracial -- about their ethnicity (perhaps because they’re simply embarrassed to find out how “white” they also are). It is for such categorization (perhaps) that many multiracial children easily end up lacking a sense of “belonging” in their lives, even if many dark-skinned Afrikans/blacks also face this “identity crisis” … and, in some severe cases, I think even more than some multiracial blacks do.

As I said, I do not think it is for me to have my daughter consider herself “blacker” ( or “lighter”), but I think I can direct her to follow the path I deem best for her, given the circumstances in which she lives (at a given time). But my own efforts are also limited in the sense that they are borne chiefly out of my own bygone experiences (in boyhood etc), in other environments etc, some of which wouldn’t even apply to the current condition. I won’t choose for her to think as if she were a dark-skinned Afrikan, but I think I can introduce her Afrikan side to her, as any (thinking) parent in my situation would do. The European/German influence in my daughter’s life is there … and everywhere, … but I won’t be the one to lay down rules against any European influences; she has to be taught to act or react to her experiences accordingly, as they would demand.

She can be called or call herself “black”, but she really is half-German; there’s no denying that, but it will be for her to balance out her racial heritages in a sensible way. She will have to sort that out for herself independently (through the near future) –- even with the help of both her parents.

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Do you think distancing mixed Blacks from their European part is really helping them in the Diaspora, and is (or will) bring about conscious and concerned conditions in society? How other multiracial people or parents of multiracial children with Black/African genetic background feel about about this?


[Whatever context]: I doubt if there are many mixed Blacks who’ve been distanced enough from their European part, and not even the Afrikans: … because reality has shown that most people, including the black Afrikans themselves, have religiously clung to everything about the West: the fastest way to social progress. “Life!” (as they call it). Everything else is supposed to be secondary, including their own racial identity. It still happens …

Nevertheless, I don’t think really distancing anyone from their racial heritage, even if only in part, would do anyone any good. I think good (interracial) parents would “strike a balance” in doing that, but the only “danger” in it is such parents’ own conception of the word “balance”. Many times, it happens that multiracial (black-white) children discard their Afrikan identity more comfortably than their European one, for the European one, which has some telling to do: We still live in a white-centred, self-reflecting system.

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TO AYINDE:

There was a lot happening in Zimbabwe, but one thing about Afrika is that, with places like Zimbabwe, you won’t see all the “action” you heard in the news at once, because it’s mostly incidental. Apart from a few minor incidents of internal disorder (like corruption scandals  currently being trailed by the Zimbabwean government, as the story goes …), it was relatively calm in Zimbabwe when I was there. There has been a kind of “black calm” in Zimbabwe through these months, and one good thing I noticed is that there is a lot of working together with neighbouring countries.

I had the feeling that the on-going land reforms are still being pushed through to the masses, for whom the cost of living in Zimbabwe has been climbing steadily … But I think to most people in rural areas, life is more or less the same as it used to be before the land-redistribution program (1999). Some urban Zimbabweans do not care about Mugabe, but their non-support for Mugabe is more often due to the bad shape of the economy than for the famous land confiscations from whites. The “confiscations” scored indelible points for Mugabe actually! Watching TV in Zimbabwe and Zambia, I even had the feeling that many Afrikans have learned something positive from the debris fall-out in the British post-colonial fiasco in Zimbabwe.

The people on the pictures I posted are strangers (people I just met and asked to photograph) and family members (a male cousin, female cousins, nieces, a nephew, a sister) etc. The school my daughter visited in Lusaka is also attended by 2 nieces, her cousins. A cousin of mine works for “African Queen” as a tourist guide and showed us round the falls. A loved cousin of mine escorted us from Lusaka to Livingstone, to the Falls and past the border (then back to Lusaka) … All in all, I took close to 1,600 pics{!!} on my way through those places from here, and the ones I posted were more or less randomly selected. I could write much about a relative, a brother or sister.

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I liked the contents of this post, regarding this discussion:

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Mixed-race people do understand the language of oppression, but many lack the deeper sustained experiences of the system to move with urgency. Generally speaking, they remain unable to feel and act from the urgency of the dark-skinned Black experience.


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Dark-skinned Blacks … have one or two things in common. They have deliberately studied the history and/or they have received very traumatic negative experiences in the system, which allowed their senses to be heightened. These Blacks are usually more sensitive to the movements in the system as well as to the motivations of people …


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Whites and light-skinned mixed-race people are at a material advantage in terms of this corrupt Eurocentric system, but they have a natural sensitivity disadvantage.



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Light-skinned ones who engage Black issues are usually more preoccupied with bridging the racial divide than with rooting out the problem, so the moves they find acceptable will usually be unacceptable to a more informed Black-skinned kinky-haired person. Also, since most people have a poor perception of self, they tend to promote their image as the ideal.  This can come over as just a token shade away from the white saviour complex.


This is the gap that light-skinned ones do not perceive …
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Tyehimba
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2004, 04:16:45 PM »

Kelani and Oshun_ Auset:

You both are misinterpreting Kristine. Kristine is actually agreeing. She is agreeing that multi-racial children need to explore both sides of their heritage. If you go over the paragraph the Kelani quoted as well as kristine's post you will see what i mean:

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I feel the suggestions that this be a tool to end racism are pure folly on the part of anyone clinging to such a faulty belief system. The individual who would make that suggestion is obviously not directly experienced, and so therefore is making wild assumptions in an attempt to avoid the responsibilities of each and every one of us to do our best daily to break down the Racist System. I would suggest anyone who makes such a suggestion, needs to spend some more time getting educated out of such ignorance. There is no longer any excuse not to.  


The paragraph was in reference to a claim by a white person on the other board that race mixing is a great tool to break down racism, and it is that claim she is calling ignorance.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2004, 05:14:42 PM »

I saw the misunderstanding with Kristine's post. Some of us are right to be distrustful of whites/light-skinned ones, so the mix-up is understandable. In my view Kristine also made good points.

Oshun_ Auset,

It is not my intention to condemn you, your insights and experiences, so I am not pressing the points I made.

PatriotWarrior,

I really like the fact that you did capture much in words and photos from the trip, and you took the time to share it. I am grateful.

Thank you.
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Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2004, 05:35:18 PM »

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Kelani and Oshun_ Auset:

You both are misinterpreting Kristine. Kristine is actually agreeing. She is agreeing that multi-racial children need to explore both sides of their heritage. If you go over the paragraph the Kelani quoted as well as kristine's post you will see what i mean:


The paragraph was in reference to a claim by a white person on the other board that race mixing is a great tool to break down racism, and it is that claim she is calling ignorance.


My apologies Kristine, I completely mis-interpreted your statement and thought it was being directed towards what Kelani was saying. I know of the "other" board thread and postes you arereferring to....and I must agree with your statement in referrence to that persons comments.

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I saw the misunderstanding with Kristine's post. Some of us are right to be distrustful of whites/light-skinned ones, so the mix-up is understandable. In my view Kristine also made good points.

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Oshun_ Auset,

It is not my intention to condemn you, your insights and experiences, so I am not pressing the points I made.


No condemnation taken...I didn't think that was your intention at all...I can definately understand why my statement of "lets all unite" can be taken as a cop-out, insulting, or dismissive of the oppression darker African people(especially women) experience considering who it was coming from and without further clarification of what I meant...or what my intentions were behind it. The behavior of the majority of people that have my phenotypical appearance has been historically appalling and needs such criticism.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2004, 09:42:33 AM »

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Kelani and Oshun_ Auset:

You both are misinterpreting Kristine. Kristine is actually agreeing. She is agreeing that multi-racial children need to explore both sides of their heritage. If you go over the paragraph the Kelani quoted as well as kristine's post you will see what i mean:


The paragraph was in reference to a claim by a white person on the other board that race mixing is a great tool to break down racism, and it is that claim she is calling ignorance.

I understood Kristine statement perfectly. She speaks as being "ignorant" the idea and programs of using mixed Blacks individuals for our political struggle against racism and neo-colonialism within their own white family units. I can read with objectivity I'm not an imbecile. Besides, she should dialogue, defend herself if she can.

B.K
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2004, 10:40:11 AM »

I agree with you Oshun Auset. You feel you can't acknowledge the white in you because you have suffered at the hands of your white relatives... But, your personal experience is an anecdotal evidence. You have to look at trends; you have to look at large sample. It's established fact that on a daily basis the mass media use the term "Back/African" for looking mixed girls like Halle Berry, Michael Michelle or even Mariah Carey. More and more people nowadays who classify themselves "African" are very light skinned even white looking! They keep feeling themselves this way through marriage and selective breeding (aka selecting dark-skinned Blacks with whom they will darken their bloodline). What these people are doing is increasing the inequality between races and passing down a culture of light-skinned Blacks favoritism. We all know that the "Negroid" Blacks race is described as Blacks or brown in color with broad noses, thick lips and kinky hair. Do you really consider children or adults of a mixed and interracial heritage ranging from "white" to "yellow" of color "Blacks"?

Further, how we the pure Black/Africans could believe in ourselves, and number one, create lifestyles that our ancestors expect from us if multiracial or biracial individuals with very light skin emphasizes being "Black/African" more than us? Aren't we the dark-skinned/pure Black Africans beautiful? Aren't our voices interesting? Do we deserve to control our own images? YES, YES, and YES. I am willingly to bet, the majority of mixed-raced Blacks militants who try to express excess pride in '"Blackness" don't even know they are actually taking away the Blacks with broad noses, thick lips and kinky hair attention within the Blacks community. And of the comments that I am observing from Patriot Warrior and Kristine in this thread, the parents of multiracial children are doing the same.. We could all blame the horrible outcome of European brainwashing among Blacks and interracial or biracial people from slavery and colonization, but the fact remains the mixed/light-skinned/whites still feel like they are better than the Blacks dark skinned Blacks even nowadays beyond the white slavery/colonial machinery. We have to improve these awful conditions before it's too late for the pure Black/African people!

If at the present time the mixed people who accept the Blacks side are not embarrassing themselves to fight the criminality, extremism, stupidity in their white families, which is the most important institution in white communities, they are doing a damn thing for Black/African people. Perhaps I am being "ignorant" or a bit harsh promoting these ideas and programs. But, as Black militants we all have to carry out a many sided struggle to smash the oppressor's power over our lives to create a new center of power for Black/African people. For the mixed Blacks individuals who are not disgusted by their white relatives, their white family units should serve as the smallest unit for our political, cultural, philosophical and social struggle.  

B.K
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gman
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2004, 11:29:58 AM »

Quote from Kristine:  
 
Personally I subscribe to the views in line with the management of this board regarding leadership in this Black Movement to be in the hands of capable Dark skinned Africans, in particular Dark skinned African women. However I would suggest that with careful and proper guidance, mixed children can have a function as a bridge to knowledge of both sides of the various race issues, although they will not be able to ever really experience the full impact of being Black or White, and yes, ultimately they, themselves will have to settle where they feel they fit best, hopefully totally comfortable relating to both sides of their identity. Their experiences will be unique and should be addressed accordingly. After all they too have a right to exist as full members of this human experience.

There's a lot to discuss and respond to on this thread, I'll just start with this today since my time is limited.
I'm not trying to jump down your throat here, Kristine, but there is something I find offensive about this statement. Perhaps it's a matter of wording rather than the concept behind it, but the idea that "with careful and proper guidance" I can "have a function" (that's what I've been yearning for all my life, a 'function'), and guess what that function is, ah yes, "a bridge" to "knowledge of both sides of the race issue"... that all rubs me the wrong way. I think you could see how the wording would rub someone the wrong way if you think about it. I have a 'function' like a cog in a machine but I will only work well 'with careful and proper guidance', like if someone (presumably my parents) has read the operators' manual properly.
To I, my 'function' is to live this life I was given by the Most I to the fullest, to hone those talents and abilities that I have and to acquire new ones, and to get in where I fit in in the struggle for a more just world, for all people and all life forms, but in particular for Black people, a collective with whom I identify, because I am part of that collective.
I would question whether I will 'never know the full impact of being Black or white'. I will never know the full impact of being white that's for sure, and I will never know the full impact of being darker-skinned Black. However there are millions of Black people who are my color both of whose parents are Black (darker-skinned Black in some cases). No one can look at me and know that one of my parents is white. They might guess, but actually more often people are surprised when I tell them that my father is white. So, do none of these Black people who are my color, many of whom have no memory of any distant white (usually rapist) relatives down the family tree, know 'the full impact of being Black'? I suppose it depends how you define 'Black'. Generally speaking, I agree with Ayinde and others that the darker-skinned you are, the worse treatment you are liable to get. But there are a great many people of my color who have certainly experienced 'the full impact' of generations of extreme poverty, spending more time in jail than in the streets, not being able to get a decent job, and being shot in the back by police officers. And there are some darker-skinned Black people from more privileged backgrounds who have not experienced the full impact of these things. Was Malcolm X (who was more or less my color) unable to experience the 'full impact of being Black'? (Although on the other side of the coin, I could ask the question, could there have been some other spokesperson for Black rights at the time who was as eloquent, fiery and engaging a speaker and activist as Malcolm, but who wouldn't get as much attention from the masses of Black people because he was too dark-skinned, or she was the wrong gender?)
To expand a little more on my personal story: I was born in the London Borough of Hackney, one of the most multi-racial/multi-lingual/multi-everything places on the planet, and lived there and in North London til I was 6, a period of which I have only vague recollections none of which specifically involve race, although looking back I could see how, for example, a fight I got into in the school playground could have been racially motivated. I've always lived with both my parents until I struck out on my own at the age of 17. When I was 6 we moved to Georgetown, Guyana, where white people are a small minority, and non-'Puhtugee' white people an even smaller one. ('Puhtugee' Guyanese are white, descendants of indentured servants from Madeira, and experienced most of the benefits and privileges of being white under British colonialism, but being Guyanese and having had many of their privileges stripped away after independence, they are put in a different category than foreigners who are 'whitey' while they are 'puhtugee').
Anyway my dad was one of the few 'whitey' around at the time. Apart from one expatriate British couple we were friendly with (they were anthropologists), he was pretty much the only 'whitey' around me in those days. Looking back, I don't think I thought that much about race in those days. I hung out with whoever, I had my first sweaty-palms crushes on Melanie Griffith and Patricia Persaud simultaneously, I don't even recall any of the African/Indian tension that Guyana is known for manifesting itself among us kids. But come to think of it my core clique of friends was mostly African (one Indian kid) and mostly towards the lighter end of the skin spectrum (one black-skinned kid). Was this just coincidence, or was I unconsciously gravitating to the people whom some subliminal message in the society said were 'my' kind of people who I was supposed to hang out with? I couldn't say.
I lived a middle-class existence in Guyana, which meant we had a comfortable house that wasn't falling apart, we could afford a telephone, never went the least bit hungry although we hardly had sumptuous meals, and hired a maid to come in a few times a week, as all middle-class Guyanese households are expected to do. This was certainly a more privileged existence than that led by most Guyanese, but the reason we were in the middle-class category had nothing to do with my dad who made a very meager living as a teacher, it had to do with my mum's working for the government, which in turn had to do with her winning the Guyana Scholarship and getting sent to UWI in Jamaica, and later going to graduate school in London and beginning to work her way up the ranks of Guyana's nascent diplomatic service. My mum grew up very poor, but her mum came from a middle-class Guyanese line, she was one of the first batch of Black professionals (teacher) in Guyana, and no doubt her being educated and an educator contributed to my mum's winning the scholarship. But I digress.
The point was, the privileges we enjoyed were not spectacular. There were many black-skinned Guyanese who lived the same kind of lifestyle, and there were few people of any color who lived a more privileged lifestyle, i.e. had a TV (an expensive luxury in those days, requiring your own satellite dish), a generator to counteract the daily (sometimes 24-hour-long) blackouts, running water (it was buckets for us) etc. While I am not going to sing the praises of Forbes Burnham's often corrupt and brutal regime, one thing about those days was that there really wasn't that huge of a wealth/privilege gap between Guyanese. Don't get me wrong, there was a gap, but it was like, most people were really really poor, and then some people like my family were just above the poverty line, and people with real luxuries were few and far between. Neither being 'multiracial' nor having a mother who worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conferred any special privileges above anyone else in that vague middle-class category. It certainly didn't stop me from being called out in front of thousands of people during the 'Mass Games' and getting caned many times on the legs, which is another story.
Well I'm really blabbering on here. Ah well. At age 13 due to my mum's job we moved to Venezuela where I attended an American-run school, this was my first real encounter with crackers (as opposed to people who just happened to be white). It was a good education. I could no longer afford the luxury of being racially neutral, or not thinking about race. I was informed in no uncertain terms of what I was; a 'nigger'. 'Nigger, nigger, nigger'. I'm not exagerrating when I say that not a single day went by in my first couple years at that school that I wasn't called that word. Well maybe a day might go by but they'd certainly call me it the next day! When I was approaching 16 and getting a little bigger and starting to work out and ting, people laid off a bit because they could sense I would fight back now, but the vibes were still there. To this day I despise those crackers to the bottom of my being. I tell you no lie, if I was to run into some of those people today, I would not even say a word, I would walk right up and punch them full in the face as hard as I could, making sure my ring connected with the bridge of their nose.
Well after that I went to amerikkka to attend college and sort of got stuck there on and off for the next ten years. After spending a couple years around mainly a different kind of white people in Portland Oregon (mostly rich and privileged like the oilmen's children I went to school with in venezuela, but very 'liberal' and 'open-minded' and 'non-racist'... a few of whom are still my good friends but most of whom were faker than a three-dollar bill), I took the wrong bus by mistake one day and discovered that there was a Black community in Portland (I'd had no idea). I was being called 'nigga' with a 'ga' at the end now, which I found I not only vastly preferred to the 'er' version, I also preferred it to the drawled 'Bra' of my Northern Lights-aroma'd, blonde dreadlocked acquaintances in college. I couldn't say I felt initially 'at home' in 'the hood'- Guyana was probably the last place I felt fully 'at home' in, everywhere else I seemed to be always a bit of an outsider- but as I visited there more and more often, and eventually moved there, I realized that I sure felt more comfortable there than around my fellow collegians. And to this day, I'll always prefer to live in an area that is at least 50% or so Black, if I have any choice at all. And that's all I have time for today, so I'll wrap up these ramblings without even coming to any specific conclusion... make of them what you will... later I'll address more of the specific points that were raised on this thread.



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gman
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« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2004, 03:11:11 PM »

Bantu:
I ain sure is wah you trying to say here. On the one hand, you say that if I, as a mixed/lighter-skinned person (actually your color or just slightly lighter, to judge from your photograph)... if I end up having youths with a dark-skinned woman, it's like I'm 'diluting' her bloodline or something... and if I end up having youths with a lighter-skinned Black woman or woman with African descent or whatever you want to call her (cos I for damn sure ain't gone have no youths with no white woman) then I am perpetuating a class of privileged lighter-skinned Black people or yellowy-brown people or whatever you want to call us. Well what am I supposed to do, have a vasectomy, become a monk or something?
Forgive me if I misinterpreting what you were saying but that's what it sounded like to me!
I for one don't have many problems with any of the white side of my family that I'm close to, I've discussed/argued a couple things with my dad and believe me if I think he still manifesting any subliminal racist behaviors or thoughts, his being my dad will not stop me from challenging him in the least. Maybe my grandparents might have some subconscious racist beliefs but they are so minor, and they are so old, that it's hardly worth belaboring them about it. I mean they only gone be here a few more years. As far as people whose white side family have more conscious or pervasive racist beliefs, what makes you think that white side of the family would listen to them, any more than to any other black or brown person? If you think they would listen just cos they got a blood connection, then you don't overs how totally pervasive and poisonous white racism is, maybe they might hate you more because you 'messed up' their family with a splash of black or brown!
I am all for acknowledging those privileges I do have as a lighter-skinned/mixed person, and for supporting the struggle of the most downpressed among us who do tend to be the darker-skinned among us, no argument there. But with that post, it seems like you painting people like me into a corner, we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't!
Black people came in many shades and many different features even before the white man dem arrived, the KhoiSan look different than the Bantu who look different from the Mbuti who look different from the Masai, why can't we all acknowledge ourselves as Black, or as African if you prefer, you mean to say, because I describe myself as Black, it is somehow taking away from you describing yourself as Black? Is you describing yourself as Black then taking away from a black black black skinned Nubian describing him/herself as Black? I ain't trying to get your goat here, but I really don't get what you trying to say in that post. Would you prefer if Halle Berry claimed herself as white or refused to acknowledge herself as black and only claimed 'multiracial' like Tiger Woods? Trust, if Tiger Woods had gone to the same school with me, no one would be calling him a 'damn good for nothing cablinasian' any more than people would be calling me a 'god-damned mixie', we'd both be called NIGGER... now if I say I rather mingle with, deal with, marry and raise youths with the people who are also called NIGGERS rather than the people calling us NIGGERS, I'm somehow doing damage to the Black cause? I just don't see that, anyway please correct me if I misinterpreted you, or enlighten me further as to what you meant.
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