Re: discussions about racism
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 12:35:24 EDT

In a message dated 99-06-01 01:55:26 EDT, (Damien Broderick) writes:

> At 09:57 PM 20/05/99 +0200, den Otter sig'd

> >"What I would most desire would be the separation of the white and black
> >(Spoken at Springfield, Illinois on July 17th, 1858; from Abraham Lincoln:
> >Works, 1894, Vol. 1, page 273).

> I waited a while to see if a few people immediately and forthrightly
> expressed their revulsion at this kind of sly, evil trolling. I paused
> before doing so myself because I'm probably pegged by many here as some
> kind of censorious holier-than-thou meddler. Still, I have in mind the
> dictum about evil prevailing when good men and women do nothing...

On a list the general result of "good men and women" doing something about this is a flamewar. Also, out of context, it has several different meanings - it could also point out that even admired people can hold offensive views, or point out how far we've gone since 1858. In a sig, it's out of context.

A better response might be to interpret the response in the more reasonable ways and open a discussion on what things helped people dump such silly views. Was is the recognition of extensive interbreeding between whites and blacks in America, to the point that pure Africans are a minority of blacks and whites of unsuspected African heritage not particularly rare? Was it the superb service records of blacks in the American military? Was it the fact that one of the greatest thinkers and leaders of non-violent protest of all time was black? Was it the scientific discovery that race in humans is only skin deep, with few affects other than the obvious physical ones?

I'd be interested to hear some other ideas.