Re: `capitalist' character values

From: Olga Bourlin (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 20:33:19 MDT

Oh oh, this one slipped by me. Lee, never mind about George and affirmative
action, you've answered here, and I thank you.

Lee wrote:
I've never
> committed any crime against black
> people ...
> You can't force me to take resp-
> onsibility for acts committed by
> other people who look like me.
> That's really "guilt by association".

I'm not trying to force you to take responsibility for something you have
not done personally. If you live in the U.S.A., you are profiting from some
the prosperity which is still tricking down to us from slave labor (by
institutions built by slave labor, by companies which have direct and
indirect ties to the prosperity of companies which operated on slave labor,
including stocks). Because of your white skin (I am assuming this) you are
"automatically" privileged in many ways. I'm not saying you should feel
guilty, but I am suggesting that maybe you can feel some compassion for a
situation that was created - not by you or me, granted - but that exists,
nevertheless, and is sad beyond words (a sadness which has reverberated for
hundreds of years, a sadness for many blacks which is still cruelly real

After all, the USA has given reparations for Jews, and to the Japanese. But
slavery - which existed for so much longer and was unprecedented in its
cruelty, dealing with selling human beings like chattel - no talk of
reparations, no memorials, hardly any acknowledgment. Of course, all the
people who dealt directly with slavery are gone, but we are still a
prosperous nation, and we can afford to say "thank you," and "we're sorry
for what was done to you," and acknowledge the contributions made by slaves.

Olga: > > .. if you don't think that that may just be one of the
contributing reasons why "not all
> > groups are exactly equal to all other groups in every way ..."
Lee: > But I do believe that it was a
> contributing factor.
Olga: But who's responsible for
> > this state of affairs?
Lee:> Not me.

No comment.


> > And think about this: if whites had
> > gone through what blacks had to go
> > through for those hundreds of years,
> > our "pecking" order may have been
> > in reverse order at this stage of
> > the game.
> There is no doubt about it. Color
> of skin can't be magical.
> >> One thing you never responded to, Lee, and that was my quip about
George W.
> >> Bush. Even though I was being sarcastic, it was still a serious
> >> I read loud and clear that you are opposed to affirmative action. But,
> >> see, we have affirmative action for white people (that's what I meant
> >> imply when I said that George W. Bush is an Affirmative Action Baby
> >> ("AAB")). Why aren't you opposed to affirmative action for white
> >> Did George W. Bush get into the White House on his own merit? Or is he
> >> (gasp ... groan ... slap on forehead!) an ... AAB?
> Affirmative action, in the case of
> education, means including people
> of one group at the expense of
> people of another group who have
> higher scores, simply because
> people in the first group have
> the wrong skin color, or other
> ethnic/religious identity.
> I am opposed to affirmative action for
> white people. (E.g., at Berkeley, where
> going just by scores, 60% of the students
> would be Chinese, even though they are
> only 7% of the population.) I am opposed
> to affirmative action for any group.
> George W. Bush may have been favored
> because of his father's influence, and
> I think that he may have had other
> advantages independent of his ability.
> (Please take that sentence literally---
> every word counts. Please don't read
> any more into it than is there. Thanks.)
> But since he was not discriminated for
> or against in his admission to college
> because of his group (i.e., race, eth-
> nicity, or religious background) I don't
> see why you would call that affirmative
> action. Moreover, "AA" is a policy,
> implemented in the U.S. for the first
> time in the 1960's. I do not think it
> quite correct to say that because Jews
> were discriminated against, in the 1920s
> for college admission, that there was
> a policy of affirmative action in favor
> of whites; it's simply true that Jews
> were discriminated *against*.
> The words "affirmative action" came
> from government bureaucrats who came
> up with a euphemism for "favoring
> people of one particular race at the
> expense of other people". It was
> later broadened to mean "favoring
> people of any race besides caucasian".
> So, no, George W. Bush is not an AAB,
> despite his many "unfair" advantages.
> Thank you for actually quoting the
> question that I had omitted to answer.
> Lee

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