Alright. I'm only going to say this once. Black africans do not call themselves "black" the whole black thing was something white people came up with in the first place. Africans know themselves based on their tribe and nationality. HOWEVER there is a global black awareness for anyone who is from Africa and the Americas to find commonality, because in reality a lot of Africans do not black people from America and blame us for our history and culture and often times think we have forgotten our roots. So there is a different identity and I honestly don't know why people like you have such a problem with black American's identifying how they want and how our history and culture means so much to us. It's actually incredibly hurtful.
I'm simply wondering what effects all
these identity boundaries, not just yours, have on people who try to move around and seek out new places in the society. It's like having a castle -- some things are good defenses from real threats, some things are nice symbolic markers to keep those inside feeling together and unique (irrespective of what ways they all are and aren't) and some things keep the excluded rabble out and presumably the rabble suffer from this, too. So it's more to do with the trans comparison if you want some single thing to point out where this question came from lately
... But I'm just wondering if Dolezal could have a serious identity somewhere, however inconstant if you like, that just is rejected by everyone. (You know, like the army food rations, Meals Rejected by Everyone.)
Lots of things mean a lot to a lot of people. And at the same time, people can feel left out or rootless when they aren't allowed to get "too close" to the things associated with those people who define boundaries in such ways. If Africans genetically get naturally frizzy hair (not sure that's just the right word or not), and some people like Dolezal want to style their hair that way, must there be some "tripwire" in doing that, or doing (pick and choose) some of any number of other things described as Black culture as well
as genetics? Must their picking up that appearance or that practice, automatically mean that in doing so, they are going to get accused of participating in the whole antiquated style of "Blackface"? That seems awfully reactionary to me, for lack of a better word. Granted, publishers would also do some awful things with the notion of copyright, if they could get away with it...
If you don't understand, I don't have to sit here and try to make you understand where we're coming from.
You don't have to do much of anything, but you seem to feel a duty to have some last word on this that is all about how wrong Dolezal "must" be and how she must be insane to what? To claim her own identity if it has anything to do with delusions of Blackness? Or is the main complaint that she was able to gain some money off it? I admit that's more problematic, but before I throw out everyone who never told someone everything that might have swayed an interview and everyone who ever found themselves faced with a row of checkboxes that honestly didn't include them... I'd like to question a little what exactly happened with her.
I may get laughed at cause I have probably read more indirect claims about the case here than I have read news article type about whatever she did
so far.... But so far here in particular: I've heard a lot of 'she crossed a line' sort of arguments that don't seem too interested about how her internal experience might have actually worked. The strongest thing you seem to have on her recently is resorting to "Oh she must be plain insane." And I'm not sure she's been so terrible, or better yet really
all so illogical, as to warrant that sort of dismissal yet. Of course if what you mainly care about is to double check every Black American for direct ties to slavery and party line that no one else gets too close to "speaking for" that experience and then also, to keep race completely separate from social perceptions of sexuality (like, how could she switch to talking about bi, you seem to be asking though you don't go and analyze it much)... Those things are not really talking about
Dolezal very much anyway, are they? You've got her crossing your "red lines" and it seems to me you're not really too concerned about why or how she got there, except it must be dangerous because oh "privilege" makes any such thing so. No?
You would probably understand more if you actually looked through our history in depth and then tried to understand black history aside from the watered down American history version. Seriously, I don't know what you want and I don't think you're listening.
Possibly. I wonder though: Perhaps, you might understand more of what I'm picking at if you were willing to talk less about slavery and more about people on the fringes of the Black community. Who is the least "in" and how did the community decide to put them there? What happens to a person who can't trace their ancestry that far back? Is someone who knows where some ancestors were traded off to, treated in any way different from those whose families stayed together in close communities over the years, or how about compared to those who have lost track of where some relatives ended up? Basically I am wondering: Is this really such an ideal community where everyone sits squarely equal happily in the middle? Perhaps I am wrong, but I doubt that is likely. If you have a range of who is more and less authentic and accepted like most communities (e.g. Native American communities like to trace their place on the land and ancestors way back too -- but some are still "more Native" than others when you look inside at how some talk)... Then, how much more does it take to wonder if some outsider might be approaching some edge of that fuzzy border too?
Black American's did not come up with black, white, etc...White American's did. They called my ancestors Negroes because they wanted to make them feel as alienated as possible. The only reason African-American is around was because black Americans were sick of being called Colored and wanted a connection to their ancestral homeland. This was part of the movement to find pride in their skin, hair, heritage, culture, and history that we call "black pride" and people think thats racist because they don't even know what it means. When you're punched down so much in your own goddamn country and have so much hate for the own skin you live in because another group of people are afraid of you or think lowly of you, pride needs to happen. There is Irish Pride, Hispanic Pride, Asian Pride, etc and no one raises an eyebrow.
No one? Somehow, I think there are some
who don't think certain other minorities in the US should be all too prideful, either. Sure Trump is a rather extreme voice by himself, but I do believe he's just one example of many (thankfully often many smaller and more restrained/even less popular) outbursts (but then there is Rush Limbaugh,, to begin the list again...anyway) against other minorities. And personally, as far as varieties of shall we say "Caucasian" pride such as the various flavors of Euro cultural pride, I think it's fairly viable to ask what many of them exclude from their
neat festival imagery and whitewashed histories for the masses, too.
Maybe what's confusing you here is I'm not simply picking at the effects of the definition of Black on Dolezal. I'm picking at the rigidity of ethnic definitions on everyone
. I'm not saying we can have a society that doesn't have race anytime soon. I'm saying the measures and shorthand of race we have, can also
somehow become problematic. Perhaps they become especially problematic when people actually get involved, however cleanly or messily, across community boundaries? Suddenly someone feels the need to stand up and draw up lists of just what outsiders "should" and "shouldn't" do and be, but maybe those lists aren't practical to everyone's experience or politics or analysis. And what if there is some messiness there, where the existing categories don't always
suit the society of today or tomorrow.
I'm not saying atrocious abuse of peoples, historically and even now in some ways, isn't atrocious. I'm wondering about ways that the present politics and divisions we have can also leave people floundering and get people in trouble when they try to behave "outside their ethnic box" or "across ethnic lines" as it were in various ways. If we can't even ask about that without it being considered an attack and affront to the Black community and somehow more terrible to them than to everyone else it's implicating, then fine don't bother with me. I am just inclined to think that doing so, is more of a knee-jerk defensive dismissal (yes, people are upset, but still) and less a serious consideration of why exactly
Dolezal might have done things -- and maybe why exactly various
people of various standpoints (including more than one uniform Black response, I dare suspect?) might be upset about rather different
parts of it.
Finally, you raise some China v. Scotland stuff... I guess
in some sort of response to the mention of Japanese rhetoric?? But I'm still trying to make sense of that because I'm not sure it's really comparable to what I was seeing from studies of Japan/a bit of experience there myself... And I really
don't see how it gives you inspiration for saying the next part:
So I think you think that black people don't want to be considered American and what is black and this and that and I've explained it the best that I can and you don't get it.
I never said anything of the sort. When I talked about Asia, it was about examples of demanding that others not involve themselves in a community's experience/conversation/analysis of a situation, even when one might logically have some of those things in one's life already by virtue of personal background or efforts to adopt practices. I'm kinda doubtful if you are actually familiar with the way Japanese leaders have taken to speaking
of nationality as being linked to blood. (Specifically, I am doubtful because at least in Japan, they actually do not limit how they claim to know a person's "blood," to doing DNA tests. Far from it.) Now perhaps I'm just clueless about Scotland, but the contrast you're attempting (is this supposed to lead toward, nationality must
be spoken of as something completely different from ethnicity??) doesn't sway me yet. Though I find the whole thing abrupt there, and I'm not at all sure it's even dealing with the same concerns I had.
For myself: I was questioning whether it makes sense -- better, what are the effects really, when today people still insist that blood gives someone a "last word" on what is right and wrong in a political conversation. Experience and legacy is pretty important and sources are important for evidence, but so is reason and perspective and so is -- well, the one I feel like you're effectively throwing away in brushing me off here --a comparative eye
for things that pop up in many societies and many if not all different ethnic situations. Places where the names and faces change, but well groups still slam people around, mark them as outsiders and refuse
to let them in often quite regardless of those people's intent and personal orientation to questions of what race is for and what it has done to them
in life, being whatever it is to others in that neck of the woods.
However: I never said Black people don't want to be American and I do not at all intend to say that. Heavens no. Sounds extremely rare and unlikely, if you were to ask me to guess the frequency.
Now please don't try to box me in claiming that if I said something else above, that must be what I really want to say/mean. If you honestly believe something I said must
lead to that leap somehow, then perhaps you could explain how. Cause this is all news to me and I believe those are your words, not mine.