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May 28, 2008

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Steven Augustine

Brendan:


An interesting discussion could be about the tension between political "Black" demographic needs to be as large a voting bloc as possible... and the inherent racial insult that whereas just "one drop" of Black blood is sufficient to taint the "Whiteness" of an Octoroon, say, "Black" is not so "pure" a race as to require such high standards of its would-be members. That is, there is no "one drop" rule for Blackness, though it should be symmetrical with Whiteness, eh? We're all raised to accept the status quo and don't, generally, notice the astounding implications of the two standards.

But: again: if "Black" became as hard a group to belong to as "White", Blacks would lose substantial numbers come census-taking time.

Socio-political impasse?

Monica - global issues

great! i hate color! thanks for sharing!

Mike Mennonno

It's interesting to me, living in Boston, to hear discussions of race and ethnicity be so black-and-white, both literally and figuratively. The nuances of consciousness of otherness (let's call it) seem infinite. When we talk about "whites" we fail to acknowledge a very real history of prejudice and public policy that enshrined bigotry against, say, the Irish, Jews, Italians, and East Europeans, all supposedly "white." "No Irish need apply", de facto segregation of Jews, and the assumption that Southern and Eastern Europeans were "oily", primitive, and fit only for manual labor -- we tend to "whitewash" these histories of marginalization because of the enormity of the crime of slavery, but the social dynamic of identity plays out among "whites" too, who, at least where I'm from, can "read" very fine gradations of race and ethnicity, even while they then wield them bluntly.

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