RANGER AGAINST WAR: Post- Post Racial <

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Post- Post Racial

--Separate but Equal?
 
Will the suffering ever end?
--Jehovah's Witness tract left on Lisa's door 

That's just the way it is
Some things will never change 
--That's Just the Way it Is,
Bruce Hornsby 

Oh, we've got to free our brothers
from their shackles yeah if we can, if we can  
--Slave, Elton John
_____________________


[We have been a little slaggerdly at RangerAgainstWar. We are sorry. Today -- and this week -- we present the equivalent of "Christmas in July" (the tchotchke buying spree that gets most Southern hearts a'thumpin): Black History Month in March.]

A question arises from the ground of our post-post modern angst: "Is God a bigot, or are people simply bigoted, using God as an excuse for their bigotry?" Or, is God simply not a part of the racial equation? {And, no, we may not pin this phenomenon on President Trump, as the existence of bigotry pre-dates his arrival on the planet, and will outrun it, as well.}

Further, is segregation hard-wired into Homo sapeins? If religion does not provide a way out, and one may not legislate away bigotry, perhaps it is a behavior with which we are stuck.

Further, if we ARE stuck with it, what then can be done to accommodate this reality and perhaps achieve a more felicitous co-existence in full recognition of its presence?

Would an honest recognition of bigotry's existence allow for a more honest exploration of the behavior? Perhaps, if all sides were to look at it and say, "Yes, here it is" with no hedging and no whitewash and denial. We might be better able to say what is we would like to do with and about it.

To wit: Ranger annually attends a United States Army Airborne Instructors reunion in Columbus, GA (home of Ft. Benning). This is a group of men which has shed blood together while fighting for our country and is demographically representative of our nation.

But they are not exactly a Band of Brothers.

Every year, the blacks segregate themselves at one end of the hall, the whites, at the other. (Ranger does not know who initiates the spread, and "white" could have easily preceded "black" in the previous sentence.) While these men spent their lives and careers as a group, they self-segregate. [N.B.: they all see themselves as members of the same elite veterans group, each year convening to achieve this "separate but equal" meeting.]

The Charleston church shooting of 2015 highlighted this reality. The church was not forced to be an all-black one, but it and so many others are. And the segregation occurs while the preachers in every church preach that we are all God's children.
Here in Gadsden county, it is estimated that there are 400+ churches serving a community of 49,000 residents. The majority of these churches are divided along the color line, with a smattering of miscegenation. There are the occasional annual events which bring together the various members of the religious community, but generally, the twain do not meet.

The county seat also has a segregated American Legion, with no white members. Down the road, there is Legion of predominately white members. The Legion is mentioned because of its unabashed allegiance to "God and country", "God" preceding country.

It may be 2017, and we may like to say we have made great racial strides, but that is not what it looks like to this observer.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I've seen humans are naturally racist. I despise the current meme that white racism is the problem. Blacks are just as racist, as are Hispanics, Asians, you name it.

That said, it might be deeper than racism. Maybe more an instinct to form groups. I recall reading a study that was done using college students. A cohort was selected and polled about their perceptions of the mentalities and personalities of the other members of the cohort. Then the cohort was randomly divided into two groups. I think it was team red and team blue. hey were then put through some team building exercises and maybe some red v blue challenges (can't recall completely). After a period of time red team was queried as to the personality and intelligence, etc of team blue members and vice versa. Each team had some pretty demeaning things to say about the members of the other. This was in stark contrast to what they had reported originally.

IMO, humans were not built to live in groups of many millions. A hundred or less is optimal.

avedis

Friday, March 17, 2017 at 1:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I agree with avedis (surprise!). Racism is the flavour of the day, but I think the instinct to divide people into in-group and out-group is very, very deep-seated in the human psyche.

A thousand years ago they didn't have modern racism. They still had prejudice.

I don't think you can blame religion for this one either; even if most people didn't believe in God, I think there would still be racists.

On Avedis's last point, the human brain evolved to function in a social group of a few hundred people. Anything beyond that and you start having to play tricks with your imagination. Maybe, in a twisted way, the bigger your in-group becomes, the stronger you have to hate the out-group to keep the whole thing together. I wonder.

Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 4:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David and Avedis,
group membership has lost it's survival function and we have become lone jungle animals.
possibly what we are calling racism is an attempt to get back onto a survival track.
everything in todays world is symbolic, and we've lost what has made us human.
as an example i say that women should not be in combat b/c evolution has been going on for 2&1/2 million years or so, and feminism is only 150 years old.
i trust evolution for survival , rather than a concept that ignores sexual differences.
best to u both.
jim hruska

Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 1:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim and David,
I understand and agree with what you both say.

I know some people that just love being in cities with millions of people and they love all the diversity and they want more of it all the time. They see the whole world as their home and all the people in it as their brothers and sisters.

Such people give me the willies. I have an instinctual distrust of them. If they were just like that for a day I'd write it off as drug induced or bipolar manic episode in need of pharmaceutical intervention. However, they're always like that. It really bothers me. I think they're stupid and Pollyannaish. And it bothers me that it bothers; like I get to thinking there's something wrong with me for not being like them. But it just doesn't fit. I guess I'm a hopeless primitive.

avedis

Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 4:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Unfortunately, Avedis, I think most of my fellow city dwellers probably harbor similar feelings about you.

When one group membership is in crisis -- to pick up on Jim's point -- people look for baser ones that have more meaning. In the Middle East, it's tribe over nation.

I'm not sure how you stop disintegration on such a large scale once it's really in progress.

Jim -- I don't really have anything to say about the women in combat point. I try to avoid giving opinions on subjects like that that I freely admit having no firsthand experience of. I do remember reading your post about lowering standards a while ago which I thought raised some good points.

I am curious, though, not to challenge you but just because I'm curious. Do you think this is different for the growing number of military occupations where physical strength is less important, or is it more of a cultural thing?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 10:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
men and women have experienced different brain function /specialization since we became hominids.
this is more important than physicality.
strangely only west point female grads are wearing ranger tabs.
putting women in maneuver units is a gross error that we will pay for some day, and it won't be pretty, and there won't be any nail salons around to polish things up.
i have stated that we have ALREADY lost the next war.
to boil the point to its finest-it's a great sadness that men have to fight and kill, so why do we want women to do the same?
jim hruska

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 8:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

David,
Bernard Lewis says that the middle east is simply TRIBES WITH FLAGS.
jim

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 9:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim & David,
I have been saying all along - and the women in combat issue and Jim's poignant comment, "it's a great sadness that men have to fight and kill, so why do we want women to do the same?" - nicely reinforces my stance, that the feminist movement is incorrectly named. In fact it's 180 degrees from what it is. It is a masculine women in which femaleness is sacrificed.

What is the "progressive" fascination with Amazons? I think it is because progressive males have no balls.

God oh god please let women be women, to nurture and heal and love and keep soft nature alive in a cold cruel brutal world.

Only an asshole or confused fag would send that beauty into combat - or even into a squad bay or on a ten mile hump with full pack, body armor, helmet and individual weapon to result in broken down bodies.

avedis

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies for harsh language.

It seems to me that the women in combat thing is always promoted most vociferously by homosexuals - at least that's what I see in the media. It makes me angry that the (IMO confused) will of a small minority becomes a rally cry for hordes of clueless virtue signaling social justice warriors; something there is too much of generally in our culture these days.

avedis

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 9:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,


I love that you call a spade a spade; what IS the fascination with the Amazons? Is this an aberrant offshoot of the "catfight" fascination?

I'm with you:

I know some people that just love being in cities with millions of people ...

Such people give me the willies."


It's a whitewash that we are all hail fellows well-met in the arena of the cosmopolitans; bumptious bumpkins, elsewhere.

They have just learned to wear their masks better.

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 1:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

I said it before and I'll say it again. I think the U.S. military's massive manpower (and womanpower?) replenishment problem is the biggest elephant in the room. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I think a bill that was going to add women in the conscription lottery was hotly debated even among the militarists in a mostly male Congress before it was boiled down to a "study" of the concept- probably looking at how to replicate Israel's conscription system in the United States. The biggest army per capita on the planet. Israeli veterans who murdered Palestinians for sport are already training American police officers and thats turning out well.

Too bad the kids are still the same suckers for propaganda as their parents were (some noble exceptions excluded).

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/11/isis-and-the-millennials-lets-you-and-them-fight/

As for any commentary on race... http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/james_baldwin_and_the_meaning_of_whiteness_20170219

Racism is only truly felt when those with the prejudice actually have the power to disenfranchise you. I like to joke that my stupid racist (and ex-cop, who knew?) uncle can begin hollering about the two Mexican employers that require you to speak Spanish to work at their restaurant ONLY when Mexicans become the majority of America's employers. Do I really need to pull out the exact statistics to confirm who it actually is?

Alas, I'm sure most people would enjoy sky as far as the eye can see and the reassurance of nature once in a while Avedis. While I could reenact the anarcho-primitivist debate with David and go on again about the Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions shadow over mankind there was one more fulcrum in human history that changed us forever.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/21/the-fall-2/

Toba. The event thats whispered in the mythologies of religions all over the world. Humans acquired their intelligence by eating animal protein, yes. But like Corvids and crows, the smartest birds in the world, they evolved to be scavengers. Welcomed at the watering hole. Knowing no avarice or greed. Living in a world where the Golden Rule had some sway.

That long dark winter changed this, almost irreparably.

Its well researched and well worth the read top-to-bottom, especially since my academics will cause me to dart in and out of the conversation. If at all.

The most brutal hunter-gatherers today still look like saints compared to any example coming from the "civilized world" however. Remember that the trend of migration from urban-to-suburban and even suburban-to-rural is based on wealth. Wealth that could only be possible (you have the privilege of running water out there don't you?) with U.S. soldiers stationed in bases all over the world to keep the third world cheap labor pools compliant and the ripped off resources flowing to the Imperialist first world.

And now we're back to square one.

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 8:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nikolay,
I think that armed forces personnel should be diminished by 50%. All we need in a strong navy and air force. We have oceans as barriers and weak neighbors to the north and south.

Lisa,
I never understood the cat fight thing either. Now, a little jello wrestling on the other hand... ;-)

avedis

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 11:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Nikolay -- Good to read your thoughts again.

According to Wikipedia, which may or may not be accurate on this point, the most militarized country per capita is North Korea but in any event resuming the draft is non-credible. The government couldn't afford to equip a force enlarged by the draft to contemporary standards and even the best propaganda efforts of the hawks in Congress and the media can only go so far in the absence of a serious military threat. Even in the middle of the world wars it wasn't always easy to persuade people to accept the official line, as you may recall from Howard Zinn, whose book I recall you have read (if I'm wrong in that, though, I strongly recommend it).

On the race point, the claim that America was founded in genocidal slaughter -- to follow on one of your pieces -- is as one-sided and nuance-free as the celebratory narratives it claims to challenge. Race is a complex topic historically. You might find Karen Kupperman, Joyce Chaplin, and Nancy Shoemaker interesting on early forms of racialization in colonial America. Roxann Wheeler's Complexion of Race is more about the British empire as such but at least equally interesting. (You see, I am not unread.)

As for Mexicans, perhaps in the next century events will integrate Latinos into the dominant white identity the same way Irish were 150 years ago. I was amused a couple years ago to see a website claiming Irish people were once slaves in America. That part's a myth but they did have it pretty rough.

I don't think I will engage the hunter-gatherer point, except to point out, as I did before, that if you can find in non-Western pre-industrial societies circumstances where population densities were comparable but resource use was sustainable and/or neighboring societies consistently lived in peace, I would be most interested.

American military force is used for many reasons but if the main goal was simply to preserve cheap labor pools I think it would be used differently. I don't think, for instance, any Western country is occupying China. It doesn't seem to be necessary. Capitalist empires can be each other's biggest trading partners one day and then be at war the next. Ask Britain and Germany about that.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 6:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

We'll see how long I can continue to comment before I must continue course work but glad I'm appreciated.

In terms of conscription, Israel beats out Switzerland because unlike the latter, the former also drafts women. I don't expect a draft to be issued any time soon... unless there is an insurrection. That is why they still require young American teenagers to register at the Post Office to get college loans. So far this is only for men.

I didn't say there wasn't any nuance in American colonization, nor that urbane liberals aren't well read. On the other hand. A typical bourgeois liberal can be found reading the latest non-fiction book on the New York Times Bestseller List weekly (by some mainstream overrated historian no less) and claim to be knowledgeable in all affairs. Yet be ignorant of any of the independent, first-hand titles by radical scholars and journalists like on Counterpunch.org. But thats another story. Even Thomas Jefferson advocated intermarriage between Natives and Whites. Ironically, given his own libidinal distractions, he didn't advocate the same for Africans. Whether North America by the Anglo-Saxons or South America by the Spanish, it was the most successful genocide in human history.

The Irish did go to the Americas in their own bondage- indentured servitude, even before the Potato Famine. Usually to pay off debts. Unlike African slaves one could say the families that employed them had the incentive to work them to the bone while they had them although of course richer plantation owners could make their slaveforce quite disposable.

I still think racism is too useful for the power elite to simply let go of so soon including against Mexicans who share most American's Christian mythology. But changing demographics still might not help progressive politics... or at least the Democrats.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/03/the-democratic-party-is-facing-a-demographic-crisis/

But the U.S. did occupy China! If with more caution. Using spheres of influence instead for a power that eclipsed all European principalities combined just a millennia ago. Read Chicago Tribune journalist Stephen Kinzer's newest book on this. Mark Twain had some choice words in support of the Boxer Rebellion. An independent China has nukes now however. I would ask Avedis if he ever saw a breakdown on how much resources Americans go through compared with the rest of the world (the same ones who build the largest residential housing on the planet) and claim that the gravy train would still go right on with a smaller military.

http://www.radicalsimplicity.org/footprint.html

Here you go.

The solution for this Red probably has been obvious for a long time here on RAW. But heres at least the whisper of one.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/09/hope-in-abandonment-cuba-detroit-and-earth-scientific-socialism/

One can fail too late to warn a critical mass of Americans and watch the same fate befall it that befell all those empires that overextended themselves before. The conundrum is that on the scale of such Imperiums, it takes more and more resources just to sustain what you already have; let alone grow it and yet you need to grow to maintain it. The results have been tragic and the fallout may extend to all of the First World. Again. As I mentioned before, the Thucidides trap has been realized and not realized. That China is being encircled with military bases and is on the other hand the biggest trading partner of the U.S. is not a great sign.

Of course the comparisons with humble societies couldn't be done. The Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions are what made the population boom of humanity possible. Whether that was a wise course of action is something I'll leave with other anarcho-primitivists to ponder. Unless, of course, you wish to see how far that rabbit hole goes yourself...

Until then. I'll pass myself.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 2:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

A necessary addendum:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/25/cuba-reflections-on-life-and-death/

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 3:39:00 AM GMT-5  

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