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Post By
glibby3

In Reply To
neil

Subj: Re: What does it mean to be black?
Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 05:04:18 pm EST
Reply Subj: Re: What does it mean to be black?
Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 04:31:08 pm EST

Previous Post

> I can't figure out why someone who is not white always has to have the race label attached to them.

Because that's how we've made sense of physical difference, though with varying terminology, for half a millenium. It also speaks to a pro-white bias - there's much more room for a white person to perform in than there is for a person of another color before it's intuited that the white person is betraying their race. And it also speaks an anxiety over what it means to have a 'race' in a period where what have traditionally been seen as 'white' values are being reformulated as universal human values.

It's more complicated than this, naturally, but the history of race is complicated and often contradictory - though I'd suggest that it always comes down to power, over ourselves and over others. That the label 'black' can exert this kind of response speaks to the power that it carries and the efficacy with which people can apply or revoke it - and that's why it's foolish to ignore it.

-neil
Evidence of My Hyper-Theory Disorder: Neil's Pop Culture Blog

> > I can't figure out why someone who is not white always has to have the race label attached to them.
>
> Because that's how we've made sense of physical difference, though with varying terminology, for half a millenium.>

I understand that and in some instances it is needed to differentiate people. However, when talking to someone I won't say "my black friend John Doe went..." but "John Doe went..." so I don't see the need for all the media outlets always stating "Black Presidential candidate Obama...". The only purpose I can see for it would be as method of undermining his candidacy by inferring he is inferior because the race label was attached to his name. This would not surprise me.




It also speaks to a pro-white bias - there's much more room for a white person to perform in than there is for a person of another color before it's intuited that the white person is betraying their race. And it also speaks an anxiety over what it means to have a 'race' in a period where what have traditionally been seen as 'white' values are being reformulated as universal human values.
>
> It's more complicated than this, naturally, but the history of race is complicated and often contradictory - though I'd suggest that it always comes down to power, over ourselves and over others. That the label 'black' can exert this kind of response speaks to the power that it carries and the efficacy with which people can apply or revoke it - and that's why it's foolish to ignore it.
>
> -neil
> Evidence of My Hyper-Theory Disorder: Neil's Pop Culture Blog


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