Monday, February 17, 2014

Shameless Self-Promotion: MSNBC's Toure Discusses the Absurdity that is 'White History Month' and Offers Up a Nice Mention of 'Chauncey DeVega'

When my witty pithy is featured on a national news network I always thank the fates--or at least the kind folks who reach out to me, have offered up their support, and ask me for my thoughts on a given political or social matter.

Toure's promos on MSNBC's The Cycle are both smart and fun, what is a rare combination.

This is the second time that Brother Toure has offered me a whee bit of shine. The first involved my reflection(s) about the tragic murder of Renisha McBride and her "crime" of being black and in need of help. My most recent quotable moment involved the utter absurdity that are the white victimology fueled pleadings and complaints for "White History Month".

Toure offers up some lethal verbage on the topic--as usual. He was also kind enough to let me have the "hot tag" for a quick second of work in the metaphorical squared circle.

If there was to be a "White History Month" what great inventions, people, and happenings should be included? Black History Month involves speaking back to power by those excluded from White History in the United States. White History Month would involve trumpeting one's "struggles" and triumphs from the point of view of the dominant in-group. How that would be any different from what has been the approved narrative for American history is outside of my comprehension.

However, my limited imagination should not stop our speculation and hypothesizing about the shape and contour of a proposed White History Month.

Should we highlight great failures by white people like the Great Depression, the Stock Market Crash, and our most recent Great Recession?

What about the Iraq or Vietnam Wars? World War One?

Could we profile incompetent white folks throughout history? What about great white plagiarists who copied without acknowledgement the written, musical, and other creative works of people of color? What about great white miscarriages of justice and the law?

Who would White History Month's founding father or mother be? Glenn Beck? Sarah Palin? Ann Coulter? Pat Buchanan?

At the very least, there should be a TV special called White In America, a show that I outlined some years ago here on We Are Respectable Negroes. White History Month should also feature great white inventions. Some nominees which WARN kindly offered up back in 2008, and that we should update, included the following from the indispensable Gordon Gartrelle:

1. Nuclear Weapons
2. White Supremacy
3. White Flight/Gentrification

I was more practical and less visionary with my suggestions for great "white" inventions like:

4. The Salad Spinner
5. The Swiffer Wet Mop
6. BDSM and Kink

Please add to and update the list as I want White History Month to be treated with the respect and dignity it deserves.


Myshkin the Idiot said...

Conspicuous consumption
high fructose corn syrup

(interesting note about fructose/glucose: sugar cane was domesticated in New Guinea [a place where cultures unknown to the modern world are still being learned about] as a way of staying hydrated around 8,000 BC. Sugarcane quickly spread throughout Southeast Asia, to India and medieval Iran where it was closely guarded from use outside of whichever dynasty was in power. European spice trade strongly desired this plant, and eventually gained the means of propagating it, their only problem was the majority of land in Europe was not suitable for sugarcane production. A few small Spanish held islands could produce it. Desire to produce sugarcane was probably one of the strongest reasons Europeans began exploring in tropical climates. It was one of the main crops of European colonization in the Americas, the main reason for heavy use of African slavery, a driving force in European/American conflicts, a huge reason for the expansion of the United States slave economy into Louisiana and Florida and probably into Latin American and Pacific Island nations.

Thus, the invention of high fructose corn syrup enabled the move from outsourced sugar use to a sugar substitute that is heavily subsidized today.)

kokanee said...

Kudos to Brother Touré for channeling Chauncey DeVega via quote and content:
Sounds like fish not noticing water or as my man Chauncey DeVega,
author of the ‘We Are Respectable Negroes’ blog – says: “It's like a kid
with all the toys in the world and going to a birthday party and getting
mad because another kid got a toy.” --

"If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more." - Harriet Tubman

kscoyote said...

Genocide, Race(ism), Poverty, infectious disease.

All of disease has its cause in the mistreatment of living things. Every one of them.

tiger said...

Tanning Salon
Spray on tan
Lip implants

chauncey devega said...

We learn something new all the time courtesy of you. To piggyback the rise of slave economies also drove the rise of a European consumer economy as well. That angle is little discussed by regular folks who tend to think of slavery as just some outlier aberration and not the heart of a global transformation created by colonialism/imperialism. It was sugar then, rare earth metals today.

chauncey devega said...

Racism yes. Poverty, genocide, infectious disease? Certainly not sure on those ones. Please clarify.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Thank you for the compliment.

I said: "a place where cultures unknown to the modern world are still being learned about"

that supremacist language is hard to beat back. I shouldn't say 'the modern world,' everyone is modern, no one is living in the past or frozen in time, prehistoric, or backward/uncivilized in the way white supremacy would have us define the world.

I got to thinking about how American imperialism was grounded in several vices; sugar, alcohol (corn whiskey, rum), and tobacco addictions really drove the American economies. Then of course the power and sexual vices that came with subjugation of American nations and captured Africans. Is it any wonder we live in the world we do today?

kscoyote said...

There were no such diseases in the "New" world. Bubonic plague, Legionnaires Disease, Black Death originate in large scale conflicts, poverty, poor sanitation, and cramped living conditions. Venereal Disease comes from mistreatment and sexual slavery of people. Flu disease, smallpox, etc., come from animal domestication, poor sanitary conditions, and mistreatment.

Genocide did not come into existence (could not) until race was created and enforced.

Learning IS Eternal said...

Tourè is gaining much favor w/me w/these honorable mentions to the curator of my favorite site. Proof that the truth is available to those who seek it.


I'mma go w/The FBI, CIA & The war on drugs, which is really a war on who for 400$.

kokanee said...

That was very interesting. Sugar is more addictive and evil than we all thought!

kokanee said...

Don't forget the Federal Reserve. It was all downhill from there as far as secret governmental or quasi-governmental organizations go.

chauncey devega said...

Are you sure the clapper wasn't invented by George Washington Carver?

Justin M. White said...

I also feel the need to point out to people making these sorts of arguments online there already is a White History Month, as Irish-American Heritage Month is declared almost every year in March. Being Irish-American myself, I think it's possibly one of the stupidest ideas imaginable. Irish-American organizations get their own history so horribly wrong, and it leads to some really racist assumptions about slavery and the position of Irish people in the Atlantic colonial economy. Sure some where horribly mistreated, and Ireland was a testing ground for colonization and land thievery, but even then the Irish were largely the beneficiaries of colonialism, simply by their ability to blend into the dominant racial caste. It's funny, I got interested in my field (17th century Atlantic labor history) from a book called "To Hell or Barbados" (which is highly touted by Irish-American historical groups), but after doing my research for my Master's thesis, I re-read it, and threw it in the trash. It was so horribly off. Of course I want Irish-Americans to get their history right, why wouldn't I? But declaring a month for self-aggrandizement is a step in the wrong direction entirely. They've got that covered already.

kokanee said...

More homework for me, it seems...

Thanks, Teach. ;)

Learning IS Eternal said...

So correct your are.
And why do we file taxes, again? LOL.
The FR wield so much power to say "Its not a part of the machine" **cough** gubb'ment.

kokanee said...

You are being too hard on yourself and the Irish. Before African-Americans were enslaved, the Irish were:

Justin M. White said...

I haven't read that book, but for a reason. Every description of it makes no sense. For instance, from the link you sent me:
"From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves."
There's no way those numbers are accurate, and those dates don't even make sense. The Elizabethan statute on vagrancy, with which the English deported Irish to Barbados to inflate numbers of white immigrants, didn't start until after his campaign in 1649 ended. The Elizabethan statute was used mostly between 1650-1655. During the actual campaign, most Irish towns that were captured were slaughtered (probably not preferable to exile), and most Irish young men went to Continental Europe, most notably Spain.

Also this: "In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers," never came to fruition, if memory serves.

If these numbers were true, they would dwarf the total numbers of all people sent to the Americas as indentured servants, nevermind those sent unwillingly.

One day, when I get back into my research if I can get into the PhD program I want, I'm sure I'll probably sit down and work through this book, but at the moment it just doesn't seem much different from "To Hell or Barbados".

Veri1138 said...

World History. Almost without exception.

Kyle Younger said...

Satanic Cults

David said...

Haha! I really like this - both the segment and the post. It's nice to see something snappy and poignant on a cable news network - and as a white guy, it's nice to hear white privilege explained succinctly and respectfully, without the glut of unnecessary guilt and shame a lot of people seem to insist on using.

It's a controversial concept, and disseminating it to the public has always failed on two fronts - the articulation of the concept (being overly emotional, confrontational, not diplomatic), and overcoming or preventing instant backlash from white people when broaching the subject.

From my experience, a lot of white people are turned off from the subject because they interpret the concept of white privilege as a zero sum game, that the idea of it makes their own personal struggles and suffering irrelevant compared to people of color - IMO because most Americans seem to be allergic to math and statistics, which clearly demonstrate the socio-economic advantages of having white skin in America.

David said...

True enough, by its own definition, but I think there's some grey area there when you factor in ancient civilizations and their concepts of nation states / tribes. "Race" is a more modern concept than "ethnicity", correct?

kscoyote said...

Correct. Actually, the original "races" generally belonged to the same modern race.

Modern notions of race and culture arose from intercontinental trade.

chauncey devega said...

Black folks with salad spinners! Racially passing I think. How are you doing, you have been a bit quiet as of late. Are things okay?

chauncey devega said...

Hmmm I know some black Satanists. One of them is a pastor in a church. I kid you not. Separate convo.

chauncey devega said...

I saw that Swiffer commercial. It was late at night. I had a few beers or more--a friend and I went out to an arcade that is also a bar...fill in the rest. Now I know I am not crazy. I am going to post that ad w. one other that causes me confusion.

OldPolarBear said...

I have not been commenting as much; thanks for noticing. And everything is pretty much OK; thanks for asking. Quite often I have been reading the blog kind of late after it's been up for a while, even after you have posted another, and have thoughts about it but figure people have moved on. No particular reason -- this winter is getting me down but of course it is doing that to almost everybody! We have had a lot of cold but not nearly as much snow as others. I do continue to read every one of your posts, though.

Kyle Younger said...

Wow. That sounds really heavy. I guess to go along with your great post today; would they're eyes say this to you? I remember having conversations with my grandmother and telling her stories about people I met in church who I thought were "demonic," for lack of a better term. So I can definitely believe that a pastor could indeed be a Satanist.

chauncey devega said...

Wasn't his eyes. We talked and through some basic reveals and sharing of other matters it is clear he is likely a Satanist.