Dear Social Justice Warriors of Yale...

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galanx

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#81
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Back on topic @galanx I do believe that people seem to want to only read nice things in history (or things that conform to what they believe that history should be, slavery being an excellent case in point. Telling people that slavery was practiced by other than Caucasians seems to make people break out in a sweat - telling them that various tribes in Africa colluded in this vile trade gets the full on panic attack and accusation of micro-aggressions or whatever BS is current flavour of the day)
True enough. However, this particular poem refers to the enslavement of Africans by whites; the long and vicious war fought by Southern whites to ensure the descendants of those Africans remained enslaved; and the 100-year struggle that followed during which the descendants of those same whites fought to keep their fellow Americans with black skins from receiving equal rights under the law.

Given the glorification of the Confederacy in some quarters, not to mention OT matters such as BLM, it would seem the poem remains relevant to this day.
 

Brian G Turner

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#82
I have. 3 times in fact.
From what I've read, for a young and black American it's effectively a daily issue.

various tribes in Africa colluded in this vile trade
Not simply colluded - the West African kingdoms were the global suppliers for the Atlantic trade. It brings to mind the Tutsi-Huttu violence of Rwanda in the 1990's.

The Romans famously used Slavs from Eastern Europe, possibly also through similar inter-tribal conflicts. "Slav" of course is the origin of the word "slave".
 

WaylanderToo

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#83
Not simply colluded - the West African kingdoms were the global suppliers for the Atlantic trade. It brings to mind the Tutsi-Huttu violence of Rwanda in the 1990's.

The Romans famously used Slavs from Eastern Europe, possibly also through similar inter-tribal conflicts. "Slav" of course is the origin of the word "slave".

and that's not even mentioning the Arab slave trade
 

WaylanderToo

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#87

Toby Frost

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#88
It's not a bad site at all, although it's reluctant to give anything a downright bad review and it seems to come from the point of view of younger readers (not bad, but different). There are some interesting articles and it doesn't really have much of a drum to bang. Every so often something slightly duff does slip through, and unless the article I linked to is deliberately stirring up trouble (if so, why?) it might be one of them. It seems to have missed the main point that most of the books it mentions just aren't as good as the ones it wants to replace. In any event, the articles are pretty clear and don't have the sense of preaching to the converted that you get from, say, Strange Horizons.
 
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MWagner

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#89
I had a friend who, at 16, did her school "work experience" at a local solicitors. One of their cases happened to be the torture and mutilation of a local prostitute. My friend wasn't too happy about being regularly shown explicit post mortem photographs of the case.

If that's the sort of thing covered in the lectures in question, I could fully understand the usefulness of trigger warnings. The subject of law covers a whole range of areas to specialise in.
Medicine covers a whole range of areas to specialise in. But even if you want to be a podiatrist, you need to be comfortable with cutting open corpses and regarding the human body as a bundle of bone and tissue.

Law is a field where emotions must be subordinated to reason, and where detachment from the subject of inquiry is essential. It's a field many people are unsuited to, and it's probably best they learn that as early as possible.

I have. 3 times in fact. Ive been pulled over 3 times in my life, twice had to take all my driving documents to the police station, and once having to argue (after being breathalised) that yes, the police officer would in fact probably need to accelerate to 55mph to catch up with me in a 30mph zone, since she was stopped, and I was travelling at 30mph. Possibly physics wasn't her strong point.

My brother was followed, at walking pace, by a police car down the street where he lives. Maybe it was suspicious because to walk along a quiet street after 11pm. He does look like a hard bas***d, but I don't think that is illegal yet. They even sat outside his house for 10 minutes when he went in.

Though, maybe it was social profiling after all. We are ginger. And have beards.
I've been stopped by police several times while walking down the street or riding my bicycle late at night. Where are you going. Where are you coming from. What's in the bag. Maybe it's a North American thing - being on the street at night is regarded with suspicion, and in many cities you will get thrown in the drunk tank for public intoxication.

It's not logistically possible for police to stop and question every black man in a neighbourhood or walking down the street. But it wouldn't surprise me if they routinely question young black men standing on corners, or walking down the street late at night. I don't doubt it's frustrating and unfair if you're a young black man. But we should also keep in mind that the neighbourhoods the police are patrolling and trying to keep safe in these cases are usually black neighbourhoods. And one of the unfortunate side-effects of high-profile cases where police come under fire is the police simply stop patrolling those neighbourhoods and let the residents fend for themselves.

Sanitising history by censoring its language is the ethical equivalent of cutting people out of photographs, a la the Communists.

One of the worst "media" problems we face today is looking at the past through the lenses of the present...

As I mentioned here.
One interesting example is the world 'black.' It only came into common use, even by blacks, in the late 60s. Up until then, any tolerant and polite person would use the word Negro. Still, that word makes us cringe. But any alternative is anachronistic.

I've also been reading and thinking a lot recently about Muhammad Ali. He's revered today, but it's a mistake to think he was revered back when he was the world heavyweight champion. He was an extremely divisive figure, and in the late 60s probably one of the most hated men in America. It wasn't until the Vietnam was was over that he became broadly popular in the U.S. But he wasn't even universally loved by other black Americans, given his cruel treatment of Joe Frazier, who he taunted as a gorilla (Frazier was much darker complexioned than Ali) and an Uncle Tom - one of the most hateful slurs you could make against a proud black man at the time. And his attitudes about women and miscegenation were shocking even by the dismal standards of the time (he believed any black man who had sex with a white woman should be killed, and any Muslim woman who had sex with a non-Muslim man should be killed). A remarkable and courageous man, but far from the beloved saint he has been portrayed as in the last few days.
 

Cathbad

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#90
Odd experiences, dudes. I walk or bike nearly everywhere I go (ok, up 'til the stroke in 2014). Enjoyed it much more than driving. Not once was I ever stopped by the police. Good neighborhoods, dangerous neighborhoods, business districts. Been asking Caucasian friends, and they say the same. I'm 6', big build, long hair. Almost always wore bluejeans and a pull-over shirt. I am told I look threatening (until you know me; then you realize I'm a pussycat).

A friend and I were stopped in a car once, parked at a convenience store I'd visited hundreds of times. A cop drove up, blocking me in. He came up to the passenger side, knocked on the window and ordered (yes, ordered, in a militaristic voice) for my friend to open the door, then to get out.

I asked what was wrong, but was politely told to wait. When I opened my door to get out, the officer, still being polite, asked my to remain inside. Since he carries a gun, I complied.

He took my friend to the back of the car for questioning.

When I realized what the cop was asking, I threw my car door open and got out. The cop tried to protest, but I shouted him down. I told him how out of line he was, and told him I would be filing a report with his superior. I also called him some choice (but non-curse) names.

Not once during my diatribe did the officer appear to look threatened or nervous. He listened calmly. After I was finished, he told me to have a good night, got back in his car, and left.

My friend was my date that evening. A very pretty African American woman named Patricia. She was very well dressed, with light make-up.

So why did the officer feel the need to accuse her of being a prostitute?
 

WaylanderToo

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#91
One interesting example is the world 'black.' It only came into common use, even by blacks, in the late 60s. Up until then, any tolerant and polite person would use the word Negro. Still, that word makes us cringe. But any alternative is anachronistic.

I've also been reading and thinking a lot recently about Muhammad Ali. He's revered today, but it's a mistake to think he was revered back when he was the world heavyweight champion. He was an extremely divisive figure, and in the late 60s probably one of the most hated men in America. It wasn't until the Vietnam was was over that he became broadly popular in the U.S. But he wasn't even universally loved by other black Americans, given his cruel treatment of Joe Frazier, who he taunted as a gorilla (Frazier was much darker complexioned than Ali) and an Uncle Tom - one of the most hateful slurs you could make against a proud black man at the time. And his attitudes about women and miscegenation were shocking even by the dismal standards of the time (he believed any black man who had sex with a white woman should be killed, and any Muslim woman who had sex with a non-Muslim man should be killed). A remarkable and courageous man, but far from the beloved saint he has been portrayed as in the last few days.
'amusingly' his viewpoints put him squarely in the white supremacist camp (to be fair the white crazies and the black crazies seem to share an awful lot of common ground).


WRT 'Negro' don't forget that in the 80's it was frowned upon to call people black, they were coloured. NOW if you call people coloured you're looking to get a tongue lashing for not calling them black :cautious:. Someone else touched on the subject of mixed race earlier (interestingly enough 'mixed race' only seems to apply WRT black people and not Asian or Oriental... may that has its roots [no pun intended] in the slave era?)
 

Extollager

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#92
From what I've read, for a young and black American it's effectively a daily issue.
I tried to find statistics on this (ahem -- since we have departed from discussing the topic of this thread -- I said I wouldn't initiate any more departures from it myself, but not that I wouldn't respond to others' departures) -- didn't find what I was looking for. I didn't find support for the statement that being stopped by the police is a daily issue for young black Americans, unless you meant it is a daily issue in the sense that people in this classification might think every day about the possibility that they will be stopped. I don't know whether that is how they feel or not. My guess is that it's more of a source of anxiety at some times than at others.

I do understand feeling anxious about being stopped and questioned although I'm unarmed, behaving appropriately, etc. If I were in that position, I might try to deal with it by cooperating with the police and realizing that there's a reasonable chance, at least, that the stop is not intended as gratuitous hassling, but is part of an effort to make the neighborhood safer. I hope I'd accept the fact that there does seem to be a correlation between the frequency of such stops and the commission of violent crimes -- the Ferguson effect (see recent piece below). I hope I'd take into account that the cop is probably tense, too. I hope I would realize that yelling at the cop, behaving in an erratic manner, etc. isn't going to be helpful, upset as I might be.

I understand that when a police officer shoots an unarmed person (black or not), it's newsworthy. On the other hand I fear that the rapid circulation of reports of such events may make them seem to be more of a threat than they are. I hope it is fair for me to say, as someone who is uncomfortable with air travel, that reports of long delays, sitting in hot airplanes on the tarmac as water and food run out and toilets get stopped up, reports of behavior of mentally disturbed passengers, news of crowds being stuck over night in airports, reports of SARS circulating in aircraft air systems, etc. can intensify my uneasiness about flying. But in fact the odds are good that I will get to my destination in reasonable time if I fly and that I won't get sick or otherwise suffer great discomfort. In a similar way, the possibility that an officer committed a crime shouldn't make me generalize that I must likewise be a victim if I am a young black man. I know, easy for me to say since I don't have reason to fear this. But maybe those who do fear it, in most cases do not need to be so afraid or angry. It just seems that so many of us have some issue or other about which we are very ready to believe the worst.

And, to bring it back to the thread topic -- such overreaction does not seem to me a good reason to drastically revise an English curriculum....

Perhaps pertinent:

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) - Traffic Stops

You really can get pulled over for driving while black, federal statistics show

Opinion piece:

'Ferguson Effect' real — and dangerous to African Americans
 

MWagner

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#93
'amusingly' his viewpoints put him squarely in the white supremacist camp (to be fair the white crazies and the black crazies seem to share an awful lot of common ground).
The Nation of Islam was regarded as a hate group even by Martin Luther King. They were segregationists* (as was Ali) when King was leading the struggle against segregation. When Malcom X was murdered by three Nation of Islam followers after falling out with the NoI leadership, his former friend Ali commented that he deserved to die.

Ali later broke away from the Nation is Islam and renounced some of its more radical beliefs. Still, to understand the context of the alarm at the time around Ali's religious conversion it helps to recognize that he didn't simply convert to Islam, but joined a radical political group that was considered little better than the KKK.

* The Nation of Islam wanted to carve out a territory of several states in the U.S. where all the blacks could live, and all the whites would live in the other states.
 

Phyrebrat

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#95
OT perhaps:

There's a great Krio version of Julius Caesar, eg:*

Na so; dat min sey dai du sohm gud.
Wi na Siza fren, wey wi dohn shohtin


and

Meyk wi was wi an na Siza blohd
Rich wi elbo, en robb sohm pan wi sohd


To my mind, familiarising oneself with Sierra Leonean pidgin is quite a nice compromise for the SJWs; you get the Bard with the Black... :rolleyes:

I would be interested to know how many of these people have read outside of their own ethnicity, be it Deliah Jarrett-Macauley, Chinua Achebe, Amos Tutuola, even Ben Okri. (I can't comment on other ethnicities as I've only gone into Afro-Caribbean literature myself.) My experience of West African literature is that it is filled with metaphor, theme and allegory in a far more beautiful 'old school' way than we get with our current literary fiction. Often there is a shamanic atmosphere throughout the novels, too.

pH
*errors, typos are mine ;)
 

Extollager

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#96
Interesting wonder there, Rhyrebrat.

I know that, though I am a big advocate of required courses in the canonical works, I also created the Literature of the Non-Western World course at my university, and it included Achebe and Tutuola (also Elechi Amadi) from Africa. The Tutuola I used was My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a world fantasy classic I would say....
 

Ray McCarthy

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#97
Thing is that if you only speak / read English, you are limited mostly to translations of Classics or older works. The best known non-European or "non-white" being English translations Chinese, followed perhaps by Arabic works. The Bible is not English or European in origin.
Best source of Classic and older works today. The average library here has very very few indeed.
But generally I don't give too figs about the gender, ethnic or national background of the writer, to do so is bigotry.
 

galanx

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#98
An article commenting on this
I want to gently push back, too, against the idea that the major English poets have nothing to say to students who aren’t straight, male, and white. For all the ways in which their particular identities shaped their work, these writers tried to represent the entire human condition, not just their clan. A great artist possesses both empathy and imagination: Many of Shakespeare’s female characters are as complexly nuanced as any in circulation today, Othello takes on racial prejudice directly, and Twelfth Night contains enough gender-bending identity shenanigans to fuel multiple drag shows and occupy legions of queer scholars. The “stay in your lane” mentality that seems to undergird so much progressive discourse—only polyamorous green people really “get” the “polyamorous green experience,” and therefore only polyamorous greens should read and write about polyamorous greens, say—ignores our common humanity.

The Canon Is Sexist, Racist, Colonialist, and Totally Gross. Yes, You Have to Read It Anyway.
 

galanx

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#99
WRT 'Negro' don't forget that in the 80's it was frowned upon to call people black, they were coloured.
Don't remember that. I was amazed by the speed with which 'African-American' caught on, especially compared to the earlier failed attempt at 'Afro-American'. Or was this in Britain?

NOW if you call people coloured you're looking to get a tongue lashing for not calling them black :cautious:. Someone else touched on the subject of mixed race earlier (interestingly enough 'mixed race' only seems to apply WRT black people and not Asian or Oriental... may that has its roots [no pun intended] in the slave era?)
'Colored person' is unacceptable; 'person of color' is preferred.

In porn, 'interracial' refers only to black/white...or so I've been told, anyway. :eek:

In western Canada in the 70s/80s the word 'punjab' was used as a slur against what were referred to as 'East Indians' i.e. South Asians: Pakistanis and Indians (from India).

(Stop me if you've heard this; I've posted it a lot in similar discussions)
I was working at a winery when one of the older guys who had been imbibing too much of the product swung into the lunchroom and greeted a new co-worker with "Sammy, how ya doin', you old punjab".

A younger worker sprung up in Sami's defence, saying " I'm not gonna let you call this guy a punjab".

To which Sami, a recent immigrant, bewilderedly replied "But I am a Punjabi".

As always, it's a combination of the intent, and the perception caused by past experience in the recipient- both have to be taken into account.
 
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galanx

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* The Nation of Islam wanted to carve out a territory of several states in the U.S. where all the blacks could live, and all the whites would live in the other states.
There was a novel out in the 70s called Afro-6, in which a group of black radicals tried to seize Manhattan and hold it hostage in exchange for a state for all black Americans.

But they said they ddn't want some backward undeveloped place like Alabama or Mississippi; they wanted one with a thriving developed modern economy.

New Jersey.
 
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