Thursday, April 02, 2015

Savant's New Words

It was reported in our press, for example, the AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER. And some others. But it never got anything like the attention that the struggles in South Africa got. In fact, I doubt how many AA folk even knew about this. Some intellectuals whom I know, including Cornel West, Leonard Harris, Lucius Outlaw and others talked about it. But I don't recall there was much motion on it. I've heard some former Panthers speak on it. But nothing like the massive solidarity that eventually emerged in the fight against apartheid. I was at mass rallies in Black churches in the 1980s, and I recall Black dockworkers striking and refusing to transport goods from Rhodesia and South Africa. (Progressive white workers did so as well). But I fear that there was far too little attention to this, I knew about South Africa when I was in the 6th grade. I am embarrassed to admit that I was a college graduate before I even started getting wind of what was happening in Sudan. As I explained once in 1990 to some people in the office of PRESENCE AFRICAINE (in Paris), there were certain advantages Blacks South Africans had in winning our support. One is that there were a good number of South Africans living in America, far more than from Portuguese controlled Africa, let alone Sudan. There was correspondence between people like Martin Luther King( check out IN A SINGLE GARMENT OF DESTINY, ec. by Lewis V. Baldwin)and Malcolm X--both of who spoke of this publicly. Moreover, the Soweto massacre of 1976 and subsequent repressions forced thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of South Africans into exile. Many arrived in the USA, and we began hearing first hand what was going on. AA churches, schools, media, universities and civic organizations embraced them. And it hit the media. Many of us were outraged, for it was even worse than we imagined. ("Those baastards!" I heard my mother tearfully crying when I came home and she and my sister viewed the TV in horror. "Not even Bull Connor gunned our people in the streets. And their killing CHILDREN over there!") As South African refugees flooded into the USA there was another advantage. They spoke English, unlike victims of Portugal or Arab Sudan. Apartheid, though far worse, was strikingly similar to what American Blacks underwent--and quite recently when South Africans started arriving in large numbers in the 1970s & 80s. And they were Christian (mainly Protestant) as were at least 90% of Black America. And it turns out that many of the more educated ones familiarized themselves with the writings of Martin and Malcolm and Fanon in their Black consciousness movement. It was an easier connect. But I think the Portuguese oppression was more well known among us than oppression in Sudan. Sudan slowly began getting more attention after Mandela's victory in South Africa. And we began to hear a few voices saying:' "Well there's another repressive white minority regime further north of South Africa. Have you heard of Sudan?"



I suppose "influence " naturally has something to do with increase or decrease of atheism, or of religion too. But I don't see the point of your reference to the theory of evolution at this point. Again, there were atheists in ancient Greece and parts of Asia over 2000 years ago. (Antagoras, possibly the first Western atheist on record lived in the 400's B.C.). Many Buddhist thinkers have been atheist. So, this tendency has been around way before Darwin. Baron d'Holbach, an 18th Century French Enlightenment philosopher, may have been the first public atheist in the modern world---a century before Darwin and this theory of evolution. One thing that we seem to discern is that atheism is more common in the wealthier nations, especially Western Europe. In some European countries atheists number from 30%--75% of the population (varying from country to country). Atheists are a majority in Denmark and Sweden. Atheism seems to be less common in poorer countries. In an article which I read called ATHEIST DEMOGRAPHICS, I read that "The nations with highest degrees of organic atheists" are "the nations of Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Israel." It is much less common in Africa, South America, the Middle East and poorer Asian nations. The USA is unique in being a wealthy country in which atheists are not only a minority, but a very small minority. (In France, atheists are estimated at about 45%; a minority, but a very large minority). Even in the USA atheists are usually more well off economically, and more educated. Of course, there are poor (and maybe uneducated)atheist s. And obviously well off and educated religious folk. But the majority of atheists are well off and educated. Large numbers (if not majority) of religious people are poor and uneducated. I suppose education might be one of the influences which contribute to growing atheism. Consider Black America. Fifty to sixty years ago, when our freedom movement was taking off, about 60% still lived in the South and were very poor. I believe college educated Blacks number about 100,000. Not even 5% of the total. Today that number is (if I recall correctly) at least 1 million. And our middle and upper classes (but mainly middle) jumped from may 5%--10% to perhaps 20%--30%. My own path out of the poverty of the East Bmore ghetto was paved by education. Ecnomic well being and the cultural influence of education (especially in sciences, liberal arts & social sciences) are probably secularizing by virtue of emphasis on rationalism, critical thinking rather than faith. Everyone doesn't become an atheist due to this, but some are almost certain to become such. Hence the increase in secularism, and atheism within that secular tendency.



To get back on the topic of thread, does anyone here have any EVIDENCE aside from their impressions or opinions just how often there are marriages and romances between American Blacks and African Blacks? I recall one study (and I hear there are two) which indicated that INTRARACIAL marriages and relations between American Blacks and Blacks from other countries actually increased MORE than IR marriages and relations between American Blacks and whites. If this is true, it would be interesting to know how many of the non-US partners involved were Africans, or Caribbean, South Americans or what have you.



By the way, if you carefully read post# 1375 (to which you seemed initially to have replied) you might notice that my response to someone else who spoke of African/African-Am erican hatred, that there is also solidarity and even love between some African-Americans and Africans. But to pretend (as you do) that animosity isn't also there, or that it exists ONLY on the part of Africans, is clearly delusional. Or dishonest. Some Africans are equally delusional or dishonest. Some Africans and Black Americans ARE disdainful of each other, and you've got to be blind not to notice it. And it is often the case that what we're dealing with is a prejudice born of IGNORANCE. Our ignorance of them, and their ignorance of us. Just reading posts in this thread alone is enough to see that. I see this among my students. Some Black American and African students get along pretty well, become personal friends, or mutually committed in political solidarity, etc. With others there is a wall of non-communication, and sometimes outright hostility, While in high school in the 1970s I and other black American youths began organizing solidarity with the anticolonial movement against Portuguese rule in southern Africa. And the responses we got from fellow American Blacks were mixed: sympathy and solidarity among some, indifference among others, and outright hostility among still others. My mother who distributed in the factory where she worked literature concerning South Africa or the Portuguese colonized areas got similar responses; From some Black solidarity and even compassion for blacks who were now seen as even more oppressed than we; again, indifference of others ("Hey, I feel for them. But I got my own struggles to worry about. And crackas still messing over us. Do we have time to deal with Africa?). As for the outright haters, I won't repeat what some of them said. I'm sorry. But I've been at the business of black liberations struggle, both domestic and global for some time, The misunderstands and hostilities are there, though not common to everyone. And the cause is not helped by our refusing to see it.



Indeed, there's an interesting article by Lisa Bloom in the May 1, 214 edition of " " entitled "White People Commit the Most Heinous Crimes, so Why is America Terrified of Black Men?" Even those statistics can be misleading as she points out. But she also notes that many Blacks as well as even more whites are deceived by the propaganda. Many people can't even acknowledge that even stats can be put to use as propaganda. So, you have Negroes  who are duped as well.


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