". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nasty Pastorate

And guess who is a member ....

This isn't news to me, or probably anyone else who pays attention to the crazy tidal wave, either.

Is the reason this isn't written about and discussed because of that, the religiousrightwingtakeoveroftherethugs?

Books and articles have written about it, as in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones.

Now, a whole book is devoted to it: Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

The sheer hypocrisy of the Big Pile-on Obama is sickening.

You know, I occasionally have been in black churches when something like Wright's exhortation has come into the service (and in other companies as well), but I didn't feel attacked, violated, that this was directed at me -- or even surprised.

What always comes into my mind when in this context is how my father would bully me, berate me and beat me and then insist I was not to cry, not to resent, and then he'd hit me again. -- because I cried OR because I did not cry.

I felt such identification with what was being presented that I never felt the object of it. As well, the people all around me didn't act as if I were the object either. Nor was this by any means the entire service. The service, the address, the sermon rolled, it really rolled, from abject hell to the sublimity of paradise. And I was caught on the wave.

Sometimes, I swear, this nation is so damned ignorant, I want to shake some sense into it. Well, we know how useful, how much good, that would be.


Renegade Eye said...

Obama will come out of this without a scratch.

The Clintons are actually Reaganites. Look at what Bill did to welfare.

Our job is to scream that all the major candidates, are for expanding the military.

OT: On April 11th, in NYC, rightist Venezuelans are marching to celebrate the anniversary of the coup against Chavez. There will be a counter demo. All the solidarity networks, are having events that day. In Minneapolis we'll show "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

Graeme said...

this whole controversy reminded me of when bill o'reilly went to a "black" restaurant and was completely amazed that people weren't slugging down forties and beating their women. "White" america is willfully ignorant.

Foxessa said...

They are celebrating their failed coup d'état on April 11, 2002? The one they staged with all aid and assistance from the U.S. and CIA? And that still failed because the Venezuelan people rose and threw them out?

These people need to get a life!

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

Graeme -- 'Willfully ignorant' says it about right.

Many also like to trot out this argument that African Americans should just 'get over it.' Needless to say, those who advance this argument are all white and, so far as I've encountered them, all male as well. It goes like this:

Human beings exist solely in a sociobiological universe within which slavery is natural and inevitable. It infuriates him that not all of inhabit that universe, or even, myghosh, believes in it 24/7, as he does -- it is particularly infuriating that African Americans don't buy into it. That one does not so believe, if you happen not to be African American youself, makes you a self-race hater or something even more heinous. When you cite the best historical primary sources to show
that slavery in the New World, particularly in the United States, and most especially in the Confederacy, was NOT like the slavery anywhere else and in other historical era, and THAT IS WHY IT IS STILL A PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY, he dismisses all the research as bogus and trots out his own cherry-picked sources.

He's never delved into primary sources himself, of course, which is the primary criteria for doing original historical research and documentation -- one the many reasons, by the way, historical researchers often have to resort to ruses to get into the South's counties' and states' archives -- they don't want historians to see this material.

He becomes even more enraged when the bogus source material he throws at you doesn't make you go, "O, now I get it, I'm so sorry, you are so brilliant, and I'm so stupid and so wrong in everything I think and believe." Remember particularly to include "I'm so stupid," if you're a woman, since it also enrages him that you, a mere female, would PRESUME to say that HE THE GREAT MALE PRINCIPAL does not receive automatic genuflection and respect for anything he blows hard.

It's just amazing what so many citizens of this nation did, in terms of laws, rules and twisted thinking to justify slavery, and create this concept of 'race' as the crown upon the slavery justification dungheap.

You must understand slavery in the New World and particularly the Confederacy was exactly the same slavery that Rome and the Celts and everyone else always had. There's always 15% of a population that is slaves. This guys KNOWS, and you DON'T. Which, what he knows, and you do not, doesn't explain why that percentage of
slaves in the Confederacy was quite higher than 15%, and all kinds of other things. And NO, NO, NO -- Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" is not a racist
screed, a propaganda tract to justify the Confederacy. Merely coincidence, that the KKK, which had essentially faded away by then, returned fast and furious and oh, so active. What was racist and ignorant -- it was attempted CENSORSHIP!!!!!!! according to the gospel of U.S. History by the blowharding white men, is that the NAACP
resorted to lawsuits to attempt banning the showing of the film.

I did not make up any of this, by the way. Alas, that I've been forced into these useless, stupid confrontations time and time again. These guys are particularly prevelant in the SF/F world. These writers think they know history, and because of their egos, refuse to realize that the research one does for writing fiction does not make one an historian. If I wrote history the way those guys write alternate history novels about how the Confeds won the Civil War, I wouldn't even be able to have a job as a professional researcher/librarian!

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

Right now the entire Science Ficton world is mouthing tragic platitudes because Arthur C. Clarke died, rich and fat in Sri Lanka at age 90.

Not one mention of his old white Brit colonial queer point of view of the universe, the succession of young boys he brought into his home in Sri Lanka to 'raise,' not one notice that there are no women in his science fiction.

So what some of us, particularly women, particularly women of color, are eulogizing, with great relief, is the passing of the age of Clarke. The world really doesn't need more of the same.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

Additionally, it is so deeply internalized from generations now of film and other entertainment, that the rightful place of black men AND women is that of either the faithful helpmeet/sidekick/companion (i.e. second place), or of the magic Negro (which is still second place, not the leading role).

Neither of those roles are threatening to the role as principal of the white man -- or as in "Cold Mountain,' an otherwise lovely book (that, incidently, has much to do with Hobb's latest series, one thinks); in the movie version, so anxious about treating black people well, Anthony Minghella, who I recently realized, just before he died, naturally, is one of the best
directors ever, they turned the magic Negress into Renée Zellweger, who has taken the place of Sandy Dennis as most annoying actress in the universe --
though the Arquettes equally are up to that task -- still, this was the best role I've ever seen her do, which I attribute to Minghella. Otherwise, as
with the novel, I quite admire the film. Recently watching the HBO "Warm Springs" drama of FDR's onset of polio paralysis and the uplift of his subsequent education into the sorrows of all of America's chillun, includes as roles for black actors both tje faithful helpmeet AND the magic Negro -- in this case, a Magic Negress, naturally referred to as Aunt Bessy, who bosses FDR.

Even intellectuals are not immune from this propaganda. If they do manage to read an Ishmael Reed or Amirir Baraka, they recoil in horror, while embracing the white male versions of these guys, like Norman Mailer or Charles Bukowski. The closest to this white embrace for a black person might be Jamaica Kinkaid, who dislikes everyone and is angry about everything. But she's female, West Indian, and safely married to a New Yorker, now former, editor, and immured in her splendid gardens upstate, from whence she occasionally emerges to lambaste generally.

So seeing a Black Person step outside of the roles media/entertainment have assigned them, in order to not offend anyone (while, as with, for instance the SCIFI channels abominable "Earthsea") they manage to offend everyone who possesses a noticing brain, the mass of audience goes berserk.

Honestly? Going on the evidence it's hard not to believe of those bashing about self-righteously
about black people's racism are pleased as hell to believe they've acquired a legitimate cause for which they can express hostility to black people -- for a change.

That 'for a change' is essential. They have been silently fuming over what they perceive as unfair advantages and handouts for a long time, but most them are too nervous of public perception of themselves as racists or bigots or ignorant to express their feelings, until an incident of this sort arrives.

Love, C.

Phil BC said...

Yes Renegade, the hypocrisy of Fox News having a go at a black clergyman for saying a few home truths, but routinely staying quiet when white Christian pastors come out with the most disgusting reactionary tosh hopefully won't be lost on anyone.