[eDebate] MLK never said...

Josh jbhdb8
Tue Nov 4 00:49:57 CST 2008

Amen, wish I had the time to have gone into this much detail...but amazing
job Amber!


On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM, Amber Kelsie <akelsie at gmail.com> wrote:

> you dont think you're an ahistorical revisionist?
> just saying...
> you just emailed out that there were six black presidents, with the
> overt assumption that that means that those (potentially) black
> presidents were identified as black and experienced blackness in
> mostly a similar way to today, and that societies experienced their
> blackness in some way remotely similar to today, without any
> discussion or insight whatsoever into the national context, or better
> yet, the status of race relations of those time periods.  Seems to me
> like someone's got a pretty static notion of history himself, not to
> mention very obviously has a static notion of what it means to be
> black in America.
> i mean, Beethoven was black, and nobody knows that "fact," but that
> doesn't make him black in the same way that R. Kelly is (sorry for the
> terrible musical comparison).
> I feel like there are a billion ways to articulate how the racial
> environment of Andrew Jackson or Abraham Lincoln - especially in terms
> of "drops" of blackness - were distinctively different than from
> today.  Things like blackface (at least in Lincolns time) both prove
> that people had no sense of having "black presidents" but rather put
> blackness onto "bad whites," and also - that many had a not-talked
> about sense that everyone was sorta kinda a little maybe black.  But
> blackface, and other cultural methods/rituals/common beliefs were
> promoted to sustain a white purity - one drop rule political
> environment (a purging of bad blood if you will), and to reaffirm that
> white=good, black=bad.  Read some books on that shit.  I'm pretty sure
> the state of the world today indicates that neither Andrew Jackson'
> nor Abraham Lincoln's celebration or non-celebration of blackness did
> much to overcome that (the civil war notwithstanding).
> How about how it's probably at the very least intellectually
> short-sighted to assume and project that just because we are able to
> take accounts today of the supposed blackness of famous peoples in the
> past doesn't make it common knowledge at particular time in history -
> furthermore, whether or not people in some circles fessed up to it
> seems to have little standing, especially given bad forms of
> communication.  how about a little more academic integrity.  Not to
> mention the fact that people with the power to write history as it
> happens (or doesn't happen) already informs how you go back and
> re-write that past (Beethoven is a good example) from within your
> present.
> I highly doubt that you are going to find for me a president that ran
> "as a black candidate"  or that was assumed (not just by some southern
> bigots who africanized every enemy they had) to be black by the vast
> majority of the country.  In fact, just being able to write this
> requires so much distanciation simply because of the extreme
> offensiveness (and I'm not afraid of that word either, probably
> emotions betray an important aspect of thinking)  I feel over the fact
> that you just implied that black people had it good enough that they
> could freely be president, and while slavery was in full force no
> less.  I guess we weren't oppressed after all!  That truly is the
> logical limit of the crap you are espousing.
> How about that for ahistorical revisionism.
> The phenomenon of passing is commonplace in black history.  But you
> seem to have really found a way ,i suppose an ingenious way, to
> manipulate that phenomenon for your own not-so-subtle bigoted ends.
> Passing, did not mean that NO ONE knew your "true identity."  It meant
> that you were able to walk the world without "people" knowing.  A
> well-guarded secret.  And besides, one that generally would not have
> been believed anyway in the right circles.  It's generally hard for
> people with power to imagine that they've been duped or their most
> dearly held myths shattered.
> But really, I think the "truthfulness" of the "facts" you and Dr.
> Vaughn seem so bent on (and for very different reasons, which I'll get
> to below), are actually completely irrelevant to what's really going
> on here and how this is or is not useful to imagining and formulating
> "good" politics, much less in determining why or why not Obama is good
> candidate.
> The media seems important to you:
> First - it may be that the media has in some way (and yes - the media
> is totally fucked, but the way you talk about it is very similar to
> the way that stormfront or the national alliance talks about
> Jew-controlled media.  You scare me.) "repressed" or more likely
> simply chosen not to promote and air the beliefs by some academics
> that there "really were" other black presidents.  This may be due to
> many reasons, let me throw out three:
> 1) Many many people have little grasp of what is a good way or,
> especially in things like media, a "right" way to handle issues
> concerning race.  Therefore they would rather leave it alone, or
> sensationalize it.  They don't want to be the bad guys, and media
> especially abhors controversy that they cant control, channel, and
> profit from.
> 2) They don't even know that people write stuff like this.  It's not
> very "normal" for this country to have very smart or deep
> conversations concerning race, much less to read anything about the
> history of blackness in this country.  You see this issue as
> inherently tied to the election because you want to tell liberals (or
> maybe just obama supporters? actually in all your rants, I can't tell
> who your real beef is with) that they are the "true racists."
> CNN on the other hand doesn't know about Dr. Vaughn and couldn't care
> less b/c they don't share your liberal/race-card-busting agenda.  (You
> seem to see that as the most awful evilest thing, and talk about it as
> if that value-judgment were self-evident.  It's not.)
> 3) People simply don't care, because even without knowing the
> "truthfulness" of the claim that some presidents have African
> ancestors, it seems apparent that it has little bearing on the either
> the state of race today, or the state of race in this election, or the
> election proper.
> Will it help me contemplate my past and my history?  Sure probably.
> Will it destroy my sense of this as being a watershed moment?
> Absolutely not.  Because that past non-history (even assuming its
> factual-ness)  simply does not denigrate the amazing phenomenon we are
> all witness to today.  Obama is not simply the first black
> presidential candidate to make it this far simply because he controls
> all the media in the world and is the anti-christ with unimaginable
> powers of persuasion.  No.  People - whether true or not - whether
> black or white - do not have any sense that a black president can or
> could be elected.  The xenophobia in this country is out of control,
> this particular election bringing it out into the open "on main
> street" in a big way, promoted, not just by race-baiting Obama, but
> yea, by McCain and his overtly xenophobic advertisements that paint
> Obama (as you have also painted him) as
> Foreigner/Muslim/Terrorist/Black/Not-So-Black Bad Man.  And this shit
> is damn important.  Period.
> It's really that simple.
> I agree with you that Obama is not the messiah.  He probably gets away
> with a lot b/c of racial politics.  I doubt he gets away with any more
> than McCain does, but you and most of us are so used to seeing white
> people get shit, it's really hard to recognize favors even when they
> stare you in the face.  It may be worthwhile to go back and re-write
> black people into history, especially since their removal was the
> result of a lot of racist knowledge production, but to do so with the
> intent of writing Obama's historic run out of history is truly... sad.
>  To chalk up why we care to simple emotion (as you tell Josh) is
> really selling everyone short.  You seem to really hate on the
> "circular xenophobia" of X-ist (liberal?) theory, but it seems like
> your only way to really prove that is to pit the good liberal
> intellectual pursuits against their very ends.  That is, historical
> revisionism (or ie - the liberal/progressive project of writing Others
> into history) is noble - (or maybe to you it's not and you're just
> using this academic to get your jollies off) - but it's goal is to
> rectify endless years of cultural oppressions.  Denying a history
> therefore, seems to be something worth interrogating.  But to do so
> with the intent of denying that very history in the present, is slimy.
>  That is your politics.
> I notice you keep talking to people as if this were a debate, which to
> me it seems to clearly not be.  So please spare me on that front.  But
> for the sake of good honest intellectual discussion, I can see the
> value in discussing why Obama is not this and is not that.  I can see
> the value in interrogating why it may be that so many people honestly
> do seem to think he is the messiah (although even those statements
> seem to come with a grain of salt.)  But you want to deny that this
> moment is significant?  Now you've clearly lost it.  That is not
> education, it is not helpful in formulating a politics, you just
> engage in the exact same production of a knowledge designed to write
> black people out of history as the people that (supposedly) wrote
> jefferson, jackson, lincoln, harding, coolige out of history.  Thanks!
> A few more things:
> 1) Moors were not black in the way that Black Americans are (Beethoven
> again - he was a moor).  You can look at many blackness readings of
> Othello to see the difference.
> 2) Claiming Indian ancestry is not the same as claiming black
> ancestry.  It may be that your Dr. Vaughn has a little revisionism of
> his own.  Which I actually don't doubt, but I'd have to read him I
> suppose before I blew up that claim.
> 3) My great-aunt proves anything you say about "oh everyone knew they
> were black" pretty wrong.
> 4) You evidence says opposite things.  Or rather your evidence doesn't
> support your claims.  Whatever link you put up says that those
> presidents never revealed their ancestry.
> 5) This post below wasn't really the one that got me going.
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 9:55 PM, Old Strega <oldstrega at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > pull-out of vietnam, redeploy to cuba.
> >
> > he just said -- pull out of vietnam, war is bad.
> >
> > obama is a fucking fraud parlaying mass media confusion.'
> >
> > the war in afghanistan is bush's old war, bush's old bad idea.
> >
> > in my opininon, given MLK's commitment to non-violence and the strength
> of his far superior rhetoric to chump boy obama, MLK would be in the streets
> fighting the afghan war just like he fought against vietam.
> >
> > to characterize MLK's resistance to vietnam as "you got the wrong war,
> whitey" and not "war is wrong" is typical of the poorly educated masses of
> our day who wouldn't know their asses from their mouths.
> >
> > tuna, bear and sanchez are my favorite ones amongst the ahistorical
> revisionists who would love to identify obama's stance on iraq adopted from
> brzezinski with MLK's commitment to non-violence and opposition to all
> imperial wars.
> >
> > it's the biggest pile of shit i've ever seen.
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