Okay, I stand corrected about the nationalities represented:
“NOVA enrolls close to 2,000 international students annually and represents 180 nationalities on our campuses”
For some reason, I honestly believed it was 270. Regardless, that’s a lot of nationalities in one location.
I don’t have any hatred for anyone, that’s clearly against my spiritual beliefs. However, I am exceedingly tired of encountering racist rants against Black Americans from fellow Americans and certainly from Europeans in other parts of the world, who are very far removed from the problem of American racism. Systematic American racism continues TO THIS DAY, because of American slavery, which has it’s own extensive history that traces all the way back to this nation’s establishment in 1776.
Unless you are a founding father, your personal American family history may be entirely irrelevant, as it relates to race and racism in America. Regardless of what happened with your family, people in my family were the descendants of slaves - and to that end I have a lot of relevant things to say about slavery and systematic racism in America. People like Svetlana love to quip ignorantly about how slavery “is history.”
Well, it’s not.
Slavey in America has NEVER, let me repeat that again NEVER ended. It still continues TO THIS DAY. Read the 13th Amendment! Check out how that back door, was left wide open for slavery to continue and it was written, directly into the 13th amendment! This whole idea that just because someone writes on a piece of paper — “slavery is over” is utterly ridiculous. Stupidest idea ever articulated by anyone anywhere- and that certainly should be acknowledged by people who presume to study history!
People don’t stop targeting and oppressing other people, inside a nation or this world, just because another more powerful group of people have told them to stop. Hell, that’s what the nation of Israel is all about. Americans telling all those people half way around the world, to stop targeting and killing Jews, oh and by the way, we’re just going to carve up a piece of land that doesn’t belong to us (America) and demand that these people stay here and be treated with respect, compassion and kindness, by all the surrounding nations. (Anyone can see how well that’s working it out. It’s not. And right about now, almost every country in the world takes issue with Israel, which is to say that is not working out.) There are a lot of people in Europe, Germany and the Middle East (hell even in America) who still despise Jews, TO THIS DAY, even though the holocaust happened back in the mid-twentieth century.
In the same vein, many white Americans - especially southerners, want to see Black Americans as nothing more than property TO THIS DAY. And they have worked very hard to keep all sorts of back door systems in place to make those wishes an actual reality TO THIS DAY.
This really isn’t up for debate. Not with me, any way. I am extraordinarily educated around the facts of this. While most Americans, and certainly most white Americans are not.
When Americans — any Americans — want to be so cavalier as to make these incredibly ignorant and uneducated remarks, about American slavery, because they have no idea as to what has occurred in the history of their country, well that’s one type of inexcusable ignorance - but to be in an entirely different country and to pile onto this additional ignorance - is inexcusable in my book. Race doesn’t bother me, relentless ignorance and arrogance about that ignorance does.
So if I come across as hostile, know that this really isn’t my intent. I actually prefer to be described as flippant, but please know that I don’t have patience with white fragility. This is a new term, I just learned, a concept that describes how white people (like yourself and Svetlana) are demanding to made comfortable around issues of race, by insisting upon a total and complete disregard of facts and an erasure of history and historical events.
Far too many white people want to evade and/or lie about the truth about race in America. They only want to discuss race in a context where they can blame American-Americans for all of the horrors and systematic racism that they’ve been exposed to, without discussing or acknowledging that those systematic horrors occurred at all.
Lynching? Gee? What’s that? KKK stands for Krispy Kreme Kastle, where people in white hoods like to consume donuts at midnight, while burning crosses as a religious observation, right? It’s not a terrorist group that has been terrorizing law abiding Americans around issues of race for the past 100 or so years, though, is it? (Radical Islam my ass, It’s radical hood wearing, dirty pick-up truck driving Randy, in a white sheet, that gives me the terrors. Let’s talk about what keeps me up at night. Where it started and how it has never ended. Let’s talk about that.)
Ghettos filled with black children and with poisonous lead- filled drinking water, just magically popped up with droves or African children migrated to America- cause they flew over here. Is that the fantasy around American race relations we are invoking?
I don’t hate white people just because I refuse to accept your version of what you want America to be. You probably want America to be a place where there is no racism so you can feel better about your white privilege; so that you can demand that white is better - because it just is, not because since the nation’s inception, white Americans have been given an unfair advantage. You don’t ever want to address that. I get it. Your perspective is not that exceptional, but I won’t allow you to use it to project your racism on to me.
I could argue, you hate black people. But to even say that is a huge oversimplification of the psychological and intellectual mind games you are trying to play.
No you don’t hate black people, (well I really don’t know, you might) but that’s not what I am seeing here. What I see here, (and I could be wrong) is you struggling to find ways to express your deeply held belief that white people are superior and better than people of color. Whether you consciously realize it or not, that’s probably a part of a deeply held worldview, for you.
You get defensive when this subtle racism is called out, and especially by someone black like me. Because that happens rarely, if ever, and when it does, you have to rush to defend your worldview as powerfully as you can. Keep everything status quo, right?
Your arguments about racism are irrational and irrelevant. In fact, I’m not sure what you are trying to argue or why. So, your grandfather was alive in America during the time of official slavery? And? What’s your point? Some of my ancestors were too. Get this - some of my American ancestors were actual slaves! What game are we playing here? Why do you think any of this matters? It doesn’t. It’s entirely irrelevant to the conversations Svetlana and I were having around race.
George Mason was a wealthy white man and founding father, who:
- Basically wrote the US constitution and Bill of Rights
- Hated Slavery, attempted to convince the Founders to abolish it
- Stated: “ Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves. They prevent the immigration of whites, who really enrich and strengthen a country. They produce the most pernicious effect on manners. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a country…. Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.”
And yes, I realize that the actual history surrounding George Mason is complicated - and yes I actually have read The Federalist Papers (boring!) But I have not studied them extensively, not since college anyway. But here is what I do know:
George Mason was one of the more important founding fathers, and yet he has almost been written entirely out of the history of that, except here in Virginia, were I live. According to the historians who run his plantation, that I actually visited, it is because he was opposed to slavery. He tried to end it from the very beginning. He was a huge part of the establishment of this nation - and because he spoke out so eloquently against the institution of slavery, because he used a clear moral logic that could not be denied; and yet - he was written out of history. That’s how some historians view it any way and who am I to argue with any of them? Based on what I have learned about him, this sure seems to be the case.
Here is what I know for sure, as a nation, we do not talk about George Mason, the role he played in establishing the nation and how he was subsequently written out of history, unless you visit his plantation. Why is that?
I think this is an important story for the nation to know- but especially white people. White people need to know that there have always been white people- educated, affluent and progressive ones, who have said — this is not me. This not who I am. I am not this ugly, racist monster who delights in dehumanizing people. I will not stand for that.
The historians who worked that plantation were all white — and it’s funny, this was a field trip that I went on with my son; and as soon as I learned we were going to a plantation, I groaned. I was not pleased. I did not think it would be a pleasant experience at all. And I was annoyed with the white teacher who selected this particular event.
But I was pleasantly surprised; and I told her so. The dedication to the truth- the real truth about what went on, on that plantation was refreshing. The historians didn’t white-wash it. They told us that slave children picked bugs off of tobacco leaves and that they did it for as much as 12 hours a day and many of them got sick and died. They told the whole truth about it — and they stood in that truth- the whole truth- about Mason’s battle with the rest of the founding fathers, his losses, his ambivalence about slavery — and it was powerful.
That is what white privilege, used well, looks like. That truth, should have never been suppressed — and it’s only white people who have the power to bring that sort of truth to light, because really that is their story. I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for white people like that. And white people who know me, certainly know this about me.
Race relations in America is extremely complicated; and just anyone shouldn’t weight in on it, I believe. If you have an understanding of the history of this country, and the huge role that the economic race caste system has played in the establishment of it, then yes, by all means speak intelligently on the issue. Most people, however, do not, have this understanding and end up sounding like ignorant, trite Pub sound bites. “Everyone gets a fair shot in America, hard work, boot straps, personal responsibility, blah, blah, blah.” That’s a bunch of B.S.! It’s hard to take responsibility when the man has a boot on your neck and has kept it there the entire time you have been alive. Screw that B.S. I am calling anyone on it, who spouts it.
But let’s be very clear. That doesn’t mean I hate anyone. If I did decide to hate anyone, my hatred would not be thrown on to an entire group as vast as “white people.” This is a group comprised of all kinds of delightful people, from all sorts of interesting and engaging backgrounds. To clump all of them into a category based on their racial privilege and hate them because of that? Well I would never stoop to that sort of idiocy. That’s reserved for members of the Krispy Kreme Kastle. That’s how they think…like morons, running around in white hoods because they are cowards subsisting on a mental diet of sugary, fattening donuts only.