Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Engaging the Enemy

 

Van is a spitfire. She is a dedicated conservative and she loves this country. She left Vietnam with her family right after the war. She is an entrepreneur, having started several businesses, and now in her senior years runs a nail business (does fingers and toes, as my husband would say) from her home, and does my nails. I’ve known her for more than ten years, so we know each other pretty well. The other day she stunned me with a story of bravery and determination. And it wasn’t about leaving Vietnam.

Van has mostly senior customers from all walks of lives, an assortment of religions or no-religions, and many cultures, ethnicities, and races. I’m going to share her story as she told it to me the other day, in her inimitable style:

So I’m talking to my customer about many things, and I asked her why she calls herself an African-American. Why? She is an American! She isn’t from Africa and she doesn’t have family from Africa, so why doesn’t she just call herself an American? I don’t call myself a Vietnamese-American!

[Uh-oh; I start to cringe, just a little.]

So she tells me that her ancestors were from Africa, and she calls herself an African-American to remind herself that they were kidnapped in Africa and made slaves after they were brought to this country, and she never wants to forget that.

So I say to her, but you were not a slave and you’ve told me that none of your family were slaves. Not only that–many of the people kidnapped in Africa were captured by other black Africans!

[Bigger uh-oh—my eyes start to widen and my jaw drops.]

No, no, my customer says, that’s not possible, that couldn’t have happened. We know about the slave ships and the whites who took them captive.

* * *

At this point in the story, Van has finished working on my nails. I’m nearly speechless. I asked Van if she and her customer were still talking to each other, and she laughed and said, oh yes, we talk like this all the time. She’s still a customer and we’re friends.

* * *

So what made this conversation possible? For myself, I don’t talk about these kinds of topics with any of my liberal friends, because I feel certain the conversation wouldn’t end well; I can’t deal with their lack of education regarding the facts, their unwillingness to consider other data, and their lack of reflection on their positions.

I think that Van gauges the customers very carefully when she initiates this kind of conversation. First, they are always friendly with each other, if not friends. As a result, there is a level of fondness, trust, respect, and appreciation for each other. Second, she is joyous in her sharing as a proud American, not angry, which allows the customer to stay engaged, rather than become upset. Third, she might sense the intimacy that comes from touching another person’s fingers and toes! All in all, Van becomes a teacher and mentor in those moments.

Even with these explanations for her success, I still don’t know how she does it.

I will make one observation: she has taught me a few things about engaging the “enemy.”

There are 65 comments.

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  1. The Great Adventure! Inactive
    The Great Adventure! Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Maybe start with the fact that she’s not prototypically white? It is more difficult for the aggrieved and offended to lash out at someone who isn’t obviously 100% Caucasian.

    Having said that, I had a great conversation with a colleague this week regarding South Africa and Apartheid. He is from there, still has a pretty strong accent. But we got into an entire discussion around how in the US he is considered “Black” or African-American even though he has zero roots in North America. In S Africa, however, he is definitely Colored which is a caste above Black. And those castes still exist despite the abolition of Apartheid. Your racial “classification” was a big deal down there, to the point where the government published a weekly report of those who had been “re-classified” – Black to Colored, Colored to White, etc.

    He also told me about the “Pencil Test”. This was one of the methods for classification. If the authorities were trying to determine whether a person was white or colored, they would perform this test. They would stick a pencil in your hair – if it fell out, you were white, if it didn’t you were colored. I can find no trace of any race other than Caucasian in my blood line, but even at almost 60 I have a full head of thick hair. I would fail the Pencil Test – guaranteed.

    • #1
    • July 28, 2019, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Maybe start with the fact that she’s not prototypically white? It is more difficult for the aggrieved and offended to lash out at someone who isn’t obviously 100% Caucasian.

    Having said that, I had a great conversation with a colleague this week regarding South Africa and Apartheid. He is from there, still has a pretty strong accent. But we got into an entire discussion around how in the US he is considered “Black” or African-American even though he has zero roots in North America. In S Africa, however, he is definitely Colored which is a caste above Black. And those castes still exist despite the abolition of Apartheid. Your racial “classification” was a big deal down there, to the point where the government published a weekly report of those who had been “re-classified” – Black to Colored, Colored to White, etc.

    He also told me about the “Pencil Test”. This was one of the methods for classification. If the authorities were trying to determine whether a person was white or colored, they would perform this test. They would stick a pencil in your hair – if it fell out, you were white, if it didn’t you were colored. I can find no trace of any race other than Caucasian in my blood line, but even at almost 60 I have a full head of thick hair. I would fail the Pencil Test – guaranteed.

    @thegreatadventure, that is fascinating! I knew some of this information, but not in this detail. And the Pencil Test! My gosh. Re my friend Van, her brown face may have given her some leeway; on the other hand, she could be seen as betraying “people of color”; it’s all too complicated for me, since I’m a pale, white, Caucasian. Although I’m Jewish, too. H.m.m.m…..

    • #2
    • July 28, 2019, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. EB Thatcher
    EB

    What a great lady! She also sounds like a lot of fun.

    It is also true that many (most) American blacks will not believe that in colonial America there were blacks and Indians who owned slaves. Most Americans of any color have “learned” that the slave trade is solely a white on black thing. They don’t know or can’t relate to the fact that slavery throughout history has had very little to do with race. Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Asians, Africans, etc. captured slaves from enemies. Race was immaterial.

    Today in the Middle East and other areas of the world there is still legal slavery. And from time to time, we see stories in the news where it is discovered that a Middle Eastern couple here in the US has been holding some young woman as a slave in their home for domestic purposes.

    For any Woke person who has stumbled onto Ricochet, none of the above means that slavery is acceptable. We should support eradicating it wherever it still exists. It’s just not a racial practice.

    • #3
    • July 28, 2019, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    EB (View Comment):

    What a great lady! She also sounds like a lot of fun.

    It is also true that many (most) American blacks will not believe that in colonial America there were blacks and Indians who owned slaves. Most Americans of any color have “learned” that the slave trade is solely a white on black thing. They don’t know or can’t relate to the fact that slavery throughout history has had very little to do with race. Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Asians, Africans, etc. captured slaves from enemies. Race was immaterial.

    Today in the Middle East and other areas of the world there is still legal slavery. And from time to time, we see stories in the news where it is discovered that a Middle Eastern couple here in the US has been holding some young woman as a slave in their home for domestic purposes.

    For any Woke person who has stumbled onto Ricochet, none of the above means that slavery is acceptable. We should support eradicating it wherever it still exists. It’s just not a racial practice.

    All true, @eb! And very important. Too bad most of them aren’t even curious . . .

    I didn’t mention that because Van is not a big reader, and doing a lot of reading in English is hard for her, she watches documentaries on youtube and TV. I know all that stuff isn’t reliable, but it obviously puts her far ahead of others!

    • #4
    • July 28, 2019, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Unsk Member

    “But we got into an entire discussion around how in the US he is considered “Black” or African-American even though he has zero roots in North America. In S Africa, however, he is definitely Colored which is a caste above Black. And those castes still exist despite the abolition of Apartheid. Your racial “classification” was a big deal down there, to the point where the government published a weekly report of those who had been “re-classified” – Black to Colored, Colored to White, etc.”

    Jim Crow lives on long after he should have been dead and buried. 

    One of my family members, who has cancer, had to go a skilled nursing facility recently. The facility’s marketing director and I had a long conversation about her family and her daughter in her 40’s who also has cancer and their difficulties. The marketing director is a wonderful woman and is black. She married a white man and had two children; the daughter who has cancer is white and her son is black. The point of this reference, as in illustrated in this example, is how are we to judge just by the color of one’s skin when often this skin color is just the luck of the draw?

    • #5
    • July 28, 2019, at 9:08 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Unsk (View Comment):
    One of my family members, who has cancer, had to go a skilled nursing facility recently. The facility’s marketing director and I had a long conversation about her family and her daughter in her 40’s who also has cancer and their difficulties. The marketing director is a wonderful woman and is black. She married a white man and had two children; the daughter who has cancer is white and her son is black. The point of this reference, as in illustrated in this example, is how are we to judge just by the color of one’s skin when often this skin color is just the luck of the draw?

    Indeed. Frankly, who cares? Unfortunately, too many people. Long live identity politics [sarc off] Thanks for commenting, @unsk.

    • #6
    • July 28, 2019, at 9:11 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Arahant Member

    Unsk (View Comment):
    She married a white man and had two children; the daughter who has cancer is white and her son is black. The point of this reference, as in illustrated in this example, is how are we to judge just by the color of one’s skin when often this skin color is just the luck of the draw?

    Sort of like these twin sisters?

    These Twin Sisters Look Totally Different | Bored Panda

    • #7
    • July 28, 2019, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    Part of why Miss Van can get away with it is that she is still an outsider looking in. She came from a different place, and yes, she has a non-White face.

    • #8
    • July 28, 2019, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. Manny Member

    Great story Susan. Over the years I’ve worked with a number of Vietnamese and still do and one thing I’ve noticed is how friendly, vivacious, up front they all seem to be. They can bring up the most sensitive of topics and discuss it freely without guile and not cause the other person any friction. They always seem to have a smile for everyone, and so no one perceives malice in their intentions. I have a vivid image of Van because there are several like her where I work. 

    • #9
    • July 28, 2019, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Part of why Miss Van can get away with it is that she is still an outsider looking in. She came from a different place, and yes, she has a non-White face.

    Interesting point, @arahant. Those might be factors, but don’t tell her she’s an outsider! I don’t know if that rationale would play a part–I suspect the customer might have known her as long as I have and didn’t think of that in the moment. Also, keep in mind (as I said earlier) that with her brown face, she could be seen as betraying people of color.

    • #10
    • July 28, 2019, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Richard Easton Member

    I met a guy who worked at NASA. He’s funny and very non PC. A coworker was upset with something he said, but a black woman who worked in HR said that’s XXX he’s OK. That was over a decade ago; HR might not come to his rescue today.

    • #11
    • July 28, 2019, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. Arahant Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I met a guy who worked at NASA. He’s funny and very non PC. A coworker was upset with something he said, but a black woman who worked in HR said that’s XXX he’s OK. That was over a decade ago; HR might not come to his rescue today.

    @gldiii?

     

    • #12
    • July 28, 2019, at 10:26 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Richard Easton Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I met a guy who worked at NASA. He’s funny and very non PC. A coworker was upset with something he said, but a black woman who worked in HR said that’s XXX he’s OK. That was over a decade ago; HR might not come to his rescue today.

    @gldiii?

     

    No, this was at the Cape.

    • #13
    • July 28, 2019, at 10:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. MarciN Member

    For the last month I have been following a Facebook group for local gardeners, and it has been a fascinating, but troubling view into human psychology. For example, at the beginning of this past weekend one woman wrote about how frustrated she was that her neighbor had sprayed Raid on a bee-covered bush that was on the neighbor’s property but that was near her “organic” garden. About a hundred commenters have since responded with verbal violence against the person wielding the Raid can.

    I’ve been following that thread for a couple of days now, and so far, not one person has suggested that perhaps they weren’t friendly honey bees or bumble bees but rather yellow jackets or wasps–both strong possibilities. I have a particular flowering bush in my yard that for some crazy reason attracts every kind of bee in North America. I can’t go near the bush this time of year. It’s actually dangerous.

    And not one person has asked the original poster if the neighbor possibly has a bee sting allergy. My father-in-law developed an allergy late in life, and he had to carry an Epipen with him.

    It has been a social media hate fest all weekend. And the participants are enjoying themselves immensely. They frankly scare me. At this point, you’d have to be a more powerful person than I am to inject a note of any kind of dissent. It makes me appreciate Martin Luther King, Jr., enormously. You’d have to have his kind of charisma to make any headway through this emotional frenzy.

    The bee colony collapse story is a lot like the global warming hoax. It turned out to be a group of professional bee keepers and their bee keeping practices. They screwed up and lost some of their bees, and they went to Congress to help them financially. There was no massive end to bee life on the planet. But people were swept up in this global movement years ago, and they’re still there, even though there’s no reason to be.

    I read a really funny and all-too-true article about the bee-colony collapse hoax. Paraphrasing, “Okay, so we put an end to all the insecticides we’re using. The insects will then win and kill all the plants. Where will the bees then get their pollen?” :-)

    I’ve decided people have emotional needs that they are somehow fulfilling with these rage feelings that they are encouraging in themselves. The object can be anything at all. The media is somehow giving people experiences with their feelings that are pleasurable to people. I keep thinking it’s like the sensation chairs in either Brave New World or 1984–I forget which one.

    • #14
    • July 28, 2019, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I’ve decided people have emotional needs that they are somehow fulfilling with these rage feelings that they are encouraging in themselves. The object can be anything at all. The media is somehow giving people experiences with their feelings that are pleasurable to people. I keep thinking it’s like the sensation chairs in either Brave New World or 1984–I forget which one. 

    That is scary, @marci. Voicing our rage, especially through social media, seems to be growing into acceptable behavior. We have to wonder when it will spill over into daily life. Then again, maybe it already has. Do you think you’ll stay with that group? It sounds pretty unpleasant.

    • #15
    • July 28, 2019, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. MarciN Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I’ve decided people have emotional needs that they are somehow fulfilling with these rage feelings that they are encouraging in themselves. The object can be anything at all. The media is somehow giving people experiences with their feelings that are pleasurable to people. I keep thinking it’s like the sensation chairs in either Brave New World or 1984–I forget which one.

    That is scary, @marci. Voicing our rage, especially through social media, seems to be growing into acceptable behavior. We have to wonder when it will spill over into daily life. Then again, maybe it already has. Do you think you’ll stay with that group? It sounds pretty unpleasant.

    When their emotions aren’t stirred up, they share a lot of good information. So, yes, I’ll keep reading it. :-)

    I don’t participate in it–I just watch it passively the way I watch television. :-) But it’s a huge group–5,500 members. Cape Cod’s year-round population is only around 120,000 so that’s a big group. I think Ricochet has a group of 5,700 people from a potential pool of 330 million. So the number of people in this little local Facebook group is extraordinary.

    Of course, a lot of the members are from other places and they only vacation here. So it’s unrealistic to assume these are all Cape Codders.

    Also, once the hate fest got going, who would try to inject a note of reason into it? So there may be other people like me who are calm about these things and simply not commenting. Who would know?

    But the experience has put the Trump-is-a-racist movement in perspective. There is no credible evidence of any kind to suggest that Donald Trump is ruder to people of color than he is to people not of color. :-) But the movement has now gathered enough emotional momentum that it has taken on a violent life of its own. It’s mob psychology. Very very scary.

    • #16
    • July 28, 2019, at 11:22 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  17. PHCheese Member

    We should never be afraid to voice our opinions. It’s America. Use your freedom or lose it. Don’t voluntarily give up your free speech too many died giving it to you.

    • #17
    • July 28, 2019, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Unsk Member

    “Okay, so we put an end to all the insecticides we’re using. The insects will then win and kill all the plants. Where will the bees then get the pollen?” :-) 

    Marci, I’m afraid you have committed some very serious thought crimes here. Don’t you know how important “virtue signaling” is to our society? When done properly in all it’s politically correct manifestations and glory, a person signaling their virtue need not concern oneself with the consequences of a correct virtue signal because it’s the intent that counts. Always. 

    For instance, the comment “ending all insecticides ” is beyond all reproach because it so virtuous in a politically correct sense, that the fact in some Trumpian Reality, that tens of millions and plants and people may die as a result of actually ending all insecticides is really of no concern. It’s just some ugly Trump supporter spouting off about “facts” and “consequences” again which we all know are all relative in the end. 

    Like once those commenters who noted that they were ‘organic gardeners”, they automatically took the almost insurmountable moral high ground, because anything organic is virtuous no matter what. Likewise, the lady who admitted she used “Raid” ( OMG!) is likely damned to politically correct hell no matter how many times those bees – even if they are Africanized Bees- attack her and cause her severe bodily injury or even death. Political Correctness is too important to be belittled by these Trumpian “reality” concerns. 

    • #18
    • July 28, 2019, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. MarciN Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    “Okay, so we put an end to all the insecticides we’re using. The insects will then win and kill all the plants. Where will the bees then get the pollen?” :-)

    Marci, I’m afraid you have committed some very serious thought crimes here. Don’t you know how important “virtue signaling” is to our society? When done properly in all it’s politically correct manifestations and glory, a person signaling their virtue need not concern oneself with the consequences of a correct virtue signal because it’s the intent that counts. Always.

    For instance, the comment “ending all insecticides ” is beyond all reproach because it so virtuous in a politically correct sense, that the fact in some Trumpian Reality, that tens of millions and plants and people may die as a result of actually ending all insecticides is really of no concern. It’s just some ugly Trump supporter spouting off about “facts” and “consequences” again which we all know are all relative in the end.

    Like once those commenters who noted that they were ‘organic gardeners”, they automatically took the almost insurmountable moral high ground, because anything organic is virtuous no matter what. Likewise, the lady who admitted she used “Raid” ( OMG!) is likely damned to politically correct hell no matter how many times those bees – even if they are Africanized Bees- attack her and cause her severe bodily injury or even death. Political Correctness is too important to be belittled by these Trumpian “reality” concerns.

    This would be funny if it were not so true. :-) 

    • #19
    • July 28, 2019, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    But the experience has put the Trump-is-a-racist movement in perspective. There is no credible evidence of any kind to suggest that Donald Trump is ruder to people of color than he is to people not of color. :-) But the movement has now gathered enough emotional momentum that it has taken on a violent life of its own. It’s mob psychology. Very very scary.

    If you hate someone or some group, then everything about that person or that group becomes evil in your mind. Being a racist is considered the worst thing that you can be in progressive American culture and because progressives hate Trump more than they hate Maduro, Fidel Castro and Stalin put together, Trump has to be a racist. 

    I also agree with you MarciN that Trump does not see color. Trump’s favorite color me :-) If a black person or a homosexual person or whatever likes him than that person is just the best. I think he’s a narcissist but at least it’s a kind of narcissism that leads to classical liberalism. 

     

    • #20
    • July 28, 2019, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. MarciN Member

    The “environmentalists”–quotes because I don’t think they have a clue what a natural environment actually contains–went after the systemic Bayer Tree & Shrub with a vengeance years ago. I recently had to get some at our local Home Depot store, and the poor clerk had to use a big ladder to get it down for me–it had been put far far away from human-level eyesight. Heaven forfend that the local “environmentalists” catch sight of it. That’s what the clerk told me.

    This is true lunacy. We have lost so many native trees to foreign insect and disease invaders: the American Chestnut, the American ash, the American elm, and the original American dogwood. The dogwood was lost to a blight-like disease that can now be completely prevented by Bayer Tree & Shrub. There are competitors to BT&S such as one of the Bonide products, but they don’t contain an immune system-bolstering component that BT&S does. A healthy tree will be much better able to stave off disease than a sickly one.

    The nutcase environmentalists here and elsewhere have overlooked a major issue: species diversity and wildlife habitat. We need a diversity of trees to preserve the health of the ecosystem.

    The real tree huggers (like me) are so grateful to Bayer for developing this miracle product. What kills birch trees, for example, is a birch borer that starts at the bottom of the tree and eats its way to the very top–at forty feet in the air. None of us home gardeners have the kind of equipment we need to spray that high up. Instead, all we do is pour BT&S around the base of the tree once a year and the beautiful birch tree lives.

    It’s just chronically frustrating to me to deal with people who have zero priorities or common sense.

    • #21
    • July 28, 2019, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  22. philo Member

    MarciN (View Comment): …because I don’t think they have a clue what a natural environment actually contains

    Similarly, I am quite sure that 99.9% of that movement have no comprehension of what “climate” really is. (Especially the politicians!) But, of course, that doesn’t slow them down one bit…

    • #22
    • July 28, 2019, at 2:05 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Henry Castaigne Member

    Susan Quinn:

    So she tells me that her ancestors were from Africa, and she calls herself an African-American to remind herself that they were kidnapped in Africa and made slaves after they were brought to this country, and she never wants to forget that.

    So I say to her, but you were not a slave and you’ve told me that none of your family were slaves. Not only that–many of the people kidnapped in Africa were captured by other black Africans!

    [Bigger uh-oh—my eyes start to widen and my jaw drops]

    No, no, my customer says, that’s not possible, that couldn’t have happened. We know about the slave ships and the whites who took them captive.

    I myself would have corrected her in my robot fashion.

    “Actually, whites were scared to get off the ship. Whites died from malaria like flies when they went to West Africa. They bought slaves from other Africans. In fact, whites were incapable of colonizing West Africa until after they invited quinine. West Africans are the most malaria resistant population in the world.”

    I have no idea what my face would look like when I this because I am unsure of what facial expressions to make in most circumstances.

    I don’t understand individual human beings very well though I think I have a sharper idea of humanity than most people.

    I am pretty sure that my argument would mean nothing to the said black-American lady. (I’m fine with hyphens.)

    Why wouldn’t my argument mean anything? Why isn’t the evidence (all of which is easily checked) important? Furthermore, why do black people believe in the lie that whites were just wandering around West Africa enslaving people.

    • #23
    • July 28, 2019, at 2:10 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  24. Henry Castaigne Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This is true lunacy. We have lost so many native trees to foreign insect and disease invaders: the American Chestnut, the American ash, the American elm, and the original American dogwood.

    I know this is politically incorrect, but not enough is written about how these foreigners come in and destroy decent American trees. Why should the rights of American flora have to be subservient to these destructive foreigners. 

    • #24
    • July 28, 2019, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  25. MarciN Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This is true lunacy. We have lost so many native trees to foreign insect and disease invaders: the American Chestnut, the American ash, the American elm, and the original American dogwood.

    I know this is politically incorrect, but not enough is written about how these foreigners come in and destroy decent American trees. Why should the rights of American flora have to be subservient to these destructive foreigners.

    :-)

    • #25
    • July 28, 2019, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I’ve decided people have emotional needs that they are somehow fulfilling with these rage feelings that they are encouraging in themselves. The object can be anything at all.

    I’m afraid you’re right. As an example: on Facebook not long ago, a woman shared a meme about the preferential postal rates that Chinese sellers are getting for shipments to America. Immediately, some guy called her a “right-wing dingbat.”

    Neither the original post nor the nasty reply had any links to factual info supporting their position. In less than 2 minutes, I found a Forbes article explaining the situation, how it happened, and why it won’t be so easy to fix.

    A very high % of FB political posts consist of emoting without factual content.

    • #26
    • July 28, 2019, at 5:46 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Also, see this related post at Isegoria: The Student Movements Trained an Entire Generation of Intellectuals to Feel Instead of Think.

    • #27
    • July 28, 2019, at 5:47 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    EB (View Comment):

    What a great lady! She also sounds like a lot of fun.

    It is also true that many (most) American blacks will not believe that in colonial America there were blacks and Indians who owned slaves. Most Americans of any color have “learned” that the slave trade is solely a white on black thing. They don’t know or can’t relate to the fact that slavery throughout history has had very little to do with race. Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Asians, Africans, etc. captured slaves from enemies. Race was immaterial.

    Today in the Middle East and other areas of the world there is still legal slavery. And from time to time, we see stories in the news where it is discovered that a Middle Eastern couple here in the US has been holding some young woman as a slave in their home for domestic purposes.

    For any Woke person who has stumbled onto Ricochet, none of the above means that slavery is acceptable. We should support eradicating it wherever it still exists. It’s just not a racial practice.

    It was a racial practice in the Americas.

    • #28
    • July 28, 2019, at 7:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I met a guy who worked at NASA. He’s funny and very non PC. A coworker was upset with something he said, but a black woman who worked in HR said that’s XXX he’s OK. That was over a decade ago; HR might not come to his rescue today.

    @gldiii?

     

    Nope they won’t. I suspect if my views were tested I would be pariah despite my technical value.

    • #29
    • July 28, 2019, at 7:47 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Gatomal Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    So she tells me that her ancestors were from Africa, and she calls herself an African-American to remind herself that they were kidnapped in Africa and made slaves after they were brought to this country, and she never wants to forget that.

    So I say to her, but you were not a slave and you’ve told me that none of your family were slaves. Not only that–many of the people kidnapped in Africa were captured by other black Africans!

    [Bigger uh-oh—my eyes start to widen and my jaw drops]

    No, no, my customer says, that’s not possible, that couldn’t have happened. We know about the slave ships and the whites who took them captive.

    I myself would have corrected her in my robot fashion.

    “Actually, whites were scared to get off the ship. Whites died from malaria like flies when they went to West Africa. They bought slaves from other Africans. In fact, whites were incapable of colonizing West Africa until after they invited quinine. West Africans are the most malaria resistant population in the world.”

    I have no idea what my face would look like when I this because I am unsure of what facial expressions to make in most circumstances.

    I don’t understand individual human beings very well though I think I have a sharper idea of humanity than most people.

    I am pretty sure that my argument would mean nothing to the said black-American lady. (I’m fine with hyphens.)

    Why wouldn’t my argument mean anything? Why isn’t the evidence (all of which is easily checked) important? Furthermore, why do black people believe in the lie that whites were just wandering around West Africa enslaving people.

    Blame it on that scene in Roots.

    • #30
    • July 28, 2019, at 9:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes

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