Thu 24th September 2009, 6:07am
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sun 20th September 2009, 9:58pm)
QUOTE(Random832 @ Sun 20th September 2009, 10:43pm)
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sun 20th September 2009, 5:08pm)
It has impressed me greatly the generations of Germans since WWII have conducted themselves in a manner that is just about everything you could ask from a people whose nation has a recent past of horrible wrongdoing. As a society they have faced their past without avoiding blame or making excuses, readily acknowledging responsibility.
Though that in turn requires one to take it as read that an individual born after 1945 should
take "responsibility" for the events of WWII (which is of course distinct from the responsibility to do their part to prevent such things from happening again)
Thus the "As a society" part. Compare this to the less admirable response of of white people in America in relation to racism and exploitation of black people. This is all the worse because unlike the devastation of WWII which had the practical effect of leveling away any gain German society had ever seen from their fleeting conquests, white people in America have never disgorged what was gained through exploitation. Currently any attempt doing anything to redress these historic wrongs and their lingering effects is decried as "reverse racism."
What "they" gained through historic wrongs? Which ones of them? I know all my ancestors in America right back to the first ones (I had one kicked out of Salem, Massachusetts along with with Roger Williams). All of them "Yankees." Most moved West early. Some with their own persecutee problems (see Mormon). None owned a slave. I cannot see that anybody got anywhere near Tara, that great mansion and plantation in Gone With the Wind
. Before that, most of them came from England, Wales, Sweden. Where they didn't own slaves, either.
So where did my slavery benefits come from? How much do I owe?
And why must this stop at the American border, and in 1776? Slavery was a most curious institution. Actually when Gerald O'Hara wants some slaves for Tara, he doesn't usually go to Africa himself to capture them. Rather, they result from black-on-black warfare in Africa, the losers being transported to the coast by Africans, and only there sold to white people (often Portuguese) in the Atlantic slave trade
. That was in the first half the 19th century. Before that, for a thousand years, about as many people were exported from Africa as slaves (10 million or so) but it was a collusion of Africans and Arabs. Recently, Barack Obama went to Africa and visited some of the relics of the later Atlantic slave trader era, and I don't know if he shed any tears, but if he did, it was probably because he recognized that his own ancestors were more likely to have benefited from African slavery economically than MINE were. I don't know what reparations he intends to pay to who for this-- but I'll bet he's planning to do it with my
money, not his.
The truth about our distant ancestors is this: they were survivors. All we know about most of them is that they didn't die in childhood, and that they one-and-all managed to either father a live child or bare one. That's all we know. Probably a lot of them did some nasty things to the nonsurvivors, though. If the sum total of all these accumulated sins of stuggle between waring groups are all to be passed to the offspring, with no discount, and maybe interest, I'll bet this gives half of us the perfect right by now, to kill the other half, in clan warfare reparations.
The only problem is, which half are YOU in? Flip a coin.
I recommend the Desmond Tutu option to THAT. It's better.