kbevans at panix.com
Mon Apr 1 23:44:09 MST 1996
I agree, of course that the bourgeois meritocracy "market" is indeed
rigged. And, of course, even if the contest for meritocratic domination was
completely fair, it would be unacceptable anyway. A contest for rewards based
on skills is fine, except when the reward for the skill is to then own the
game in which one "competes". If a bad system applies equitably, it is still
a bad system.
As for "African-American" I still object to it, for the most part.
If one is talking about the general experience of Africans in the Americas,
fine. If one is talking about Africans as a separate "ethnic" group from
some greater "American" identity, not at all. African Americans are the
founding fathers. They are the people who define the culture - the American
culture. There is no longer anything "African" about it - It's what American
means. "African-American" when used (as it is always used) as compared to
"Irish-American", or "Greek-American" is an insult to Africans' role in
*creating" the original culture. One never hears about "British-Americans"
does one? Yet Africans were here at the beginning, and formed the culture
>from the very first. Everything identifiably American is influenced by their
presence. One of the most widespread, if not the most widespread, American
expressions - "Okay" - is from an African language.
As for your final point that discrimination is something we create
and therefore something we can control - agreed. The question is how to do
it. I argue that discrimination based on "race" and gender are so
fundamental that they can only be rooted out by changing the logic at the
base of society from a competitive to a cooperative nature. We can only end
discrimination by forcing people to build alliances to earn their bread.
Fortunately, capitalism has done that forcing for us.
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