[Marxism] Notes on David Brion Davis' review

gregory meyerson gmeyerson at triad.rr.com
Wed Nov 1 19:03:31 MST 2006


man: did you cherry pick.


I'm done.

g
On Nov 1, 2006, at 8:01 PM, Austin, Andrew wrote:

>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
> [mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of gregory
> meyerson
> Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 6:38 PM
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] Notes on David Brion Davis' review
>
> http://clogic.eserver.org/1-2/allen.html
>
> see sections vi-viii.
>
> they contest much of what you say and imply below.
>
> * * *
>
> Actually, Gregory, these facts support what I have been saying.
>
> "English ship captain Richard Jobson made a trading voyage to Africa in
> 1620-21, but he refused to engage in trafficking in human beings,
> because, he said, the English 'were a people who did not deal in any
> such commodities, neither did we buy or sell one another or any that 
> had
> our own shapes.' When the local dealer insisted that it was the custom
> there so sell Africans 'to white men,' Jobson answered 'they [that is
> "white men"] were another kinde of people from us....'"
>
> Looks like Jobson was dinstingished from the white men the Africans had
> encountered before.  "White" being how the Africans understood those
> they were selling Africans to.  This in the first half of the 17th
> century.
>
> Of course they couldn't find the word white in the early record because
> the position of power does not define itself in racial terms because it
> is the position of normality.  However, nonwhites - blacks/Negroes - 
> are
> referred to throughout the documentary evidence because Africans were
> not white.
>
> The fact that a Virginia law passed in 1691 refers to "English or other
> white women" does not mean at all that this law created the concept of
> race - i.e. white women - but on the contrary proves that the concept 
> of
> the white race exists prior to the writing of the law.  In fact, laws
> are often written only when there is some pressure against the existing
> norm and its assumptions such that an external coercive mechanism must
> be established to officially compel compliance to the norm.  This is 
> the
> case with establishing slave law.  So the idea that there were black 
> and
> white is the background against which the law is written - it assumes
> all this as reality - not the initial moment of race in the colonies.
>
> Why do people miss this obvious point?  (It's a rhetorical question.  I
> actually know why.)
>
> "Early in June 1640 three Virginia bond-laborers, 'Victor, a
> Dutchman...a Scotch Man called James Gregory...[and] a Negro named John
> Punch,' escaped together to Maryland."  There it is again, the term
> "Negro."  Negro means "black."  So they are differentiating people 
> based
> on race at least as early as during the first half of the 17th century,
> if we only take this quote.
>
> That's what I have been saying.
>
> This is my sixth post of the day, so I will have to post more tomorrow
> if I need to.
>
> Andrew
> Socius_awa at hotmail.com
>
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