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Old June 24th, 2015, 10:25 AM
Michael_Stones Michael_Stones is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 627

Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
So this is not just a black thing and a white thing. We're all guilty. blacks, Catholics, Protestants, Arabs and Jews. Everybody, directly or indirectly benefitted from the slavery of the African tribes that were extracted criminally from their homelands.
A couple of points to do with the quote. "We're all guilty"? No we're not. This form of simplistic stereotyping (whether based on racial, religious, or whatever grounds) is historically and philosophically ridiculous. Historically ridiculous because (for example) my ancestors, at the time in question, were peasant farmers or workers employed by England's industrial revolution. Whatever benefits (if any) that occurred to them indirectly because of slavery in the southern US were more than counterbalanced by the misery of working in those 'dark Satanic mills'. The same, I'm sure, applied to the vast majority of world's working people at the time. They became "industrial slaves" with little more freedom of choice than those working on plantations an ocean away. To imply that they were 'guilty' insults their memory.

Philosophically ridiculous because the descendants, even of those directly involved in slavery (e.g., business people or drunks shanghaied onto slaving ships), have no responsibility for the actions of their ancestors. Unless you subscribe to the no less ridiculous proposition that the sins of ancestors should carry forward to succeeding generations, which I'm sure you do not.

The obverse of stereotyping members of an 'out-group' by blaming all members of an 'in-group' for whatever misfortunes happened to the former is just another form of simplistic stereotyping that inhibits better understanding of ways to rectify lasting effects of those misfortunes. Symbolic gestures like banning a flag are all very well, but my guess is that they might mean more after successful rectification of those problems (e.g., the Canadian government apologized, made financial restitution, and established community consultations about Residential Schooling effects on aboriginals after the abolition of those schools). The USA has done well with respect to racial integration during the past few decades but issues clearly remain (e.g., recent examples of apparent antagonism of white cops to black kids). Banning a flag seems a cheap, easy, and rather meaningless way to divert attention from having to confront a problem.

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