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Old 10-06-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Well-written piece. Having traveled extensively throughout Latin America, I agree with all you say. My original goal was just to have a little 'fun' with your post....but you've given us much to ponder here...and I know it to be true.

I have a complex 'take' on many of these issues, and enjoy reading lucid and well-focused writings such as yours...
Gracias........

 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
What, exactly, is "ethnic?"
One on my MANY 'pet peeves'...part of the great PC movement, I believe. Every human being on earth is a member of one or more ethnicities. Every restaurant is an "ethnic" restaurant, all music is "ethnic" music, and every neighborhood is an "ethnic" one.

"Ethnic" has simply come to be a euphemism for those groups not QUITE assimilated into mainstream American society. It's really NOT a good use of the word...but then again, neither are many OTHER 'buzzwords"...such as 'diversity'. Diversity REALLY means 'having a variety of characteristics'...but in fact, today it is understood to mean not a variety of political leanings, or hobbies, or ages, or heights, body-types, or professions..."Diversity" as it's used today, almost EXCLUSIVELY refers to race. There is currently a thread decrying the "lack of diversity" in Portland, Oregon....not because the place has no poor people, or rich people, or homeless people, or PhD's, or communists, or bikers, or stamp collectors, Buddhists, atheists, Catholics, Russians, physicists, or soccer fans....the 'lack of diversity' mentioned in the thread refers SPECIFICALLY to a place "80% white" as being insufficiently diverse..in a way that can be seen VISUALLY. Pretty clear in THAT thread what type of 'diversity' we're discussing.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benicar View Post
Perhaps not, but I amÖÖ..and I agree with his/her comments. I am not condoning slavery for one second. In my opinion, it was the most egregious crime against humanity in U.S. history. However, it would be disingenuous, to say the least, if I didnít admit Iím glad I was born here, as opposed to ANYWHERE in Africa.

Something vile (slavery) resulted in good. It does not justify slavery, but it certainly makes it a little easier to swallow (at least for me). Had it not been for some of my ancestors being brought here as slaves, I would not exist -- being a descendant of African slaves, White Americans of German descent, and Crow Indians.

My mom was once insulted by an African, who had the audacity to call her a ďmongrel.Ē She quickly retorted, ďAt least Iím not running around hacking people with machetes, mutilating young girls, living in abject poverty, and worshipping rats and snakes.Ē Of course, that was a generalization, but Iím sure he got the message.
I am laughing despite myself...........when I was in college, many Africans regarded me with disrespect because I saw myself as an African and spent my (academic) life researching the culture, history and religion of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora. While some Africans appreciated my interest, I have to say many, many more were disdainful. It really hurt me at first, but then I realized that it was the ancestors of these people who had been very instrumental in selling my ancestors - their people - to Europeans. It didn't change my disappointment, but it did help me understand myself more. I still think of myself as an African, but as an African from the diaspora. I am also fully American and fully Latino. It's a hard burden to bear, but I'm a big dude.

I still can't see the actual history of the Middle Passage and slavery as being beneficial to anyone, especially when speaking of the horrific things my slave ancestors went through. It is not only in America that African people are still suffering the aftereffects; all over Latin America the descendants of slaves are the most reviled, economically distressed and psychologically damaged people. Look at cities like Rio de Janeiro, Buenaventura, Colombia, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, all violent, crime-ridden places, for examples. I am happy to be from America in terms of my economic, educational and physical well-being, but my family still endures the aftermath of slavery. No matter how you slice it, that continues.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
I am laughing despite myself...........when I was in college, many Africans regarded me with disrespect because I saw myself as an African and spent my (academic) life researching the culture, history and religion of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora. While some Africans appreciated my interest, I have to say many, many more were disdainful. It really hurt me at first, but then I realized that it was the ancestors of these people who had been very instrumental in selling my ancestors - their people - to Europeans. It didn't change my disappointment, but it did help me understand myself more. I still think of myself as an African, but as an African from the diaspora. I am also fully American and fully Latino. It's a hard burden to bear, but I'm a big dude.

I still can't see the actual history of the Middle Passage and slavery as being beneficial to anyone, especially when speaking of the horrific things my slave ancestors went through. It is not only in America that African people are still suffering the aftereffects; all over Latin America the descendants of slaves are the most reviled, economically distressed and psychologically damaged people. Look at cities like Rio de Janeiro, Buenaventura, Colombia, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, all violent, crime-ridden places, for examples. I am happy to be from America in terms of my economic, educational and physical well-being, but my family still endures the aftermath of slavery. No matter how you slice it, that continues.
I certainly will not attempt to refute this. It is a fact. However, have you ever pondered the vast disparities between the descendants of slaves born in the U.S., and those in the countries you have referenced?

Last edited by Benicar; 10-06-2008 at 01:33 PM.. Reason: typo
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,757 posts, read 32,891,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benicar View Post
I certainly will not attempt to refute this. It is a fact. However, have you ever pondered the vast disparities between the descendants of slaves born in the U.S., and those in the countries you have referenced?
In an economic sense, sure, there are vast disparities. I have seen stuff in Rio that defies description. But that still doesn't obscure the fact that problems here continue......
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,148 posts, read 36,611,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
In an economic sense, sure, there are vast disparities. I have seen stuff in Rio that defies description. But that still doesn't obscure the fact that problems here continue......
......and; please consider the tremendous gains that 'Black' America has accomplished in just the last 50 odd years up to and probably seeing our first US President 'of color'.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:45 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,610,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benicar View Post
I certainly will not attempt to refute this. It is a fact. However, have you ever pondered the vast disparities between the descendants of slaves born in the U.S., and those in the countries you have referenced?
From one of your biggest fans, "well said"...in fact, I was searching for the words to say pretty much just that. Point well taken!

Meanwhile, of course, the world goes on...and so does slavery itself, in many places, including some of the original 'locales' very close to where American slaves originated 400 years ago.

You can't deny history and its bitter lessons. But you CAN, if you choose to, take advantage of the 'here and now'.

"Living well is the best revenge", as they say...
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Maryland
15,179 posts, read 15,807,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunil's Dad View Post
In an economic sense, sure, there are vast disparities. I have seen stuff in Rio that defies description. But that still doesn't obscure the fact that problems here continue......
Absolutely not, and that wasn't my point. There is nothing we can do to alter history. Slavery existed, and we are still experiencing residuals. However, it is time to accept responsibility for conditions today. I simply don't believe we can attribute ALL to slavery and past injustices. Why do you believe Haitians, for example, have not prospered?
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,757 posts, read 32,891,787 times
Reputation: 11780
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaBear View Post
......and; please consider the tremendous gains that 'Black' America has accomplished in just the last 50 odd years up to and probably seeing our first US President 'of color'.
All true, and I can't wait for Obama to get in and try to make things better.....
 
Old 10-06-2008, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,757 posts, read 32,891,787 times
Reputation: 11780
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benicar View Post
Absolutely not, and that wasn't my point. There is nothing we can do to alter history. Slavery existed, and we are still experiencing residuals. However, it is time to accept responsibility for conditions today. I simply don't believe we can attribute ALL to slavery and past injustices. Why do you believe Haitians, for example, have not prospered?
There are many, many reasons for that. The first is that after the Revolution in 1804, Haiti was made into a pariah state; Europe controlled commerce and trade and nobody would do business with them. Of course, then we also have the legacy of horrific, cynical, thieving dictators.

Now Haiti is a failed state, a narcoeconomy where the small elite continues to rape the population. There are no natural resources left, and the population has skyrocketed to the point where the country simply cannot feed itself.
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