Racism and Higher Education : How Things Work #2

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I’ve never known a person who believed it was racist to simply notice the differentness in another person…UNTIL I began meeting people who had learned it as a method of observation, a diagnosis, even as a social rule. And all in college.

So it was those entire courses of teaching; in Sociology, Education, Psychology, Political Science, entire departments even, were re-designed and built on identifying a particular kind of differentness between people, not just the color of their skin, but in the fashion of clothes they wore, the music they liked to listen to, and sang, even the way they worshipped when they were in church, that at one time expressed a vision of the average 10-year old, just by observing his community through his or her own eyes, or through radio and television, and picking up whatever tidbits they could from his friends in school and from around the dinner table.

What you probably don’t know is that this method of identification has had ancient roots. Most strong people looked down on weaker people, and eventually discovered ways to control them to their benefit. But not by all strong people. And never forever.

Most smarter people also looked down on less smart people, and eventually discovered ways to control them to their own profit. But not by all strong people. And never forever.

You can see where this line of thinking is leading, for as civilization progressed, and societies became more complex, say a thousand years ago, educated people also began looking down on less educated people, and have also looked for ways to control them to their benefit. I would count Karl Marx as a pioneer in the development of this power-niche. His ideas about communism aside, he also spoke for most of the underpaid intellectuals living on wages well beneath what they thought they were worth. They too wanted a high promontory from which they could look down on their lessers.

So, in this very ancient power game of dividing people by strong-weak, smart-and-unsmart, and educated and uneducated, dividing people by race as a means of control is fairly late to the game, for the original “strong people” mentioned above, had been enslaving weaker people for at least 5000 years, irrespective of race. The American Indian tribes were masters of the slave craft, as noted by the Spanish and French priests who explored North America in the 16th and 17th Centuries. In fact, the Spanish and Portuguese became quite adept at enslaving the Indians themselves.

History Note: It was the pope of Christopher Columbus, Alexander VI, 1493, who decreed that newly-discovered native peoples could be enslaved. This rule covered the period of the major Spanish conquests between 1500-to-1530; Brazil, Peru and Mexico, which turned Columbus’ original search for a shorter route to India into a gold rush. That sort of makes all this recent statue tearing down by “educated people” a kind of proxy action, i.e., against the wrong guy. Since I can hire a team of uneducated white, brown or black kids, male or female, to tear down any statue for about $50 each, plus a can of gasoline and paint, the question becomes why is it people who purport to be educated who actually do this or cheer it on.?

Back to history, it was only this one pope, Alexander, who carved out this rule, because his successor, Pope Paul III, in 1537, stopped the practice, saying native Americans could no longer be enslaved. There was also some mention, as pertained to slaves from Africa, whose slavery was still permitted, that if the Africans been baptized, they could not be sold into “full slavery”. This means that all the “educated” people in America today, from Sen Tim Kaine (whose face I’d like to see superimposed over one of the many artworks of Columbus kneeling on the beach in Hispaniola), in fact the entire Democratic political class, many, many educated in Law, the Obamas, “The New York Times”, the entire media establishment who have all paid homage to August,1619 as the unofficial “Slave Month” in America. Even Google has tried to bury it, but it turns out all those “Slaves or 1619” had been baptized, and the Portuguese who sold them made their terms of sale to be as as indentured servants, which no one is sure was 7 or 13 years. In other word, by 1632 at the latest, these original slaves were free, doing a great deal of damage to, among other things, what it means to be “educated” in America these days. (Indentured servitude was a kind of slavery too, but practiced on whites more often than Africans, so it served no Google purpose to so easily confuse the modern evils of racial slavery with a broader practice that included whites.)

Slavery gets even more interesting as we get deeper into North American history, for both the early French traders in Canada and the Mississippi Valley in the 17th Century, and the Americans who became a nation in the 18th, discovered that the American Indian tribes did a bustling business is slavery, only between themselves. Lewis and Clark noted this all along their trek up to the Missouri River source, and down the Columbia to the Pacific. They met tribes that even the French and British trappers hadn’t met. And they all dabbled in slavery, all by conquest. (They also had some interesting observations about Indian promiscuity, which incidentally, was not universal. Certain laws of nature applied to their ultimate survival, which I’ll discuss at a later time.)

This is not going to become a treatise, for there are dozens of ways to look at this sad fact, that people aren’t actually educated enough to know that that they don’t know. (The Cleese Rule is just one barometer, and one you’ll find that explains a lot of false impressions especially in government, but also many others that are “expert-driven”.)

Nor is this rocket science. Knowing How Things Work means reducing them to their lowest common denominator, only, not about race per se, or slavery per se, but how people have been taught to think these things while not really knowing very much about them.

I saw only yesterday on Twitter a photo from the “Mary Poppins” film from 1964, a cute musical with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, and winner of four Academy Awards, with all sorts of songs that two generations of children heard in several different mediums. The photo was of Mary and Dick and other chimney sweeps with their faces covered in coal soot, a substance that was common all over America well into the 1970s, when coal was still used to heat homes.

Some bright person had posted this as yet another example of “black face” racism, likely under the misapprehension based entirely on the lack of knowledge that such a profession as chimney sweeps (people who cleaned chimneys) or that coal-fired furnaces ever existed. And most of those people, almost all white since black people (except college-educated ones) would ever seek to make that connection in the first place. Key: Only college educated kids would be trained (conditioned) to look for any buried symbolism in such an innocent picture. But since, in the Victorian era virginal-to-the-point-of-eccentricity young women had been trained similarly to find sexual connotations in the way frankfurters were shaped, so the idea isn’t new.

But what is required to pull this off are two educated minds, one a cynical teacher, with a specific purpose, and the other a blank slate innocent which were easy to pick out of a crowd in the 60s, so much more easy today. I’ll leave the Freudian part out of it, but in the rise of political leftism in the 1960s on America’s campuses, these were the students most targeted by leftwing professors. So again this tactic is at least 50 years old. In my lifetime. I’ve seen it. So I didn’t have to read up on it as I did about Lewis and Clark’s observations about the general “venereal” condition of squaws among many of the tribes they encountered along the way. And yes, Sacajawea was not among them. She was “married”…without benefit of clergy.

So there is an easy identifiable difference between someone who is uneducated and one who is stupid. Stupid you have to work at. I would wager, if you took 50, 1000 young uneducated black kids, male or female, living in a government plantation environment, and tested them against a similar number of white, or black, and a mix of both, young people with an expanding list of liberal arts degrees, from sociology to pre-law, you’d find the uneducated blacks would test as high if not higher in IQ, and in areas of common sense (critical thinking) much much higher.

Bottom line: The majority of the genuinely stupid in America are young college students and graduates.

That is the big problem that has to be addressed and fixed. It will take many years.

What also has to be addressed and fixed on a much shorter leash are the people who cynically (politically) train (teach, sic) them.

And third, even more urgently, find near term, the next 4-5 years, ways to mitigate the damage these “educated stupids” can cause, especially at the ballot box.

My general inclination is that the quickest answer would be to separate federal elections from state/local elections, both in terms of venue, and maybe even day. That way no illegal can be allowed on the premises under the pretense of voting for county dog catcher. But that would also include testing citizens, all of us, to prove our basic understanding of just what being a citizen means, and what the roles of Congress and President and federalism mean. (I’d put our Republican base up against any other group.)

But more importantly, I believe 50% of recent college grads would fail. And I think America needs a few years of open seas by denying them the franchise until they stop being stupid.

More on that as we proceed, but in case you need to be reminded of who Miss Stupid is:

 

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VASSAR BUSHMILLS

Contact:           VassarB@gmail.com                Twitter: BushmillsVassar

Support:          Yes, I’ve never paid been a nickel to write. I now have plans to move on some projects. Your help would be appreciated.

Donations can be made to veteranstales@gmail.com via Paypal

Books:                Famous Common People I Have Known and Other Essays

                            Donald Trump, the Common Man and the American Theology of Liberty   (2016, pre-election)

(Both books in Kindle format only at Amazon.com, would love to add chapters,  and turn into print copies. Publishers welcome.)

 

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