Cal Eastman (shiva@FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU)
Tue, 7 Jun 1994 09:53:42 18000
While i think afirmative action etc, serves a uselful pupose, in many
cases its gone too far. For example, while i think that blacks who are
descended from slaves in the US deserve some compensatory action, a
black who emigrates here for economic reasons does not. They were not
injured by this system, nor are they owed anything over anyone else
looking to better their lives by coming to the US. My family came here
after WW@ as holocaust survivors, they did not speak the language, and
were not part of the mainstream culture. My mother sttruggled to
become a doctor in a time when people were asking her if she wouldnt
perfer to be a nurse, and told her if she doesnt like it shre can
always go back to her husband and family and stop fooling around.
Within a year my father had his own contracting business. Theyt did
ont get this fare by complaining that they were slaves (and they were,
ont their parents or grandparents or however many generations an
amewrican black has to go back to find a slave) and refugees, and
politcally unpopular. They got it through working through the
discrimination they were experienceing.
I was recently speaking with a leading member of NY's black community,
head of teh citizens action group (who are teh go betweens between teh
state and teh homeless shelters). We were discussing the historical
tie between the blacks and jews in this century in america, and the
loss both communities were experiencing to to the split that has
occured between them. That split ground teh civil rights movement to a
halt, because teh two most powerful groups outside teh mainstream
of white american society no longer worked together. In the
conversation we talked about how both grups had a problem with the
difference between remembering the past and working from it, and with
being stuck in the past, and not moving anywhere. At this juncture he
said something interesting to me.. he said that the black communities
stuck in the space where they expect mainstream society to pay for
past ills, rather than moving from the present onwords. He said one
idea would be to find all teh descendants of slave families in america
and compenate them materially, once. He took the idea of teh 40 acres
and a mule, said that that was something material that was promised..
fugure the value of that and compensate all teh slave descendants that
amount... Then he said the black community could move on from this
mire they are stuck in, and continue to move as part of american
society, without waiting for soemone elses help.
An interesting idea.