Saturday, January 25, 2020

Give the South to African-Americans

A few days ago, I snarkily tweeted, “Give the southern states to African-Americans as part of reparations.” I was not proposing a separate African-American republic, but Doug1943 took my remark that way and commented that this was a 1930s Comintern position. I did not know that, but it turns out to be true. An extended history of the matter, “The Communist Party and Black Liberation in the 1930s” with a map, even, was published in the now-defunct International Socialist Review in 1997. (That archive may not last. If you care about such things, download a copy.) The idea of a black country, which turns out to be called black separatism, was not only a Communist one. It has a long history and survives to this day as part of the ideology of the Nation of Islam. The broader idea of black nationalism – that African-Americans ought to see themselves as one people, and organize to support each other – has a history that goes to the founding of the USA and, in some sense, is part of the thinking of most African-Americans.
Doug goes on to object to what he calls “identity politics,” complains it is a destructive project, and goes on to complain that the left is using it to attack patriotism. To which I say that most powerful identity politics in the USA has always been white identity politics, that it has been present in the USA from the very beginning, and that what the left can do and say has been nowhere near as destructive of US patriotism than white supremacism and the treason of the Republican Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Trump, all strongly supported by their party.
So, back to the South.
My original remark was sarcasm, but I would like to take it seriously, at least for the purposes of this post. Ta-Nehisi Coates, the current leading advocate of reparations (his 2014 article in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” is important, and you should read it) argues for financial compensation for acts against African-Americans. There are fortunes and estates in the South surviving from the times of slavery. These could be confiscated and offered to African-Americans. It would be difficult. There would be enormous practical problems with doing so – who gets this property, who administers this property? Coates addresses some of these in a subsequent article, “The Radical Practicality of Reparations” but it would not be an easy project.
The project also raises broader questions. If African-Americans are owed reparations, what about Native Americans? What reparation even is possible to Natives? So much of history is expropriation of one people’s land by another people. So many peoples have claims and counterclaims. Still, studying the question and proposing solutions would be worthwhile. If the whole of the injustice cannot be remedied, which I think is probably the case, what remedies are possible?

8 comments:

JACKIESUE said...

holy crap..I can hear General Lee flopping over in his grave..

Raven Onthill said...

LOL.

Alternative energy source?

But enough is enough. We have to end racism in the USA. I want never again to see the likes of what is being done on the southern border. I want never again to hear of a black person shot by police for no reason other than the color of their skin.

The Blog Fodder said...

While you solve that problem, tackle the Israelis vs the Palestinians who both claim the same land. You could do better than Trump.

Raven Onthill said...

LOLsob

Doug1943 said...

The chief obstacle to an African-American homeland in the South, is the whites who currently live there. They would need to be displaced. If they didn't go voluntarily, they would have to 'persuaded', through terror. This is the usual way the human race re-organizes itself when its tribes have gotten too interpenetrated.

The most recent spectacular example of this was the former Yugoslavia. Burma today gives us another model. The division of Cyprus, another. Whoever invented the slogan "Diversity is Strength" had probably just finished reading 1984.

With enough killing, the whites can be persuaded to go. Simple killing is not enough... prolonged excruciating torture and mutilation before death will have a much stronger effect -- South Africa today provides some examples. Children should not, of course, be exempt.

But ... it will be much easier to drive the whites out, if the survivors have someplace to go. I strongly suggest the Northwest states, as a kind of 'Red America', which can then be expelled from the union.

Doug1943 said...

Restorative justice -- reparations -- for Native Americans is extremely simple: every European who is not a hypocrite must return to Europe.

Honest people know that they are living on stolen property. Keeping it, knowing that it belongs to someone else, would be like keeping someone's valued gold watch, which your father stole from them and gave to you.

All honest Europeans must leave, and do so fairly quickly. This call must be spread over the whole country. Then, after a year or two, the only white people left will be the racist deplorables, and insufferable hypocrites.

Raven Onthill said...

And, obviously, African-Americans should go back to Africa. But you didn’t mention them, because you are only concerned about white people.

I am not talking about establishing new ethnostates. I am talking about transforming an existing white ethnostate into a multiracial society as befits the 21st century. We cannot go on with nationalist states endlessly in conflict: we will destroy civilization and utterly fail in our response to global environmental degradation.

Raven Onthill said...

I am haunted by philosopher Gregory Bateson's remark: "Your survival unit will be your and your folks or conspecifics against the environment of other social units, other races, and the brutes and vegetables. If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell."