Which is all I've been saying in the first place. Not offended, just seeing this tweet for what it is...a joke in bad taste.
Just to be clear, I'm not agreeing with you. I don't think that the joke was in poor taste. I said "at worst" it was in poor taste, as a rebuke to your claim that Chris Rock was some how alligning himself against the legacy of the civil rights movement.
With respect to the question of whether or not independence benefited the slave population, I'm inclined to think that this is wishful thinking seeing as how whatever King George thought about the slave trade, slavery was outlawed in Britain and in its colonies decades before it was made illegal in the US. And even after that, as I've written, there were systems of forced labor put into place that enslaved blacks well into the 20th century. I'm not saying that independence was a bad thing overall, I'm just not sure that I can agree with you on this point.
Claiming that the Independence Day holiday is a "white's only" affair really doesn't promote understanding, wouldn't you say?
I don't think that the claim is that independence day is
a whites only holiday, it's more that it was
a whites only holiday at the time. Mr. Blackwell brought up a 4th of July speech by Frederick Douglass that expounds upon this topic.
But the Rev. Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Malik Zulu Shabazz are black leaders who see a racist behind every tree and constantly rub our noses in our shit.
Malik Zulu Shabazz is not really much of a "black leader," however we define that term. He's certainly a leader who is black but he doesn't have anything like a broad based constituancy in the black community. The New Black Panther Party is the fringe of the fringe. It's a Nation of Islam offshoot that's denounced by everyone from the original Black Panther Party to the Southern Poverty Law Center. I'm really amazed that you would even bring this guy up. Whatever Fox News or The Blaze or the Daily Caller might want to say, he and his organization are just not comperable to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton and their respective organizations and networks, whatever their faults those men may have. Honestly, I find the comparison to be a bit insulting to the reverends.
I remember walking through Times Square back in 1999 and stopping for a moment with all the other white tourists to listen to a street preacher lambaste the white devil. He was literally standing on a soap box. It made my fiance extremely nervous so I didn't tarry for too long.
I guess what I'd say to this is that there's a comedian by the name of Elon James White who has a specific name for that sort of thing. He usually calls radical, conspiratorial nonsense either "125th Street logic" after dudes in Harlem that are always on about the white man doing this or that to the black man or "putting on the Wonder Woman bracelets," which is a stab at the Black Israelites that have a lot of things to say about a lot of things. These people are there in the black community in the same way that there are fringe groups in the white community. We all have our crazies. But...actually I'm not sure that I have a point here. I really don't even know why you brought this up.
Do you find the fact that you were never a slave and I never owned a slave offensive? Or was it offensive that I had the gall to make such an obvious statement?
Nah, looking back I actually misread what you wrote. I thought you were writing that I was somehow holding slavery against you, which wasn't what you were saying it looks like. I took the footnote when I quoted you, which throws the whole context out of wack. So nah, retracted.
As for black folks abroad:
If you don't believe me, name ten famous black European men or women.
....uh....okay?...why not! Since you apparently can't think of any, I'll even tell you what they're known for too.
Idris Alba (actor, he's in that movie Prometheus that I've been hearing bad things about, but I loved him in The Wire and I liked him in Luther too)
Zadie Smith (writer, I think I could listen to her speak all day)
Thandie Newton (you might remember her for portraying the aforementioned Condi Rice in that Oliver Stone movie, W)
Dizzee Rascal (rapper, probably the closest thing that the UK has had to a cross over to the US rap market....or maybe it's Tinie Tempah, I only know half of what the kids are listening to these days, I've seen him show up on sound scans but I never hear him mentioned)
Wiley (another rapper whose music I like quite a lot and sometimes even post on this very website)
Scorcher (a rapper and actually a pretty good actor it turns out)
Kano (same, I don't know how famous either of them really are in the UK, but I just finished watching Top Boy on Netflix, which they were both in and I thought they did a good job)
Lennox Lewis (boxer and all around cool brother, I wish he was still on HBO)
Taio Cruz (musician, he's responsible for some of the dancier stuff on urban radio here in the US)
Jordan Stephens and Alexander Sule (I had to look their individual names up, they have a group called Rizzle Kicks that's apparently popular in England and that my little cousin quite likes, she thinks they're cute, but they haven't really crossed over here yet...I think they probably could take a bite out of that teen pop market pretty easily if their label ever decides to market them here)
(I think it's also worth noting that one of the most famous black entertainers in America right now is a Canadian who raps under the name of Drake.)
Anyway, those are all people from England, almost all of them are musicians and half are rappers. I think that kind of shows where my interest in Europe is. I'm sure I'd be able to come up with more examples if I spoke a little French or German or something, though. And I'm sure the Europeans here can give you some examples besides rapity rappers from the UK. In any case, I think the fact that you can't name many famous black Europeans probably has more to do with the media you consume and with media markets more broadly than with economic opportunity in our respective continents. If you look at film, you'd probably have a much easier time seeing an American movie in the UK or France than the other way around, right? And you've probably seen some black Europeans on TV and in film without knowing it. The aforementioned Idris Alba does a good American accent and so you'd be forgiven for not knowing the dude that played Stringer Bell is actually from London. The same is true of say, dude from Homeland....David Harewood.
But to get back to the more important point, I don't think that this whole exercise does much to illuminate a conversation about racial disparities or ugly racial histories. Jay-Z, for example, is obscenly rich. He also came up in a place (Bed Stuy) and in a time (the mid 80s) that was kind of crazy, even for a slum. The fact that he managed to succeed does not somehow speak to the greatness of our institutions. He was an exception to the rule. What happened to all those other kids from Marcy? I mean, even if I can't think of anyone famous from say, Bayridge, I'd bet that someone from there would have a better shot at financial success than someone from East New York, even though I can think of some famous people that are from there.