The Instigator
SnoopyCafe
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Adam2isback
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Is there an African-American culture?

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after 1 vote the winner is...
SnoopyCafe
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 697 times Debate No: 65914
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

SnoopyCafe

Con

Although the term “African-American History” is misunderstood, it pales in comparison to the confusion around the term, “African-American Culture”. Native Americans had a civilization and culture. As America expanded we destroyed their civilization, but much of their chosen culture, distinct from American culture, remains on Indian lands and reservations today. In that light, it makes sense to have a National Museum of the American Indian. It does not make sense to have a National Museum of African-American History and Culture (see my other debate on African-American history).

To be clear, I’m not talking about African-American culture in the context of watered down historical links between Blacks and the African continent. Nor, some Alex Haley-esque expedition to find one’s roots. The context of I’m speaking of is that used by individuals and entities, which fue stereotypes and discrimination based on the incorrect assertion that culture is assigned by race.

Africans were kidnapped from their homelands and culture and brought to America as slaves. Those slaves and their descendants were not allowed to assimilate with Americans, were severely oppressed, and denied basic freedoms, namely: education, wages, decent housing, investment, nutrition, land ownership, business ownership, family structure, access to the political system, representation, healthcare, control of their destiny, etc. for more than two centuries. The profound ramifications of these social barriers were not the creation of a new “African-American” culture, but a new reality for a subclass of American society. What emanated were a series of adverse consequences that reverberate today and likely for generations to come as the ripple effects of three centuries of American history and culture continue to fan out.

The effects of said consequences were devastating. If an entire race is un or under-educated and poor, that reduces the amount of investments, number of college grads, doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, or other professionals thereby blocking any meaningful participation in the financial system. So even when the “arc of the moral universe” (Dr. King) finally bends justice enough for a people to compete, that starting is so far behind that they may never catch up en masse.

Hitler understood that to eliminate the Jews he needed to make them different in the eyes of the German people.

ghetto

[get-oh] Spell Syllables

noun, plural ghettos, ghettoes.

1. a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group,often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

2.(formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.

3. a section predominantly inhabited by Jews.

It’s interesting to note the evolution of the word “ghetto”. Under the most brutal and inhumane conditions, Jews had to adapt their social habits; communications, diets, attire, and personal interactions. Those adaptations were not cultural, they did this to survive the conditions of their environment. From antebellum plantation life through to today’s ghettos, people do the same thing, try to survive. Maybe the most dangerous aspect of the idea an African-American culture is human nature. When confronted with a view of two options, humans will inevitably compare them and tend to recognize distinctions or more to the point, discriminate (often unconsciously).

According to Dr. King (Bruner, 2011), “Soft Mindedness is one of the basic causes of race prejudice…Race prejudice is based on groundless fears, suspicions, and misunderstandings.“. He believed that, soft minded people are gullible; they take the printed word of the press as final truth and their minds are constantly being invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and false facts. Dr. King said that, “One of the great needs of mankind is to be lifted above the morass of false propaganda.” (Bruner, 2011).

As we see the powder keg of tension in Ferguson, MO with robust gun sales it sounds like the Hatfields and McCoys. This is what happens when people see each other not as fellow Americans, but rather as superior/inferior and having a different culture.

The variance of views and perspectives amongst Blacks is as wide as any other racial group. Yet, blacks are portrayed as one group in society. If I hear the phrase, the “black community”, “black art”, “black literature” one more time… Jay-Z is not John Legend, Dr. King was not Malcolm X, Colin Powell is not Louis Farrakhan, Justice Clarence Thomas is not Dave Chappell. They are all individuals with different views. The one and only assumption one could make about their commonalities is that they each put on their pants one leg at a time.


According to a recent article in the Huffington Post (Nov., 2014), “Some African-Americans Remain Skeptical Over Bill Cosby Rape Allegations On Social Media”. Really? Just like any other race; some do, some don’t, and some maybe, but the media and American culture have this incessant fixation with labels. Other than it’s appeal to soft minded readers, I find no reason for the title of the Huffington Post article. The implication is that regardless of the facts or lack thereof, African-Americans will respond as a group like a school of fish to some stimuli.

This constant racial labeling comes from all sides, my mother being one of the worst offenders that I know. In most conversations where my wife is present my mother will inevitably try to annex some food dish, tradition, or historic first, “African-American-”. I don’t think she does it to be boastful, it’s more generational. All people invariably need a cultural identity to complete their person, Blacks living in a very segregated and racist south were no exception. My mother is a baby-boomer and on occasion I try to explain to my wife and especially my daughter how different life was for Blacks in the 1950s-60s. Blacks were ostracized from the American mainstream and one of the few outlets my mother had to recognize her identity was to “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud…”. Even in that era, American history was being written as African-Americans continued to scale the walls of oppression and discrimination. Unfortunately, our educational system was not updated overnight to take into account this change. Many Blacks took it upon themselves to recognize and more importantly pass down accounts of Black progress. Those accounts along with family traditions helped to create a cultural identity outside of the mainstream from which they were banned.

To illustrate the ways of manipulating soft minded people, Dr. King quoted (Bruner, 2011) Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf : “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few. By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell—and hell, heaven…the greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.” (Bruner, 2011).

It’s not surprising why many believe there is a separate African-American culture. Shackled by our own history, the media, government, and individuals of all races have been brainwashed by repetitive images and sound bites which perpetuates a, “They vs Us” mentality and sustains an artificial social barriers between where we are and where we should be as one nation.


There is no separate African-American culture, to the contrary, generations of slaves and their descendants epitomized the most admirable of American values and culture by tremendous sacrifice, endurance, improvisation, rebellion, fighting against all odds and institutionalized tyranny.

We have an American society and culture where segments have been historically disadvantaged by institutionalized racism and discrimination. The concept of a separate African-American culture implies that previous generations of Blacks had the same choices or opportunities for their lives as their White counterparts and somehow made bad choices. It also means that no matter how hard current and future generations of Blacks try to live the American dream or be a part of the American mainstream culture, they are summarily assigned a different culture at birth.

This gives the electorate, so-called intellectuals, and government a “guilt-free” pass when they become tired of dealing with the intractable problems such as education gaps and wealth inequality. According to a Washington Post article (2014), race wealth inequality between Whites and Blacks has grown substantially, “in 2000, white households had a net worth 10.6 times larger than blacks; by 2011 it was 17.5” (Badger, 2014). Many, would assign the primary reason for this disparity as cultural, instead of recognizing the consequences of our American history.


At birth and in death we are all the same...what happens in between are things that we do to each other. If we can be tough-minded, then one day we might actually be able to live as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.


Adam2isback

Pro

While segregation was indeed applied to all blacks, not all blacks were slaves. Many blacks immigrated to this country. The only thing free and slave blacks had in common was they were discriminated against. Many African immigrants brought that with them to New York, Philly, Washington DC, Richmond, and Boston. Now, the whole thing with slavery and destroying their culture was not intended. Their intention was to exploit and oppress slaves to get what they wanted, however, destroying culture was not really what slaveowners had in mind. Destroying their spirits was. Destroying culture was just a result of seperating families for labor.

Africans were kidnapped from their homelands and culture and brought to America as slaves. Those slaves and their descendants were not allowed to assimilate with Americans, were severely oppressed, and denied basic freedoms, namely: education, wages, decent housing, investment, nutrition, land ownership, business ownership, family structure, access to the political system, representation, healthcare, control of their destiny, etc. for more than two centuries. The profound ramifications of these social barriers were not the creation of a new “African-American” culture, but a new reality for a subclass of American society. What emanated were a series of adverse consequences that reverberate today and likely for generations to come as the ripple effects of three centuries of American history and culture continue to fan out.
Are you saying that as though "slavery" and "discrimination" were the same? I hope not, because then that would be silly. Anyhows free and slave blacks were equally denied equal treatment and basic treatments. The closest thing to being deliberately indentured was in Hollywood, and even then that was mostly in the North. Basically, blacks were a real subclass there, and they were coerced into entertaining racist whites. That's the only form of indentured servitude in the USA, and this was in the North. Aside from that, free and slave blacks weren't treated very well. Southerners didn't want them. Midwesterners absolutely hated them.
I wouldn't say their destiny was controlled. It's not like blacks during Jim Crow were enslaved. They were still allowed to move around. They just weren't allowed to associate with whites. But I highly doubt that Bob Carpenter (stereotypical name) would have had a bounty if a black in Mississippi tried to escape to New York or Canada. They just would have said, "You better stay out." Slavery and segregation are not the same.

Hitler understood that to eliminate the Jews he needed to make them different in the eyes of the German people.

ghetto

[get-oh] Spell Syllables

noun, plural ghettos, ghettoes.

1. a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group,often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

2.(formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.

3. a section predominantly inhabited by Jews.

With all due respect, what does Hitler have to do with this? They were not the same, in any way shape or form. The Nazis were not a racialist group. Yes they hated Jews, but if anything they also hated whites (Northern Europe took the blunt of Nazi anger and wrath and invasion). Many ethnicites were part of the Nazis
http://en.wikipedia.org... (Polish)
http://en.wikipedia.org... (half Polish)
http://en.wikipedia.org...;(half Polish)
http://en.wikipedia.org...;(had to be French given the last name)
http://en.wikipedia.org...;(physician)

The honor for being the most Nordicist organization goes to the KKK, who didn't want Germans, Italians, Spanish, Arabs, Greeks, Japanese, Asians, Africans.
So no relation.
Many Jews are white. Jews are not a different race. They're a religion. If anything the Holocaust was a genocide against white Nordics (being that Hitler absolutely detested Denmark for the Schsewlig War).


We have an American society and culture where segments have been historically disadvantaged by institutionalized racism and discrimination. The concept of a separate African-American culture implies that previous generations of Blacks had the same choices or opportunities for their lives as their White counterparts and somehow made bad choices. It also means that no matter how hard current and future generations of Blacks try to live the American dream or be a part of the American mainstream culture, they are summarily assigned a different culture at birth.

Being part of American culture ain't bad though. Blacks have no problem with being a part of American culture. It's favoritism and exclusive policies that they hate. Exclusive policies that came with the package of lynchings too. What blacks are angry is that they've never been recompisated with money for segregation.

Many blacks are connected with their roots. Many descendants of slave blacks partnered with African immigrants. Most blacks are aware. And the surnames that blacks chose were not slavemaster names -- I mean why would anyone want to take the surname of someone who caused great misery for you and your ancestor. Most slaveowners were not Washingtons, Jones, or Johnsons (which are probably the most common surnames amongst blacks). Most were surnames blacks don't even have, like Prescot, Armstrong, Walker, Calhoun. It was a source of pride and admiration for people they loved. Assimilation is not destroying a culture. It's just fitting in with the American way. What blacks are angry is at least 1 and a half centuries of discrimination and lynching.
Debate Round No. 1
SnoopyCafe

Con

Hi Adam,

it’s a pleasure to debate you.

According to African-American Population Growth (n.d.), between 1790 and the end of slavery in 1865 roughly 88% of Blacks were slaves (http://blackdemographics.com...). Of those that were free, the majority were either house servants or farm workers.

"The honor for being the most Nordicist organization goes to the KKK, who didn't want Germans, Italians, Spanish, Arabs, Greeks, Japanese, Asians, Africans.
So no relation."

I don't think I mentioned that KKK, but for the record your statement above about there being no relation is patently wrong. The KKK was founded almost immediately after the Civil War with the primary purpose of thwarting black progress. According to history.com, "Founded in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan extended into almost every southern state by 1870 and became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks." It wasn't until later in the 20th century that KKK violence against other groups spread (http://www.history.com...).

“Are you saying that as though "slavery" and "discrimination" were the same?”
No, only that they’re related. Related much more than the position that the small percentage of blacks that were “free”, were somehow equal or had the same opportunities as whites.

“Now, the whole thing with slavery and destroying their culture was not intended. “.
What difference does it make what the intention was? That doesn’t change the reality and profound societal consequences that I stated.

“Destroying culture was just a result of separating families for labor.”
Are you asserting that if slaveowners had just kept black families together all of the other maladies I mentioned would have been avoided? Seriously...

With all due respect, what does Hitler have to do with this?
I mentioned Hitler as a prime example of how a nation can be brainwashed through a steady diet of stereotype, half-truths, false facts, and emotion. The constant barrage of prefixing “African-” to everything only serves to further polarize.

“Many blacks are connected with their roots. Many descendants of slave blacks partnered with African immigrants. Most blacks are aware. And the surnames that blacks chose were not slavemaster names -- I mean why would anyone want to take the surname of someone who caused great misery for you and your ancestor. Most slaveowners were not Washingtons, Jones, or Johnsons (which are probably the most common surnames amongst blacks). Most were surnames blacks don't even have, like Prescot, Armstrong, Walker, Calhoun. It was a source of pride and admiration for people they loved. Assimilation is not destroying a culture. It's just fitting in with the American way.

So what many immigrants are connected with their roots and many change their surnames to sound more American, but we don’t say they have a separate culture once they assimilate into American society. One can take a train through Europe and stop in several different countries, each with a different language and culture. If you take a train from Miami to New York or DC to California; all stops will be in the same language and culture. We decided we were one nation in 1789. Blacks speak English and try to live the dream like every other American and for the most part are assimilated into American society. Some have decided that the socio-economic ills of the disadvantaged is a separate culture.

Some in society have decided that there is an “African-American” culture and I’m still waiting for someone to describe to me exactly what that is.

“What blacks are angry is at least 1 and a half centuries of discrimination and lynching.”

Your statement is a generalization and is yet another example of what I wrote about people assuming all blacks act as a group. The variance of views and perspectives amongst blacks is as wide as any other racial group. Yet, blacks are portrayed as one group in society. If I hear the phrase, the “black community”, “black art”, “black literature” one more time… Jay-Z is not John Legend, Dr. King was not Malcolm X, Colin Powell is not Louis Farrakhan, Justice Clarence Thomas is not Dave Chappell. They are all individuals with different views. The one and only assumption one could make about their commonalities is that they each put on their pants one leg at a time.

And by the way, should all people (black, white, and everything in between) be angry about one and half centuries of discrimination and lynching? If so, can’t we just say that "Americans are angry..."?

“What blacks are angry is that they've never been recompisated with money for segregation.”
That statement is just plain ignorant and yet another example of a sentiment tying the black psyche together in a nice neat package. STOP!! People just keep regurgitating what they hear in the media.


References

http://blackdemographics.com...
http://www.history.com...;



Adam2isback

Pro

Hi Adam, it’s a pleasure to debate you.
Thank you. It's a pleasure to debate you.

According to African-American Population Growth (n.d.), between 1790 and the end of slavery in 1865 roughly 88% of Blacks were slaves (http://blackdemographics.com......). Of those that were free, the majority were either house servants or farm workers.
Well there you go. Many of them were either farm workers or servants. Sure a lot of them, especially servants, were abused. However, they were free. No one was going to jail them for leaving a job.

I don't think I mentioned that KKK, but for the record your statement above about there being no relation is patently wrong. The KKK was founded almost immediately after the Civil War with the primary purpose of thwarting black progress. According to history.com, "Founded in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan extended into almost every southern state by 1870 and became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed atestablishing political and economic equality for blacks." It wasn't until later in the 20th century that KKK violence against other groups spread (http://www.history.com......).
Actually, during Jim Crow, it was whites against other races. Sicilians were victims of one of the biggest lynchings in American history.

http://www.knowla.org...
http://www.knowla.org...
Italians, and other immigrants, were treated in the same barbaric fashion as blacks, and this was before the second KKK came to life in 1915.


No, only that they’re related. Related much more than the position that the small percentage of blacks that were “free”, were somehow equal or had the same opportunities as whites.
Problem is slavery has existed for centuries before the founding of America.

http://www.worldfuturefund.org...
In the case of slavery in the USA, it was more about whether one was a Christian or not, not the race. If anything religion was a justification for slavery, not race.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Also many blacks were free
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Nigerians have been here since at least the Civil War. And guess what: they suffered segregation on the basis on their very race. And they weren't slaves

What difference does it make what the intention was? That doesn’t change the reality and profound societal consequences that I stated.
Except it puts to sleep many uneducated conspiracy theories that some loonies tend to have about this. So it does matter. All these countries that partook in slavery cared about was exploitation. And if they were going to be cruel about it, they were going to cruel about it.

Are you asserting that if slaveowners had just kept black families together all of the other maladies I mentioned would have been avoided? Seriously...
Big time.

I mentioned Hitler as a prime example of how a nation can be brainwashed through a steady diet of stereotype, half-truths, false facts, and emotion. The constant barrage of prefixing “African-” to everything only serves to further polarize.
Jewish is not a race. If anything Hitler was going against the white, Nordic race, given his attempted military invasion of Britain and his successful invasion of Denmark, bound to make them suffer for the Schweslig War.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Judaism is a religion
http://en.wikipedia.org...;

So what many immigrants are connected with their roots and many change their surnames to sound more American, but we don’t say they have a separate culture once they assimilate into American society. One can take a train through Europe and stop in several different countries, each with a different language and culture. If you take a train from Miami to New York or DC to California; all stops will be in the same language and culture. We decided we were one nation in 1789. Blacks speak English and try to live the dream like every other American and for the most part are assimilated into American society. Some have decided that the socio-economic ills of the disadvantaged is a separate culture.
That won't be denied. I'm sure there were blacks who did do that to fit in. However, there is an uneducated theory that blacks were forced the surnames of their masters. This is the weirdest thing anyone has ever said. Slaveowners didn't really like or care about their slaves, but that's besides the point. Many slaves chose the names of heroes they admired, upon being free.

http://www.s4c.co.uk...
http://www.theroot.com...;

Some in society have decided that there is an “African-American” culture and I’m still waiting for someone to describe to me exactly what that is.
It's African culture. Marcus Garvey was a good example of someone educated in African culture.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Your statement is a generalization and is yet another example of what I wrote about people assuming all blacks act as a group. The variance of views and perspectives amongst blacks is as wide as any other racial group. Yet, blacks are portrayed as one group in society. If I hear the phrase, the “black community”, “black art”, “black literature” one more time… Jay-Z is not John Legend, Dr. King was not Malcolm X, Colin Powell is not Louis Farrakhan, Justice Clarence Thomas is not Dave Chappell. They are all individuals with different views. The one and only assumption one could make about their commonalities is that they each put on their pants one leg at a time.
Except Malcolm X, Collin Powell, and MLK all fought against racism and fought for their people. And I never used Jay-Z or any of those negative folks. I'd be a racist if associated negative, inhumane stereotypes with blacks, right?

And by the way, should all people (black, white, and everything in between) be angry about one and half centuries of discrimination and lynching? If so, can’t we just say that "Americans are angry..."?
Discrimination didn't affect white folks. It affected other races. They're dealing with the consequences of it. Wounds don't heal overnight.

That statement is just plain ignorant and yet another example of a sentiment tying the black psyche together in a nice neat package. STOP!! People just keep regurgitating what they hear in the media.
It wouldn't make sense to be angry at slavery. Slavery was an act of the elites, not the commoners. Only a select group of families owned slaves. It wouldn't make sense to be angry at white people at all for that. However, your average white citizen during segregation partook in segregation and Jim Crow. Many lynched black people. A good amount of white guys in this modern day have been arrested for lynching a black man. Segregation was the white race against the black race.

http://muse.jhu.edu...

Many blacks in America have a thriving culture. Plus you have to account for many of the black immigrants in America.


Debate Round No. 2
SnoopyCafe

Con

Hi Adam,

According to African-American Population Growth (n.d.), between 1790 and the end of slavery in 1865 roughly 88% of Blacks were slaves (http://blackdemographics.com.........). Of those that were free, the majority were either house servants or farm workers.

Well there you go. Many of them were either farm workers or servants. Sure a lot of them, especially servants, were abused. However, they were free. No one was going to jail them for leaving a job.

First, we’re still talking a small percentage of “free” blacks. Second, free is not equal my friend.

Actually, during Jim Crow, it was whites against other races. Sicilians were victims of one of the biggest lynchings in American history.

http://www.knowla.org...;

Although this is a very interesting piece of American history, as stated in the article, it’s an example of “factional political politics in New Orleans”. This cannot and should not be stretched to be compared with the multi-generational widespread lynchings blacks suffered in the antebellum south and consistently thereafter for nearly a century after the Civil War.

http://www.knowla.org......

Italians, and other immigrants, were treated in the same barbaric fashion as blacks, and this was before the second KKK came to life in 1915.

Honestly, I’m not trying to detract from any discrimination or injustices other groups suffered. I’m not sure how this information applies to the context of whether there is an African-American culture. But surely you’re not implying that (excluding Native-Americans) other nationalities have suffered as much oppression, discrimination, and injustice in America as Africans.

No, only that they’re related. Related much more than the position that the small percentage of blacks that were “free”, were somehow equal or had the same opportunities as whites.

Problem is slavery has existed for centuries before the founding of America.

http://www.worldfuturefund.org......

In the case of slavery in the USA, it was more about whether one was a Christian or not, not the race. If anything religion was a justification for slavery, not race.

http://en.wikipedia.org...;

This link is about slavery in Scandinavian history.

http://en.wikipedia.org...;

This link is about the Arab slave trade.

http://en.wikipedia.org......

We’re talking about American history and culture, right? From the late 1600’s to the 1790’s African slaves were used for primarily for tobacco, home, and farm labor. In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin, making cotton production more profitable and increasing the demand for slave labor.

Nigerians have been here since at least the Civil War. And guess what: they suffered segregation on the basis on their very race. And they weren't slaves

Bro, are you actually reading your references? According to your reference, not only were slaves, Nigeria was a major slave export (http://en.wikipedia.org...;).

“The first people of Nigerian ancestry in what is now the modern United States came as slaves or indentured servants from the 17th century onwards. Calabar, Nigeria, became a major point of export of slaves, from Africa to the Americas, during the 17 and 18th centuries”.

“Under conditions in the European colonies, most English masters were not interested in tribal origins, which often were not recorded accurately. After two and three centuries of residence in the United States and the lack of documentation because of enslavement, African Americans have often been unable to track their ancestors to specific ethnic groups or regions of Africa. More to the point, like other Americans, they have become a mixture of many different heritages”

“...however, destroying culture was not really what slaveowners had in mind.”

What difference does it make what the intention was? That doesn’t change the reality and profound societal consequences that I stated.

Except it puts to sleep many uneducated conspiracy theories that some loonies tend to have about this. So it does matter. All these countries that partook in slavery cared about was exploitation. And if they were going to be cruel about it, they were going to cruel about it.

I guess those conspiracy theories are everywhere, including your citation, “In the colonies, masters tried to dissuade the practice of tribal customs. They also sometimes mixed people of different ethnic groups to make it more difficult for them to communicate and band together in rebellion” (http://en.wikipedia.org...;).

Jewish is not a race. If anything Hitler was going against the white, Nordic race, given his attempted military invasion of Britain and his successful invasion of Denmark, bound to make them suffer for the Schweslig War.

I agree, Judaism is not a race. The point is that the same tactics (stereotyping, half-truths, false facts, and emotional appeals to the soft-minded) were used to convince the German people that Jews were inferior and to turn a blind eye to their extermination, still work, and they are at play in America every day.

So what many immigrants are connected with their roots and many change their surnames to sound more American, but we don’t say they have a separate culture once they assimilate into American society. One can take a train through Europe and stop in several different countries, each with a different language and culture. If you take a train from Miami to New York or DC to California; all stops will be in the same language and culture. We decided we were one nation in 1789. Blacks speak English and try to live the dream like every other American and for the most part are assimilated into American society. Some have decided that the socio-economic ills of the disadvantaged is a separate culture.

That won't be denied. I'm sure there were blacks who did do that to fit in.

Do what to fit in?

Some in society have decided that there is an “African-American” culture and I’m still waiting for someone to describe to me exactly what that is.

It's African culture. Marcus Garvey was a good example of someone educated in African culture.

Don’t get African culture confused with African-American culture. Marcus Garvey’s philosophy, Garveyism, espoused that Africans return to Africa and that Europeans should leave the African continent (http://en.wikipedia.org...). This philosophy does not have nor ever had any bearing on my life, nor, in my opinion, the vast majority of African-Americans currently living in the United States.

I stated my premise from the beginning:

“To be clear, I’m not talking about African-American culture in the context of watered down historical links between Blacks and the African continent. Nor, some Alex Haley-esque expedition to find one’s roots. The context of I’m speaking of is that used by individuals and entities, which fuel stereotypes and discrimination based on the incorrect assertion that culture is assigned by race.”

http://en.wikipedia.org......

This is a nice bio of Kweisi Mfume, but I have no idea about it’s significance in the context of this discussion. Maybe you meant to drop in Garvey.

Except Malcolm X, Colin Powell, and MLK all fought against racism and fought for their people.

I believe that Dr. King and the Civil Rights struggle are often mischaracterized and marginalized. That era and before were never about African-American rights, it’s always been about right and wrong, period. Colin Powell was a 4-star general in the United States Army. He fought and continues to fight for the rights of all Americans. I believe that he sees it in terms of right vs wrong also, not black or white.

However altruistic, attempts to assign the struggle to a cause of one race marginalizes the greater meaning. To say, it was about “African-American” rights, is like saying the American Revolution was about colonists who didn’t like the taxes on their tea; it misses the broader context.


And I never used Jay-Z or any of those negative folks.

I didn’t assign a context (pro or con) to Jay-Z or anyone in my examples, I just implied they were individuals and should be treated as such.


I'd be a racist if associated negative, inhumane stereotypes with blacks, right?

First and foremost you’d be ignorant. If not doing it precludes you being called a racist and that makes you feel better, ok.

Discrimination didn't affect white folks. It affected other races. They're dealing with the consequences of it. Wounds don't heal overnight.

I’m sorry, but you’re dead wrong. Discrimination, as with all of the ugliness in our history, affects all Americans. Taxes, unemployment, crime, prisons, broken families, poverty, wasted talent, profiling, prostitution, drugs, shootings, drop-out rates,... are consequences that affect us all. It affects some much more than others and some, like you just stated, don’t believe it affects them at all.

It wouldn't make sense to be angry at slavery.

I don’t think people are angry at slavery, that would be a waste of energy. I think people want what Dr. King so eloquently stated, "that their children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Many blacks in America have a thriving culture. Plus you have to account for many of the black immigrants in America.

Haitians and Jamaicans both have different countries they can return to. The native tongue of Haitians is French-Creole. Jamaicans are a mix of many nationalities and have their own English dialect. They would be considered Haitian-American and Jamaican-American. The question that I’ve been posing and still pose is what is the culture of those descendants of American slaves...what is their culture? My answer is American.


Adam2isback

Pro

Concede. I didn't understand this debate to be honest.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by SnoopyCafe 2 years ago
SnoopyCafe
Hey kman100,

There seems to be a longstanding debate around whether Jews are a racial group. According to the United States Census bureau, the census officially recognizes six ethnic and racial categories: White American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races; a race called "Some other race". Jews are considered ethno-cultural or ethno-religious, but not ethno-racial.

The race test seems to be if you can not change it, then it"s racial. Obviously, non-Jews can convert to Judaism and visa-versa, but Black, Whites, Asians, etc. cannot change their DNA.

Finally, I asked my daughter"s Godmother, who is Jewish and she says that it"s a "religion". I"m not saying that you are wrong, only that your comment is debatable, not definitive.
Posted by kman100 2 years ago
kman100
Jews are definitely a race/ethnic group.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
SnoopyCafeAdam2isbackTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession