75 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. An example of this comes from President Lyndon Johnson. As he explainedto an aide in 1960, “I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it. If you can convincethe lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t noticeyou picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’llempty his pockets for you.”25
      1. Robert Dalleck, Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Time, 1908–1960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 584.

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  2. Aug 2022
    1. But commission member Kondratiuk, a heraldic expert who served as a military historian for the National Guard and US Army for more than four decades, said such objections are “a misreading of the heraldry.”“That’s the arm of God protecting the Commonwealth,” he said, referring to the upraised sword. “That symbol has been used in European heraldry for hundreds of years.”He added that the Native figure’s downward-facing arrow indicates “peaceful intent.”“The Native American on there is an homage to the Native Americans,” Kondratiuk said, adding he “voted with the pack” to see what recommendations the commission would produce. As for the motto: “That’s an allusion to the monarch,” he continued. “The Founding Fathers would have been very familiar with that.”

      Example of how older traditions have passed from memory and are now re-read (mis-read) in new contexts.

    2. Designed by illustrator Edmund Garrett in 1898, the current seal draws on the original seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which featured a Native American man, naked but for some shrubbery about his groin, saying, “Come over and help us.”
  3. Jun 2022
    1. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/a-book-for-our-times-peter-woods-1620-skewers-1619-project/

      A miserable sniveling little piece from someone who seems to be missing a larger rhetorical point. They barely peck at any actual argument, but resort to tangential ad hominem attacks in an attempt, yet again (should we be surprised?), to quite the voice of a Black woman who's simply trying to tell a story, and far succeeding the writer at it.

      As an aside there's a lot to also be said about the presentation of this on the page as I'm viewing it. It's topped by a middle-aged white man with a paunch, ostensibly attempting to appear intelligent in front of a book shelf covered with world history texts which are ostensibly about "White" Occidental history. Further down the page all the ads scream at me with White Nationalism including t-shirts oozing with the American flag and white Christian symbolism. The amount of cruft and crap on the page seems to indicate that the NR is gasping for breath to put their ideas onto a page that's overcrowded with ads.

    1. Governor Ronald Reagan, who was coincidentally present on the capitol lawn when the protesters arrived, later commented that he saw "no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons" and that guns were a "ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will." In a later press conference, Reagan added that the Mulford Act "would work no hardship on the honest citizen."
    1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-complicated-legacy-of-e-o-wilson/

      I can see why there's so much backlash on this piece.

      It could and should easily have been written without any reference at all to E. O. Wilson and been broadly interesting and true. However given the editorial headline "The Complicated Legacy of E. O. Wilson", the recency of his death, and the photo at the top, it becomes clickbait for something wholly other.

      There is only passing reference to Wilson and any of his work and no citations whatsoever about who he was or why his work was supposedly controversial. Instead the author leans in on the the idea of the biology being the problem instead of the application of biology to early anthropology which dramatically mis-read the biology and misapplied it for the past century and a half to bolster racist ideas and policies.

      The author indicates that we should be better with "citational practices when using or reporting on problematic work", but wholly forgets to apply it to her own writing in this very piece.

      I'm aware that the magazine editors are most likely the ones that chose the headline and the accompanying photo, but there's a failure here in both editorial and writing for this piece to have appeared in Scientific American in a way as to make it more of a hit piece on Wilson just days after his death. Worse, the backlash of the broadly unsupported criticism of Wilson totally washed out the attention that should have been placed on the meat of the actual argument in the final paragraphs.

      Editorial failed massively on all fronts here.


      This article seems to be a clear example of the following:

      Any time one uses the word "problematic" to describe cultural issues, it can't stand alone without some significant context building and clear arguments about exactly what was problematic and precisely why. Otherwise the exercise is a lot of handwaving and puffery that does neither side of an argument or its intended audiences any good.

  4. May 2022
    1. The proposition that any of this book’s content or its contributors are racist, because they might make people feel uncomfortable, is an increasingly popular strategy employed to silence expert views on politicised ideological grounds.
    2. Published criticisms of this excellent book bear the hallmarks of a style of racism that is extraordinarily difficult to counter, because so few people have the intellectual training to understand the difference between evidence-based accounts of Indigenous Australia and popular mythologies that misrepresent the facts. These criticisms are entirely unreasonable.

      This sounds a bit like Australian political culture is facing the same sort of issues that are being see in the United States with respect to ideas like critical race theory. Groups are protesting parts of history and culture that they don't understand instead spending some time learning about them.

    1. A spike in fears about new immigrants and newly emancipated black people reproducing at higher rates than the white population also prompted more opposition to legal abortion.

      Were fears about immigrants and Black people in the late 1800's milieu of evolutionary theory and beginning of eugenics thought influential in the growing debate about abortion?

  5. Mar 2022
    1. “Scarcity: WhyHaving Too Little Means So Much” (2013) by Mullainathan andShafir. They investigate how the experience of scarcity has cognitiveeffects and causes changes in decision-making processes.

      I'm reminded of a reference recently to Republicans being upset that poor people of color would "waste" their money on frivolities like manicures and fake fingernails instead of on food or other necessities. How might this tie into the argument made in this book?

  6. Jan 2022
    1. In Kircher's system, ideograms were inferior to hieroglyphs because they referred to specific ideas rather than to mysterious complexes of ideas, while the signs of the Maya and Aztecs were yet lower pictograms which referred only to objects. Umberto Eco comments that this idea reflected and supported the ethnocentric European attitude toward Chinese and native American civilizations: "China was presented not as an unknown barbarian to be defeated but as a prodigal son who should return to the home of the common father". (p. 69)
    2. China Illustrata emphasized the Christian elements of Chinese history, both real and imagined: the book noted the early presence of Nestorian Christians (with a Latin translation of the Nestorian Stele of Xi'an provided by Boym and his Chinese collaborator, Andrew Zheng),[23] but also claimed that the Chinese were descended from the sons of Ham, that Confucius was Hermes Trismegistus/Moses and that the Chinese characters were abstracted hieroglyphs.

      Example of non-Europeans being considered the sons of Ham, in this case by an incredibly learned and influential Roman Catholic scholar.

  7. Dec 2021
    1. It would be just as easy (actually, rather easier) to identify things thatcan be interpreted as the first stirrings of rationalism, legality,deliberative democracy and so forth all over the world, and only thentell the story of how they coalesced into the current global system.24

      Nationalistic, racial, and cultural blinders have led us to posit broadly accepted (positive) ideas like democracy as having developed and grown out of Western ideas rather than attributing them to historical cultures and societies all over the world.

  8. Oct 2021
  9. Sep 2021
    1. With all of this—the desperation of the Jamestown settlers for labor, theimpossibility of using Indians and the difficulty of using whites, the availabilityof blacks offered in greater and greater numbers by profit-seeking dealers inhuman flesh, and with such blacks possible to control because they had justgone through an ordeal which if it did not kill them must have left them in astate of psychic and physical helplessness—is it any wonder that such blackswere ripe for enslavement?

      This is an interesting framing in hindsight, because it makes the question sound simple despite the fact that the easiest and kindest answer is simply to do the work oneself. Weren't these the sort of pull yourself up by the bootstrap sort of folks?

      (I'm using the problematic phrase pull yourself up by the bootstraps with derision here.)

    2. On one occasion, hearing a great noise from belowdecks where the blackswere chained together, the sailors opened the hatches and found the slaves indifferent stages of suffocation, many dead, some having killed others indesperate attempts to breathe. Slaves often jumped overboard to drown ratherthan continue their suffering. To one observer a slave-deck was “so coveredwith blood and mucus that it resembled a slaughter house.”

      Here I feel compelled to revisit an earlier quote:

      One slave trader, John Newton (who later became an antislavery leader), wrote about the people of what is now Sierra Leone:

      The state of slavery, among these wild barbarous people, as we esteem them, is much milder than in our colonies

      Which was really the more barbarous culture?

    3. The state of slavery, among these wild barbarous people, as we esteem them, is much milder than in our colonies

      Given the word barbarous here, I wonder if, on the whole, cultures viewed from outside of one's own culture are more often seen for the worst of their traits rather than the best or even just the average traits?

      With limited experience and exposure, what qualifies one correspondent to stereotype an entire culture? Is the lack of alternate and likely better information reason enough for the viewing culture to completely condemn the external culture? (Assuredly not...)

    4. Slavery existed in the African states, and it was sometimes used byEuropeans to justify their own slave trade. But, as Davidson points out, the“slaves” of Africa were more like the serfs of Europe—in other words, likemost of the population of Europe. It was a harsh servitude, but they had rightswhich slaves brought to America did not have, and they were “altogetherdifferent from the human cattle of the slave ships and the Americanplantations.”

      I like the framing of this.

      While Europeans used the fact that slavery existed in Africa to justify their own use of Africans as slaves, the concept of slavery in Africa was akin to the idea of serfs in Europe. These slaves/serfs in Africa certainly had hard and difficult lives, but they did have some rights and freedoms not granted to American slaves in any form.

    5. cultures that are different are often taken as inferior,especially when such a judgment is practical and profitable
    1. ple". The Mexican mineworker had the custom of returning to his village for corn planting and harvest: His lack of initiative, inability to save, absences while celebrating too many holidays, willingness to work only three or four days a week if that paid for necessities, insatiable desire for alchohol - all were pointed out as proof of a natural inferiority. He

      In the next paragraphs, it turns out that there isn't laziness, but misaligned incentives. The lifeways of the people involved were not those of the writer who jumped to conclusions about the people who were different from him.

      In generalizations supported by another study of Mexican labour conditions, Wilbert Moore remarks: "Work is almost always task-orientated in non-industrial societies ... and ... it may be appropriate to tie wages to tasks and not directly to time in newly developing areas".

      When comparing and contrasting cultures, empathy for each and their particular incentives must be taken into account.

      This is particularly important as he's spent a dozen pages talking about how poorly the English dealt with industrialization over centuries themselves. How quickly we forget.

    1. https://youtu.be/qYsMtroVLeA?t=287

      The big thing that I want to talk about here is out groups. This is a phenomenon that we that we see, which is that it's very very easy for people to decide that someone else is not like them they're different and they should be shunned and talked about.

      This is the minimal group paradigm. Thanks to Rashmi for giving that term. [It] says the smallest possible difference will be magnified into in group and an outgroup. Kevin Marks, Web 2.0 Expo NY 09: "...New Words You Need to Know to Understand the Web"

      Perhaps we can decrease the levels of fear and racism in our society by tummelling? By bringing in outsiders, treating them with dignity and respect within your own group of friends, you can help to normalize their presence by decreasing the irrational fears that others have built up and carry with them about these supposed outsiders.

  10. Aug 2021
    1. The Attack on "Critical Race Theory": What's Going on?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P35YrabkpGk

      Lately, a lot of people have been very upset about “critical race theory.” Back in September 2020, the former president directed federal agencies to cut funding for training programs that refer to “white privilege” or “critical race theory, declaring such programs “un-American propaganda” and “a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.” In the last few months, at least eight states have passed legislation banning the teaching of CRT in schools and some 20 more have similar bills in the pipeline or plans to introduce them. What’s going on?

      Join us for a conversation that situates the current battle about “critical race theory” in the context of a much longer war over the relationship between our racial present and racial past, and the role of culture, institutions, laws, policies and “systems” in shaping both. As members of families and communities, as adults in the lives of the children who will have to live with the consequences of these struggles, how do we understand what's at stake and how we can usefully weigh in?

      Hosts: Melissa Giraud & Andrew Grant-Thomas

      Guests: Shee Covarrubias, Kerry-Ann Escayg,

      Some core ideas of critical race theory:

      • racial realism
        • racism is normal
      • interest convergence
        • racial equity only occurs when white self interest is being considered (Brown v. Board of Education as an example to portray US in a better light with respect to the Cold War)
      • Whiteness as property
        • Cheryl Harris' work
        • White people have privilege in the law
        • myth of meritocracy
      • Intersectionality

      People would rather be spoon fed rather than do the work themselves. Sadly this is being encouraged in the media.

      Short summary of CRT: How laws have been written to institutionalize racism.

      Culturally Responsive Teaching (also has the initials CRT).

      KAE tries to use an anti-racist critical pedagogy in her teaching.

      SC: Story about a book Something Happened in Our Town (book).

      • Law enforcement got upset and the school district
      • Response video of threat, intimidation, emotional blackmail by local sheriff's department.
      • Intent versus impact - the superintendent may not have had a bad intent when providing an apology, but the impact was painful

      It's not really a battle about or against CRT, it's an attempt to further whitewash American history. (synopsis of SC)

      What are you afraid of?

    1. Middleware would reduce both platforms' own power and their function as levers for unaccountable state power, as governments increasingly pressure platforms to "voluntarily" suppress disfavored speech.2

      Tangentially related idea which this sparked:

      Within my beyond the pale thesis, banishing people in smaller social groups is easier, but doesn't necessarily scale well.

      In larger towns, cities, and even states, it may work in some of the smallest and most egregious cases like major crime or murder when carried out by the state, but what about the smaller social infractions?

      Cancel culture is attempting to apply this larger social pressure to bigger public figures in ways that it traditionally has been more difficult to do. It's even more difficult in a highly networked world where globalism has taken hold.

      How do we cater to the centric masses while potentially allowing some flexibility to the cultures considered at the edges? Ethics aren't universal, so there will be friction at a huge number of overlaps.

      Examples:

      • Paula Dean (racism), loses shows, deals, etc. but still has reach in certain sections of the country and online
  11. Jul 2021
    1. Anaximander is said to have made the first map of the world. Although this map has been lost, we can imagine what it must have looked like, because Herodotus, who has seen such old maps, describes them. Anaximander’s map must have been circular, like the top of his drum-shaped earth. The river Ocean surrounded it. The Mediterranean Sea was in the middle of the map, which was divided into two halves by a line that ran through Delphi, the world’s navel. The northern half was called “Europe,” the southern half “Asia.” The habitable world (Greek: “oikoumenê”) consisted of two relatively small strips of land to the north and south of the Mediterranean Sea (containing Spain, Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor on the one side, and Egypt and Libya on the other side), together with the lands to the east of the Mediterranean Sea: Palestine, Assyria, Persia, and Arabia. The lands to the north of this small “habitable world” were the cold countries where mythical people lived. The lands to the south of it were the hot countries of the black burnt people.

      Does this map of the world with the black burnt people in the lands to the south (which includes the idea of "below") result in future racist ideas?

  12. Jun 2021
    1. for some analysts this myth of meritocracy entrenches gender and racial inequality. 

      I want to explore this idea a bit. Resources, citations? Which analysts?

  13. May 2021
    1. The point here is not to defend the uses of surveillance technology in China, the point is to emphasize that when big tech talks about China they are stoking Sinophobia in order to distract from their own malfeasance. By screeching with nationalistic panic “look what they’re doing over there!” the tech companies shift the conversation from what they themselves are doing over here.
  14. Apr 2021
    1. The power to target is the power to discriminate. By definition, targeted ads allow advertisers to reach some kinds of people while excluding others. A targeting system may be used to decide who gets to see job postings or loan offers just as easily as it is to advertise shoes. 
    1. “We understand that under colonialism African and Indigenous people had very different experiences,” Dr. Nelson said. “To conflate everything in one is to erase, which is the very nature of genocidal practice.”
  15. Mar 2021
  16. Feb 2021
    1. whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow “them” to be more like “us.”
  17. Jan 2021
    1. Which might explain why, for people dedicated to fighting racism, simply saying you're "not racist" doesn't feel like quite enough. To effectively defeat systemic racism — racism embedded as normal practice in institutions like education and law enforcement — you've got to be continually working towards equality for all races, striving to undo racism in your mind, your personal environment and the wider world.

      Perhaps a better framing is to not look at things from such a broad perspective, but to focus in on the smaller and more specific?

      Racism is a big forest, but to really see and fix it we need to look at individual racist idea hills and plains and specific racist policy trees, plants, and shrubs.

  18. Dec 2020
    1. By as early as the sixteenth century,“negros”were deemed to be people“without honor and faith”and described asugly, barbarous, and savage. Hell itself was associated with blackness. As atutor to the prince of Portugal explained in 1535, when he arrived inPortugal he felt he had been“transported to a city in hell; indeed, every-where [he] looked [he] saw nothing but blacks.”

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  19. Oct 2020
    1. I n 1808, New York physician John Augustine Smith, a disciple of Charles White, r ebuked Samuel Stanhope Smith as a minister dabbling in sci-ence. “ I hold it my duty to lay before you all t he facts which are rele-vant,” J ohn Augustine Smith announced in his circulated lecture. The principal f act was t hat t he “ anatomical s tructure” of t he European was “superior” t o that of t he other races. As different species, Blacks and Whites had been “placed at t he opposite extremes of t he scale.” The polygenesis l ecture l aunched Smith’s academic career: he became edi-tor of t he Medical and Physiological Journal, t enth president of t he Col-lege of William & Mary, and president of t he New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.

      Another example of a scion in academia using racial ideas to launch his career to prominence.

      This also provides a schism for a break between science and religion which we're still heavily dealing with in American culture.

    1. Slave labour cannot be obtained without somebody being enslaved. At his estate at Monticello, Jefferson invented many ingenious gadgets - including a 'dumb waiter' to mediate contact with his slaves. In the late twentieth century, it is not surprising that this liberal slave-owner is the hero of those who proclaim freedom while denying their brown-skinned fellow citizens those democratic rights said to be inalienable.

      This is a powerful example

    1. Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), the first enslaved African American to sue for her freedom in the courts based on the law of the 1780 constitution of the state of Massachusetts, which held that "all men are born free and equal." The Jury agreed and in 1781 she won her freedom. Her lawyer had been Theodore Sedgwick.
  20. Sep 2020
    1. In American folklore, the nation was built out of a wilderness by free-booting individuals - the trappers, cowboys, preachers, and settlers of the frontier. Yet this primary myth of the American republic ignores the contradiction at the heart of the American dream: that some individuals can prosper only through the suffering of others. The life of Thomas Jefferson - the man behind the ideal of `Jeffersonian democracy' - clearly demonstrates the double nature of liberal individualism. The man who wrote the inspiring call for democracy and liberty in the American declaration of independence was at the same time one of the largest slave-owners in the country.

      Some profound ideas here about the "American Dream" and the dark underbelly of what it may take to achieve not only for individuals, but to do so at scale.

    1. Keenan calls the practice of drawing arbitrary lending boundaries around areas of perceived environmental risk “bluelining,” and indeed many of the neighborhoods that banks are bluelining are the same as the ones that were hit by the racist redlining practice in days past. This summer, climate-data analysts at the First Street Foundation released maps showing that 70% more buildings in the United States were vulnerable to flood risk than previously thought; most of the underestimated risk was in low-income neighborhoods.

      Bluelining--a neologism I've not seen before, but it's roughly what one would expect.

    1. There are other mathematical models of institutionalized bias out there! Male-Female Differences: A Computer Simulation shows how a small gender bias compounds as you move up the corporate ladder. The Petrie Multiplier shows why an attack on sexism in tech is not an attack on men.
    2. Schelling's model gets the general gist of it, but of course, real life is more nuanced. You might enjoy looking at real-world data, such as W.A.V. Clark's 1991 paper, A Test of the Schelling Segregation Model.
    1. These three strands collided throughout the twentieth century, as the prosperity gospel came into being. It started — like the “work ethic” Max Weber described — as a way to justify why, during the Gilded Age, some people were rich and others poor. (One early prosperity gospel proponent, Baptist preacher Russell H. Conwell, told his mostly-destitute congregation in 1915: “I say you ought to be rich; you have no right to be poor.”) Instead of blaming structural inequality, Conwell and those like him blamed the perceived failures of the individual.

      This philosophy also overlaps some of the resurgence of white nationalism and structural racism in the early 1900's which also tended to disadvantage people of color. ie, we can blame the coloreds because it's not structural inequality, but the failure of the individual (and the race.)

  21. Jul 2020
    1. One of DiAngelo’s favorite examples is instructive. She uses the famous story of Jackie Robinson.

      This is now the third article I've seen about DiAngelo's story of Jackie Robinson. People are definitely taking her to task on the subject, but I do notice all of them are men, so I wonder is it possible within the context of what she's writing about if she is possibly not a baseball person and therefore doesn't know what the rest of us baseball people do know? Perhaps her points are as bad as they're being made out, but I have to wonder if there's some underlying misogyny here.

    1. White Fragility is, in the end, a book about how to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves. DiAngelo’s outlook rests upon a depiction of Black people as endlessly delicate poster children within this self-gratifying fantasy about how white America needs to think—or, better, stop thinking. Her answer to white fragility, in other words, entails an elaborate and pitilessly dehumanizing condescension toward Black people. The sad truth is that anyone falling under the sway of this blinkered, self-satisfied, punitive stunt of a primer has been taught, by a well-intentioned but tragically misguided pastor, how to be racist in a whole new way.

      Perhaps the better advice to the potential readers of such a tome would be to ignore the "well-intentioned" white woman and instead take some time and patience to read some African American voices, Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning or The African-American Experience edited by Kai Wright.

      If you really insist on getting help from someone white to start off on your journey, then I can only recommend John Biewen's excellent Seeing White podcast series, though both John and the series are "kept honest" by recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika and a variety of other great guests and interviewees.

    2. white and Black people

      There is something profoundly interesting to me seeing a distinguished linguist write the words white and Black next to each other as modifiers and seeing one capitalized and the other not.

    3. John McWhorter

      I was so hoping to hear from some thinkers like Dr. McWhorter on this issue!!!

  22. Jun 2020
    1. The editors and the elite Blacks they represented often focused, however, on the conduct of t he “lower classes of our people,” whom they blamed for bringing the race down. Class r acism dotted the pages of the Freedom’s J ournal, with articles pitting l ower-income Blacks against upper-income Blacks, and the former being portrayed as i nferior to the latter.
    2. Free B lacks r emained o verwhelmingly a gainst colonization. T heir resistance to the concept partly accounted for t he identifier “Negro” replacing “African” in common usage in the 1820s. Free Blacks theorized that i f t hey called themselves “ African,” t hey would be giv-ing credence t o the notion that t hey should be sent back to Africa. Their own racist i deas were also behind the shift i n terminology. They considered Africa and its cultural practices to be backward, having accepted r acist n otions o f t he c ontinent. S ome l ight-skinned B lacks preferred “colored,” t o separate t hemselves f rom dark-skinned Negroes or Africans.

      Negro, colored word origins.

    3. Protestant organizations started mass-producing, mass-marketing, and mass-distributing i mages of J esus, who was always depicted as White. Protestants saw all t he aspirations of t he new American identity in the White Jesus—a racist idea that proved to be i n their cultural s elf-interest. As pictures of t his White J esus s tarted to appear, Blacks and Whites s tarted to make con-nections, c onsciously and unconsciously, between the White God the Father, his White son Jesus, and the power and perfection of White people.
    4. Jefferson adamantly came to believe that Black freedom should not be discussed in the White halls of Congress, and that southern-ers should be left alone to solve the problem of s lavery at t heir own pace, in their own way. In his younger years, he had considered grad-ual emancipation and colonization to be the solution. His gradualism turned into procrastination. I n his final years, J efferson said that “ on the subject of emancipation I have ceased to think because [it i s] not to be the work of my day.” Slavery had become too lucrative, t o too many slaveholders, f or emancipation to be Jefferson’s work of t hose days.

      And most of American society has done just this for hundreds of years. We need to decide as a group to fix it once and for all instead of just kicking the can down the road and procrastinating again and again. It just makes things progressively worse instead of progressively better.

    5. On October 29, 1822, Charleston Times editor E dwin Clifford Holland released the first proslavery treatise by a native southerner.
    6. Until 1 822—until Denmark Vesey—northerners h ad p roduced most of the racist books and tracts defending slavery. Writers l ike Charles Jared Ingersoll, J ames Kirke Paulding, and Robert Walsh—all f rom the North—defended slavery from British onslaughts i n the 1810s.
    7. . “ It i s . . . t he con-crete universal, self-determining thought, which constitutes the prin-ciple and character of Europeans,” Hegel once wrote. “ God becomes man, r evealing himself.” I n contrast, African people, he said, were “a nation of children” i n the “first stage” of human development: “ The negro is an example of animal man in all his s avagery and lawlessness.” They could be educated, but t hey would never advance on their own. Hegel’s foundational racist idea justified Europe’s ongoing coloniza-tion of Africa. European colonizers would supposedly bring progress to Africa’s residents, j ust as European enslavers had brought progress to Africans i n the Americas.
    8. In 1816, Finley sat down and wrote the colonization movement’s manifesto, Thoughts on the Colonization of Free Blacks. “ What s hall we do with the free people of color?” he began the pamphlet.
    9. On November 19, 1814, P arisians s trolled i nto t he Vaudeville Theater a cross from the Palais-Royal to view the opening of La Venus Hottentote, ou Haine aux Fran-cais (or the Hatred of French Women). I n the opera’s plot, a young Frenchman does not find his s uitor s ufficiently exotic. When she appears disguised as t he “Hottentot Venus,” he falls i n love. Secure i n his attraction, s he drops t he disguise. The Frenchman drops t he ridiculous attraction to the Hottentot Venus, comes t o his s enses, and the couple marries. The opera revealed Europeans’ i deas about Black women. After all, when Frenchmen are seduced by the Hottentot Venus, t hey are acting like animals. When Frenchmen are attracted to Frenchwomen, t hey are acting rationally. While hypersexual Black women are worthy of s ex-ual a ttraction, a sexual F renchwomen are worthy of l ove and marriage.
    10. Londoners were captivated by Sarah Baartman, or r ather, her enormous buttocks and genitalia.Baartman’s Khoi people of s outhern Africa had been classified as the lowest Africans, t he closest t o animals, f or more than a century. Baartman’s buttocks and genitals were i rregularly large among her f el-low Khoi women, n ot t o mention African women across t he continent, or across the Atlantic on Jefferson’s plantation. And yet Baartman’s enormous buttocks and genitals were presented as r egular and authen-tically African.
    11. “ I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable t han the best man on the f arm,” J efferson once explained to a friend.
    12. abolitionist and sci-entist Henri Gregoire for sending him a copy of An Enquiry Concern-ing the I ntellectual and Moral Faculties, and Literature of Negroes on February 25. Gregoire offered travel “ testimony” of glorious Black nations to refute what “ Jefferson tells us, t hat no nation of t hem was ever civi-lized,” he wrote. “ We do not pretend to place the negroes on a level” with Whites, Gregoire explained in assimilationist f orm, but only to challenge those who say “that t he negroes are i ncapable of becoming partners i n the store-house of human knowledge.”
    13. “ The PENIS of an African is l arger t han that of an European,” White t old his readers. Most anatomical museums i n Europe preserved Black penises, and, he noted, “ I have one i n mine.”

      A pretty grotesque sexualization. I wonder how influential this book is on modern day cultural thoughts?

    14. English physician Charles White, t he well-known author of a trea-tise on midwifery, entered the debate over species i n 1799. Unlike Scotland’s Lord Kames, White circled around religion and employed a new method of proving the existence of separate race species—comparative anatomy. He did not want t he conclusions i n his Account on the Regular Gradation in Man to “be construed so as t o give the small-est countenance to the pernicious practice of enslaving mankind.”
    15. .” Jefferson may have privately justified his r elations with Sally Hemings by reminding him-self t hat everyone did it, or t ried to do it. F rom teens ending their ( and their victims’) virginity, t o married men sneaking around, t o single and widowed men having their longtime liaisons—master/slave rape or i ntercourse seemed “natural,” and enslaving one’s children seemed normal i n slaveholding America.

      This also has implications in the history of misogyny in America as well.

    16. Rush inserted a note in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser in September telling Black people they had immunity to yellow fever, a conclusion he had reached based on his belief i n their animal-like physical s uperiority. Quite a few Black nurses s uffered hor-ribly before Rush realized his gross error. I n all, 5,000 people per-ished before the epidemic subsided in November and federal officials returned to the city.

      Interesting to see notes about small outbreaks like this while seeing similar racist ideas and policies hundreds of years later during the COVID-19 outbreaks.

    17. When Black people rose, r acists either violently knocked them down or i gnored them as extraordinary. When Black people were down, r ac-ists called it t heir natural or nurtured place, and denied any role in knocking them down in the first place.
    18. To believe that the negative ways of B lack people were responsible for r acist i deas was t o believe that t here was some truth in notions of Black inferiority. To believe t hat t here was some truth i n n otions o f Black i nferiority was t o hold racist i dea
    19. Periodically, t he convention published and cir-culated advice tracts for free Blacks. Abolitionists urged free Blacks to attend church regularly, a cquire English literacy, l earn math, a dopt trades, avoid vice, l egally marry and maintain marriages, evade law-suits, a void expensive delights, a bstain from noisy and disorderly con-duct, a lways act i n a civil and respectable manner, and develop habits of industry, sobriety, and frugality. I f Black people behaved admirably, abolitionists reasoned, t hey would be undermining justifications for slavery and proving that notions of t heir i nferiority were wrong.9This strategy of what can be termed uplift s uasion was based on the idea that White people could be persuaded away from their rac-ist i deas i f t hey saw Black people improving their behavior, uplifting themselves from their l ow station in American society. The burden of r ace relations was placed squarely on the shoulders of Black Ameri-cans. Positive Black behavior, a bolitionist s trategists held, undermined racist i deas, and negative Black behavior confirmed them.
    20. Samuel Stanhope Smith joined those preeminent i ntellectuals i n Boston’s American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society in attacking polygenesists, i n reviv-ing climate theory in America. His scholarly defense of s cripture was quickly printed in Philadelphia, i n London, and in Lord Kames’s back-yard, Edinburgh. By the time he sat down in Princeton’s presidential chair i n 1795, he had amassed an international s cholarly reputation.
    21. Notes on the State o f Virginia would become t he most c onsumed American nonfiction book u ntil well i nto t he mid-nineteenth c entury
    22. The ambitious politician, maybe fearful of a lienat-ing potential f riends, maybe torn between Enlightenment antislavery and American proslavery, maybe honestly unsure, did not pick sides between polygenesists and monogenesists, between segregationists and assimilationists, between slavery and freedom. But he did pick the side of r acism
    23. Notes on the State of Virginia was replete with other contradictory ideas about Black people. “ They are at l east as brave, and more adven-turesome” than Whites, b ecause they lacked the forethought to s ee “danger t ill i t be present,” J efferson wrote. Africans f elt l ove more, but they felt pain less, he said, and “their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection.” That i s why they were disposed “to sleep when abstracted from their diversions, and unemployed in labour. An animal whose body is at rest, and who does not reflect, must be disposed to sleep of course.” But on the previous page, J ef-ferson cast Blacks as requiring “less sleep. A black, after hard labour through the day, will be induced by the slightest amusements to sit up till midnight.” I n Jefferson’s vivid imagination, l azy Blacks desiredto sleep more than Whites, but, as physical s avants, t hey required l ess sleep.

      Examples of Jefferson's contradictory racist ideas about African Americans.

    24. With Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson emerged a s the preeminent American authority on Black intellectual i nferiority. This status would persist over t he next fifty years.
    1. What it starts with is a fundamental centering of white maleness. And the goal is the ascension of white maleness. People of color can aid it, they can mimic it, or they’re in the way, to be overcome. There’s this argument in tech that anyone can prosper in this space. They’ve removed all the boundaries to prosperity. But the truth is, they’ve moved their own personal boundaries, and left all the boundaries to people of color and women in place because they just don’t exist in these origin stories, as anything other than props.