So Scott Adams thinks Kanye has the balls and the skills to be President! Haha – I like that kind of vindication. Also, have you seen this Reuters poll? Support for Trump among black men doubled in one week! That’s Kanye magic. Especially given Kanye’s recent claim that slavery, having lasted for 400 years, sounds like a choice to him. Yes, he really did say that:
He also brings in the fact that when we say ‘holocaust’, we typically mean German annihilation of the Jews during WWII. The Jews own the Holocaust brand, even though they are far from the only group to have experienced attempted genocide. In a similar manner, black Americans own slavery, despite the fact that slavery has been something pretty much all human societies practiced historically, and some still practice to this day.
White men were the first to object to slavery on moral grounds, and the first to try and impose the belief that slavery was a moral wrong on others. White, Republican men.
A great many commentators are trying to spin Kanye’s words to mean that he is only talking about the slavery of black minds in 2018 when he says slavery is a choice, but is he?
That’s a great conversation, but why must it be mutually exclusive to the question of why slaves rarely revolted (and never successfully) in the 400 year history of slavery in the US? Why can’t we ask both questions? Kanye is hardly the first person to ask if slavery was a choice. Plantation owners themselves used the fact of black docility to justify slavery. Why did slaves submit so meekly to their fate, for so long?
I’ve long wondered that about Jews during WWII. They lined up meekly and went to their deaths, hand in hand, many shepherded to a grisly end by my own grandfather! I still find myself wondering why the Jews didn’t cut Opa’s throat and fight like the third monkey on the ramp to the Arc when the rain starts falling. The Warsaw Uprising in Poland stands out as a triumphant moment when a group of (mostly) young Jewish men said ‘fuck this, we’re fighting back”. And they did. The Warsaw Uprising was a triumph that modern Jews have taken to heart – the State of Israel is an audacious uprising in the entire Middle East. Israel itself is an act of bravery, defiance and courage – but why did it take the Jews so damn long to find their balls?
Europeans have long had bones to pick with the Jewish population and regularly decided to cull the Hanukkah Herd. Jews have been repeatedly kicked out of nation states and just outright murdered and then finally, finally they said ‘enough’ and demanded the birth of their own state. I’m not inclined to believe in global Jewish conspiracy theories. I find Thomas Sowell’s explanation of ‘middlemen minorities’ compelling, and much more plausible. Groups who are confined to ‘middlemen’ occupations find themselves in the same kind of despised minority situation as Jews – Libyans in Africa, Chinese in Malaysia, Japanese in Brazil. I highly recommend Black Rednecks and White Liberals if you want to explore Sowell’s ideas further.
The point here is that when a culture or group has had enough of mistreatment, they tend to armor up and take their oppressors to task in bloody retribution. The global history of slavery repeats this story many times over – when the population of slaves exceeds the population of masters and gets sick and tired of slavery, all hell breaks loose and a new class of slaves are invariably born. For most of human history, humans didn’t particularly enjoy being slaves, but saw nothing wrong with slavery itself. Another way of saying this is that most of us would hate to be a slave, and yet most of us would love to own a slave.
Kanye is absolutely right that 400 years is a long time to accept slavery. What conditions led to this apparently meek acceptance of such a repugnant fate? If the answer is culture, well, that’s pretty terrifying, isn’t it? If you are a slave because you have embraced a poisonous, toxic way of thinking about your own worth, then Kanye is right. He’s not the first to understand that maybe, just maybe, you need to free your mind, first and foremost.
The exodus begins.
Lots of love,