Dark Continent

Dark continent: (n) reference to Africa

Although it’s never really organized, there is a definite attempt to rally for the victim—or make numerous excuses for the bully.

Both positions suffer from a weakness.

The bully and all his advocates appear defensive.

And the victim, trying to come across sympathetic, is often anemic—maybe even a little suspect.

Maintaining the insanity of racism requires a verbose bully and a wounded victim.

And may I say, as long as this profile is bolstered, the roles continue—bully and victim.

For perhaps two hundred years, Africa was referred to as the “Dark Continent.”

It was a conversational way of allowing the ignorance of our society, permitting them a tenuous explanation for egregious actions.

After all, the word “Dark” is simply a more clinical phrasing of “black.”

And adding “Continent” clarified that it was not part of Western expansion by the European explorers.

Merely consider how the slave traders were comforted, easing their conscience concerning stealing human beings by gently reminding one and all that these pieces of property had been poached from a Dark Continent.

Hell, they might even have done them a favor—escaping the treachery of their own surroundings.

We must remember that racism never really goes away.

It just changes its lingo and softens its rationalization.

 

Apaches

dictionary with letter A

Apaches:(n) members of an American Indian people living primarily in New Mexico and Arizona. The Apaches put up fierce resistance to the European settlers and, under the leadership of Geronimo, were the last American Indian people to be conquered.

Sometimes I choose silence because speaking is such a minefield of “lip-slip-bombs.” It is difficult in this present age to know what to say or even what to call things without offending someone.

This is quite apparent with those original citizens who occupied the North American continent before the European settlers invaded.

(You see how carefully I worded that? Of course, I probably offended the Europeans, who would insist they “settled,” not “invaded.” Once again, you can’t win.)

But concerning these individuals, in my lifetime I have heard them called Indians, American Indians, tribal nations and Native Americans.

Even though I want to be as gentle as possible with the feelings of others, I think what we call them is not nearly as important as how we treated them, and how the treatment continues today with a sense of antipathy.

Yes, I think the American consciousness occasionally needs to be pricked by our approach to those who were here when we arrived and those we brought over from Africa to tend our fields.

We have two groups of people who have a vicious history with the white class, who continue to suffer under varying degrees of subjugation and prejudice to this day.

So I don’t know what you want to call them, and I don’t know whether it makes a difference if the Washington football team is called the Redskins or not. I think the true problem is does not lie in calling “Indians” and “Negroes,” or “African-Americans” and “Native Americans,” but rather, when you finish addressing them, the determining factor of your quality of life is in how you grant them equal quality.

  • What did the white man bring to the Apache nation? Disease, guns and whiskey.
  • What did the white man bring to the African? Slavery, punishment and the ghetto.

So I think it’s a bit pretentious to believe that simply because we choose the correct verbiage for greeting them that we’ve bridged the gap.

Actually, I would much rather call them Indians and Negroes, but love them as my brothers and sisters as opposed to referring to them by the popular lingo of the day … and sequester them in lack.

 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Across

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practixdirtied by bigotry.

dictionary with letter A

Across: (adj.) 1.the motion of moving back and forth; e.g. I moved across the table  2. an expression of location; e.g. the store is across town.

I was trying to count it in my mind.

I think it’s about twenty-five. Yes, I have gone across this nation of the United States about twenty-five times in my life. Somebody asked me if I did all of this “jaunting” because I enjoy traveling.

Absolutely not.

I hate long drives. My butt gets tired sittin’ in my van–and how to stay regular on an irregular schedule has yet to be discovered by any mortal.

I was just never satisfied to believe what I hear.

Case in point: growing up in Ohio, I was taught that people in the south hated blacks. I was informed that folks who lived in California were all hippies. And New York City moved along so fast that if you stopped to catch your breath, you would probably get hit by a bus.

It’s just easy to sit at home and listen to all the tales about humanity and start thinking they’re part of your own experience instead of just rumors floating your way. That’s why we get the notion that “Asian people are good at math” and “Europeans make the best wine.”

Prejudice is not the by-product of an experience. It is the absence of one.

I wasn’t satisfied to listen to the tales of travelers who brought back THEIR rendition of the human race. I guess this is why I like the statement in the Bible where it says that “Jesus passed by.”

After all, you can’t sit your butt down in a carpenter’s shop in Nazareth and spout what you think about the world without going across the land to meet real people in their real situations. If Jesus hadn’t been itinerant, he would have been just another Jewish prophet instead of a friend to the world.

So when I went across this land to the south, I found out that people there didn’t hate blacks any more than folks in Cleveland.

  • Citizens of New York actually DO slow down–because honestly, there’s a lot of traffic jams.
  • And Bakersfield, California, has fewer hippies in it than any place in the world.

But you have to go there to find out. You won’t learn it on CNN or Fox News.

So perhaps my most joyous achievement is that I’ve gone across America, met her people and can truthfully tell you that I love them.

I can recommend getting your information from the horse’s mouth, instead of having it handed down to you from paws that just might be dirtied … by bigotry.