Monday, November 7, 2022

Time to Retire Your Obsolete 'Flat Blackness' Jokes


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Rasheed, Muhammad. "Time to Retire Your Obsolete 'Flat Blackness' Jokes." Cartoon. The Official Website of Cartoonist M. Rasheed 08 Nov 2022. Permanent marker w/Adobe Photoshop color.

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englishmen7 - isn't anyone with dark skin black and anyone with light skin white? that's how I think it is because why are the identities black and white? black means dark and white means light I know that.

Muhammad Rasheed - That's the way it seemed before 1965, when the Black American ethnic group was basically the only black group in the USA. When Americans said "black" they automatically meant our ethnic group by default and no other. But the concept of "race" in America has never been a shallow "skin color" issue, but a political matter of who gets to be fully included into society and who doesn't -- who gets access to capital, credit and wealth-building ownership and who doesn't. 

After the 1965 Immigration & Naturalization Act, we find Black immigrants being allowed the full benefits of "whiteness," while the Black American former slave class group remains exploited and locked out of access. That means that certain black groups are "light" and a certain other black group is "dark" (so to speak). It means that U.S. race relations were never about "race" after-all, but about lineage & heritage.

englishmen7 - I see what you mean. and the term only really applies to those who are descendants of slaves who were brought over to America.

Muhammad Rasheed - Yes, in the USA, "black" was actually encoded into law as a formal political identity, one that became synonymous with a very specific ethnic group. In Africa, "black" is only a shallow physical descriptor no deeper than the "black means dark and white means light" you mentioned earlier. They only use their tribal, ethnic and national designations for their serious formal political identity usage, NEVER "race."

When African and Caribbean black immigrants come to America, they are always confused as to how "Black" is used, because it takes them a minute to understand that it actually refers to the Black American former slave class ethnic group SPECIFICALLY. The fact that they are able to physically pass as us, and the system flattens "blackness" to enable them to grift Civil Rights Era laws like affirmative action and get away with it, is why it's important to recognize that "skin color" politics is not a thing in America, and the people who pretend race is only "skin deep" here are pulling a fast one on behalf of the sneaky colluding immigrant classes.

englishmen7 - I see, that's quite a dirty plan, now I know why in some of your cartoons, you refer to your people as Ados which means African descendants of slavery I think? instead of referring to just black because dark skinned groups who were not descendant of slaves.

and about the whole in Africa, black is nothing more than a description and Africans refer to each other as different ethnic groups like Zulu or Somali for example. was it the same for Europe at one point in history? i know different European people went to war with each other and I know people have different European ethnicities, English and French for example. but now in Europe, we sort of just view white as one group and the countries and things like British and French are just nationality terms now which means your a citizen of that nation. if whites did see eachother as different European ethnicities, then when did they start seeing eachother as the white race?

Muhammad Rasheed - englishmen7 wrote: "which means African descendants of slavery I think?"

It means "AMERICAN Descendants of Slavery."

My lineage & heritage is as a citizen of the United States of America. My ethnic group's story began at the Middle Passage and I was deliberately cut off from my African roots to make me more efficient chattel. The USA is my true home and I know no other flag.

englishmen7 wrote: "was it the same for Europe at one point in history?"

Yes, they were the ones who invented this concept of flattening their eclectic Euro-ethnic identities into "whiteness," some time during the 1600s. Because they invented this racial economic caste system that they benefit from, they can step outside of it anytime they want without penalty, hence they can proudly show off their roots as Italian, English, Irish, South African, etc., while they are strutting about as "white people."

englishmen7 - I see, my bad, I didn't know Ados correct meaning, I kept thinking it meant African but thanks for telling me it means American. I see what you mean.

I also see what you mean in your last paragraph, yeah, its a shame, I believe people should identify as the ethnicity that they are. I'm lightskinned but I don't really like to identify as a white man, to me, that would be narrowing down my identity to just having light skin, I always identify as English as that's in my ancestry, I apologise on that Europeans have done this, I hope one day, things can go back to white and black just being viewed as shades of colours and that those of European descent in America will stop oppressing your people. I just want to let you know I agree with you here.


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