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JMaxB
JMaxB

Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again”. Intense, with some interesting tensions with BLM®.

In reply to
Bruce
Bruce

@JMaxB What tensions do you see? The message of Black Lives Matter is that Black lives should matter in America along with everyone else’s. Which seems in harmony with Hughes’s themes. (Also, why the ®️?)

JMaxB
JMaxB

@Bruce because it's not just a slogan with which I hope we'd agree, but an organization with a detailed manifesto with which we might have issues. And the idea that the country is founded on (unrealized) ideals other than just white supremacy is something we can hear contradicted every day.

Bruce
Bruce

@JMaxB The movement is pretty decentralized, but I'm assuming your talking about the national/international coordinating group. Their list of beliefs are here and I don't see any that claim that the only value this country was founded on was white supremacy.

What is true is that pretty much the entire white founding generation were white supremacists because that's pretty much all white people the world over believed at the time. Even most abolitionists never believed that African Americans were equal. That was certainly true in my faith tradition and we continue to struggle with that heritage.

One of the movement's points is that we can't deal with that legacy until we truly face it and own up to it. Think of how Germany is covered with plaques and markers about the Holocaust.

If you have a specific manifesto in mind, please share. I'd definitely like to look at it.

ReaderJohn
ReaderJohn

@Bruce I don't know what @JMaxB had in mind, but the most noxious to me is “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement ….”

Bruce
Bruce

@ReaderJohn Huh, to me that reads as quite congruent with conservative Christian critiques of secular cultures. That we are too atomistic today; that our families need to be embedded within communities of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, fellow church members*, etc.

This critique also reflects the problem of over incarceration of Black fathers. If society and government consider nuclear families the norm, a lot of African American families are left out.

This includes things like childcare licensing rules—often it's a community "aunt" or "grandmother" who takes care of small children from many families to whom they are not related. If local governments don't structure regulation of childcare with that in mind, it can be very disruptive to African American communities. (I believe this issue effects white evangelical communities as well?)

It's not so much a desire to abolish the "Western-proscribed nuclear family structure" ** as it is a demand that other families structures are lifted up too. In the same way "Black Lives Matter" doesn't mean that white people's lives don't.

Does that make sense? //@JMaxb

* Churches continue to be central to many African American communities and even in less religious ones many of the traditions carry over.

** I can completely understand how this sort of "woke jargon" can come across as an attack though.

ReaderJohn
ReaderJohn

@Bruce Your points seem benign and to make sense (provisionally; I have a commitment that prevents careful consideration right now), but I'm not sure you’ve accurately translated the “woke jargon.” In the vernacular, I don't like to sign “blank checks” or “buy a pig in a poke,” both of which aversions are triggered by woke jargon about family.

Bruce
Bruce

@ReaderJohn While I am not directly involved with BLM, I have spent time in some African American communities and seen the effects of missing fathers first hand. I was partially raised by an African American nanny and when I go to visit her, she always has folks from the neighborhood calling her mom and grandma. Making space for ad hoc families are definitely a thing.

Have you looked into whether there are any BLM chapters near you? It might be worth talking to some people directly involved to get a better sense of the movement?

I'm also happy to answer questions and keep discussing things if you'd like. //@JMaxb