Black People : Henry Louis Gates, pushing some anti-reperations rhetoric?

Ankhur

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you can't make this stuff up, and after all the hell Black folks are catching he comes up with this?

April 23, 2010
Op-Ed Contributor
Ending the Slavery Blame-Game
By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr.
Cambridge, Mass.

THANKS to an unlikely confluence of history and genetics — the fact that he is African-American and president — Barack Obama has a unique opportunity to reshape the debate over one of the most contentious issues of America’s racial legacy: reparations, the idea that the descendants of American slaves should receive compensation for their ancestors’ unpaid labor and bondage.

There are many thorny issues to resolve before we can arrive at a judicious (if symbolic) gesture to match such a sustained, heinous crime. Perhaps the most vexing is how to parcel out blame to those directly involved in the capture and sale of human beings for immense economic gain.

While we are all familiar with the role played by the United States and the European colonial powers like Britain, France, Holland, Portugal and Spain, there is very little discussion of the role Africans themselves played. And that role, it turns out, was a considerable one, especially for the slave-trading kingdoms of western and central Africa. These included the Akan of the kingdom of Asante in what is now Ghana, the Fon of Dahomey (now Benin), the Mbundu of Ndongo in modern Angola and the Kongo of today’s Congo, among several others.

For centuries, Europeans in Africa kept close to their military and trading posts on the coast. Exploration of the interior, home to the bulk of Africans sold into bondage at the height of the slave trade, came only during the colonial conquests, which is why Henry Morton Stanley’s pursuit of Dr. David Livingstone in 1871 made for such compelling press: he was going where no (white) man had gone before.

How did slaves make it to these coastal forts? The historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood of Boston University estimate that 90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.

Advocates of reparations for the descendants of those slaves generally ignore this untidy problem of the significant role that Africans played in the trade, choosing to believe the romanticized version that our ancestors were all kidnapped unawares by evil white men, like Kunta Kinte was in “Roots.” The truth, however, is much more complex: slavery was a business, highly organized and lucrative for European buyers and African sellers alike.

The African role in the slave trade was fully understood and openly acknowledged by many African-Americans even before the Civil War. For Frederick Douglass, it was an argument against repatriation schemes for the freed slaves. “The savage chiefs of the western coasts of Africa, who for ages have been accustomed to selling their captives into bondage and pocketing the ready cash for them, will not more readily accept our moral and economical ideas than the slave traders of Maryland and Virginia,” he warned. “We are, therefore, less inclined to go to Africa to work against the slave trade than to stay here to work against it.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/opinion/23gates.html?hp=&pagewanted=print
 

jamesfrmphilly

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i do not take anything that gates says seriously.
it is unfortunate that there are probably some who do.

when the revolution comes he will be put first in line at the re education camps.

PATTERN OF EUROCENTRIC THOUGHT

Owen Alik Shahadah (Taken from Removal of African Agency)

By careful analysis the European voice can be identified without seeing the face of the author. (Soured from “The Foundational Paradigm of Eurocentric Thought [vii] ”)


Making references to Africans who share their perspective and thus electing these individuals as authorities. e.g. Henry Louis Gates (HNIC)
 

OldSoul

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Henry Louis Gates gets slavery's history all wrong

Henry Louis Gates gets slavery's history all wrong

By Dr. Boyce Watkins 2:55 PM on 04/23/2010

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. recently wrote an interesting piece for the New York Times called, "Ending the Slavery Blame Game." In the piece, Gates effectively argues that the fight for reparations is convoluted and somewhat mitigated by the fact that African elites participated in the slave trade. While describing complex business deals made between some African leadership and the Europeans who brought Africans to the New World, it almost appears as though Gates is saying that this disturbing relationship somehow undermines the right of African-Americans to hold our government accountable for its involvement in crimes committed against our people.
At very least, I am under the assumption that by "ending the slavery blame game," Gates is arguing that we should stop blaming the United States government and white America for the rape, murder, castration, lynching and beating of our ancestors.
Sorry Dr. Gates, but I must respectfully (or perhaps not so respectfully) disagree. If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can't simply say, "Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game."
In other words, the United States, as a broad and powerful industrial entity, benefited from slavery to the tune of several trillion dollars. Much of this wealth was passed down from one white man to another, and was always out of the grasp of the black men, women and children who gave their lives on American soil in order to earn it. As a result, the median net worth of the African-American family is roughly one-tenth that of white American families and we have consistently higher unemployment due to our inability to create jobs, since white Americans own most businesses. These facts hold true without regard to how the African-American holocaust started in the first place. They also hold true because wealth and power are commodities that are passed down inter-generationally, and we missed out on all of this because we were slaves. What occurred after we left Africa can and must be considered independently from what happened while our forefathers were in the mother land.
Beyond the indisputable financial damage caused by slavery, there is also a price to be paid for pain, suffering and aggregate trauma. Even the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolishes slavery, has a clause stating that it's still OK to enslave another American, as long as that person has been convicted of a crime. Given that the United States incarcerates 5.8 times more black men than South Africa did during the height of apartheid, it's easy to argue that the human rights violations of American slavery continue to this day. The arbitrary label of "convict" is used against black men in a disproportionate fashion as a loophole for American corporations to continue to profit from slave labor. I don't want to play the "blame game." But mainstream media must not play the "irresponsibility game," by promoting apologist African-American scholars who are willing to write off 400 years of systemically oppressive behavior. While the Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" approach makes some of us more comfortable, the truth is that America cannot become truly post-racial until it overcomes its past-racial influences.

I am not sure why Gates has gone out of his way to assuage white guilt in America. I hope that's not the price a black man must pay in order to write an op-ed in the New York Times. Perhaps his PBS specials, in which he goes out of his way to prove that he is actually from Europe, is his way of fitting into the society that never embraced the little black boy from West Virginia (Gates writes extensively about being rejected by white women as a child). Henry Louis Gates seems to have spent his entire life proving to the world that he is a "big shot," because simply being a black man may never have been quite good enough.
As Gates once wrote on his Yale University application, "As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself." Gates' words remind us that the damage of oppression can be debilitating, and we can spend our entire lives overcompensating. When our spirit is torn apart by racial oppression, white acceptance and validation are sometimes necessary in order to make us whole.
Putting Henry Louis Gates to the side, a point must be clearly made. If there are African elites to be held responsible for the atrocities committed against Africans in America, then we can accept that. But while certain citizens of Africa can be found guilty for their contribution to the slave trade, America must also be held accountable for its decision to exploit slavery over the last 400 years. It's really just that simple.

Source: http://www.thegrio.com/opinion/henry-louis-gates-gets-slaverys-history-all-wrong.php (with permission)

Very good article here (pdf download): The Slave Trade and Africa’s economic woes
 

blackeyes

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well since euros and africans are both to blame I'd like reparations from both of them.

"About the practicalities, Professor Obama may have been more right than he knew. Fortunately, in President Obama, the child of an African and an American, we finally have a leader who is uniquely positioned to bridge the great reparations divide. He is uniquely placed to publicly attribute responsibility and culpability where they truly belong, to white people and black people, on both sides of the Atlantic, complicit alike in one of the greatest evils in the history of civilization. And reaching that understanding is a vital precursor to any just and lasting agreement on the divisive issue of slavery reparations."

tsk tsk tsk...Here we go again w/ this Obama the messiah foolishness, this man is not Jesus. Gosh!
 

RAPTOR

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Henry Louis Gates gets slavery's history all wrong

By Dr. Boyce Watkins 2:55 PM on 04/23/2010

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. recently wrote an interesting piece for the New York Times called, "Ending the Slavery Blame Game." In the piece, Gates effectively argues that the fight for reparations is convoluted and somewhat mitigated by the fact that African elites participated in the slave trade......I am not sure why Gates has gone out of his way to assuage white guilt in America. I hope that's not the price a black man must pay in order to write an op-ed in the New York Times.


Because that is what he was paid to do, just as he was paid to write this
op-ed, in the ny times from back in the day.

Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars
http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/gates22.htm
 

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