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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:30 PM (EST)
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"Possibly sensitive subject"
You've been warned by the above statement. But I've seen this so many times on "The Amazing Race" that I honestly feel as if I have to say something because I am totally baffled by it. Now I realize that I'm just a goofy white kid, so maybe you all can explain this to me. Every season, or at least a handful of seasons, have found the contestants traveling to Africa. And every time the one or two African American couples seem to make a big deal about how it's "The Motherland". "These are our people" is a general term that they use. I cannot, in any conceivable manner, figure out how anyone from America can believe that they actually have something in common with Africans. I don't say that in an attempt to slam the country or it's people. But even if your ancestors came from there, how do you suppose you have any real connection to them?

Let's face it, we're all spoiled Americans. We eat too much, we watch too much tv, we are bombarded by every gizmo imaginable. There's nothing wrong, in my opinion, with being a spoiled American. Any other country would do the same in our position. But taking all these things into account, how can an American really relate to someone who is currently living in Africa? I know the skin color may be the same, but that's it. That's where the connection ends, in my opinion. Any other connection is all imaginary.

Now I, as a white german, would never go over to Germany and say "I'm in the Motherland now!" and make a big deal about it. Maybe I'm different because I know plenty of white people who would actually do something like that.

Help me, people! I need some of that...what do you call it...edumacation!

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject kathliam 04-06-05 1
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject bacon 04-06-05 3
       RE: Possibly sensitive subject ChloeSmith 04-07-05 31
           RE: Possibly sensitive subject PepeLePew13 04-09-05 39
           RE: Possibly sensitive subject TARugh 04-10-05 42
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject ARnutz 04-07-05 15
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject J Slice 04-06-05 2
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject bacon 04-06-05 5
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject RatPat 04-06-05 4
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject bacon 04-06-05 6
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject J Slice 04-06-05 7
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject Kathryn in Canada 04-06-05 8
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject nailbone 04-07-05 19
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject Desire 04-06-05 9
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject bacon 04-06-05 10
       RE: Possibly sensitive subject Wheezy 04-06-05 11
           RE: Possibly sensitive subject The_Black_Mamba 04-07-05 12
               RE: Possibly sensitive subject bacon 04-07-05 16
                   RE: Possibly sensitive subject MTommy 04-07-05 25
               History Lesson mrc 04-07-05 21
       RE: Possibly sensitive subject clemsonbeav 04-13-05 45
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject AMAZON 04-07-05 13
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject Snidget 04-07-05 14
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject dragonflies 04-07-05 17
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject Dakota 04-07-05 18
   *gasp* Breezy 04-07-05 20
       RE: *gasp* Dakota 04-07-05 29
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject watermelon 04-07-05 22
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject tamarama 04-07-05 23
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject watermelon 04-07-05 24
       RE: Possibly sensitive subject ginger 04-07-05 26
           RE: Possibly sensitive subject J Slice 04-07-05 27
               RE: Possibly sensitive subject tamarama 04-07-05 28
                   RE: Possibly sensitive subject ginger 04-08-05 33
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject MTommy 04-07-05 30
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject LibraRising 04-08-05 32
       RE: Possibly sensitive subject ARnutz 04-08-05 35
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject Ruthless 04-08-05 34
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject ARnutz 04-08-05 36
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject AMAZON 04-09-05 37
       skin color AyaK 04-11-05 44
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject PepeLePew13 04-09-05 40
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject Maroonclown 04-13-05 50
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject CantStandToLook 04-09-05 38
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject Ruthless 04-09-05 41
       Nope AyaK 04-13-05 46
   RE: Possibly sensitive subject bacon 04-13-05 48
       RE: Possibly sensitive subject aliemme 04-13-05 51
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject Earl Colby Pottinger 04-11-05 43
 RE: Possibly sensitive subject aliemme 04-13-05 47
 Here's the deal PhoenixMons 04-13-05 49

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kathliam 3669 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:33 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I'm far from an expert on this issue. I do remember Uchenna saying last night his father was from Nigeria, and something to the effect he'd seen relatives or villagers carrying items on their heads like the Detour, so he at least had a right to the statement. IMHO
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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:45 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
If that's so then I must have missed it. But I seriously doubt the majority would have any real connection to the country other than skin color. But maybe I'm wrong.
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ChloeSmith 12 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 07:42 PM (EST)
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31. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
If your parents/grandparents were from another country you would probably feel some connection to it. If your family has lived in America for many many generations, you may not care so much for your "roots".

But Uchenna's father is from Nigeria. I think that definitely warrants him feeling "at his roots" there! I think it's awesome!

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PepeLePew13 25379 desperate attention whore postings
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04-09-05, 06:32 PM (EST)
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39. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
LAST EDITED ON 04-09-05 AT 06:34 PM (EST)

I'm in agreement with Chloe here... I have students in my class whose faces light up when I bring up their ancestral background nation's name, or when we show something that relates to where their great-grandparents came from, etc.

There's a girl in my class who is a fifth-generation Canadian with original ancestry being Italian -- and she beams up every time "Italy" is mentioned, even though she has never been there.

I'm a third-generation Irish-Canadian on my father's side and I consider Ireland to be a 'special' place for me even though I've never been there. YMMV.

I can totally understand the feelings for African-Americans to touch the continent of Africa for the first time -- they've suffered through a lot as a culture and it's more poignant for them than for us whites because of the oppression and slavery they've had to go through over the last two centuries in North America and Europe. They KNOW their ancestors suffered tremendously and many of them lost their homes in Africa by getting shipped out to far away lands at gun-point or under a threat of some sort.



Scratch and sniff
"Tsk, tsk. Pepe's messing with the newbies again." Spidey, 3/30/05

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TARugh 159 desperate attention whore postings
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04-10-05, 06:49 AM (EST)
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42. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I have a hard time following this concept. Nigeria is far far FAR from both South Africa and Botswana. Thats like me claiming to be in the motherland by being in Bulgaria even though my mother hails from Finland.

Even if it is a "continent" thing, it still seems tough to follow. Nigeria and Botswana may seem similar to those who do not study the African Continent, but they are indeed very very different. Uchenna's words would hold true if he were in Nigeria. Does not hold true in the lands of Setswana and Bushmen.


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ARnutz 13889 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 07:40 AM (EST)
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15. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I heard him say that too. I was wondering if his family was of foreign descent because Uchenna is such an unusual name.


I bet he has visited the region and his relatives before and that's why he has seen the carrying of items, as he said.



'nutz: Proud member of the inoffensive OT Triumvirate... and Shroomhater! - shroom go boom!

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J Slice 13166 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:44 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I've noticed that, too.

The show also pipes in singing-African-children music whenever U/J are being shown. Well, at least in Africa.

I agree with you to an extent, Bacon. I totally follow you with the limited-connection-to-Africa thing. Still, it's hard not to feel at home when you're surrounded by people like yourself.

It's kinda how I felt in Israel. Surrounded by fellow secular jews


Ohhh, if anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry-dome!

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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:51 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Well, I sort of understand your connection. Being jewish is something that connects you. It's a faith, in other words. You didn't feel comfortable because of appearances, you felt comfortable because you shared a belief system, and therefor, a common interest. I mean, if I walk down a street and see a dude who has the same build, skin-color, hair, and eyes that I do...well..I don't feel any reason to want to bound with them just because of it. However, if someone is holding a Simpsons convention in town then I would feel right at home because we're sharing a common interest.
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RatPat 48 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:49 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I completely understood the father and daughter's reaction last season when they went to the place where the slaves boarded the ships.

How would you expect a jewish couple to respond at a concentration camp?

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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:55 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I think it's understandable to a point. Obviously an old jewish couple would feel sorrow because they, or their parents, probably had to suffer through those concentration camps. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any lack of understanding as to the emotions of the situation. But just to go to another country where you have no real connection other than skin color to the natives and say that "This is my land" is pretty strange to me.
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J Slice 13166 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 07:56 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I suppose that would depend on the Jewish couple.

On the Jewish half of my family, everyone was either an assimilated American or was living in Palestine during WWII.

I'd obviously be affected, sure, but someone with a deeper connection to the Holocaust might break down completely.


Ohhh, if anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry-dome!

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Kathryn in Canada 14 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 08:01 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
>
>Now I, as a white german, would never go over to Germany and say >I'm in the Motherland now!"

I'd hope not, you should say you are in the Fatherland!

As for your actual point, there is something to be said for being where you are the norm and don't stick out. I read about a Chinese Canadian who went to China and was amazed at how different it felt to be surrounded by people who looked like her.

When our family was in Japan, I was amazed at how we stuck together as a unit and how we were constantly glanced at by people on the trains and in the street. It was subtle, not discriminatory or threatening, but it was there and was slightly uncomfortable. Mainly it was because we felt we didn't belong.

That experience helped me understand why immigrants will congregate to areas where there are others from the same country (witness the Chinatowns and Italian districts in major cities) rather than try and integrate into their new country.

For someone like Uchenna, Africa is even more of a homeland since he talked about his father immigrating to the US, making Uchenna a first generation American.

I experience a similar feeling when I go 'home' to Nova Scotia. I was raised in Central Canada but when I'm in NS, I have a different feeling of peace. Not that I'd give up my more comfortable life in Ontario to move there, but I do feel at home when in Nova Scotia, among people who sound like my parents did and in places that hold my family's history.


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nailbone 27263 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 10:56 AM (EST)
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19. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I read about a Chinese Canadian who went to China and was amazed at how different it felt to be surrounded by people who looked like her.

And didn't one of the black guys in a previous season, sitting on a porch in Africa with a local family, say how cool it was that all the people looked like him?


New from Sigs by Syren!!

Keep lookin' up, cuz that's where it all is. o-

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Desire 48 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 08:01 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Most Africans were brought here against their will. Unlike let's say your's or mine people.

They were robbed. You and I were not.

They were denied all things.

Our people came to America seeking a better life. (They had no choice or say so in the matter)

If you don't understand the difference or great significance of the matter, it is only because you are not black, you are too young and yes you are just a goofy white kid LOL

Do a google read about their struggles not only here in America but also in Africa.

Then maybe you will understand it a little better.

Peace.

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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 08:06 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Ahhh..but this is where you could be wrong. There is such a thing as a white slave. But I'm not about to go into my history and find out such things. It's not a pressing issue, nor do I think it should be. I've always felt that when people look to the past, especially when they didn't live that past, it only causes harm.

And now I'm going way off topic, but I've always thought that people picked the wrong battles in this country. It should have never become black v. white. The real battle has always been between poor v. rich. But now I'm getting way off topic.

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Wheezy 9153 desperate attention whore postings
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04-06-05, 09:15 PM (EST)
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11. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"

This? Is definitely something you should discuss in your CNN and FOX interviews, bacon.

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The_Black_Mamba 41 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 00:45 AM (EST)
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12. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Bacon...........I'm trying to recall the last time I've encountereds a person as misinformed as you. 'White Slavery' did exist once, it was called 'endentured servitude'. The differences between that and the slavery that Africans experienced? First, you entered endentured servitude wilingly (your family recieved the money from your contract). African slaves recieved nothing at all. As a endentured servant you had rights as to what could happen to your body. African slaves had no rights. They were routinely whipped, saw their children 'sold' to a differnt owner (after all they were property) never to be seen again, and could be horrible mutilated if their owner viewed that they had committed a major violation of their rules. Finally, endentured servants had a contract that specified WHEN they would be released. It was even possible for the servant to buy his/her way out of the contract. A African slave wasn't allowed this option.

Since the vast majority of African American's ancestors came to our country via slavery, returning to Africa can be a watershed moment for them emotionally. Partly because the culture there is not that far removed from the slave era. Part of it may be because FINALLY they are surrounded by people of like skin color. But having lived in Africa, it ws probably the spirit of the place and the people.......there are none like it on Earth.

BTW Bacon, I'm sure you'd feel right at home returnig to your roots in Germany. Plenty of cities and towns to get Big Macs, KFC and Pizza Hut there.

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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 08:18 AM (EST)
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16. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I wouldn't call it being "misinformed" if it's actually true. You varified that it was true so therefor it's not being misinformed. But I posted this to gather a possible understanding and perhaps I have. I don't claim that white slaves were treated the same as black slaves. I'm just saying that both existed. As for your points, they are well taken. And no, I still don't want to visit Germany.
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MTommy 80 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 02:52 PM (EST)
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25. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
LAST EDITED ON 04-07-05 AT 05:48 PM (EST)

Germany is good $hit man, I was there for a week last summer (two months backpacking in Europe all told) and I had an absolute blast. Of course the two Sweedish girls I hoooked up with had a lot to do with enjoying Berlin, but it's still a great place to visit just to visit (and not because I'm 50% German). Anyway go to Germany and you can find a great time there too!

.02

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mrc 10074 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 12:21 PM (EST)
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21. "History Lesson"
Slavery has been in existence since humanity began. Look at the Hebrews, Romans, Greeks, etc., etc. It was not always about enslaving Africans.

The condition of "white" indentured servants might not have been the equivalent of African slaves, but it wasn't as simple as an individual choosing to become an indentured servant. Many times, s/he chose to do so b/c s/he had no other options. Some would consider that a form of enslavement, albeit class rather than racial.

A Nefarious Dice Creation
Not that I disagree with your post. I'm just putting things into perspective.

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clemsonbeav 4204 desperate attention whore postings
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04-13-05, 00:08 AM (EST)
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45. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
There is such a thing as a white slave

And a black slave owner.

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AMAZON 98 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 01:24 AM (EST)
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13. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
This is a pretty complex question that is somewhat difficult to explain to non African Americans........

to put is as simply as possible, as a people African Americans have been grossly mistreated by this country (America) for centuries.....when America treats you so wrong for so long, what do you call home?

It is comforting when you go somewhere where BLACK is the dominant race and culture instead of White. It feels better to for once not be the only Black person in the room/building/area. A White American may not even think about this on a daily basis.

When Africans were brought over as slaves no good records were kept of them so it is very hard for present day African Americans to trace their roots (harder than most other ethnicities) which adds to the significance of being able to have ANY sort of connection to your ancestry, even if it is simply being present on the same landmass that SOME ancestor of yours was abruptly taken from.

Also, a lot of present day Black culture is derived from Africa. A lot of hip hop music and R & B relies heavily on percussion which has African origins. A great deal of the ways of worship and dancing that Blacks practice in their religion (mainly in the Baptist church) has African roots.

This post could go on for PAGES, but Just kind of in a nutshell, this is why racing in Africa is usually portrayed as being special for the African American racers.

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Snidget 44369 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 07:13 AM (EST)
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14. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I'm white, I'm a first generation American (my parents came from Canada) and my grandparents immigrated to Canada from England (Mom's side) and Estonia (Dad's side).

I feel a connection to both Estonia and England and want to travel there to "see where I come from" even though I am very much in the majority here in the US. I even have a big connection to Canada. I haven't been for awhile, but there is part of that country that "feels like home" to me.

How much people identify with where they come from varies, but it does seem to be a common longing in many people. I also imagine that for people who had to leave their home to come to the US may pass more of that longing on to their kids as well. I think of how strongly some Irish decendants identify with Ireland. Many left because the choice was stay and starve or leave and live. This may play some role in why it could be that more black people have longings for Africa vs white people having longings for European countries. I'm fairly sure most of those who got brought here against their will longed for home. How much that gets passed to each generation and how much that becomes part of the fabric of a community I do not know. But I would think those that change countries because they want to go to a new home vs those that change countries because they have no other choice may play a role in how many people in any given person's make up.

I know my Estonian grandparents were more of the "had to leave". Grandpa didn't want to join the Russian army when the Russians over ran the country and escaped. So I don't know if I have some of that "had to leave" vs "wanted to leave" psychology in me.

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dragonflies 8051 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 10:17 AM (EST)
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17. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I too am a 1st generation American. And while I am American, my first language was not American. I also have a deep connection to my parent's homeland, and while I am still an American, even when I visit there, I have strong ties there as well. It sounds like Uchenna is a 1st generation American, which completely explains his feelings. More so than other Black racers in the past, IMHO.

another syren masterpiece
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Dakota 5724 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 10:36 AM (EST)
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18. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I am your classic W.A.S.P. so I can't speak for African Americans. But as I read the first few posts, I thought that one difference is that Blacks lost part of their culture, their traditions, their heritage when they came to America. We brought ours with us. Although I'm third generation American on dad's side, when I was in Holland, Michigan, I was so tickled by all the memories of grandma's house when I was a kid. The food, the dishes, the dances, etc. Mom's side: German, and I also enjoy the annual local German Christmas festival where vendors from Germany sell goods made in Germany, speak German and English, etc., in the same way. Neither of these places are the "Homeland" but it seems to mean something to me to enjoy some of the traditions, crafts, food, drink, etc. of my ancestors. I suspect it would be a thrill for me to someday get to Germany or Holland. Can't really explain it, but I'm glad you brought up the topic.

Charter Member: Club Anti-DAW

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Breezy 18379 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 10:56 AM (EST)
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20. "*gasp*"
You came for Tulip Time didn't you?
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Dakota 5724 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 05:23 PM (EST)
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29. "RE: *gasp*"
LAST EDITED ON 04-07-05 AT 05:28 PM (EST)

>You came for Tulip Time didn't
>you?

Why yes. First 2 weeks in May. Toured the windmill, saw the tulip farm, toured the delft and wooden shoe factories, and it only took me 2 days to figure out how to make a left turn in that crazy town! Also learned a lot about the land reclaimed from the sea. How the Dutch used the windmills to communicate across miles of flat land, etc. So.Kewl.
Edited to add that I also find out why they came up with those crazy wooden clogs! And while I may never get to The Netherlands, I do hope to get back to Holland, MI.
Charter Member: Club Anti-DAW

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watermelon 184 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 12:42 PM (EST)
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22. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
This is not exactly the same thing, but I'm Chinese, born in Malaysia and now an Australian citizen. My grandparents moved from China to Malaysia, and my parents moved from Malaysia to Australia. It was totally by choice - we weren't enslaved, or felt like we had no other options. We are all totally happy with our lives in Australia - in fact, we love it so much, we don't want to move back to Malaysia or China. The white Australians here have always been welcoming and friendly (except for 1 or 2 racist remarks here and there, especially when we first came here and there were fewer Asians here), and I've gotten along with Aboriginal colleagues as well.

And yet? There's always this tie that we feel to our "homeland". I've never been to China but I do want to visit one day, and get to know my ancestors' home/culture better. My parents first visited China about 8 years ago and loved it so much that they've since visited various parts of China about a dozen times! They say it's a trip every Chinese person not residing in China should try to make at least once in their lifetime if possible, because it's about re-discovering our roots. Similarly, I still feel a sense of "homecoming" every time I go back to Malaysia.

So... while my day-to-day life is probably nothing like that of the Chinese people in China, I think there are some similarities there so that we can have some sort of connection, eg understanding what our opera is about, traditional Chinese music, the clothing, food etc... I think African American people visiting Africa would have a similar feeling.

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04-07-05, 01:35 PM (EST)
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23. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
As a white broad, who is…I don’t even know how many generations removed from Europe – at least 6, I think – I can only make assumptions, but here are a couple…

For my generation (40ish), I have a large number of ‘nationalities’. My ancestors came from Holland, Germany, Ireland, France and Lithuania. I always won when that conversation came up in grade school. My nephews, of course, can add Italian, Polish and Russian to the list – now they win.

Because of the number of generations my family has lived in the US, and the number of ‘countries of origin’ we have…I’ve never felt particularly ethnic – never felt a connection to any country other than the US. I’m embarrassed to say, my surname is Dutch/Flemish, and I know almost nothing about Holland. (As an adult, I’ve discovered that culturally my family leans toward the Irish.)

Black Americans descended from slaves, however…

Obviously, their families didn’t choose to move here.

Despite being in the US for more generations than most Euro-or-Other-Americans, these families understandably didn’t feel like “Americans” for hundreds of years. This is something we’re still struggling with as a country, and probably will continue to struggle with for generations to come.

Because their ancestry is almost impossible to trace back within the US, much less all the way back across the ocean…rarely can you name someone’s ‘country of origin’ other than “Africa”. (contrasted with someone like me, who not only starts on a MUCH smaller continent, but can name 5 specific regions on that small continent).

I think these are a couple of reasons why African-Americans feel a special connection when they see Africa.

As for Uchenna – I too got the impression that he’s 1st gen American from Nigeria – so that’s a pretty tight bond there…kinda the opposite end of the spectrum as to reason, but strong.

Here's a strange aside: A black friend of mine visited Africa with her family when she was a teenager and she HATED it. Lizards everywhere, didn't want to use the bathroom...hated it. I'm assuming alot of that had to do with her being a teenager though.

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watermelon 184 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 02:19 PM (EST)
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24. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
"A black friend of mine visited Africa with her family when she was a teenager and she HATED it"

Actually, now that you mention it, i have to agree that most of the Chinese people I know who have been to China and loved it were slightly older, while MOST of the young 'uns that I PERSONALLY KNOW (have to make sure I'm not generalising here, but only commenting on my own friends/knowledge) who went to visit actually hated the unsanitary conditions, toilet situation etc... They probably have more difficulties with blending in also, coz they can tell from the accents with which we speak Chinese that we're NOT local! Our parents have less problems as they manage the language better, and they also grew up in harsher conditions than we did, so are better able to "rough it".

Conclusion: I can understand how older African Americans LOVE being back in their "motherland", while the teenage ones may not appreciate it so much... we see it among the Chinese folks too...

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26. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
If you were to ask my sweetie if he's African American, he'd say "Hell, no. I'm from Harlem." Still, he has been to Africa about 20 times (mostly as a child with very Afrocentric parents). So I think he's kind of downplaying an emotional, if not literal, connection.

I wonder how I'd feel in Russia. My grandparents were all born there, but the phrase "Motherland" is not one that would roll easily off my tongue.




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04-07-05, 03:45 PM (EST)
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27. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Shaddup and put on yer kerchief.

We can eat borscht all day long!


Ohhh, if anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry-dome!

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28. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I LOVE borscht!!!

I'm a little Lithuanian -- it's close...can I come too?

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04-08-05, 02:38 PM (EST)
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33. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
As long as you bring your own vodka.




We're ALL boat people.

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MTommy 80 desperate attention whore postings
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04-07-05, 06:15 PM (EST)
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30. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
By in large this is not an education issue as the original post implies (even asks for). This is an "emotional" issue that has a different effect on different people. You can not be taught to cry when your dog dies it just happens for some (maybe not you).

I'm sure that just because someone is black they don't automatically feel a bond to Africa, it would depend largely on their life experiences before they first step foot on the continent.

Fact is, most people like the “warm and fuzzys” so the producers get in their shots when they can… it’s pretty safe material. I personally think it wastes time and takes away from the action of the race, but even so, I’m not going to go out and hate on everyone who has an emotional reaction/connection to something. If I did that, then there would be a lot of hating going on.

Anyway, do not worry about “not feeling connected to Germany” or where ever; just the same as I would not worry if a cat (ok EVERY cat in the whole world) meet with a horrible horrible death. Just because someone else cares does not mean you have to.

Having said all that, I do still highly recommend that you (everyone) do a lot traveling because the experiences are great. Maybe you’ll find a connection by some chance in a small village in the south of France (probably not). Either way, don’t go looking for it; because by simply starting this post, I’m in doubt that your emotional disposition is such that you would ever find this connection by searching for it.

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32. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
just the same as I would not worry if a cat (ok EVERY cat in the whole world) meet with a horrible horrible death.

*Gasp* I hope Frisky doesn't see that. You'll hurt her feelings.


When I visited my "fatherland" Sweden, there was a little emotion. But I have so many other races/nationalities mixed in me, not that much emotion.

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35. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
*snort*

... but shakes would love it!


You can please some of the posters some of the time, but you can't please all of the posters all of the time.

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Ruthless 281 desperate attention whore postings
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04-08-05, 09:27 PM (EST)
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34. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
LAST EDITED ON 04-08-05 AT 09:29 PM (EST)

I'll write this and then put on my asbestos suit.

It's something I've wondered about as well, especially the Gus and Hera moment at the slave gate in Senegal. Are Gus and Hera descended from slaves? Or is it just assumed because they are black they must be. I'm not denigrating their reactions at the slave gate, just wondering if it had personal meaning for them because they are descended from slaves or just a generic "we are black and can feel for the descendants of slaves".

Uchenna's father immigrated from Nigeria, so there is no way he can be a descendant from slaves, but is he given the same treatment as someone who is? Simply because he can call himself African American?

I guess that's my main question. What's with the labelling - African Amercian, Irish American, Italian American, Native American? Aren't you all Americans? Why does one group deserve special treatment because of their skin colour or ethnic descent? Even if they themselves are an African immigrant, are they treated the same as someone who can trace their family history back to a slave in the 1700's. Should they get the same favourable/unfavourable treatment? How long has it been since the last slave arrived in America? It's not like the slave trade finished 20 years ago and there are all these first generation slave descendents out there, with the memories of the hardship their parents faced fresh in their minds. I know there was segretation in parts of the US up until the 1960's, but that wasn't everywhere.

One of my husband's ancestors was an Irish convict, whose daughter married the son of a free settler from Scotland. Their son married a girl from Germany, and their son married a girl of English descent, and their son married an Australian girl with English ancestors, and their son (my husband) married me, who has English and Irish ancestors, including an English convict.

Would I feel all teary and felt like I was "coming home" if I visited England or Ireland. Nope - Australia is my home. I have no overwhelming burning desire to visit England or Ireland to search for my roots. My roots are here in Australia, where I was born, where my parents were born, where my grandparents were born and where some of my great grandparents were born.

If I do get the opportunity to travel overseas, I want to go to Canada.

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04-08-05, 10:13 PM (EST)
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36. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
*stands up and applauds*

Great post! You are right! Too many Americans are hung up on classifying people by their looks and/or heritage. Unfortunately, it happens every day here in America. We as a people are a long way off from acceptance of all cultures.


'nutz: Proud member of the inoffensive OT Triumvirate... and Shroomhater! - shroom go boom!

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AMAZON 98 desperate attention whore postings
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04-09-05, 00:10 AM (EST)
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37. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
LAST EDITED ON 04-09-05 AT 00:12 AM (EST)

>It's something I've wondered about as
>well, especially the Gus and
>Hera moment at the slave
>gate in Senegal. Are
>Gus and Hera descended from
>slaves? Or is it
>just assumed because they are
>black they must be.

If they were not descended from slaves, chances are they would know this because they would be able to trace their family tree. Descendents (sp?) of slaves cannot usually trace their roots all the way back because who is going to keep medical records on slaves?

>I guess that's my main question.
> What's with the labelling
>- African Amercian, Irish American,
>Italian American, Native American? Aren't
>you all Americans? Why does
>one group deserve special treatment
>because of their skin colour
>or ethnic descent? Even
>if they themselves are an
>African immigrant, are they treated
>the same as someone who
>can trace their family history
>back to a slave in
>the 1700's. Should they
>get the same favourable/unfavourable treatment?

A lot of this is very idealistic. In an ideal world, your skin color would determine your physical appearance only, but in America and around the world it determines SO.MUCH.MORE.

>How long has it been
>since the last slave arrived
>in America? It's not
>like the slave trade finished
>20 years ago and there
>are all these first generation
>slave descendents out there, with
>the memories of the hardship
>their parents faced fresh in
>their minds. I know there
>was segretation in parts of
>the US up until the
>1960's, but that wasn't everywhere.

Also, slavery went on long after the the slave trade was outlawed. Even after the Emancipation Proclomation, most slaves had no money, no property, no anything so they "chose" to continue to be slaves. And as late as the 1940's (maybe even the 50's), a significant number of African Americans were sharecroppers, and almost all of them were not receiving a reasonable "share" of the profit. This was really just an extension of slavery.

And, segragation did not just mysteriously disappear and vanish from the country in the 1960's. Yes the Civil Rights Act was signed, but everyone did not just start integrating and lived happily ever after. There were still race riots across the country for decades afterwards.

Lastly, a lot of parents probably had to endure or witness Jim Crow segragation, lynchings, attacks and bombings of their neighborhoods. These stories get passed down. This could understandably cause a hatred and mistrust of White Americans that gets passed down to the next generation.

>One of my husband's ancestors was
>an Irish convict, whose daughter
>married the son of a
>free settler from Scotland.
>Their son married a girl
>from Germany, and their son
>married a girl of English
>descent, and their son married
>an Australian girl with English
>ancestors, and their son (my
>husband) married me, who has
>English and Irish ancestors, including
>an English convict.
>
>Would I feel all teary and
>felt like I was "coming
>home" if I visited England
>or Ireland. Nope -
>Australia is my home.
>I have no overwhelming burning
>desire to visit England or
>Ireland to search for my
>roots. My roots are
>here in Australia, where I
>was born, where my parents
>were born, where my grandparents
>were born and where some
>of my great grandparents were
>born.
>
>If I do get the opportunity
>to travel overseas, I want
>to go to Canada.

The comparison between these countries and regions is very different from comparing America to Senegal, or Ethiopia, or South Africa. In Ireland, England, and Australia, the skin color of the people is predominantly White. When an African American goes from America to one of the African countries, the predominant skin color changes from White to Black. I know that to you it is "just skin color", and I wish more people thought that way, but like I said before, since so much rides on your skin color, it is just that much more important.


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AyaK 10332 desperate attention whore postings
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04-11-05, 08:37 PM (EST)
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44. "skin color"
>In Ireland, England, and Australia, the skin color of the
>people is predominantly White. When an African American goes
>from America to one of the African countries, the predominant
>skin color changes from White to Black. I know that to you it is
>"just skin color", and I wish more people thought that
>way, but like I said before, since so much rides
>on your skin color, it is just that much more important.

Except that, by African standards, many people who are classified as and think of themselves as "black" (because of the classification standards toward "multiracial" people still prevalent in the U.S.) would be considered to be white.

When does the "hypo-descent rule," which appears to be an American peculiarity, finally end?

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40. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"

>If I do get the opportunity
>to travel overseas, I want
>to go to Canada.

You'd be welcomed up here! Lots of great places to see and to do.



Scratch and sniff
"Tsk, tsk. Pepe's messing with the newbies again." Spidey, 3/30/05

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04-13-05, 02:54 PM (EST)
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50. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Great post. I was thinking this very thing as I was reading through.

I was born in Canada, therefore I am Canadian, period. Unlike America, which is built on the "melting pot" theory of immigration, we are "multi-cultural". This has a variety of different problems, such as when people come here from other countries they tend to move to the neighbourhoods where their own have settled, thus creating their own little countries within the city. The problem here is no-one assimilates, no-one becomes "Canadian" per se. This leads to a strain on our programs, such as the education system for example. There is a great deal of money spent on English as a Second Language because anyone who comes here continues to live in a non-english speaking home. There are no incentives to blend in, to become Canadian, to embrace the country they chose.

I guess my point is, if you choose to come to a country, then embrace it as your chosen home.

And here is where I put on the asbestos suit. Having used the word "chosen" I realize the slaves were stolen from their homeland, but I'm fairly certain no-one is holding the black Americans against their will these days.

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38. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I agree with Sizzlean 100% and I've said it before in other forums. I black but I've never been to Africa and really have no drive or desire to go. I was born in america and just consider myself a black american. I have co-workers who are white that ARE from Africa and I think if we're going to have African American scholarships and the like, they should be more eligible than I as they are actually FROM Africa and that's the term everyone chooses to use.


r u a bot?

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Ruthless 281 desperate attention whore postings
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04-09-05, 11:14 PM (EST)
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41. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I seem to recall reading about a white South African who applied for an African American scholarship and was refused because he wasn't black. The scholarship was targetted at black African Americans. Could someone who was from another continent, and also black, be able to claim they were African American and therefore qualify?

It's interesting watching the Olympic Games and seeing the different ethnic backgrounds of some of the athletes. Black athletes representing Scandinavian countries, white athletes representing African countries. The world is on the move, and that's why I think labelling people by their country of origin (or their great great grandparent's country or continent of origin) is just too weird. As far as I am aware America is the only country that labels people that way.

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46. "Nope"
LAST EDITED ON 04-13-05 AT 00:34 AM (EST)

>that's why I think labelling people by their country of origin (or their great great
>grandparent's country or continent of origin) is just too weird.
> As far as I am aware America is the only country that labels people that way.

I'm sorry to note that your last sentence doesn't match my experiences in the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, labeling by country of origin is prevalent everywhere ... and without the hyphenate that the U.S. uses. Turks who come to Germany are still Turks, even if they were born in Germany and speak German. Palestinians who have lived their entire lives in Kuwait are still Palestinians (they aren't even permitted to become citizens of Kuwait). The Netherlands is rife with ethnic and religious conflict between citizens from the former Dutch East Indies (i.e., Indonesia) and "native" Dutchmen. Et cetera.

Heck, soccer fans in Scotland booed a moment of silence for the Pope this week because their team was playing against Celtic -- the team supported by Irish immigrants to Scotland, who are generally Catholic.

Soylent Green: recycling America, one person at a time.

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bacon 2824 desperate attention whore postings
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04-13-05, 10:12 AM (EST)
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48. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Wow. I'm not an idiot then? I really was posing this as a real question. I simply never understood the connection. Although, some people have posted things that do make me understand it to a certain extent. Although the person who posted that they had a Canadian flag tattooed on their body kind of disturbed me.
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aliemme 12 desperate attention whore postings
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04-13-05, 08:29 PM (EST)
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51. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
Why would it disturb you that I have maple leaf tattoo? It is a really common thing in Canada. I know tons of people who have the exact same tattoo. Maybe it is a Canadian thing. Which is weird because Americans are always that ones touted as being so patriotic.
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43. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
And I don't want to insult you so realize I think the following suggestion may improve your understanding about what some blacks feel about Africa.

One) Don't make excuses - please, please, please take a trip to Germany. The results may surprise you. If your parents spent any time at talking to you about Germany when you were a child and additionally if they spoke German to you then, you will notice a big diffirence going to Germany vs other European countries.

Without being able to verbally point out the diffirence, I bet you find yourself more comfortable in Germany than other European countries. Try it, even if I am wrong it is worth the trip alone.

Two) Do a trip in Japan, get off the beaten path. Learn what it feels like when people whisper behind your back everywhere that you go. Parents pull thier children in close as you past them. Inns and Baths refuse you entry because you are clearly not Japanese.

I think you will develop a better understanding why some blacks act the way they do.

On the other hand not all blacks are like that. Personally my 'motherland' is space - the places I want to be are White Sands, Black Rock and China Lake - God I wish I could go to China Lake and look at thier files - Heaven. But I am Canadian at present and would not be let in.

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aliemme 12 desperate attention whore postings
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04-13-05, 03:20 AM (EST)
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47. "RE: Possibly sensitive subject"
I don't see what the problem is with Blacks feeling a strong connection with Africa? I find it weird that people would not feel a connection with the country their ancestors orginated from. I'm canadian and love my country. I have the canadian flag tattooed on my body. I have never for a moment not felt canadian but I definetly still feel the urge to seek out my roots and know the cultures of my ancestors. My mother's family orignally came from the Ukraine and my dad is from Trinidad, with his family from Africa and India. I don't think it makes me less of a canadian for wanting to know my background. I know that if I went to Africa I would feel that same way that many of the black TAR competitors do. And with slavery how are we to know which African country our ancestors came from?

When the world cup is on and everyone with Italian heritage is cheering for Italy, I do not feel that they are any less canadian. It is wonderful that people are able to embrace their cultures and those of their ancestors without being made to feel any less Canadian.

At the same time I don't feel that it is good to be consumed with race. It is only one component of who we are as individuals. But the U.S still seems to be so consumed with Black verus White and I guess that won't change anytime soon.

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04-13-05, 11:19 AM (EST)
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49. "Here's the deal"
Alright bacon, I'll bite (not hard )

We all know that there have been white slaves, black slaves, brown slaves, purple slaves, etc. We all know that various peoples have enslaved other peoples throughout history and sometimes it was class/caste based and sometimes it was nationality/race-based. But the differences between African slavery in America (and in other countries, to some extent) and 'other' slavery situations are fairly extensive.

First and foremost, you have an entire race of people who are taken thousands of miles from their homes, to another continent in order to have their lives, cultures, language, religions, names, identities, families, etc. taken away. Then you have hundreds of years of this practice, which virtually destroys any and all association to your history as a people/culture. That doesn't mean that you don't or shouldn't feel a connection to what was once yours and what, in all likelihood would have been had it not been for the actions of others. It just means that the connection is that much more difficult to see on the outside. It just means that you'll probably never know where your ancestors came from, what their culture was before it was stripped of them. It means that you take what you can get.

You said that you are German. I am too. I am German, Irish, Scottish, and Hungarian (and a little bith of some other things, too). Guess what? African Americans, by in large, have absolutely NO idea what their ethnic origins are other than that their families came from Africa at some point in history. You and I can say what our connections are or aren't because we know where out families come from. My dh is one of the VERY fortunate few who knows where some of his ancestors came from (his father's side originated in Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast), but most don't have a clue because their ancestors weren't allowed to associate with their roots/histories. Pretty depressing, don't you think?

African slaves were treated like property in just about every way imaginable. Indentured servitude cannot be compared to what they endured (chattel slavery - and a different kind of chattel slavery than was really ever seen at any other point in history up to this point in time) - there was no foreseeable end to their "servitude" and they were basically at the sole mercy of their 'masters' (and eventually the legal system) for defining who they were, what they were, and whether they would be considered property for 20 years or for life (and most of the time, it didn't matter if they were eventually considered "indentured servants" - either by 'legal definition' or by their 'master' - because for all intents and purposes they were treated as slaves). There are so many aspects of African chattel slavery that would result in a desire to go 'back to your roots' - it can be hard to understand for non-black individuals because they have absolutely no frame of reference (nothing remotely close) that could be analgous.

I know that if I traveled to Africa (and I plan to at some point in my lifetime...hopefully sooner rather than later), I would have that same sort of moving experience that the Black TAR folks have had - because of my close connection to the struggles of Black Americans (I'm married to one and my daughter is, obviously, Black) and because of my understanding and appreciation of the history of chattel slavery as a result of my education (I studied Africana Studies in college - far and away the most thought-provoking and demanding courses I had in college). The 'connection' that many people feel when they travel to "the motherland" is a result of centuries of disconnectedness from all that they knew before the slave-trade. When you go to the place where your ancestors took their last breath as a human being (because we all know that slaves in America were not seen as human beings), I cannot imagine NOT being moved immensely. The connection is certainly not imaginary...sure maybe on the outside it seems imaginary, but when your entire understanding of your cultural roots is that your people lived somewhere on the continent of Africa, you cherish that.

It really runs SO much deeper than skin color. If you still can't really understand what I'm getting at, feel free to PM me. I don't have the time to further explain my feelings on the subject right now but I'd be more than happy to share at another time.

Sorry if it's a jumbled mess...I went back and added some things here and there.


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