You may have seen the phrase “decolonize your bookshelf” floating around. In essence, it is about actively resisting and casting aside the colonialist ideas of narrative, storytelling, and literature that have pervaded the American psyche for so long.
If you are white, take a moment to examine your bookshelf. What do you see? What books and authors have you allowed to influence your worldview, and how you process the issues of racism and prejudice toward the disenfranchised? Have you considered that, if you identify as white and read only the work of white authors, you are in some ways listening to an extension of your own voice on repeat? While the details and depth of experience may differ, white voices have dominated what has been considered canon for eons.
June 6, 2020
Your Bookshelf May Be Part Of The Problem
[I think nearly all of “the problem” is that too many people see issues in terms of skin color, ethnic origin, or some other “tribal identity”. Issues should be addressed at an individual level.
For example, if the police are illegally using lethal force then prosecute them on the basis of each individual illegal act. If (and I’m not conceding the truth or falsity of this) the evidence says the police do have a bias toward using the illegal use of lethal force against a particular skin color, it just doesn’t matter. Treat each case on it’s merits. The law is color/”tribal identity” blind and the application of it should, nay, must be blind as well.—Joe]
I’ve never been able to understand why banning, burning or destroying a book could be considered a “good thing” or a “step in the right direction.” If you think the content of a particular book is bad, then tell me why. And do a good job of it.
I got schooled by DiveMedic the other day because I didn’t read enough. I had a report from a doctor, my brother, which I then confirmed via a biases google search. Which then lead me to use his analysis. DiveMedic pointed me at much more reputable document that said the opposite. I learned.
It takes MORE information, not less information.
In addition, most of the “ban the book” movements are attempting to remove alternative view points. If there is no alternative, then obviously the one presented must be the only view point.
There is a First Amendment case from, I can’t remember, the fifties or the sixties, when the Leftists were working towards a very expansive interpretation of the First Amendment (Before they wanted to set the trap of hate speech as a sort of universal nullifier of the First Amendment. I believe it was Brandeis who said that the cure for bad speech was more speech. Now, of course, Bad Speech is in the mind of the gauleiter, and is cured by book burning, terminating the speaker’s employment, and blacklisting. If the speaker is a university professor who somehow missed the culling process, there is also the show trial at which the speaker may attempt to save his livelihood, spending his or her retirement in the process.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Whitney v. California in 1927:
Thank you Joe. I have been banging this drum for years. I don’t know how long we can go on with the divisions (perpetrated by the media, mostly) in this country. It’s not a hate crime, it is a crime; prosecute the degree of the crime not the reason for the crime.
Translation: “I’d asking all you white folks to destroy your own culture, your own history, your own philosophy. substitute for it OUR narrative of white guilt and non-white purity. Yes, Western Civilization built nearly all the good things in the world today, but it makes everyone else’s accomplishments look puny by comparison, so please commit cultural suicide, then suicide for real, so we can loot your stuff.
– everyone who didn’t built that.”
Um, no, I’ll take a pass on destroying my own past, and my children’s future, thanks.
Accuse others of what you do. That’s a Marxist credo. Marx was a spoiled, rich, white kid, so who is getting their psychosocial foundation and world views from whom?
And we must ask; where did Marx get his world views? He articulated and documented them, but certainly didn’t invent them, and so we must look elsewhere.
Eventually you will find that Marx is just another soldier in the war against Judeo- Christian civilization, and most specifically against the Protestant Reformation and any society built around it or emulating it in any way. I challenge you to refute it–
The more harmony a culture has with the Ten Commandments, and the Biblical word in general, and thus the more free and prosperous, the more it will be hated and attacked by the left and its forces. It’s the axiom of the world.
I hate having to be the one to remind you all, but papal Rome was the first organized, methodical, mass book burner, of the Ad Dominum era, even instituting and executing a death decree against anyone possessing a Bible. Nothing but her tactics and rhetoric have changed since. Her doctrines and ideologies are precisely the same today as ever. They do not change.
If the Reformation had begun in central Africa and spread from there into Europe, we wouldn’t be hearing from the left today about “white culture” or “white literature”, etc., being their bugaboo in the world. The public narrative and pretenses would be very different, but the underlying impetus and goals would be, as always, exactly the same.
Be it widely understood; whatever “hook”, or premise or motivation the left claims, you may rest assured that it is something else. It’s never been about race, it isn’t about equalizing class disparities, it’s never been about helping the underdog overcome the exploitations of the wealthy, it isn’t about peace and safety, nor health, nor the children, nor gender equality, or “human rights” of any kind, and it isn’t about climate change, the environment, or Mother Earth, etc., and it never has been any of those things.
Only once you fully realize that, and understand it, incorporate it, and can act and think accordingly, only then are you free from the distractions, and only then can one start looking for the truth, which resides elsewhere. Otherwise we’re continual victims of the lies, lures, distractions, false paradigms, dialectics, gas-lighting, irritations and agitations which the left is so good at providing in daily doses. Jesus refers to the required process as “overcoming the world”.
The one thing that matters to the left, consistently and predictably (always), is the issue of who or what you recognize, either in your beliefs or in your actions, as the authority in your life and over the world. It’s binary; either you recognize them and their worldly system (satan, or simply evil if you prefer) or you’re their enemy, marked for death.
Time to read some more Kipling.
It never occurred to me to consider the identity matrix of authors. Maybe I could learn.
“They do not preach that their God will rouse them
a little before the nuts work loose.”
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The author doesn’t propose banning or burning books. His point can be summed up as “you really should get out more.”
The hyperbolic over-reaction to this proposal is unfortunate. Asking that white people read authors from traditions other than their own is perfectly reasonable in an age where communications have opened the world in ways never seen before. Actually, it’s reasonable in any age, but is particularly important now.
Nevertheless, he phrases the discussion in racist terms when he speaks of “white authors” and “white readers”. Anyone who argues that way gets an automatic F in my system.
A racist is someone who thinks people of other races are inferior. The author doesn’t even imply that. He’s saying that we should pay attention to authors outside the “traditional canon” because there’s value in understanding other cultures and perspectives, and traditional canon has never bothered to include those perspectives in its reading list. It’s not “racist” to note that there are many non-white authors writing about other perspectives that white people, particularly in academia, have passively or actively excluded.
Put another way, “de-colonize your bookshelf” means “Stop reading what others tell you to, because they’ll always go back to what *they* were told to read. Start reading with an understanding that there’s lots of stuff you’ve missed.”
He could have said that, but he didn’t.
None of us are mind-readers, so we have to go with what they say, and both the immediate context and the milieu in which they speak/write.
I’d agree that widening ones reading horizons to find things that are not in the traditional canon is not a bad thing. HOWEVER… “colonize” and “decolonize” have very distinct negative meaning and connotations as the various types of SJWs use them. Europe colonizing anywhere is seen as inherently and comprehensively bad, and indigenous/native/non-Western seen as pure/good/”authentic”. To “decolonize” effectively means to destroy Western Civilization and all its cultural artifacts. The irony is that the same people also push for “multicultrualism” and immigration, meaning they want everyone from non-western nations to move into Western nations and bring their culture with them, to establish non-western colonies of the same dysfunction they fled, while not understanding that the comfort and abundance they experience in Western nations is a direct result of our thousands of years of both scientific AND cultural development; if you abandon the western canon, you lose western civilization with it. The die-off would be EPIC, and you’d likely be included in it.
Yes, people should read some non-western things. Sun Tzu comes to mind. But you should not read them at the expense of not reading and understanding the things that got us here. If someone gains Mya Angelou at the expense of Aristotle, they have unarguably lost in the bargain. If you are familiar with her, and have not read him, that would go far to explain your statements here.
John, you’re wrong. A racist is someone who looks at groups of people as defined by their race. Those who treat specific races as inferior are a subset of this. If you treat a race as superior, you’re also a racist. If you say that a certain race has a particular problem, or a certain race has an obligation to do something, that is an example of evaluating groups according to race, which meets the definition of racist.
Maybe your definition will gain traction, but it’s currently not the canonical (or historical) definition.
Maybe you should expand your collection of dictionaries. I suggest you look at The Free Dictionary and Dictionary.com for broader definitions which include pkoning’s examples.
Dictionary.com says “a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.” That’s not the same as “looks at groups of people as defined by their race.”
The Free Dictionary says ” The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.”
All the definitions I’m seeing online revolve around the same concept: that racism is a belief in the superiority of one race over another. (I don’t have access to the OED, it’s subscription only.) This notion of “evaluating groups according to race” doesn’t appear, except where you consider “view as inferior” a subset of “evaluating.”
Look up the definition of “racism” as well as “racist”. Dictionary.com and The Free Dictionary (which I linked to before) both include:
Funny thing is John. The blacks are going to get a real lesson in colonization once the Mexicans take over.
No such thing as equality, fairness, or white man’s guilt. Let’s watch you play the race card with a Mexican? HAHAHAHAHA!
And I don’t need to read about Mexican colonization. I’ve been living in it all my life!
Trust me, You and Juan-da ain’t going to like Americans deciding to De-colonize anything. Even our bookshelves. Without the classic’s to inspire us. We might start paying attention to what’s being done to us. At which point Juan would very much like us to just please keep reading, anything! Schmuck.
Sorry Johnny. The bonehead Juan starts with the premise that there’s something wrong with the” American psyche”. Something that has “pervaded it for so long”?
Once again we see some SJW starting his narrative with a lie. And demanding that we except it going forward.
Only his own prejudice and bigotry would make Juan say something like that in the first place.
Say what you will about writers. With what comes out of Hollywood these days there’s plenty to criticize.
Write a review about some author you find interesting. Fine.
But his ass has nothing to say about what America reads, when. How would his arrogant ass know a thing about what we in America read? Just assumed and projected, then declared wrong by some metric of superiority.
Then you come trying to clean up after Juan’s little mental La Raza fest. Telling us were all wrong about what the bitch is saying. If y’all don’t think white colonizing works pretty good for everyone. Go to starbucks and buy a coffee with some money you got in Zimbabwe? Oh that’s right, whites left. Place/money is shit now. Just like Juan’s opinion. And by all projections, yours also.