Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Correcting Tainted Positions

Jamaican professor Carolyn Cooper recently wrote a challenging op-ed for the New York Times on Jamaica's national motto, 「Out of Many, One People」.

She offers criticism; framing it in the most sympathetic way, she notes that Jamaica is mostly monoracial African, with much smaller populations of mixed or European origin, and that the minorities have historically dominated the nation. She asserts that a narrative of assimilation of cultures marginalises the majority, and that Jamaica should be unashamedly African in culture.

I understand where she's coming from, but I think we must reject her conclusion; there is indeed fault in people who attempt to rule over another people through a racial basis, but that fault does not taint those who are pushing the whole world towards a nonracial future; we reject racial homelands and racial dominance of all kinds and aim to make a cosmopolitan future that does not raise one race above another. We apply this metric both against the apartheid raising European colonists to the level of oligarchs and against injured minorities seeking to do the same thing. No nation should have a racial story or speak of the blood of its people; we accept cultural narratives, but not racial ones. The critical theorists who would build walls and narratives of separation and racial identity are just as much in error as the colonialists they dream they're striking at. That error comes from a parsing of the motto as an expression of preference for multiracials and extends to a parallel of conservative ideals of heritage and backwards-looking.

Tags: politics
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