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Monday, August 12, 2013

INTEGRATION IN AMERICA

george grosz


It just now popped into my mind, I love a good race. I mean a race to the finish line, not a biological race. As for the latter, I have come to a place I see only the human race. Skin color is simply a skin color. Some people have long toes, some have short toes, some have blue eyes, some have brown eyes, some have green eyes. I don't think any people from earth have vertical slits for pupils like cats and goats. Even if there were, where's the big deal? Some dogs have spots and some do not. Among dogs, spots are not even a concern, nor are spots on dogs a concern among humans unless attempting to breed a dog without spots and one turns up worthless with spots. It's cultural differences we identify often as racial differences. Like somebody black in Kinshasa, the Congo, who plays keyboard in a band at dance clubs functions in a very different culture from somebody white who plays keyboard in a hard-core punk band in StPetersburg, Russia. Each is shaped by the personality of his/her own culture more than the shade of skin. A black musician can play punk like a white musician. A white musician can play Kinshasa dance music. Cultures are collective personalities. I doubt we'll be able to get along racially in America until it is understood another race is another culture. It is the culture that makes us different. The American passion for sameness creates the problem with skin color.

george grosz


Ever since "Integration," the forced mixing of the races by government decree, recognizes white culture the authentic culture, all others lesser versions of the same culture, the different cultures in our multi-ethnic society have been at odds with each other. White people moving to the mountains consider mountain culture a lesser version of the culture they came from in the suburbs of some city. They look down on the locals, because the new people coming in are white middle class suburban culture, the management class, and the mountain people are working class, to be looked down upon the same as another race, the gum chewers. I see that a generalization can be made that white people all over the earth regard the other races as lesser versions of their own race. I don't know how black people see white people in relation to their culture. I know oatmeal and cracker, but that's not really saying anything. After spending a week in Philadelphia visiting black friends in the black culture there, even went to a service in a mosque, returning to the white world was quite a shock. We white people look like pigs to the other races. That is what I saw, our likeness to pigs, after living with another race for just a week. I suddenly understood Orwell's, Some pigs are more equal than others, in a new way. I got a mental image of Dadaist George Grosz painting between the wars the German big-business men as pigs in suits sometimes. A pig in a suit is pretty much the cartoon image of the rich capitalist. White man.

george grosz


We have black rich capitalists too, but they don't get the attention of white capitalists, because they are from a different culture the white men interpret a lesser version of their own, looked down upon. I believe it's in the corporate offices at the top where racism needs to be dealt with in this slow progression of eliminating racism from the human psyche. It can be done. Racism is also anti-democratic by not allowing another culture to be itself. In school we're trained to have as close to the same personality as we can screw ourselves up to achieve. Cultures not white American culture are regarded the same as nothing in power circles. I believe this is a part of the social dynamic that makes somebody who grew up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in Brooklyn an outsider anyplace else. The poor and unfortunate in AynRandland are looked down on as poverty, below low class, low class out of sight, the American untouchables. When somebody who grew up in semi-poverty struck it rich overnight, like a Detroit rock star or two or three, they carry their working class culture with them into the new culture they've entered and need to learn the new rules fast, white wealth; in the case of black people, into black wealth. Aint no cross-over in the ruling class. American ruling class is white, period. Ask Thurgood Marshall, Barak Obama, Vernon Jordan. Martin Luther King pointed out that 11 on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week.

george grosz
 
 
We people tend to imitate the class "above" our own, but not the class two steps above, except after it has been processed by the class above ours. The upper middle class aspires to and imitates the ruling class. The middle class aspires to and imitates the upper middle class. The working class aspires to the middle class and imitates. The self-help fashion in the middle class of the 80s and 90s became fashion in the working class in the 00s. Oprah funneled middle class values to the working class, brought the working class a long ways toward adopting middle class culture. And then there are the people like the people I call my friends who are ok with who they are, where they are, how much they have, where they came from and don't aspire to that which they are not. I remember in teenage years boys talking, "If I had a million dollars, it wouldn't change me. I'd be just like I am now." I had to hold my laughter inside. The evidence, even to a teenager, was to the contrary. Guys aspiring to be rock stars say, I'll never be too good for any of you guys if I make it. I'll party with you guys always. Then the members of the band are raising families in gated communities and country clubs. Zup dude, 'member me? Wha'd you say your name was, Bro? I have a problem with the white middle class condescension toward any culture other than their own. I believe it is that way everywhere, other races, other nationalities. It's the nature of money as a measure.

george grosz
 
 
The white middle class culture is right because it imitates upper middle class culture, which imitates ruling class culture, which imitates English ruling class culture, which imitates royalty, which imitates the history of royalty. White middle class culture is decreed by authority as correctness, like grammar. You gotta be white or you aint all right in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Looks like land of the free means for white people, and home of the brave applies to black people, or people of any shade, people of color, or different cultures. The white middle class culture, by my assessment, is hardly a culture at all. Real cultures are found in the working class and in outsiders by nationality or whatever reason. Latin Americans, when they get together, they dance. Old and young can dance together. Ethnic groups tend to live in the same neighborhoods and they carry their culture somewhat, much less after half a century of television and our homogenizing educational system that has us believing only white European history, arts and literature matter. In my American education, African, Asian, Middle-Eastern and Spanish literature were regarded of no interest, the same as non-existent, certainly unimportant. Of course, by now literature means data. Money has become the only value. Even hurricanes are graded by dollar value in destruction. Shopping is the most aesthetic experience of all. Ever took your time walking slowly through the toy aisles at walmart? It's an aesthetic experience as good as any installation gets.

george grosz

 

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