Posts tagged ‘race’

November 11, 2011

I believe…

All absolutely true. Always loved E.M. Forster.

I believe in aristocracy. . . — if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke. I give no examples — it is risky to do that — but the reader may as well consider whether this is the type of person he would like to meet and to be, and whether (going further with me) he would prefer that this type should not be an ascetic one. I am against asceticism myself. I am with the old Scotsman who wanted less chastity and more delicacy. I do not feel that my aristocrats are a real aristocracy if they thwart their bodies, since bodies are the instruments through which we register and enjoy the world. Still, I do not insist. This is not a major point. It is clearly possible to be sensitive, considerate and plucky and yet be an ascetic too, and if anyone possesses the first three qualities I will let him in! On they go — an invincible army, yet not a victorious one. The aristocrats, the elect, the chosen, the Best People — all the words that describe them are false, and all attempts to organize them fail. Again and again Authority, seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the Egyptian Priesthood or the Christian Church or the Chinese Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy stunt. But they slip through the net and are gone; when the door is shut, they are no longer in the room; their temple, as one of them remarked, is the holiness of the Heart’s affections, and their kingdom, though they never possess it, is the wide-open world.

E. M. ForsterTwo Cheers for Democracy, “What I Believe” (1951)

Sourced from Harpers.

April 6, 2011

Jeanne Roach-Baptiste on race and gender in T&T

Jeanne Roach-Baptiste , Instructor at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies on ieTV’s One on One program. Show aired April 4, 2011.

November 2, 2010

As  marriage equality continues before the courts in California regarding Proposition 8 in Perry vs Schwarzenegger both sides have been been presenting their cases. As part of the process, supporters of each side are allowed to provide amicus briefs (or amicus curiae) which is informed testimony presented with a view to helping the court decide the case.

Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic has weighed in on the matter. As one of the oldest black universities in the US, the Howard School of Law is quick to make a connection between this struggle and the struggle that black Americans had to endure not too long ago.

VIA Box Turtle Bulletin

Marriage is a symbol of civil freedom, a marker of social equality, a badge of full citizenship, and a social resource of irreplaceable value. Yet this fundamental expression of human dignity has also been misused as a political sieve for separating individuals into a preferred class, to which society grants a broad complement of legal rights and privileges, and a lesser class, to which it accords less than a full measure of equality. Such was the case when slaves prior to Reconstruction and interracial couples in the days of segregation were denied full marriage equality. Today, while there is no longer any serious claim that marriage rights should be denied on the basis of race, opponents of marriage equality have attacked same-sex couples, using precisely the same flawed arguments that oncewere used to justify racial slavery and apartheid. We are now long past the time when anyone would seriously claim that race-based marriage equality threatens the moral fabric of our civilization, is contrary to nature, or is harmful to children.Therefore, the onus should be on opponents of marriage equality to demonstrate how arguments that time and experience have so thoroughly rejected in the context of race should now be dug up, dusted off, and given any consideration, much less credibility, in the context of marriage for same-sex couples.

Read the rest on Scribd here – and it makes for a pretty compelling read..