So Sharpton, civil rights activist, is descended from a slave owned by relatives of segregationist senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Big deal. How about whether Sharpton is descended from Mandinka royalty in Mali or sheep herders in Gambia? Better yet, trace Al to Lucy, the graceful Australopithecus anamensis, “First Humanlike Woman of the World,” who lived in Ethiopia about 3.2 million years ago. Now we’re talking genealogy.

Otherwise, we’re just splitting hairs on a gnat’s butt. Can we move into the 21st century, please? The encoded human genome ought to render such Sharpton-Thurmond connections as insignificant knots on a dead “family tree.” It’s a forest out there, and everything is tangled up.

Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright learns that she is of Jewish descent. And the world is astounded. Yvette Silverman Melanson of New York used to wear just a gold Star of David, but now she also wears a heavy strand of turquoise beads because she learned that some of her relatives are Navajo. “Unbelievable,” Melanson declares. Black writer Thulani Davis discovers Confederates in her genealogical attics. When she saw pictures of her relatives for the first time, “I went, ‘Oh my God, it’s my hairline; it’s my raccoon eyes.” Peel back that ethnic onion all you want, and everybody finds the same thing: deceased humans who walked on feet of clay.

So says Courtland Milloy, in the WaPo, this morning. His point, of course, is that Al Sharpton is not raising this issue for gynecological research.  He’s probably not suggesting that this influences his life in terms of his physical or mental abilities. What Molloy does not say, however, (apparently for reasons of his own) is the real motivation behind what Mr. Sharpton is doing.

I submit that what we have here is Sharpton making mountain’s out of molehills, so as to lay claim to victimhood.  Victimhood has always made Sharpton a fairly decent amount of money; he’s either declaring himself a victim, his fellow blacks victims, or he’s picking up victims and attaching things to them that never happened.  An example of this would be Tawanna Brawley.  It is clear that without that victimhood , Mr. Sharpton considers himself and his fellows ill equipped to deal with the world.

But since he’s taking a historical turning with this argument of his, perhaps we should look at history within the context of the American culture, shall we?

Years ago, someone having ancestors who came to this country on the Mayflower would speak with pride of such an event… their ancestors accomplished something to be proud of.  In fairly similar fashion, those making the trek through Ellis Island were considered ‘American’ for having gone though the troubles that Ellis represents, and made it in America, anyway. In both cases, some sort of personal accomplishment, or more correctly one’s familial attachment to such historical accomplishment, was a point of pride, and an indication of the abilities of the current generation.

See…. accomplishment used to be part and parcel of what it was to be an American, and that was shown by those event we held high in our own mindsets… events and accomplishments such as these.

sharpton.jpgSo, along comes Al Sharpton.

I’m quite sure I’ll be labeled a racist, here, by those who will stop reading at this point… but race isn’t the issue I’m raising… and I would ask you attend my words carefully, here to confirm this. What I am focused on here is what gets valued… historical accomplishment, or historical victim hood.

Al Sharpton, or someone in his family, MUST have some sort of major accomplishment in their past they could hold high. I make the assumption that one does not rise to the level of prominence that Sharpton has without having something on the ball. I also, apparently, think more of the Sharpton family and their collective abilities, then does Sharpton, himself.  But, no… what Sharpton clearly labels himself as here is not an accomplisher of deeds, but a victim of them. His concentration is on that historical victimhood.

Forgive my leaning toward the obvious, but it occurs to me a natural question; If those touting their family’s historical accomplishments take such great historical accomplishments as indication of what they themselves are capable of doing, shall we not also take a reliance on historical victimhood to indicate that those expounding on their familly’s historical victimhood are in reality saying that they will never become any better than victims?

Americans tend to celebrate accomplishment, and to celebrate the achiever , not the victim.  Mr. Sharpton is a professional victim.  He expects and anticipates that his followers will be the same.  In all honesty, this is precisely why I have never liked Mr. Sharpton.  His vistas Seem to me incredibly narrow, and his estimation of the abilities of the people he calls victims incredibly small. And I’ll bet he can’t understand for the life of him why nobody wants to take him seriously.
But so it is with so much of black culture today, as well.  Anyone who manages to achieve within the system, suddenly isn’t black enough. How many cries of “uncle Tom” was Mr. Justice Thomas greeted with?  Another example: I think the man’s politics abysmal, but the entire question of whether or not Barrack Obama is black enough to succeed in his run for the presidency, revolves around what he has been able to accomplish for himself, versus what he has been able to accomplish by his victimhood.  How black one is, apparently, is at least partially measured by how much one is a victim.

Such is the kind of snake oil, that Mr. Sharpton is selling, here.

As Milloy points out, Sharpton may very well be telling the truth about the ancestry he’s pointed out.  But what of it?  I wonder how many people will say that Mr. Sharpton, having a gynecological past that includes Strom Thurmond, isn’t black enough to speak for blacks anymore?  that he’s really just a white guy trying to pass. Think that argument is going to work?  So, why does it work in the other direction?

I say again; race has nothing to do with this.  What we’re talking about is the value of the cultures in question. The argument is between the culture of achievement, and the culture of victimhood.  That kind of battle can only occur, in a world where the victims assume that achievement can only be had by adding someone to the roles of victimhood.

Marxism in Amos and Andy black face, in short.

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2 Responses to “Which History Gets Valued?”

  1. LOL!  Although I’m absolutely sure it’s true that Sharpton indeed “is not raising this issue for gynecological research,” I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that you intended to highlight the equally true fact that he’s not raising it for genealogical research either.


  1. Bitsblog » A failure of citizenship? You bet it is.