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Caste, White Fragility and property appropriation

By Blog Master
Posted: 08/11/2020

A very spirited discussion took place in our first August meeting on the 7th, where disagreements were aired and discussed as is appropriate for a discussion. Topics again ranged widely for example:

•    The caste system in America and Martin Luther King learning that he was considered an “untouchable” by members of that caste in India.
•    The impact that meeting and dealing with people of different backgrounds has on one’s perceptions and understanding.
•    The differences that one finds in customs and understanding in different parts of this country.
•    The comparison of Pasadena with the Upper West Side of New York City, but without the high-rises.
•    The impact of the urban renewal in Pasadena in the 70’s. This was particularly interesting because it brought the discussion into a local context where we can all see it more clearly.
•    Reflections on the book, White Fragility, and the debate about its impact. This topic brought out some distinct differences in perspective that are useful to be aware of as we talk about this extraordinarily complex issue.  While there are many simple and true statements that can be made about it, it is simultaneously a complicated and difficult issue to discuss and resolve.

The meeting was also marked by the attendance of several new visitors, as well as the return of visitors from across the country and other villages.

Two of the articles suggested as background where discussed in some detail.   References were made relevant to the third.  We discussed property appropriation, including urban renewal of the discussion this time was the way in which it referred to local circumstances in the Pasadena area and how that was relevant to the larger discussion.

Our next meeting is scheduled at noon on the third Friday, August 21.  As a topic for discussion, consider the following:

The Russians are attacking us now and attacking in our weak spots. We see diversity as a strength and the Russians do too, but there are problems in that area.

The Indians were here first on this land, but the land was taken away from them. The Hispanics were here next, but they were, essentially, another European power that was occupying the land. They were both voluntary residents in that sense.

The blacks came here as a huge wave of involuntary immigration. They are a large part of our diversity. Many other populations since their coming have added to our diversity and greatly strengthened our nation in many ways. The problem is that with diversity comes difference and dissension.  Diversity introduces conflict into the society.  That is what the Russians are playing on.

The involuntary immigration combined with the caste system linked social structure and race  in ways that we have not yet overcome.  That linkage and its impact is what our discussion today is about. In this sense, the 1619 history and our discussions of race enter into the arena of national security.  These weak spots and fractures in our society are what the Russians are exploiting to divide us further. It might be useful for us to focus on the divisions in our society introduced by our history of racism and slavery and talk about how that is imperiling our national security today.

Think it over and come and share your thoughts.

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