The New York Times publishes the worst nonsense these days. Yesterday, for instance, they served up this spectacular exercise is self-pity from Affirmative Action poet Caroline Randall Williams.
I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South.
If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument. …
I am a black, Southern woman, and of my immediate white male ancestors, all of them were rapists. My very existence is a relic of slavery and Jim Crow.
According to the rule of hypodescent (the social and legal practice of assigning a genetically mixed-race person to the race with less social power) I am the daughter of two black people, the granddaughter of four black people, the great-granddaughter of eight black people. Go back one more generation and it gets less straightforward, and more sinister. As far as family history has always told, and as modern DNA testing has allowed me to confirm, I am the descendant of black women who were domestic servants and white men who raped their help.
It is an extraordinary truth of my life that I am biologically more than half white, and yet I have no white people in my genealogy in living memory. No. Voluntary. Whiteness. I am more than half white, and none of it was consensual. White Southern men â€” my ancestors â€” took what they wanted from women they did not love, over whom they had extraordinary power, and then failed to claim their children.
Obviously, the author knows no such thing. history is complicated, far more complicated than imaginary ideal grievance narratives can possibly reflect.
When Henry Louis Gates, on the popular PBS television program Finding Your Roots, looked into the genealogies of African Americans, with massive funding and plenty of professional research assistance, he found one black family that had been free immemorially right back to the 17th century (Tonya Lewis Lee‘s paternal line — Season 4, Episode 6).
He found several black celebrities (including Lionel Richie) descended from ancestors who received state pensions for Confederate military service. He also found one person was descended from a white Confederate soldier who lived, in complete defiance of the mores of the time, with a black woman as man and wife.
Reducing, in the fevered left-wing imagination, all amorous relations between representatives of different races to rape simply travesties reality.
We know from countless depictions of Antebellum Life in the Southern States that African American house servants lived essentially as members of their owners’ extended family. White children were raised by black Mammies, and white and black children grew up as playmates and friends. So, with millions of people living in such intimate and affectionate contact, do you really think that mutual sexual attraction never occurred?
Obviously, it did, because, despite powerful social taboos, some white men really did simply defy Society and live with women of color.
Beyond that, of course, not all African Americans grew up to be pillars of the community and a credit to their race. There was obviously a black underclass way back when, just as there is today. Mixed racial descent could possibly result from the unintended consequences of the practice of the Oldest Profession. Rather than some cruel rapist master, Caroline Randall Williams’ white ancestor may simply have been a lonely chap who wandered off into the sinful part of town one Saturday evening while celebrating.
Of course, it is true as well that current African American hysterical complaints about what they imagine occurred more than a century and a half ago, in addition to lacking a serious factual foundation, are patently ridiculous simply due to the great distance and remoteness of the supposed events.
What happened to your fourth or fifth times great grandparent obviously has very small connection to you. Everybody, white or black or whatever, has some potential historical sob stories. A major portion of today’s US population (including myself) has no ancestors present during, or before, the War Between the States. If Simon Legree, with lascivious intent, chased Little Nell across those ice flows, I had nothing to do with it.
Actually, if we go back before 1850, the ancestors of a lot of white Americans were, if not actual serfs, still peasants with a labor obligation to a socially superior landlord and no meaningful rights.
Caroline Randall Williams, do us all a favor and grow up and get over yourself. Black America’s constant whining and complaining, its excessive chauvinism and racial animosities have a lot to do with the violence and crimes perpetrated by its lower class representatives. It’s long past time to stop all this.