Monday, March 13, 2017

Lying about the Body (Part 3)

James Baldwin famously claimed that he wasn't "your nigger". He makes some strong points in this video about how the term refers to something that doesn't really exist.

It reminded me of this 1967 article in which even W.E.B. DeBois had trouble coming to grips with the term negro:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lying About the Body (Part 2)

This notion that removing the word "black" somehow denies an entire race their cultural experience is hogwash. If a group of people are never black to begin with, and you remove the word "black" from them, they remain what they are: brown skinned human beings that Christ deems to be temples of God. What you are removing is the lie.

So the complaint really boils down to this: "Removing the word black denies brown people the cultural construction that has been built upon the foundation of what began as a caste-related lie about their skin."

That's right. A building with no foundation.

The same type of myth exists for beige people, and it is just as sore a revelation: when you remove the word "white", the entire construct falls to nothing. Why? Because it was based on the myth of whiteness to begin with.

So when I tell you that you are not white, I am directly attacking the lies with which you have constructed your identity your entire life. Do you need this lie? Does it give you culture, belonging, or power to say that you are "white"? If so, then your relationships themselves are likely based upon illusions. Your relatives and friends are not what you insist they are.

If you are beige, what would happen if you just started telling people that you are beige? Or brown? Does this harm you? Does it remove anything that is real?

The possibility exists that this simple step would begin to extract many of the destructive binaries that have been inseparable from the traditional terms for generations of people who understood that the white/black binary inferred:


Of course the effect wouldn't be instantaneous. Neither was the effects of the implementation of the terms white and black. But for those of you who think these terms are useful and good, tell me please: Useful and good for what?

Now look around, and tell me what we have here in America. Thousands of cultural "towns" and "cities" consisting of "buildings" with no foundations, and people insisting on terminology that keeps these constructs hanging in the air. These imagined edifices "house" cultures, and they are divided by imaginary lines. To keep the division real, we must all continue pretending that beige is white, and that brown is black.

These people were divided before you were born, and you just accept those boxes as actual compartments now that you are here, right now. You don't just treat them like necessary compartments, but indelible ones. But the truths of the temple body stare you in the face every day.

I am expected to participate. I am expected to uphold this shit so that people can remain comfortable in these untruths, and I am expected to assume that their faith in things such as God is legitimate, too.

The phrase "be honest" is not honest if these are the buildings we build. You don't want me to be honest at all if you like these constructs right where they are. But the truth is that beige and brown do not carry the destructive binaries that white and black do. And that is why the lie is preferred.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lying about the Body (Part 1)

Those who insist that there is a scriptural precedent for holding to the terms "white" and "black" must prove that they and their genealogical line have no "profane" blood lines, and they must show who is who among all of their friends and family. If they cannot, then they are perpetuating a lie as truth.

These myths rely on vast assumptions based on the appearance of people, and the racial ambiguity of what humanity has become does not support their stance with any reliable evidence. They preach and adhere to a racial dogma that has nothing to do with God, and is mere tradition and propaganda.

The insistence on not only their own "whiteness" but also that of their greater "Caucasian" community is an unproven abstraction that makes so many assumptions about who is "pure". Even if there was a pure race, where would it currently reside? Great Britain? Sweden? Norway? The Holland? Germany?

Just admit the truth: You have no idea. You don't know what the qualifications actually are, and you simply favor brighter skin over dark as a participant in the greater, multi-generational tradition of the country you live in. But what you have in your mind is a gigantic cultural myth that must ignore history to take comfort in its own prejudices. On some level, pride has shaped your ideas of what you are. Xenophobia has colored your reading of scripture. But the idea of a pure, white race is backed up by nothing.

Interracial marriage and mulatto inter-marriage in this continent and in Europe is now several generations old. Many with mixed heritage have passed into American Caucasian circles because of their appearance, and passed their progeny into many families that count themselves as "white". Those with Spanish, Greek, or Italian heritage have a likelihood of having African blood via the Moors (who ruled southern Europe for 500 years) and that heritage was passed on to Latin America. Many American "whites" also claim to have some indigenous lineage several generations hence from some noble tribes, like the Cherokee. But most of you simply have little proof at all of what your genetic makeup actually is.

What hasn't changed is the Lord's sacred insistence about the body. Was he only talking about fairer skin? No. Did he say that some temple bodies are above others because of skin color? No.

The people of the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were products of their time. They prophesied through their own cultural lens, and any inference to "white" or "black" regarding skin color is either metaphorical or representative of their own prejudices.

From Jacob 3:
5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
If they chose to not inter-marry to keep their race "pure", then they operated within their own myths. Not a single one of them was "white", either. Furthermore, God does not claim to be white, and he does not identify such a race in scripture.

This is addiction we are talking about. And the narcotic is a social one: Us vs. Them.

I'm going off that drug, going cold turkey. There is no lie that can serve the temple body, nor one that dignifies the Body of Christ.