Racism and History with Carmen Lau — Adventist Voices


Chattel slavery was a racist system.

I don’t know what you mean by “‘racist,’” in quotes.

If you’re saying that Africans who traded other Africans to white people were also racist,

a) that doesn’t make any sense because the Africans didn’t have a notion of race, and the Dutch/Spanish/British/Portugese/etc. did;

b) Africans didn’t take prisoners “racially,” for the above reason.

One can’t even make the claim that Africans were equal participants in the transatlantic slave trade. As I told @Timo a week ago,

The Europeans took advantage of those internecine wars in order to profit by them, and consign captive Africans to a fate those who traded them could have never imagined.

Unintentionally, or intentionally, you’re equivocating with your use of the term "the slave trade."

Today, that term commonly refers to the Mid-Atlantic chattel infrastructural system of the 15th-19th centuries that formed the largest forced migration of people in human history.

Africans traded slaves with others. What Africans did was not “the slave trade.”

The way you are using the term is, literally, half a millennium out-of-date.

To a degree.

That is, things are what they are. How one defines them, though, perhaps is part of the process of how one understands them.

For example, racism = white supremacy. Many white people here do not define racism this way, so they understand it a different way; e.g., as a “belief,” or as something the Hutu did to the Tutsi.

I say such a definition is insufficient, and doesn’t explain trenchant phenomena; e.g., that no non-white person has the last word on anything, anywhere, in any area of activity, and that anything they actually do can be overruled by one or more white people.

White arguments usually break up, like frigates, on these rocky shores.

Many do.

I do not, as should be evident by now, above.

Agreed. Though, I do not put racism in quotation marks, and my understanding is that the larger definition is the system of white supremacy.

Well, no, that’s not true.

First, one has to define race. Race is white supremacy.

Then, one has to define “actions,” “attitudes,” and “distinctions.”

In other words, meaning what? Of what kind?

This seems to be an argument about so-called “quotas,” but one that doesn’t seem to note that white supremacy is, itself, a quota system; indeed, one might say white supremacy is the greatest quota system ever conceived.

My position is that, without white supremacy (racism), there’d be no need to pick X percentages of Black people, for anything.

I’m not sure, but, arguably, one could say a counter-quota system is one way to to fight a universal one; i.e., racism (white supremacy).

The latter part of what you’ve written seems reasonable. The former part seems to add nuances that you don’t explicate.

I’d also add that, by this model, if you “telegraph” “positivity,” and someone reads it as “chip on shoulder,” one will get back the same responses as if they “telegraphed” “chip on shoulder.”

Suppose acting out helps you?

If it does—if any person says, “Acting out helped me”—your question is answered and, thus, nullified.

Since you’re saying this, I should consider everything you wrote, which prompted me to write on South Africa, forfeited, correct?

I don’t define “the problem” the way you do. I consider white supremacy the problem.

So, for example, I consider “white neighborhoods” “the problem,” and white women who use trickery to get their white children into Harvard “the problem.”

I consider white people who cluck their tongues when unarmed Black males are killed by cops “the problem,” especially when their responses are well-rehearsed lies about “black-on-black crime.”

I consider any white benefit derived from the Mid-Atlantic slave trade, and its outgrowths, at any point between the years 1400 and 5400, “the problem.”

I consider white Seventh-day Adventists who sat in the GC cafeteria and looked the other way while Black SDAs had to eat in other rooms “the problem.”

I consider white people on Spectrum who claim they’re against racism, but who have no idea how to interact with Black people “the problem.”

I could go on doing this all day; all year; all decade; 'til the Milky Way and Andromeda kiss.

For someone who won’t let the words “Black Lives Matter” pass your lips, you sure know a lot about their internal finances and admin process. :smiley: I’m not sure if that makes you credible, @Sirje, or incredible.

If you’re saying that the money they’re making is mostly going to white people, I would say that’s par for the course in racial situations.

If you’re saying it’s mostly going to Black people, as long as it’s not doing so illegally, I say, Bravo: I hope you all get to buy cottages in Zihuatenejo.

You say

Respectfully, you don’t strike me as credible on this topic.

The rest…

…seems vague.

Further, it has little to do with racism. Racism is bigger than any organization protesting it. I wish it wasn’t.


I could have, but chose not to do so. :wink:

It has been! I’ve built hundreds of pages of excellent, useful text and examples.

Oh, wait a minute: You’re being sarcastic….

You mean all these people, leaving, right?

Now, tell me: Why do you think I care? :rofl:


"Now, tell me: Why do you think I care? :rofl:"

I don’t think you care anymore than you are here to discuss “racism”. It’s all about that topic, right? :wink:

" I’ve built hundreds of pages of excellent, useful text and examples."

Yes…“useful”. :grin: I just have yet to determine to whom. :wink:

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I can’t think of anything good that has come out of the BLM movement (that is generous to call them a movement) This despicable group blocked a hospital emergency room and then chanted that the poice that were just shot should die. I would be fine with them taken out by whatever authority deems it necessary. If Trump is elected it will wane. But not by their hand.


The “movement”…I have no doubt that there are, or have been, some sincere people in it that truly desire some REAL and honest racial betterment. However, it amazes me that some (or a lot) of things that have happened are so terribly, well, “racist” in the other direction.

It isn’t productive IMO to create destruction and mayhem and then wonder why the “results” aren’t what you wish them to be. For example…“Why can’t White People see!?!”. Such a mystery. :thinking:

Naturally, there are those to whom the “results” are perfectly fine to…especially if they are destroying property, stealing, and inconveniencing others. It appears to me that the BLM “message” is being taken over by some who do these things but maybe that is okay for others.

Will be interesting to see what happens with the elections. If Marxism, etc., has a stronger hold on the movement than it will continue…we shall see.

Thanks, @cincerity.

I value clarity. Clearly, you’re not clear. :no_mouth:

I don’t care about people who don’t want to talk about racism in a forum about racism. Why would I? :thinking:

I do care about people who want to talk about racism.

Yes… :smile:

Are you white, Kim?

If so, chances are that there’s a lot in the way of you doing so; i.e., “determining to whom.” It’s going to probably come extremely slowly; maybe even over decades.

One way to speed up the process would be to take the material, and show it to ten or twenty of your Black associates, if you have any, or that many.

I’d recommend this July 27 response I made to @ajshep, but I could make other recommendations. Show it to them, and ask them to take it home for a week, then tell you what they think.

Of course, if you are white, you probably won’t do this. You won’t approach them on race for the same reason you’ve never approached me—and I was asking!—yet feel comfortable approaching me now, not to discuss the subject, but to make these vaguely passive-aggressive swipes. :thinking:

This is something white supremacists do a great deal. It’s called making fun of racism’s victims.

Of course, I’m not calling you a white supremacist, because a) I never call white people white supremacists, and b) I don’t know if you’re white.

If you’re not white, I suggest that you just sit with the material for a little while; perhaps ask ten or twenty of your Black associates what they think.


Just so you know, Harry…I have a quite racially “integrated” family and group of close friends. I don’t have to go far for different opinions or for experiences.

I also think that you are psychologically “blind” to how you interact/communicate but I don’t expect that this will change.


Thanks, Kim.

Though you didn’t answer my question— “Are you white, Kim?”—this sounds like the kind of response a white person would often give.

Since you have a quite racially “integrated” family and group of close friends—there is actually no such thing as “integration” under racism—then you should be clear on what I’ve said, and why I’ve said it, both fairly soon, IF you choose to do so, contrary to your earlier statement.

I appreciate the criticism.

Kim, if you mean that I have no idea how it is to be white and hear me say the things that I say, you are correct.

I enjoy speaking with white and non-white people, about this subject. But I have no interest in “breaking it to them gently”; that is, beyond the sum total of what I’ve done, here. It is just not my speciality.

My specialties are a) frankness, b) sharpness, and c) the ability to analogize; e.g., the various examples I’ve given to show why racism is only white supremacy.

Recently, @kate said to me:

I responded:

So, if it is to this quality you are referring—and by that, I even mean the tone with which I tend to write about these issues—you are correct, IF you mean I don’t know how it feels to be a white person on the receiving end of it.

The issue, to me, at this point, is do I want to change this.

I don’t know. I can see reasons why I might, and reasons why I might not.


"The issue, to me, at this point, is do I want to change this.

I don’t know. I can see reasons why I might, and reasons why I might not.


I think it will always remain a mystery… :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi, @StanLastings.

If you’re actually interested in whether I think things are better because of BLM, you can just ask me, "Harry, do you think things are better because of BLM?"

Had you asked me this question, I’d probably respond by asking you, “What things?” I’d want a definition of that before answering the question.

If you responded, “Y’know: Things in general,” I’d probably say, "It’s hard to tell.

"I think the group wants Black lives to matter. Clearly Black lives don’t matter, because, as I said to @truthisfreedom, just last week, people who matter are not mistreated.

"So, ‘in general,’ I’d say things are better because of Black Lives Matter. They’re better, because they’re saying that Black people should not be mistreated.

“One would be hard-pressed to find another entity saying this, let alone one whose name, essentially, means that. That is, just think how hard it’s been to even get individual white people to say ‘Black lives matter,’ without a caveat.”


Kim Green, I hope you’re not, but you may be correct.


On that we can agree…

I was just going to offer a single, solitary “Yes.”

However, “Post must be at least 20 characters,” so….


Oh…that is easy to solve. Just add some…until you get the appropriate amount. :wink: Of course, you can throw in some------as well. :smiley:

True, but I was going for the word, by itself, on the horizon.

You know: One word.

Then it turns around and walks away, never looking back.


Good luck with that, Harry…you DO have much to say. :wink:

LOL @ HA “people who matter are not mistreated” To make this statement and advance it as an insight reveals a man with no grasp of much of anything existentially trenchant.

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Hello Stan,

I don’t agree with the rioting, or the philosophy of (some) BLM leaders. But… to say nothing good has come out of the movement I find jaw dropping. Many black people for the first time, in a long time, finally feel like some people are starting to get it; starting to listen. I am one of those people. Had it not been for this movement, I would have remained, largely, ignorant. And when I say ignorant, I mean at the scale of it. I would not have listened to peoples personal experiences; also some of the data coming to light would have continued to remain in darkness.

I had posted a video on critical theory, which the speaker later goes on to show some troubling data. I looked up one of those e.g he gave, online, and will post a screenshot of it here. This is just one, of the few he brought up:

Racial impact of a criminal record on interview call backs, 2003

After having shared all that he had, Dr. Shenvi goes on to say this:

“Does this seem crazy to you? [data on Christians] It seems crazy to me. And the Christians I’ve met are the most loving, gentle, caring, compassionate people that I’ve ever met, okay. Listen carefully - my experience is anecdotal. If I have to chose between my anecdotal experience on the one hand, and data on the other, I chose data every time. These data show that racial biases and discrimination persists to this day.”

That makes it sound like his lecture is about racism. For the most part it is not. It’s mostly on critical theory, and his critique of it coming from a Christian world view. But he does spend some of his time, toward the end, on some of the issues we face. I’ll link the lecture again. At least watch a few minutes of it; the part where he shows some of the data. Start from around 46 mins and 57 sec, to roughly 50 min and 40 sec. That’s not even 4 minutes worth of viewing. Not much of your time at all.

I find this part of what he said, brilliant!: “Listen carefully - my experience is anecdotal. If I have to chose between my anecdotal experience on the one hand, and data on the other, I chose data every time.”

Do you know why it’s so brilliant? It’s brilliant because of who he said it to - a conservative group of Christians, of who many love to quote people like Ben Shapiro, who’s known for saying things like: facts don’t care about your feelings. Well what he said just then, is just that: I chose facts over my feelings. But now the question is: do we, the conservative Christian, who for the longest time have either quoted the Shapiro saying, or agreed with it, take that to mean for us too? Or are we massive hypocrites? We only like facts that make us feel good…

Hello Harry,

You’re welcome.

I totally hear that. And it’s why I also added his credentials. I thought if I only add that he has a doctorate, some people may get the wrong impression and think his education may be in something like 19th or 20th century philosophy, or something along those lines.


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@TonyR Is this your point; BLM is good because I have learned to listen to voices that I never listened to before? You can not possibly say that with a straight face! Why? The United States is certainly not a better place now. It has only gotten worse. Dozens have been killed as a result of the riots that have stemmed from BLM “protests.” Something that is positive produces positive results. BLM produces nothing that is positive. It traffics in misinformation, and damaging racial politics, conditioning younger generations to hate and judge their fellow man simply for the color of their skin. Some who follow along (like you) but say we don’t think like that does not absolve BLM of the marks against it. BLM has grossly abused its influence. The rhetoric, the violence, the endless talk of killings cops is debilitating to civil society. It is disgusting and I for one am sick of the excuses.


To say you missed the boat, would be a monumental understatement.

Maybe when the situation is in reverse and we hear: 5% of black people with a criminal history, who applied for a job, were rejected. And 20% of white people with a criminal history, who applied for a job were rejected. And when that day comes, people like you will have no problem crying out from the rooftops. And the reply from people like me will be: crickets chirping

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

BTW, nowhere in my comment did I say you must support BLM. But rather, at least be open to the truth around us. That’s all I asked.