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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 

Six Reasons why Paul Sturdivant should be strung up Fallujah style

I really try to steer clear of the Daily Beacon as much as possible. Sure I might read some of the left leaning columnists from time to time, and I will read any forward of a story about campus activism. But at the end of the day my mental health is better off if I pretend that the inane views presented in what is (despite glorious efforts by its most wonderful editor - seriously) a read conservative shit rag.

But much like a dry drunk, I sometimes find myself reading it, not knowing why, how, or even where I got the copy from. Usually it takes a swift kick in the ass from some racist and or sexist asshole to jolt me out of my falling-off-the-bar-stool-but-asking-for-another-round trance.

Well, unbeknownst to me one of the left leaning columnists wrote this article on Monday. Pretty straight forward - I don't like the use of "Hispanic" and I think there in something intrinsically racist about the use of the term "minorities" in American public discourse, especially when talking about the first nations as "minorities," but these are differences I have with definitions used in the broad discourse, not the author himself (note difference between "minorities" and national minorities). When it comes to the crux of his column, I think that he hits the nail on the head by explaining the importance of racism in the development of America.

Like I said before, this article wasn't even on my radar screen until I grabbed the Beacon on my way back from lunch and masochistically flipped to the Letter to the Editor section. It was there that I found this gem:

Playing victim 'bad' for America
Dear Editor,
Six reasons Jeff Cohran's Monday column "Ethnic bias persists, spotlights another minority group" is wrong and bad for America:
1. Settlers did not understand the impact of germs on an indigenous Native population. The death of natives was largely accidental.
2. Manifest destiny was a term used to justify political expenditure to purchase lands west of the Mississippi from foreign nations.
3. Many Americans appreciate the hard-working hispanics in this nation. The problem arises because of pay issues due to the Democrats' ridiculous minimum wage requirements.
4. White Americans had nothing to do with the slave trade until late in the game. Get mad at the Dutch and the Portuguese if you want to complain.
5. You are not more a slave than I am. Don't you dare ask me to give you anything, especially "reparations."
6. Where are the Muslim leaders coming out against the pointless killing of democracy-seeking Iraqis?
You must stop playing the victim.

Paul Sturdivant
Sophomore in political science

It is somewhat difficult to pick a place to begin when responding to such mouth diarrhea, so point 1 seems as logical a place as any. As early as the French and Indian war British general Jeffery Amherst was directing his subordinates to cause small pox outbreaks among native populations sympathetic to the French using the blanket method. Not to take Mr. Sturdivant's words out of context, but "the death of natives was largely accidental" is a pretty universal statement, a statement that crumbles under pressure faster than a 60 Minutes story. The wars conducted by the US Army upon both the Sioux and Cheyenne nations completly disprove this statement; and we don't even need to get started on Columbus in the Caribbean, Cortez in Mexico, or Andrew Jackson in the US Southeast.

Turning to point 3, I think that Mr. Sturdivant's racist overtones are apparent and not worth dignifying with a response. However, as a person deeply concerned about wages and national trends that show major declines of real wages since the 1970s, I suggest that Mr. Sturdivant reconsider this hobby of "liberal" bashing; and acknowledge that the only reason global capitalism survived the 1930s, let alone the 20 century was because of liberal economic policies that both prevented all out collapse and repaired some of the damage cause by inherent contradictions and instability found in the market economies he and his ilk hold so dear.

Finally, I have to admit that points 4 and 5 make me a little sick to my stomach. I think that we need to start with definitions. The *transatlantic slave trade* began in late 1492 with Columbus kidnapping a half dozen Anawak people and the trade in stolen Africans had almost completely ended by the 1890s. So I guess if he is trying to make the point that *America* only participated for 100 years in a practice that lasted for 400 years, I might be able to find a sliver of truth in his claim that "white Americans had nothing to do with the slave trade until late in the game." However, such an argument does ignore the hundreds of thousands of British Pounds the Massachusetts puritans made off the trade, the millions made in the sale of tobacco sown and harvested by African slaves, and lived experience of the millions of Africans and their descendants who worked for nothing during the primitive accumulation of American capital.

You know, I am a Dave Chapelle fan and something about Mr. Sturdivant's tone reminds me of a clip from Chapelle's Show, Season One. Dave goes on this episode of the Phil Donahue show titled "Angry White Men," which features, as you might have guessed, white men bitching about how angry they are. Following the clip Dave Chapelle said "I didn't know what to do, I mean do I just strangle somebody or what?" So I have to pose that question, when it comes to mother fuckers like Paul Sturdivant do we just strangle somebody, or what?

All's I gots to say is this here:

When it comes down to choosing between a nickle of every dollar I make going to either fund war and genocide or reparations, I choose the latter, thanks. Hell.

Preach it, brother! His "ilk!" hah! I luv it!

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