"The White Race is the Cancer of History" - Susan Sontag

pablow

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Was Susan getting a little melodramatic here? I just stumbled on this and it seems like a very good restatement of a popular notion today. I like the quote because it's so unapologetic - especially coming from a white female cancer cell. [I think she's wrong because there really isn't such a thing as a white homogeneous race - but what do I know.]


If America is the culmination of Western white civilization, as everyone from the Left to the Right declares, then there must be something terribly wrong with Western white civilization. This is a painful truth; few of us want to go that far. … The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballets, et al., don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself. - Susan Sontag
http://www.lostrepublic.us/archives/17291
 

obfuscating

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The rise of the welfare state in the 1960s contributed greatly to the demise of the black family as a stable institution. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African Americans today is 73%, three times higher than it was prior to the War on Poverty. Children raised in fatherless homes are far more likely to grow up poor and to eventually engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who are raised in two-parent homes. In 2010, blacks (approximately 13% of the U.S. population) accounted for 48.7% of all arrests for homicide, 31.8% of arrests for forcible rape, 33.5% of arrests for aggravated assault, and 55% of arrests for robbery. Also as of 2010, the black poverty rate was 27.4% (about 3 times higher than the white rate), meaning that 11.5 million blacks in the U.S. were living in poverty.

e-pragerl-short-videos-big-ideas-did-you-know-in-29860063.png
 

gonegolfing

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Was Susan getting a little melodramatic here? I just stumbled on this and it seems like a very good restatement of a popular notion today. I like the quote because it's so unapologetic - especially coming from a white female cancer cell. [I think she's wrong because there really isn't such a thing as a white homogeneous race - but what do I know.]


If America is the culmination of Western white civilization, as everyone from the Left to the Right declares, then there must be something terribly wrong with Western white civilization. This is a painful truth; few of us want to go that far. … The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballets, et al., don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself. - Susan Sontag
http://www.lostrepublic.us/archives/17291
That's awesome. To put it out there that you're insane and should be locked up is very brave.
 

Rudolph

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Oct 18, 2001
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Yes, I love when white people who marry white tell me how horrible white people are. Get some black dick inside you, then come talk to me.
So to be qualified to hypothesize critically about the cumulative effect of one race's and/or ethnicity's relative dominance to date one must choose their lovers outside their own race/ethnicity?

As a white, good thing I prefer non-white lovers.
 

Wahawk56

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Aug 31, 2004
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So to be qualified to hypothesize critically about the cumulative effect of one race's and/or ethnicity's relative dominance to date one must choose their lovers outside their own race/ethnicity?

As a white, good thing I prefer non-white lovers.
When you're going around screaming about how horrible the whites are, you could play your part and stop mating with them. If you hate anchovies, don't eat them.
 

Rudolph

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That's awesome. To put it out there that you're insane and should be locked up is very brave.
You want to lock up people for expressing a hypothesis that can be supported by empirical/historical observation?

All she is basically doing is proposing that we may need to question, fundamentally, if Western civilization — primarily a white race-dominated development, is doing more harm than good.

Why does this offend you? I'm white. I take no offense. Examining society, how we got here, where we're going, how race has played and continues to play a role, I find important and interesting and worth investigation and consideration. Given whites have arguably exerted the most influence to date, it certainly makes sense to investigate and consider as such.

Why so afraid? If, in fact, whites are getting a lot of stuff wrong, should the wrongs be addressed? Or should the group in power simply be allowed to keep on keeping on? Let's say white dominance ends and brown dominance begins. Would we, as a collective society, want to help ensure that the new dominant group not repeat the mistakes and errors of the previous dominant group?

I fail to understand the fear and/or reticence of self-analysis and self-criticism. Imagine approaching sports like this, fearing and even disallowing self-analysis and self-criticism. Doesn't make much sense, does it?
 

Rudolph

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When you're going around screaming about how horrible the whites are, you could play your part and stop mating with them. If you hate anchovies, don't eat them.
That's not what she, or I in her defense, is doing. Nobody is saying "whites are horrible" as if inherently so. She's hypothesizing on the failures of Western white civilization.

Are you of the belief that Western white civilization has gotten and is getting everything right?
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Sep 16, 2008
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Bull

If she read history she would realize that human rights abuses have been conducted by all races of people.
 

Wahawk56

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That's not what she, or I in her defense, is doing. Nobody is saying "whites are horrible" as if inherently so. She's hypothesizing on the failures of Western white civilization.

Are you of the belief that Western white civilization has gotten and is getting everything right?
Absolutely not. But you can say that about every race. Humans do more harm than good in general. No need to single out one race in particular.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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That's not what she, or I in her defense, is doing. Nobody is saying "whites are horrible" as if inherently so. She's hypothesizing on the failures of Western white civilization.

Are you of the belief that Western white civilization has gotten and is getting everything right?

That's not what she's saying. Sure "white civilization" if you can call it that has had it's clear failures and clear human rights abuses. But she specifically singles out "white civilization" as being the cause of all the world's ill's. That we have been most especially abusive to other people. And that is utter nonsense to anyone who reads history.
 

SIXERS24

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I have no respect for her she has too much Jane Fonda in her.
This was in 1968—the year she flew to Hanoi and visited the Vietcong, publishing an account in Esquire. It was the apex of her militant commitment. Although she had long since turned up her nose at the “philistine fraud” of the American Communist Party, the North Vietnamese had inspired her, the struggle filling her mind with a vision of a changed world. “The Vietnamese are ‘whole’ human beings, not ‘split’ as we are,” she marvelled.
 

Rudolph

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That's not what she's saying. Sure "white civilization" if you can call it that has had it's clear failures and clear human rights abuses. But she specifically singles out "white civilization" as being the cause of all the world's ill's. That we have been most especially abusive to other people. And that is utter nonsense to anyone who reads history.
What are the world's ills? To what would you attribute the cause of these ills?
 

strummingram

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Oct 1, 2010
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I have no respect for her she has too much Jane Fonda in her.
This was in 1968—the year she flew to Hanoi and visited the Vietcong, publishing an account in Esquire. It was the apex of her militant commitment. Although she had long since turned up her nose at the “philistine fraud” of the American Communist Party, the North Vietnamese had inspired her, the struggle filling her mind with a vision of a changed world. “The Vietnamese are ‘whole’ human beings, not ‘split’ as we are,” she marvelled.
I believe that even Jane Fonda has rescinded her extreme attitudes of that era. I can understand the instinct to correlate her behavior to the OP's opinion. But, there is some pretty compelling truth to what she's offering. There was SOME compelling truth to Fonda's insight in 1968, too. The trick is to find the useful aspects and expand on them.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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What are the world's ills? To what would you attribute the cause of these ills?

There are many of them, she's not even clear about what she's referring to. First she seems to talk about conquest & human rights abuses and then later she seem to switch to the environment. Neither of which "white civilization" could be alone given blame.
 

Rudolph

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Absolutely not. But you can say that about every race. Humans do more harm than good in general. No need to single out one race in particular.
I think you can do both — investigate how and why humans do more harm than good in general, and investigate how groups of humans, and their thusly created and invested ideologies, also do more harm than good.

Investigating the whole and its parts, especially when some parts exert disproportionate influence over other parts, are both valuable endeavors.
 

strummingram

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I think the summation is a bit extreme and will probably draw resistance from most white people because it implies that ONLY those who descended from the western European cold climates are capable of inhumane behavior. That's not true, of course.

However, that lineage has somehow managed to incorporate its less-than-pleasant accepted superiority as something to accept as factual law.
 

Rudolph

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There are many of them, she's not even clear about what she's referring to. First she seems to talk about conquest & human rights abuses and then later she seem to switch to the environment. Neither of which "white civilization" could be alone given blame.
True.
 

The Tradition

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Apr 23, 2002
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That's not what she's saying. Sure "white civilization" if you can call it that has had it's clear failures and clear human rights abuses. But she specifically singles out "white civilization" as being the cause of all the world's ill's. That we have been most especially abusive to other people. And that is utter nonsense to anyone who reads history.

This. Western Civilization is what created what we now think of as "civilization". Without the progress provided by western thought, we'd probably be living in huts made of straw and mud.
 

Rudolph

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This. Western Civilization is what created what we now think of as "civilization". Without the progress provided by western thought, we'd probably be living in huts made of straw and mud.
The implication is that, maybe, just maybe, living in — using your example — huts made of straw and mud might be better (in the total summation of things) than living as we do now.

Hell the tiny house movement is suggestive of this.

Further, this idea that you imply — that only through Western (that is, white) thought could we achieve this non-hut-living existence — sort of supports some implications of her hypothesis.

We could have arrived to our current condition in more than one way, but we arrived to it the way we did. And, as it turns out, where we are is far from perfect.
 
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Hoosierhawkeye

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This. Western Civilization is what created what we now think of as "civilization". Without the progress provided by western thought, we'd probably be living in huts made of straw and mud.

And this is the opposite problem. Are you aware of the scale of Japanese architecture prior to them even opening up diplomatic relations with the west?? The Chinese invented gunpowder and the printing press long before whites ever did.

Egypt, the Turks, and Persia all had golden ages which included a great deal of scientific thought and advancement.

Whites have done their part towards civilization, but civilization did exist without whites being involved.

It wasn't like everyone was living a tribal existence doing subsistence farming until whites came along and gifted them with civilization, engineering and scientific thought.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body

So conquest is the ill we're talking about here?

Shall we forget that the greatest conqueror of all time was a Mongolian?