The Big Picture: Relics

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Rabidkitten:
I'm not sure I buy that those same adventures in racism bleeds into our own modern perspective of exploring lost civilizations.

Are you familiar with the name Edward Said or the term 'Orientalism' ?

If not, I suggest you look it up.

the difference between The Spanish explorers of South America, who knew about the great civilisations of the Incas and Aztecs, and the 19th century European explorers of Africa, is the philosophical theories in vogue at the time.

In the 19th century, the Enlightenment idea of human progress led to the view that Europeans were more advanced and Africans, etc. were backwards. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, with its racist implications, added to that. The idea that history is progress meant that Europeans of the time could not really conceive of the idea of cultures regressing, getting less complex or losing cultural and technological knowledge.

Whenever I played Tomb Raider games, I never thought that the ruins you explore were in South-Africa. South-America and Asia were my preferred locations (in thought).

Or is it racist to NOT think that South-Africa can have any ruins/lost cities?
I am so confuzzled.

Oy friggen vey. Okay, people. You want racism to disappear? Stop talking about it. Stop acknowledging it. The problem is outwardly identifying people by their skin tones to draw a line in difference. Once we stop calling each other white or black, that's when racism will go away. In the mean time, constantly shining a light on it, talking about it in times that aren't called for just keeping the buggy man alive.

Actually, I always tie "lost city" mythos to the ancient South American indian tribes, the Aztecs, Mayans, etc. Africa never occurred to me. The snap taken from Raiders of the Lost Ark: south american indian temple. Apart from the original Tomb Raider (cue the Atlantis tie-in here), Lara doesn't really spend any significant time in Africa (to be fair, that title and the other matching title - Legend - are also the only two games Lara spends in South America).

Also, another thought about the idea of lost cities. The reason Europeans expect to find castles in Europe is because Europeans lived in castles; some still do. Moreover, societies that built stone buildings and cities have tended to stay in those cities and continue to develop their architecture into the modern age.

Taken in that light, is it possible that people were surprised to find castles because they encountered African natives living in primitive tribal communities, and not in castles, and not in any of the things that followed on from castles in Western cultures, rather than just because of the color of their skin?

Ariseishirou:

I hadn't heard of them before, so thank you for sharing that bit of interesting info with us.

However, the wiki article straight up starts out with:

It was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise, second only to the Great Wall of China...

Which, given the geography of the two regions just makes sense. It's impressive enough all on its own, no need to exaggerate it.

The Wikipedia article also says "The Walls of Benin are the largest man made structure in the world" in the image caption (sourced to a New Scientist article). I always get confused by biggest, largest and longest etc.

Hey Bob!

Don't forget: Atlantis.

That's the first "lost city" that comes to mind whenever someone mentions it - and it hails back to a lonnng time before the 1800s.

That aside, good ep.

Odd that the questions I want to ask are questions Bob would look at and say "I am not answering that you looney"?

MovieBob, can you please explain to everyone why the new Earth-Two by DC is quite literally the worst thing ever by throwing everything good that they had before and doing the EXACT OPPOSITE!!!

For reference:
Captain Marvel is now gritty and dark
Superman now kills people & is emo
In fact, his new costume makes him look like Ultraman, his evil-universe counterpart

I always associated the "lost city" thing as being based of the Mayan and Peruvian ruins. I guess I should've studied more of the history behind it.

Because there are so many "lost cities" in Europe.
I mostly think of places like machu picchu or Ankor wat. Not any place in Africa. And in those instances we know who built them and they are prized as great engineering feats even by Europeans of the time.
Sorry. Can't see the racism here.

grigjd3:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.

Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?

Mail time, Mail time.
Is mail tiiiiiiime!

Here's the mail, it never fails.
It makes me want to wag my tail.
When it comes I want to wail - Mail!

My mailbag question for Bob: Why do you give Obama a free pass for doing the same things you criticized Bush for doing?

I imagine if we really weeded out everything that had roots or connections to something racist, we wouldn't have a culture left. But - for the most part - considering the relics a problem now would be like considering and 90 year old Frenchman who complains about the Germans down the road a threat to diplomatic relations.

Also, I'm thinking we need to start divorcing racism from the words associated with it. That 'white' playstation campaign? Admittedly I don't know the whole background of it, but I'm willing to bet that the colour white was a poorly thought out marketing gimmick that just happened to have a racial connotation. I mean, if there were green skinned people, would all of our 'go green' publicity suddenly become evidence of a subconscious love for greens over all others? Of course not.

I don't know that it was an *exclusively* racist tone taken by the 19th-century explorers. It would be pretty astounding to find a completely uninhabited city with cultural iconography you hadn't ever seen in a region where stone cities weren't frequently built. But that's knit picking. I think it was an interesting episode, though it may have meandered from the point a bit. What can I say? I'm not a reviewer.

I really don't know why anyone cares. Does it really matter?

Hey, while we're on the subject of race:

http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

A 17-year-old black teen was shot down while going to a convenience store to pick up some Skittles for his brother and some iced tea. George Zimmerman, police officer and self-appointed "neighborhood watch leader", saw him walking from the store, and reported it as "suspicious", then shot him in the chest... even though he was told to do nothing until other officers arrived.

Yeah, and yet people wonder why we still talk about racism these days. :/

Alright to be frank the whole it is ridiculous that this ancient city is here because it must have been built by africans isn't exactly water tight. Wouldn't it be more bewildering and confusing not that it is in Africa but that it is incredibly intricate and technologically impressive stonework that is extremely different and more sophisticated than the immediate civilian surroundings? I mean for a while (perhaps still, I haven't checked up on it) people were still somewhat unsure of the methods used to build the pyramids. It was really more the dark ages that fucked over people's progress and technology so these ancient structures used techniques and technology beyond what was available in that time period (even for the wealthiest and most advanced countries) so they had to assume it was some sort of crazy incredibly different lost civilization of the past.

Though to be fair nobody here was there so unless there's some sort of evidence like an explorers journal that says "How the hell did the people from the dark continent do this" or something of that sort we are really just using logic and reasoning to assume things.

Personally I thought that this episode was going to be more about how come the lost city is always in africa or south america instead of perhaps east asian temples or anything of the greeks or romans etc. made.

While there certainly are plenty of racist implications (well, not so much implied as directly stated most of the time, see the recent John Carter movies) in older properties, it's really hard to make the claim that more recent stories in the same vein are somehow also racist in implication just by pure association.

We tend to write ridiculous origin stories about ancient ruins even when we know damned well where those ruins come from and even when our (assuming you're white) ancestors built the things. Look at all the ridiculous lore surrounding old Roman forts, or Stonehenge, or midaeval castles. Or the fact that in more modern interpretations, the lost super-advanced alien-guided civilization building African ruins is black, even if said ruins are in the desert in northern Africa and that makes no sense whatsoever.

Also, you missed a rather important part of your definition of racism, it's not anything involving race, it's any philosophy based on the theory that mental attributes and social accomplishment are primarily the result of genetics. Stories that make no comment on the various merit of different races or attribute differences to culture rather than bloodline are not racist.

When I think of "Lost City" its usually a more Aztec or Mayan swing.

Further, I don't...completely agree with the idea. I follow what Bob is saying, and as i am no expert on the subject, so I can't say how full blown the disregard for the locals was. Here's the thing though- if you were an explorer, and went to a place where there were people living in relatively primitive societies (even for the time), and then found some abandoned ruins, I don't think its ridiculous to wonder who built them. I mean, if the locals can build castles, why aren't they living in castles? But, as Bob said, the fact that they never considered going off and asking the locals if they can build castles is where it starts to stoop to racism.

Q: What would be your definition of a nerd/geek? They're both different depending on who you ask. And some people consider themselves those when they aren't and vice versa. I don't know. it's still a very confusing topic/label to me.

Q: What is your favorite videogame and why? Or series. Mine would be Little Samson for the NES. I could do an entire essay explaining why but that's not the point.

Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? And how would you use it?
Or..
If you could live in a fantasy universe (LotR, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pokemon, etc), which one would you choose and why?

I receive a kidney last January. And just before last 2-3 weeks, I was talking to the new boyfriend (which comes from Haiti) of that girl I use to live by. And as I was talking about my surgery, I talk about the things that I knew about the donor: Her sexe, her age age and that was pretty much it.

But, as I was talking to him, I understood, that day, that the donor might be: white, black, brown, red, purple with green dots... I don't care, because that person gave me life. So yeah, I was a bit racist(or jumping to the conclusion too easily): a white guy, receiving "a white people" kidney, and all that really matters is the compatibility of both the donor and the receiver. So yeah, don't jump to conclusion to fast, think before you speak...

Nice work btw, love the show!

Kinda failed to understand the relation...
Lost cities presumably not being built by "primitive black people" also stemmed from the fact that hey that city is lost and unknown and the "primitive black people" are still doing their stuff, not inhabiting castles or any other likes of unlost cities.
Sure taking example of "the lost city" trope from say Uncharted 3 that deals with Lost Cities in Arabia... Arabs do have advanced cities, so they're not "primitive blacks" so technically that's not racism?

Racism isn't only black/white, just saying.

Wow, this was an excellent article. Thank you for sharing, Bob.
Perhaps I find it more interesting and relevant because I am what you Yanks like to call "visible minority", but in my ethnicity I am visibly a majority
Meh, potato po-tah-to

Jegsimmons:
now if i may, do you (bob) think possibly that the reason they didnt think blacks built the civilizations was because that these were astounding castles and when they got there the people were....living in huts......thats sort of what is was thinking the whole vid. they probably thought that way because almost no other civilization has gone from castles to huts and seemed to move...backwards.
Now of course im not saying anything negative to be mean, i just like to think about all 3 sides of an issue (there's always at least 3 sides to any argument. Quiet frankly if i found a new civilization that lived in huts while finding remains of huge empires, i sort of wonder why the hell no one ever thought of rebuilding or replicating it for better living conditions. That may be part of the reason they couldn't believe they made it.

I find it odd that Bob can start out with a point about the issue of racism and how the term is used (ie in connection to first world social movements) and then jump right off the deep end into something kind of ridiculous that undermines any point that he might have been able to make with his initial prognosis.

The British explorers of the time were not exactly shocked by the idea of non-white civilizations having built things like that. I mean the dusky skinned Mediterreneans built the foundations of their own culture (Greek and Rome) back when what we call whites were still the Barbarians, we knew about the Egyptians and Persians (who are very dark skinned) and their great civilizations even if they were past their prime, and so on.

The thing with the "Lost City" trope in Africa is that the people there had no real abillity to do anything like that. Even looking at say the Egyptians you could see a culture that might not be at the top of the game, but there is a lot of history and enough of a civiliation to understand how they could have constructed a lot of these things. The thing with the Pyramids for is that they are more advanced than the civilization there, but constructed with primitive materials (stone blocks) which leads people to wonder if the Egyptians lost technology, had help, or whatever else... but it's not shocking in the same way as the African "lost cities" because you can at least see the possibility.

With Africa the people there didn't really have much in the way of tools, archetecture, or any kind of organized social structure to have justified such constructions. What's more a lot of the guys "puzzling" over such things have to deal with the fact that they had been studying the people in the region and can track a lot of these tribes and the patterns of where people were living back for centuries or even hundreds of years, with a relative
amount of cultural stagnation. The peoples there dont have the remnants showing that they might have been more advanced.

One old, prevailing theory is that the Africans WERE more advanced, but wound up getting on the bad side of the Greeks at a time when they practiced total war, and wound up getting decimated back to the stone age from which they never recovered. Some supporting evidence for this theory is how if you look at some of the stories that were compiled into Greek Myths and Legends you'll find referances in the way the stories were told to gods visiting places like Ethiopia to explain why they were elsewhere, which implies a degree of advancement (or at least respect as a civilization) but at the same time there is little direct evidence of a war, or much in the way of proof that the Greeks wiped them out at some point. The theory being similar to a lot of the arguements about Vikings having made it to North America where there is some minor evidence, but nothing concrete enough to paint a definate picture.

To be honest, racism was present during the early 20th century, but I don't think this itself was racist, or has tainted the idea. To date a lot of these cities and structures remain mysterious (as do ruins throughout the world) because a lot of them defy any efforts to paint a consistant picture of progress in the region. You can't reconcile history of the people in rhe region which can be tracked with the existance of the ruins.

On a creepy note, this is also the subject of a lot of TV shows on ancient mysteries and such. Things like Crystal Skulls being found on more than one continent, and how some geologists and experts have claimed to prove that certain stones used in construction on one place came from another part of the planet at a time when nobody could have quarried and transported them.

That said, a lot of what Bob is talking about is the myth of the "invisible knapsack" which is used by those with a vested interest in preserving racism for political power (to hold together racial voting blocks by promoting a common enemey to be opposed, whether it exists or not). Globally racism exists, China for example is massively racist and it represents like a third of the global population alone, but in the civilized Western World it's pretty much over with in any kind of mainstream sense.

What passes for "racism" in places like the US generally boils down to minority status in what is spiritually a democracy (even if it's actually a representitive Republic). The basic issue being that in a democracy, or something akin to one, the idea is that everyone has a say, and whatever gets the most people behind it is what everyone does. The thing is that when you represent a minority with special interests and motivations, that means consistantly losing to points of view that vastly outnumber you within the society. This leads to arguements that boil down to whether the society is working as intended (ie, they get a say, but don't have enough people to succeed against the majority in issues where they wind up in opposition), or if various principles in the country mean that not everyone should have an equal voice, with smaller groups being given a much louder voice and representation to create parity with the majority. There are no easy answers to this which is why it remains an issue, and it can be argued either way (I'm not going to get into it). People tend to confuse this issue (and it's a big one, that reaches into a lot of things) with actual racism. Today your more likely to see issues akin to say 25 members of a minority (blacks, asians, whatever) going up against 250 members of the white majority in a vote, and then insisting that despite the numbers that the 90% of people who voted against them should lose because there weren't enough of them present. Arguements about how changing such results or trying to force parity for minorities undermines the point of any kind of process to begin with, vs. arguements about how if the system works that way it means Minorities will never get what they want on ANY level because as minorities they will always be outvoted and overpowered within the system which amounts to a form of oppression. There is nothing racist about it despite people using that term when certain minorities come up, but it is a big issue.

In an absolute sense to find real racism in the mainstream you have to move away from the western world. If you go to say China, Japan, The Middle East, with strong feelings of racial dominance, purity, and destiny still present into th emodern day, you'll run into plenty of racism. It can be especially shocking when your white "cruader for equality" comes to the realization that internationally whites are a huge minority and plenty of people want to take us down for various reasons, including their own beliefs in their inherant superiority.

The US is only a little over 200 years old as well, while Bob can talk about the sheer inertia of racism, it can be argued that the US was eventually at the very tip of civil rights (and annoyed a lot of other nations pushing for it), a few decades ago... going back to the 1960s is like 20-25% of the history of our entire country. We aren't old enough to really have the kind of inertia that older and more established nations do with such matters, which is in part why we irritate people when we come walking in to stop genocides, ethnic cleansing, and other things that are the result of thousands of years of history in many cases.

Spot1990:

Creatural:
Also, everyone who is saying that the behavior of the people living in Africa was also savage and should give reason to the explorers to believe they were inferior needs to step back and examine themselves really closely. You're firstly assuming that all groups of African people behaved the same, they didn't, and secondly you're also saying that the more acceptable behavior of people for that time was that of the explorers. The explorers regularly did horrific things to the native people there and to their own people and implying that they were somehow more well behaved than all of the diverse cultures in Africa is not that great of an idea, that can make you racist and it also ignores how differently groups of people there actually behaved. Can we just not give into that type of thinking anymore?

That's not what we're saying at all. We're just saying it might not have been as simple as "No way could black people do that", because as I said, they thought the same things about ruins in countries populated by white people. No one's denying they were definitely racists.

You weren't saying that in particular, there was someone in here though that was literally calling the African people there savages and those are the type of people who that part of statement was addressing. I think, fortunately, that comment has since been deleted or otherwise banned from sight.

I was definitely not talking about you in that part of my comment.

Jegsimmons:

grigjd3:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.

Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?

Huts aren't actually a technological step backwards though for that area. Castles, while impressive architecturally, are actually pretty horrible to live in that environment for several reasons. Huts are better for your health because of how they let air in, you have less garbage to take care of in them, and they're actually better to use for your environment.

And the places where huts are used? It generally makes the most sense to use them instead of giant buildings like we have everywhere else. Just because a house is a good idea in Tennessee doesn't mean it's a good idea in parts of Africa.

Also, Africa has had, and still has, more war ravaging the continent than pretty much everywhere else on the planet and so people don't really have the time to put into making better structures while they're avoiding being murdered by their fellow man. Food is also still very hard to get in a lot of places, so that's going to get more attention than architecture too.

Symbio Joe:
That was a good way of making your point. Also where is my episode about the Phantom?

Just quickly throwing in my support for a Phantom episode.

Creatural:

Jegsimmons:

grigjd3:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.

Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?

Huts aren't actually a technological step backwards though for that area. Castles, while impressive architecturally, are actually pretty horrible to live in that environment for several reasons. Huts are better for your health because of how they let air in, you have less garbage to take care of in them, and they're actually better to use for your environment.

And the places where huts are used? It generally makes the most sense to use them instead of giant buildings like we have everywhere else. Just because a house is a good idea in Tennessee doesn't mean it's a good idea in parts of Africa.

Also, Africa has had, and still has, more war ravaging the continent than pretty much everywhere else on the planet and so people don't really have the time to put into making better structures while they're avoiding being murdered by their fellow man. Food is also still very hard to get in a lot of places, so that's going to get more attention than architecture too.

hmm, very true....but war ravaged? that in its self brings up some questions.
if you look back on history almost every society has had a huge benefit frow war (long term anyway) through the 'necessity is the mother of innovation' idea. thats true from almost every culture, even the ones who lost. in an odd way, war (or just competition) has been one of the biggest driving forces for man in history right next to religion (different topic but i digress), so why didn't Africa ever innovate? with all the tribal conflict and competition, other civilizations would either adapt or innovate.
So why didn't Africa? its still kind of baffling to me.

Therumancer:

Jegsimmons:
now if i may, do you (bob) think possibly that the reason they didnt think blacks built the civilizations was because that these were astounding castles and when they got there the people were....living in huts......thats sort of what is was thinking the whole vid. they probably thought that way because almost no other civilization has gone from castles to huts and seemed to move...backwards.
Now of course im not saying anything negative to be mean, i just like to think about all 3 sides of an issue (there's always at least 3 sides to any argument. Quiet frankly if i found a new civilization that lived in huts while finding remains of huge empires, i sort of wonder why the hell no one ever thought of rebuilding or replicating it for better living conditions. That may be part of the reason they couldn't believe they made it.

I find it odd that Bob can start out with a point about the issue of racism and how the term is used (ie in connection to first world social movements) and then jump right off the deep end into something kind of ridiculous that undermines any point that he might have been able to make with his initial prognosis.

The British explorers of the time were not exactly shocked by the idea of non-white civilizations having built things like that. I mean the dusky skinned Mediterreneans built the foundations of their own culture (Greek and Rome) back when what we call whites were still the Barbarians, we knew about the Egyptians and Persians (who are very dark skinned) and their great civilizations even if they were past their prime, and so on.

The thing with the "Lost City" trope in Africa is that the people there had no real abillity to do anything like that. Even looking at say the Egyptians you could see a culture that might not be at the top of the game, but there is a lot of history and enough of a civiliation to understand how they could have constructed a lot of these things. The thing with the Pyramids for is that they are more advanced than the civilization there, but constructed with primitive materials (stone blocks) which leads people to wonder if the Egyptians lost technology, had help, or whatever else... but it's not shocking in the same way as the African "lost cities" because you can at least see the possibility.

With Africa the people there didn't really have much in the way of tools, archetecture, or any kind of organized social structure to have justified such constructions. What's more a lot of the guys "puzzling" over such things have to deal with the fact that they had been studying the people in the region and can track a lot of these tribes and the patterns of where people were living back for centuries or even hundreds of years, with a relative
amount of cultural stagnation. The peoples there dont have the remnants showing that they might have been more advanced.

One old, prevailing theory is that the Africans WERE more advanced, but wound up getting on the bad side of the Greeks at a time when they practiced total war, and wound up getting decimated back to the stone age from which they never recovered. Some supporting evidence for this theory is how if you look at some of the stories that were compiled into Greek Myths and Legends you'll find referances in the way the stories were told to gods visiting places like Ethiopia to explain why they were elsewhere, which implies a degree of advancement (or at least respect as a civilization) but at the same time there is little direct evidence of a war, or much in the way of proof that the Greeks wiped them out at some point. The theory being similar to a lot of the arguements about Vikings having made it to North America where there is some minor evidence, but nothing concrete enough to paint a definate picture.

To be honest, racism was present during the early 20th century, but I don't think this itself was racist, or has tainted the idea. To date a lot of these cities and structures remain mysterious (as do ruins throughout the world) because a lot of them defy any efforts to paint a consistant picture of progress in the region. You can't reconcile history of the people in rhe region which can be tracked with the existance of the ruins.

On a creepy note, this is also the subject of a lot of TV shows on ancient mysteries and such. Things like Crystal Skulls being found on more than one continent, and how some geologists and experts have claimed to prove that certain stones used in construction on one place came from another part of the planet at a time when nobody could have quarried and transported them.

That said, a lot of what Bob is talking about is the myth of the "invisible knapsack" which is used by those with a vested interest in preserving racism for political power (to hold together racial voting blocks by promoting a common enemey to be opposed, whether it exists or not). Globally racism exists, China for example is massively racist and it represents like a third of the global population alone, but in the civilized Western World it's pretty much over with in any kind of mainstream sense.

What passes for "racism" in places like the US generally boils down to minority status in what is spiritually a democracy (even if it's actually a representitive Republic). The basic issue being that in a democracy, or something akin to one, the idea is that everyone has a say, and whatever gets the most people behind it is what everyone does. The thing is that when you represent a minority with special interests and motivations, that means consistantly losing to points of view that vastly outnumber you within the society. This leads to arguements that boil down to whether the society is working as intended (ie, they get a say, but don't have enough people to succeed against the majority in issues where they wind up in opposition), or if various principles in the country mean that not everyone should have an equal voice, with smaller groups being given a much louder voice and representation to create parity with the majority. There are no easy answers to this which is why it remains an issue, and it can be argued either way (I'm not going to get into it). People tend to confuse this issue (and it's a big one, that reaches into a lot of things) with actual racism. Today your more likely to see issues akin to say 25 members of a minority (blacks, asians, whatever) going up against 250 members of the white majority in a vote, and then insisting that despite the numbers that the 90% of people who voted against them should lose because there weren't enough of them present. Arguements about how changing such results or trying to force parity for minorities undermines the point of any kind of process to begin with, vs. arguements about how if the system works that way it means Minorities will never get what they want on ANY level because as minorities they will always be outvoted and overpowered within the system which amounts to a form of oppression. There is nothing racist about it despite people using that term when certain minorities come up, but it is a big issue.

In an absolute sense to find real racism in the mainstream you have to move away from the western world. If you go to say China, Japan, The Middle East, with strong feelings of racial dominance, purity, and destiny still present into th emodern day, you'll run into plenty of racism. It can be especially shocking when your white "cruader for equality" comes to the realization that internationally whites are a huge minority and plenty of people want to take us down for various reasons, including their own beliefs in their inherant superiority.

The US is only a little over 200 years old as well, while Bob can talk about the sheer inertia of racism, it can be argued that the US was eventually at the very tip of civil rights (and annoyed a lot of other nations pushing for it), a few decades ago... going back to the 1960s is like 20-25% of the history of our entire country. We aren't old enough to really have the kind of inertia that older and more established nations do with such matters, which is in part why we irritate people when we come walking in to stop genocides, ethnic cleansing, and other things that are the result of thousands of years of history in many cases.

wow, good read, but thats very interesting.
Though i have to argue against the greek or roman intervention point. while the greek empires did get pretty far, as did the romans, i dont think they ever got to central or southern africa. North africa yes. but not further down than that from what ive found.
in fact, from what i found, nobody until europe has ever set foot in part of that africa.

Racist thought arent always a pure hatred . Sometimer they are just a naive like the white explorers is africa .

If you walked onto someone's rural acre of land, found a dilapitated abandoned house but then found the residents living in a mud hut not far away, would you not think the house was "lost" and that the people living in mud hut (instead of the fixer-upper house) would be, well, not exactly equal to yourself?

Why would a people move out of a perfectly advanced civilization/village and move into primitive mud and straw huts. It makes no sense.

Who are some of your favorite internet celebrities? Any favorites? Any you despise? Anyone who inspires you?

MBE:

Why would a people move out of a perfectly advanced civilization/village and move into primitive mud and straw huts. It makes no sense.

A civilization can fall due to war, disease, famine, or natural disasters. The survivors are forced to move away to settle elsewhere. It would take many generations before descendants would stumble across the ruins and choose to settle near them. During this time, a lot of knowledge about the previous civilization can be lost because oral tradition can be unreliable at preserving history.

European civilizations didn't experience this because their geographic location didn't impose as many challenges to creating a society. Sources of fresh water were abundant. The weather conditions allowed for agriculture and raising livestock. Natural resources for creating tools and constructing sturdy buildings weren't difficult to gather. In Africa, fresh water can be difficult to find. Unpredictable weather patterns made farming difficult. Many of the animals were unsuitable as livestock.

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