White people will still define the non-white age..

After the jump is a thread on the brief history of the North Sentinelese by “Respectable Lawyer.” This thread appeared in my Moments Page. His bio reads as “Anti-corporate pirate who gains access to courthouses with foolproof cosplay of a Respectable White Lawyer.”

There are three actors in this recent Missionary saga:

(1.) The (part) Chinese American missionary, John Allen Chau, who is technically a PoC.

(2.) The Sentinelese themselves who are the pristine natives.

(3.) The Indian government, which is not Western.

Essentially in a rather amusing way it involves the three great non-white colours of mankind (black, brown and yellow). Also to make the matter even more tantalising when we think “remote Indian tribes” we don’t usually think of India but rather Native American or Amerindian peoples. So the story involves Christianity, missionaries, colonialism and native people trying to fight back; a real life Desi version of Avatar.

Also when the NY Times did profile an Indian anthropologist (with the helpful name T.N Pandit), they had to throw in these lovely lines (cue eye-roll for helpful mention of caste and colour):

Mr. Pandit, the pale-skinned son of a Kashmiri professor, reaches to pass a coconut to a group of naked, dark-skinned young men who have waded waist-deep in water to greet him. He sits companionably beside a dark-skinned young woman, whose hand rests casually on his thigh. Film shot in 1974 shows him — a reserved Brahmin — dancing exuberantly with a bare-breasted Jarawa woman.

The twitter thread below is very informative but goes to great lengths to blame an English administrator (Maurice Vidal Portman) for why the North Sentinelese are as hostile as they are to foreign contact.

So it goes from being a story about Coloured People at war to one woke white guy throwing shade at a dead white dude. My rather convoluted point being is that even in a story splashed with so much colour; Twitter ultimately still wants to read about white saviors & villains (I know I’m being harsh).

That’s perfectly fine and even healthy, people are (generally) interested in their own kind or in their betters (that’s how class systems work). Of course for the Rest of us we are also interested in the West because it represents an Apex Civilisation.

This isn’t always strictly true since K-Pop and Manga push back in East Asia while Bollywood does the same in South Asia. Interesting in all 3 (K-Pop, Manga & Bollywood) there is a Westernised aesthetic at play but that would be understandable owing to colonial influence and maybe even deep-rooted human colour preference (I’m simply speculating)

However since 1492, the beginning of the Modern Age, we have been progressively in a culture where white people and the West were the overwhelming dominant narrative. That is beginning to *gradually* change but I don’t think “woke” activists understand what it actually means to be a marginalised demographic (which is ultimately what they are advocating for their own kind to become) and what it means to actually pass on the Megaphone.

That level of self-awareness won’t really kick in until well after the fact of marginalisation. The Olympian gods always yearned for some level of mortality in their constant pining for humans but they never voluntarily descended into Hades from Olympus; it was simply an amusing fantasy that they had. In the same manner when Ellen Pompeo talks about how the “crew sets needs to reflect the street she walks in” she doesn’t really mean that the attention should actually go off her. The irony of that is that the focus is more than ever on her (publicity is oxygen) and her virtue-signalling; people are very interested in a beautiful white actress’s important thoughts on diversity.

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15 Replies to “White people will still define the non-white age..”

    1. Since we are on the subject of colour- many moons ago (early noughties) our Serbian classmate turned to the KP friend and told him:

      “Ur not brown u have more a gray colour.”

      We all chuckled but ever since then I think of Kashmiri Pandits have a grayish hue..

      TN Pandit also has that ethereal look of the Pandits; the last Elves of Asia.

      I am probably the worst Social Justice Ghazi around but thankfully I’m a columnist on BP not the NY Times..

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  1. I agree with your general point, but this is actually a case where white people oppressing brown people is probably relevant to the matter at hand. An incident like the one with the Brit will live on through cultural memory for at least a few generations, and would definitely influence a people’s attitude towards outsiders.

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    1. Fraxinicus, the vast majority of the way caucasians “oppress” (to use post modernist lingo) brown people is via colonization of their minds with inferiority complex to harm their self confidence.

      If caucasians want to help, speaking the truth would be a start. Say clearly and unambigugously that brown people have indescribable potential power and wisdom. Say that they are already sovereign. [If they have a religious/spiritual bent, they can choose to say divine, but they don’t have to.] Say that brown people are potentially free. Stop promoting the post modernist marxist imperialist colonialist garbage.

      “but this is actually a case where white people oppressing brown people is probably relevant to the matter at hand”
      How is this so? This is one person behaving like an idiot. His idiocy is probably unrelated to his haploid admixture genome (race). If you really, really want to push it . . . you might be able to make a weak case for the sub denomination of the church he was affiliated with. But I don’t know if this is an accurate characterization or not.

      “An incident like the one with the Brit will live on through cultural memory for at least a few generations, and would definitely influence a people’s attitude towards outsiders.”
      Maybe. Such is life. But these people probably aren’t very familiar with the differences between European, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Latino etc. Another way to phrase your point might be to say:

      “An incident like the one with the “OUTSIDER” will live on through cultural memory for at least a few generations, and would definitely influence a people’s attitude towards outsiders.”

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      European colonialization of the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s were a long time ago. The former colonies have moved on and are over it. Europeans should not impose their own internal psychological traumas on others. This is wrong, immoral and ammoral.

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      1. That’s nice and all, but this was referring to a specific example of a specific British person doing a specific thing to a specific group of people, that likely influenced the specific event that we’re talking about.

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  2. I believe these kind of tweets and posts give a vague sense of comfort and happiness to both, the left and rightwing in India, but colonialism and its apologists have been gone for 70 years. Are the present government and people any better-behaved towards the poor and power less than any colonists? It will be one fine thing to forever and look back at Christian and Western colonists, but we have been here 3000 years before and after; how are we better? Is there one nation that treats its masses worse than in India?
    Try reading https://www.amazon.com/Adivasi-Will-Not-Dance/dp/9385288938 by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar. The guy was dismissed from his job, and chargesheeted, for what is effectively, a true story.

    To get a sense of any common (non-tribal)man in Indian polity, read
    Lock-Up: Jottings of an Ordinary Man Paperback – February 10, 2017 by M Chandrakumar (Author), Pavithra Srinivasan (Translator), and a Tamil movie, Visaranai. If in TN (and Kerala) which can represent a better face of India, this is the about run for the course, what can be expected from India?

    I believe these posts are just to provide a happy kumbaya moment between the posters, and the 4 commenters, but most of them are, literally, continents and ages away from Indian reality,

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    1. ” Are the present government and people any better-behaved towards the poor and power less than any colonists?”
      Of course, British colonialism was the cause of degradation of industries, mass starvation in which untold millions died . Independent India has made great strides in many areas. You can’t give backdoor apology for colonialism by saying things are no better now than 1947.

      “Is there one nation that treats its masses worse than in India?”

      Of course, it is long list, best not worth bothering about and getting some kind of false pride that India is better than those countries. It is better to turn our sights with towards higher standards of life and governance and make it come true

      ” If in TN (and Kerala) which can represent a better face of India,..”

      HoHoHoHO

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      1. Great comment VijayVan

        Yes India does better than most nations. But it is important not to feel pride about it.

        Until the 1970s single woman could travel alone in North Indian cities without getting stared at or touched by gangs of animalistic men who had no class. This problem of light sexual harassment can’t be laid at the feet of the English. Nor can the incessant corruption, incompetence, lack of honesty/integrity in business. [But from my own observation . . . this is not everywhere. There are large pockets of excellence, honesty, integrity inside India too. And some geographic areas in India are much better.]

        We should remember that the actual rape in India is rare, one of the lowest per capita rates in the world. Lower than in most of Europe. And to India’s credit India is trying very hard to deal with it.

        I am incredibly impressed by how much progress India has made via #metoo.

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    2. There has to be some measure of objective measures considering situation from where India was put into. To try to pretend that doesnt matter is nonsense. Just as many sc/sts would correctly argue the need for help they do deserve from the govt. A 20 trillion dollar India would be better than 2.5 trillion dollar India, a 40 trillion dollar India with better technology will also be better. If one has wealth per capita in similar ratio to west and ispite of that it isnt better, then clearly problem is of culture/ how state is organized. We can choose to paint things by the worst horror or by capacity and capability one finds oneself with.

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  3. It was a pretty shoddy piece all around:

    A faction of anthropologists continue to defend the practice of controlled contact, saying that humans are by nature social animals, longing to interact. As one put it recently, “There is nothing particularly attractive about living in an isolated tribe on the slow road to extinction.” But their protestations have a weary tone, as of one losing an argument.

    The piece just dismisses this argument through an assessment of the tone of however many of its proponents (1?) the journalist spoke with.

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  4. I did mention this before but I will summarise briefly. I presented in several occasions my knowledge about European-SA history connections. I also found that SA (Indian) scholars lagging behind and often feel inferior to Oxbridge/Harvard scholars. The latter are not interesting in resolving some historical dilemmas from the past and because of this we have some things have been dragging for more than a hundred of years. There are so many micro-findings which hide the big picture. The fabricated EU history is a source of confusion and a cause of false conclusions. A deep analysis of colonial past, its economical and human cost, is still not on the agenda including enormous genocide conducted by English and their apologies for this.

    I invited some SA scholars to take a different approach and to stop feel inferior toward Western scholars and politicians. They can also research European history, why only leave Euro/Americans to exclusively research Asian history. I tried to convince them that Westerners have no monopoly (neither any connection) with Aryans and they are not in a position to dictate agenda and justify their former and current colonial, missionary deeds. I hope that younger scholars (e.g. Nilesh) will acquire more proactive approach and stop wasting their time and credibility by pushing OIM theory.

    My opinion is that humanistic sciences in SA are lagging behind well-developed IT technology. Sometimes, the reasons are narrow religious boundaries or complicated local tribal issues. But, the most I expect from new generation of scholars who are at the moment at unis and who tomorrow will start their research with a stronger assertion and without complexes of inferiority, making the title of this thread obsolete.

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