Afro-American Self Identity

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:28:59 AM

Afro-American Self Identity

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Launched in by Irving Kristol, the leading figure in neoconservatism, it had by a circulation of six thousand. Fukuyama himself was virtually unknown outside the world of professional Sovietologists, people not given to eschatological reflection. But somehow the phrase found its way into post-Cold War thought, and it stuck. One of the reasons for the stickiness was that Fukuyama was lucky. He got out about six months ahead of the curve—his article appearing before the Velvet Revolution, in Czechoslovakia, and before the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, in November, Fukuyama was betting on present trends continuing, always a high-risk gamble in the international-relations business.

The Cold War really was over. Events in Asia were not so obliging. Fukuyama missed completely the suppression of the pro-democracy movement in China. Almost none of the initial responses to the piece mentioned Tiananmen, either—even though many people already believed that China, not Russia, was the power that liberal democracies would have to reckon with in the future. At the end of the article, he suggested that life after history might be sad. This speculative flourish recalled the famous question that John Stuart Mill said he asked himself as a young man: If all the political and social reforms you believe in came to pass, would it make you a happier human being?

That is always an interesting question. The office of policy planning at State had been created in by George Kennan, who was its first chief. The United States did not need to intervene in Soviet affairs, Kennan believed, because Communism was bound to collapse from its own inefficiency. He received a standing ovation. It was not the bookend Kennan would have written. Containment is a realist doctrine. The only thing that mattered was that Communism not be allowed to expand.

The National Interest, as the name proclaims, is a realist foreign-policy journal. Realism imagines nations to be in perpetual competition with one another; Fukuyama was saying that this was no longer going to be the case. He offered Cold War realists a kind of valediction: their mission, though philosophically misconceived, had been accomplished. Now they were out of a job. It turns out that liberal democracy and free trade may actually be rather fragile achievements. Consumerism appears safe for now. Fukuyama covers all of this in less than two hundred pages. How does he do it? Not well. Some of the problem comes from misunderstanding figures like Beauvoir and Freud; some comes from reducing the work of complex writers like Rousseau and Nietzsche to a single philosophical bullet point.

But the whole project, trying to fit Vladimir Putin into the same analytic paradigm as Black Lives Matter and tracing them both back to Martin Luther, is far-fetched. Fukuyama is a smart man, but no one could have made this argument work. Why is the desire for recognition—or identity politics, as Fukuyama also calls it—a threat to liberalism? Because it cannot be satisfied by economic or procedural reforms. Having the same amount of wealth as everyone else or the same opportunity to acquire it is not a substitute for respect. Fukuyama thinks that political movements that appear to be about legal and economic equality—gay marriage, for example, or MeToo—are really about recognition and respect. Women who are sexually harassed in the workplace feel that their dignity has been violated, that they are being treated as less than fully human.

Appetites we share with animals; reason is what makes us human. Thymos is in between. The term has been defined in various ways. In the Republic, Socrates associates thymos with children and dogs, beings whose reactions need to be controlled by reason. We bristle. We swell with amour propre. We honk the horn. We overreact. Plato had Socrates divide the psyche into three parts in order to assign roles to the citizens of his imaginary republic.

Appetite is the principal attribute of the plebes, passion of the warriors, and reason of the philosopher kings. The Republic is philosophy; it is not cognitive science. But so what? Lots of feelings are related to changes in serotonin levels. In fact, every feeling we experience—lust, anger, depression, exasperation—has a corollary in brain chemistry. She needs the serotonin, just like the Russians. Hegel thought that the end of history would arrive when humans achieved perfect self-knowledge and self-mastery, when life was rational and transparent.

Rationality and transparency are the values of classical liberalism. Rationality and transparency are supposed to be what make free markets and democratic elections work. People understand how the system functions, and that allows them to make rational choices. The trouble with thymos is that it is not rational. People not only sacrifice worldly goods for recognition; they die for recognition. The choice to die is not rational.

But how was that model of the rational economic actor ever plausible? People hoard money; they squander it; they marry for it; they kill for it. Practically every realist novel, from Austen and Balzac to James and Wharton, is about people behaving badly around money. They arguably made people even crazier. And as with money so with most of life. Right now, you are trying to decide whether to finish this piece or turn to the cartoon-caption contest. Which mental faculty are you using to make this decision? Which is responsible for your opinion of Donald Trump?

How can you tell? Liberalism remains the ideal political and economic system, but it needs to find ways to accommodate and neutralize this pesky desire for recognition. Recognition was, in fact, the means to get there. That source was not Hegel. Asked by Time. It wasn't necessarily, 'I'm black so I have to act a certain way. Famous names on their identity — Actress and author Karyn Parsons' mother is black and her father is white. I've been thinking about writing about race for a long time," she told Essence magazine in Famous names on their identity — Novelist Walter Mosley's mother was white and Jewish from Poland; his father was a black American.

But in this society, I'm black. Famous names on their identity — Actress Sharon Leal is the daughter of a Filipino mother and African-American father. That's how people perceive me and I'm fine with that. Famous names on their identity — "I'm Mexican and black -- my father is Mexican, my mom is black. I've been in the middle my entire life, having to make decisions as to who and what I am," singer Miguel told Billboard magazine. I wanted the music to stand out that way. Famous names on their identity — Singer Amerie's father was an American soldier who met her mother when he was stationed in Korea.

I'd be, like, why do I have to come down on one side or the other? I get that people love to categorize, but I think we get a little too hung up on it sometimes. Famous names on their identity — Actor Shemar Moore calls himself biracial. I am extremely proud to be black and of my heritage," he writes on his website. In a perfect world, my wish is for people to see past color stereotypes and simply look at the character and personality of a person. And that's been a great blessing in my life. Famous names on their identity — Actor Boris Kodjoe grew up in Germany and moved to America when he was 19 years old.

I'm biracial. I was born to a white mother from Germany and a black father from Ghana. And I represent both cultures," he told BET. That's what I'm being perceived as, that's what I look like and that's what I feel like. Famous names on their identity — Singer Alicia Keys' mother is mainly of Italian heritage and her father is black. So that's how I regard myself. Famous names on their identity — Actress Stacey Dash, known for her role in the movie " Clueless," is of African-American, Barbadian and Mexican descent.

She made headlines for her endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Story highlights Professor Martha Jones sparks debate about how we identify black Americans "The language of race has always been a moving target," she writes Jones: Listen to what people call themselves for guidance on how to address them. When the census listed Negro as a race option in , a controversy erupted. My students at the University of Michigan were eager to denounce the term's use: "Negro? It has to go! To their ears, "Negro" was derogatory, too close in tone to the other, more infamous n-word. I played devil's advocate, to test their thinking: "But some black elders still self-identify as Negroes.

Professor Martha Jones. I was confronting a generational divide. For my grandmother, "Negro" was a term of respect. To my students, it was an epithet. It's no surprise that we feel unsettled when a new language of identity takes over the old. The language of race -- constructed variously in science, law, politics and culture -- has always been a moving target, and we aren't the first generation to confront it. I called myself mixed-race, a phrase that includes identities rooted in multiple races. More Videos Mother of biracial kids: Talk about race Biracial girl says I do not 'feel black' Mistaken as a white person Growing up with racism Another term, biracial, some readers pointed out, assumes one identity borne out of two. It is, perhaps, too narrow for a discussion about identity in the 21st century.

Some readers also rejected the phrase "African-American," deeming it awkward and inaccurate. Renee wrote: "We are not from Africa, I was born here in the U. I don't know anyone there, can't even say my ancestors are from there.

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