Some Quotes to Share and Communicate...

My favorite quotes to share with as many people as I can, for many reasons.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"To know that I am nothing, that is wisdom; to know that I am everything, that is love and in between these two life moves." - North African proverb

Monday, December 17, 2012

"By crowding inequality off the public agenda, racecraft has stranded this country again and again over its history. It may do so again, permitting an economic sickness that arose from inequality to be treated homeopathically by further doses of inequality, which may eventually provoke rage that will sweep away respect for democratic politics and for the rule of law. Forestalling that calamity is our duty. The first and fundamental step in that direction is to observe racecraft in action, study its moves, listen to its language, and root it out. Only after doing so will we be prepared for the still harder work of tackling inequality. Are we up for it?" - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"... if the imagination expended in devices to restrict high-quality education to a privileged few - coaches, consultants, ghost writers for college application essays, even (God save the mark) test prep courses for a kindergarten entrance exam - were devoted instead to repairing our dilapidated system of public education, fifteen-year-olds in the United States might not rank fifteenth out of twenty-nine OECD countries in reading literacy, twenty-first out of thirty in scientific literacy, and twenty-fifth out of thirty in mathematics literacy." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"If we build that religion of humanity as we should, there will be strong opposition to all that threatens our common faith. 'If every enterprise directed against the rights of an individual revolts [us], it is not only by sympathy with the victim, neither is it for fear of having to suffer like injustices [ourselves]. It is that such attacks cannot go on with impunity without compromising the nation's existence.' I think sociology can enable us to bring that about. With it, we can uncover the profound dynamics of social life that make the social world we see before our eyes." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields, featuring Emile Durkheim in L'Individualisme
"Both argues in word and deed not only that reform in the land of his birth was possible, but also that the scientific investigation of social life provided the would-be reformer of that land with tools." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Nothing is more fully agreed than the certainty that memory fails. Memory fails, leaving blanks, and memory collaborates with forces separate from actual past events, forces such as an individual's wishes, a group's suggestions, a moment's connotations, and environment's clues, an emotion's demands, a self's evolution, a mind's manufacture of order, and yes, even a researcher's objectives. In these collaborations, and in others I have not thought of, memory acquires well-noted imperfections. We seek to understand these imperfections systematically if we are scholars of memory, in itself, and we seek to correct for them if we are scholars who use memory as a source. As researchers, we bind ourselves to skepticism about memory and to a definite methodological mistrust of those rememberers who are our informants. We are fully attentive to the fact that memory fails." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Ideology is best understood as the descriptive vocabulary of day-to-day existence through which people make rough sense of the social reality that they live and create from day to day. It is the language of consciousness that suits the particular way in which people deal with their fellows. It is the interpretation in thought of the social relations through which they constantly create and recreate their collective being, in all the varied forms their collective being may assume: family, clan, tribe, nation, class, party, business enterprise, church, army, club, and so on. As such, ideologies are not delusions but real, as real as the social relations for which they stand." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Facts of nature spawns by the needs of ideology sometimes acquire greater power over people's minds than facts of nature spawned by nature itself."  - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Probably a majority of American historians think of slavery in the United States as primarily a system of race relations - as though the chief business of slavery were the production of white supremacy rather than the production of cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco. One historian has gone so far as to call slavery 'the ultimate segregator.' He does not ask why Europeans seeking the 'ultimate' method of segregating Africans would go to the trouble and expense of transporting them across the ocean for that purpose, when they could have achieved the same end so much more simply by leaving the Africans in Africa. No one dreams of analyzing the struggle of the English against the Irish as a problem in race relations, even though the rationale that the English developed for suppressing the 'barbarous' Irish later served nearly word for word as a rationale for suppressing Africans and indigenous American Indians. Nor does anyone dream of analyzing serfdom in Russia as primarily a problem of race relations, even though the Russian nobility invented fictions of their innate, natural superiority over the serfs as preposterous as any devised by American racists." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"My students find it off when I refer to the colonizers of North America as Euro-Americans, but they feel more at ease with Afro-Americans, a term which, for the period of colonization and the slave trade, has no more to recommend it. Students readily understand that no one was really a European, since Europeans belonged to different nationalities: but it comes as a surprise to them that no one was an African either, since Africans likewise belonged to different nationalities." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Racism is a qualitative, not a quantitative, evil. Its harm does not depend on how many people fall under its ban but on the fact that any at all do. And the first principle of racism is belief in race, even if the believer does not deduce from that belief that the member of a race should be enslaved or disfranchised or shot on sight by trigger-happy police officers or asked for identification when crossing the campus of the university where he teachers, just as believing that the sun travels around the earth is geocentrism, whether or not one deduces from the belief that persons affirming the contrary should be hauled before an inquisition and forced to recant. Once everyone understand that African descent is not race and that African ancestry differs from others only in the racism with which Euro-America has stigmatized it, the problem changes: what is needed is not a more varied set of words and categories to represent racism but a politics to uproot it." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Whether called assimilation or amalgamation, the goal of blending in the discordant element operates on the rationale rather than on the problem. Framing questions in those terms guarantees that the answers will remain entangled in racist ideology." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Tolerance thus bases equal rights on benevolent patronization rather than democratic first principles, much as a parent's misguided plea that Jason 'share' the swing or seesaw on a public playground teaches Jason that his gracious consent, rather than another child's equal claim, determines the other child's access." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields
"Even language can be squeezed into the glass slipper of race by a sufficiently ruthless pruning of the foot. According to believers in something known as 'black English,' the deep structures of African languages - in other words, the speakers' African-ness - accounts for the speech habits of Afro-Americans. But African linguistic structures cannot explain why, despite the much greater survival of Africanisms in Jamaican creole, the children of Jamaican migrants to Britain do not speak 'black English'; instead, they speak English as white Britons of their class and region do. (Nor can such structures explain why there is no such thing as black French, black Portuguese, or black Spanish.) The speech patterns of Afro-Americans testify not to the greater strength of African linguistic survivals among Afro-Americans as compared to Afro-Caribbean migrants in Britain but to the greater prevalence and rigidity of segregated schooling, housing, and sociability, especially among the working class, in the United States, as compare to Britain. Racism, in other words, not race." - from Racecraft by Karen Fields & Barbara Fields