I was thinking about how it is that we measure ourselves, (a loose interpretation of collective black social quantification) what we look at as a culture and say “ok that’s how it should be done” and then move in that direction. This isn’t to say that we don’t have our own goals and aspirations, but historically what it is we aspire to has been established by white people (people of European descent/can be classified as white, etc.). Our pecuniary taste, our social norms, work ethic, all revolve around a standard (propagated through the mass media extra nice move) which reinforces what it is we all accept as “common”. The “standard” is what we all know as socially as being credible, and when I say socially I mean socially, its the difference between a Golden Globe and an Oscar, everyone knows the latter is the standard, emplaced by the standard, to quantify and further maintain the impression of the standard. The standard is the method of comparison for/against things people often describe as “Ghetto” or whatever description of the day is appropriate for the situation. It is this (the comparison to our particular focus group based on the standard) that we are confronted with on a daily basis, these micro level impressions on our cultural capital which continually both consciously and sub reinforce the standard upon us.
What the standard is: A socially accepted condition or form of thought that is manifested socially and expressed culturally among all people to establish a certain order of things. It is this certain order of things that has been the catalyst for the socio-technical development of Eurocentric thought and its propagation through out the world. While my half-assed attempt at a definition of the standard may come off as a “blanket white supremacy” rant the actual intent is to focus on the things which have become so common place in our society that we take them no questions asked, regardless of their face value. Before I go any further I would like to send a big shout out to BLACKADEMIC her blog hit some mental notes that I had filed away on attempts at practicing diversity. The standard is at face value Eurocentric thought, practice, and values, exposed upon all non European (non white people).
Our first and most probable reason for aspiring to the standard is social acceptance. The more we aspire/display our ability to assimilate/attain the standard, the more “we” feel the “right” to acceptance by those who have emplaced the standard. We meaning anyone who is not of the standard, and right by the fact of “due process” or meeting the quals socially/culturally of the standard (yes I am leaving out the race portion, saving that for the book). It is this inherent desire to “act right” (act white?) “talk right” (talk white?) or what ever of form or fashion of cultural interaction that is deemed appropriate by the standard. In other words the standard is maintained by white people (an important element of racial identity/supremacy) and white people only. Words like “western”, “modern society”, “mainstream” are all a direct translation of the standard, and deviations are referred to as “Diverse”, “Minority”, “Ghetto”, “Inner City”, “at risk youth”, “Third World”, or “Developing Nations” (all code words for nigger). What we fail to realize or take at “face value” is that by the continual usage/assimilation of such terms by those who “meet the criteria” for such a categorization only lends itself to the standard.
Transcending the plane
So how is it that we step outside of construct, move above an beyond the architecture that has been so intricately established so as to become visible/non-visible (a social tactic and tool) in all aspects of people interaction and thought. First we must identify the “Prima Facie Evidence” ( I couldn’t resist). The most out right and common tools/architecture the we cannot deny:
English- Language the most common element of the standard. All of your communication is based on a language created by Europeans. So from the first day of school you are learning in essence to talk white.
Math- Why is it that we are all taught “Roman Numerals” at a very young age? Any one progressive enough to start teaching “Chinese Numerals”, with the current geo-political landscape it seems to be a pretty relevant question.
Sport- Isn’t an “Athlete” one who participated in the public games in Greece and Rome? This is a double dose of the standard, not only do you get the Eurocentric title you get the added bonus of knowing that most of the “participants” were slaves or people captured on various campaigns etc. Which leads to many interesting correlations in “our” society today centered around “Professional Sports”. The standard creates entertainment based on the notion of the spectacle. The spectacle is a space with its own dynamic effectively managed by the standard. So with this you can (or cannot see) where I am going with this whole analogy, I mean for every rationalization that I get about the conditions and situations of our people, there are several things that cannot be explained away by some slick ass comment. Like the effects of the standard upon our education system, and the utterly ridiculous comments that I have heard from some of our own. Now I have mentioned this before but when you are ridiculed for learning (possessing knowledge or the ability to articulate with a lil bit o form) and labeled as acting white, has the standard superceded its own intent by causing those which may yearn for acceptance to actually resent those who possess the ability to transcend some of the quantifiable aspects presented like reading, writing and speech? Or is this just a sick and perverted bonus to the whole system, which in the end will not provide the playing field that is dangled like the carrot in front of the horse. And why is that you ask, because the standard was never about class, it has and will always be about race, and we all know who comes in first. The gold medal winner for the last couple millennia hands down no questions asked…
TO BE CONTINUED.
"This aint no after school special"