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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Whataboutism

I’m just about out of patience with the rampant ‘whataboutism’. 

Yes, there were black Africans who were slave owners and traders. 

And there was white slavery as well (the Barbary pirates often raided coastal towns in Europe, England and Ireland).

Horrifying. 

But it has nothing whatsoever to do with the conversation regarding the history of blacks in the US. 

Black history in America has gone from horrifying, to barbaric, to cruel, to unjust, to unfair, to barely tolerable second-class citizenship (interspersed with occasional swings through random prosperity and regressions to cruelty and injustice). 

If your contribution to the current public discussion of the range of realities experienced by blacks in the United States today is to point out injustices unrelated to the American black experience, you are essentially saying “We’ve talked about this enough.  I want to talk about something else.”.

Trying to change or redirect the conversation with ‘whataboutism’ is the same as saying the original conversation isn’t important /relevant to you. 

That’s a fair and legitimate position... but be honest and just say you don’t care.

Posted by David Bogner on June 16, 2020 | Permalink

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