世界中で起きている重要な事件、事象についての忌憚なき批判、批評の場とします。


by shin-yamakami16

<   2015年 03月 ( 1 )   > この月の画像一覧

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4月27日、Freddie Gray 葬儀参加青年たちの怒りが暴動に発展、安倍・オバマ記者会見の場から僅か数十キロ向うでデモ参加者と州兵・警官隊との激しい衝突が繰り返されていた

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4月25日、Baltimore: 6人の警官による暴力で死亡したFreddie Grayを悼んで、数千人が「人種差別」抗議デモに参加した


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   New York 4月14日:最近の黒人射殺2事件を受けて、数千人が抗議デモを展開した



米国「建国時」に根ざす ’racism’ と米国文化人の「偏見」
                                     山上 真

 先日3月18日の『ニューヨーク・タイムズ』紙は、その論説欄 ’THE STONE’で、言語学者・批評家ノーム・チョムスキーの注目すべき、米国「人種差別」問題「解説」を公表しているので、ここに紹介しておきたい。

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 ‘Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism’ 「米国人種差別の根源についてのノーム・チョムスキー見解」と題する、対談形式の解説では、先ず、約400年前の米国建国時の奴隷問題に焦点を当てて、次の様に述べる。

 「自由の帝国」新生・米国の繁栄は、綿花生産に基づく産業革命を通じて獲得されたものであり、正に苛酷な黒人奴隷労働の所産であることを忘れてはならない。其処には、効果的な拷問の道具としての牛皮ムチとピストルという近代兵器が使用され、黒人労働の生産性が大いに高められた。
 
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       1801年 第3代大統領就任式で宣誓するThomas Jefferson

 ジェファーソン大統領は1807年に海外からの奴隷輸入を禁止する法案に署名したが、彼の所属するヴァージニアは最も豊かで強力であったが故に、奴隷の必要性は無くなっていた。
 他方、ヴァージニアは綿花摘みの「機械」としての黒人奴隷を南部諸州に売り出すことによって、ヴァージニア経済を相当に発展させた。実に、ヴァージニアは拡大しつつある南部奴隷社会への奴隷輸出州となったのである。

 ジェファーソンの様に、奴隷所有者たちの中には、経済が奴隷労働に依存することへの「堕落」を意識している者も居た。しかし彼は、彼ら奴隷たちが犯した一万件もの犯罪の記憶を想起するにつけ、奴隷の「解放」を恐れた。「犠牲者たち」が蜂起して復讐するということが、今日まで続く「残響」として、米国文化に深く根を下ろしている恐怖なのだ。 

‘Some of the slave-owners, like Jefferson, appreciated the moral turpitude on which the economy relied. But he feared the liberation of slaves, who have “ten thousand recollections” of the crimes to which they were subjected. Fears that the victims might rise up and take revenge are deeply rooted in American culture, with reverberations to the present.’

 ところで、ジェファーソンはアメリカ独立宣言初稿の前文では次のように書いていた。
「我々は以下の真実が神聖であり否定できないものと考える。全ての人は平等かつ独立して創造され、平等に創造されたことから固有で不可分の権利を得られ、その中でも生命、自由および幸福の追求の権利が守られる。これらの目的を確実にするために政府は人々の中に作られ、治められる者達の同意からその権限を得られる。如何なる形態の政府もこれら目的の障害であるときはいつも、それを変更し、あるいは廃止し、新しい政府を樹立して、人民の安全と幸福を最も良く実現しそうな原則に基礎を置き、そのような形態で権限を作り上げるのが人民の権利である」—Wikipedia

  米国建国理念と黒人差別は、建前と実態が相反する典型的な実例と言えるだろう。

 米国憲法修正第13条(1865年成立)は公式的には奴隷制度を終結させたが、その十数年後には、「別の名の奴隷制度」が導入された。黒人の生活は、彼らを標的にした過度に厳しい条例によって、犯罪化された。其処では、黒人がまともな理由も無く拘束され、囚人たちは産業目的の為に労働させられた。農業・鉱山・製鉄などの産業に於いて、一層効果的に奴隷労働を活用すべく、産業資本家ではなく、州政府が奴隷労働を監督するという制度に置き換えられた。斯くして、この制度は19世紀後半以来、急速な産業発展に貢献することとなった。

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 このシステムは第二次大戦前まで安定的に維持されたが、その後は戦時産業の自由労働への必要性から状況が変わり、戦後の平等主義の高揚にも助けられて、黒人の市民社会への比較的自由な参加を見ることとなった。
 然し乍ら、北部での人種差別と全体的な貧困問題は、マーティン・ルーサー・キングなどの活動を俟たねばならなかった。

 1970年代後半のレーガン「新自由主義」は、「麻薬戦争」に名を借りた人種差別主義を先鋭化することによって、復古的に黒人生活を犯罪化し、黒人社会に破滅的衝撃を及ぼした。

 チョムスキーは、記事末尾辺りで、米国文化人の精神基底に存在し、決して失せることの無い差別意識に言及し、その例として、米国の国民的詩人ウォルト・ホィットマの言辞を取り挙げる。

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1887年 Walter Whitman

“The nigger, like the Injun, will be eliminated; it is the law of the races, history… A superior grade of rats come and then all the minor rats are cleared out.”

 「ニガーはインディアンと同様に取り除かれるだろう。それが人種・歴史の決まりというものだ。より優れたネズミがやって来て、全ての少数派ネズミは片付けられる訳だ」

 チョムスキーは、人種差別・克服が決して絶望的とは見ておらず、今後も長い闘いを予期しなければならないが、いずれ真の「平等社会」がやって来ると信じて、今も猶活発な社会的発言を続けている様だ。
                     (2015.03.22)

<写真> The New York Times, Wikipedia

               <参考資料>
The New York Times
THE STONE
Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism
By GEORGE YANCY and NOAM CHOMSKY MARCH 18, 2015 7:00 AM
March 18, 2015 7:00 am
275 Comments

The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless.
This is the eighth in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Noam Chomsky, a linguist, political philosopher and one of the world’s most prominent public intellectuals. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, “On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare,” with Andre Vltchek.
– George Yancy

George Yancy: When I think about the title of your book “On Western Terrorism,” I’m reminded of the fact that many black people in the United States have had a long history of being terrorized by white racism, from random beatings to the lynching of more than 3,000 black people (including women) between 1882 and 1968. This is why in 2003, when I read about the dehumanizing acts committed at Abu Ghraib prison, I wasn’t surprised. I recall that after the photos appeared President George W. Bush said that “This is not the America I know.” But isn’t this the America black people have always known?
Noam Chomsky: The America that “black people have always known” is not an attractive one. The first black slaves were brought to the colonies 400 years ago. We cannot allow ourselves to forget that during this long period there have been only a few decades when African-Americans, apart from a few, had some limited possibilities for entering the mainstream of American society.
We also cannot allow ourselves to forget that the hideous slave labor camps of the new “empire of liberty” were a primary source for the wealth and privilege of American society, as well as England and the continent. The industrial revolution was based on cotton, produced primarily in the slave labor camps of the United States.

As is now known, they were highly efficient. Productivity increased even faster than in industry, thanks to the technology of the bullwhip and pistol, and the efficient practice of brutal torture, as Edward E. Baptist demonstrates in his recent study, “The Half Has Never Been Told.” The achievement includes not only the great wealth of the planter aristocracy but also American and British manufacturing, commerce and the financial institutions of modern state capitalism.
It is, or should be, well-known that the United States developed by flatly rejecting the principles of “sound economics” preached to it by the leading economists of the day, and familiar in today’s sober instructions to latecomers in development. Instead, the newly liberated colonies followed the model of England with radical state intervention in the economy, including high tariffs to protect infant industry, first textiles, later steel and others.
There was also another “virtual tariff.” In 1807, President Jefferson signed a bill banning the importation of slaves from abroad. His state of Virginia was the richest and most powerful of the states, and had exhausted its need for slaves. Rather, it was beginning to produce this valuable commodity for the expanding slave territories of the South. Banning import of these cotton-picking machines was thus a considerable boost to the Virginia economy. That was understood. Speaking for the slave importers, Charles Pinckney charged that “Virginia will gain by stopping the importations. Her slaves will rise in value, and she has more than she wants.” And Virginia indeed became a major exporter of slaves to the expanding slave society.
Some of the slave-owners, like Jefferson, appreciated the moral turpitude on which the economy relied. But he feared the liberation of slaves, who have “ten thousand recollections” of the crimes to which they were subjected. Fears that the victims might rise up and take revenge are deeply rooted in American culture, with reverberations to the present.
The Thirteenth Amendment formally ended slavery, but a decade later “slavery by another name” (also the title of an important study by Douglas A. Blackmon) was introduced. Black life was criminalized by overly harsh codes that targeted black people. Soon an even more valuable form of slavery was available for agribusiness, mining, steel — more valuable because the state, not the capitalist, was responsible for sustaining the enslaved labor force, meaning that blacks were arrested without real cause and prisoners were put to work for these business interests. The system provided a major contribution to the  rapid industrial development from the late 19th century.
That system remained pretty much in place until World War II led to a need for free labor for the war industry. Then followed a few decades of rapid and relatively egalitarian growth, with the state playing an even more critical role in economic development than before. A black man might get a decent job in a unionized factory, buy a house, send his children to college, along with other opportunities. The civil rights movement opened other doors, though in limited ways. One illustration was the fate of Martin Luther King’s efforts to confront northern racism and develop a movement of the poor, which was effectively blocked.
The neoliberal reaction that set in from the late ‘70s, escalating under Reagan and his successors, hit the poorest and most oppressed sectors of society even more than the large majority, who have suffered relative stagnation or decline while wealth accumulates in very few hands. Reagan’s drug war, deeply racist in conception and execution, initiated a new Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander’s apt term for the revived criminalization of black life, evident in the shocking incarceration rates and the devastating impact on black society.
Reality is of course more complex than any simple recapitulation, but this is, unfortunately, a reasonably accurate first approximation to one of the two founding crimes of American society, alongside of the expulsion or extermination of the indigenous nations and destruction of their complex and rich civilizations.
‘Intentional ignorance’ regarding inconvenient truths about the suffering of African- Americans can also be used to frame the genocide of Native Americans.

G.Y.: While Jefferson may have understood the moral turpitude upon which slavery was based, in his “Notes on the State of Virginia,” he says that black people are dull in imagination, inferior in reasoning to whites, and that the male orangutans even prefer black women over their own. These myths, along with the black codes following the civil war, functioned to continue to oppress and police black people. What would you say are the contemporary myths and codes that are enacted to continue to oppress and police black people today?

N.C.: Unfortunately, Jefferson was far from alone. No need to review the shocking racism in otherwise enlightened circles until all too recently. On “contemporary myths and codes,” I would rather defer to the many eloquent voices of those who observe and often experience these bitter residues of a disgraceful past.
Perhaps the most appalling contemporary myth is that none of this happened. The title of Baptist’s book is all too apt, and the aftermath is much too little known and understood.
There is also a common variant of what has sometimes been called “intentional ignorance” of what it is inconvenient to know: “Yes, bad things happened in the past, but let us put all of that behind us and march on to a glorious future, all sharing equally in the rights and opportunities of citizenry.” The appalling statistics of today’s circumstances of African-American life can be confronted by other bitter residues of a shameful past, laments about black cultural inferiority, or worse, forgetting how our wealth and privilege was created in no small part by the centuries of torture and degradation of which we are the beneficiaries and they remain the victims. As for the very partial and hopelessly inadequate compensation that decency would require — that lies somewhere between the memory hole and anathema.
Jefferson, to his credit, at least recognized that the slavery in which he participated was “the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other.” And the Jefferson Memorial in Washington displays his words that “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Words that should stand in our consciousness alongside of John Quincy Adams’s reflections on the parallel founding crime over centuries, the fate of “that hapless race of native Americans, which we are exterminating with such merciless and perfidious cruelty…among the heinous sins of this nation, for which I believe God will one day bring [it] to judgment.”
What matters is our judgment, too long and too deeply suppressed, and the just reaction to it that is as yet barely contemplated.
G.Y.: This “intentional ignorance” regarding inconvenient truths about the suffering of African- Americans can also be used to frame the genocide of Native Americans. It was 18th century Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus who argued that Native Americans were governed by traits such as being “prone to anger,” a convenient myth for justifying the need for Native Americans to be “civilized” by whites. So, there are myths here as well. How does North America’s “amnesia” contribute to forms of racism directed uniquely toward Native Americans in our present moment and to their continual genocide?
N.C.: The useful myths began early on, and continue to the present. One of the first myths was formally established right after the King of England granted a Charter to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, declaring that conversion of the Indians to Christianity is “the principal end of this plantation.” The colonists at once created the Great Seal of the Colony, which depicts an Indian holding a spear pointing downward in a sign of peace, with a scroll coming from his mouth pleading with the colonists to “Come over and help us.” This may have been the first case of “humanitarian intervention” — and, curiously, it turned out like so many others.
Years later Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story mused about “the wisdom of Providence” that caused the natives to disappear like “the withered leaves of autumn” even though the colonists had “constantly respected” them. Needless to say, the colonists who did not choose “intentional ignorance” knew much better, and the most knowledgeable, like Gen. Henry Knox, the first secretary of war of the United States, described “the utter extirpation of all the Indians in most populous parts of the Union [by means] more destructive to the Indian natives than the conduct of the conquerors of Mexico and Peru.”

Knox went on to warn that “a future historian may mark the causes of this destruction of the human race in sable colors.” There were a few — very few — who did so, like the heroic Helen Jackson, who in 1880 provided a detailed account of that “sad revelation of broken faith, of violated treaties, and of inhuman acts of violence [that] will bring a flush of shame to the cheeks of those who love their country.” Jackson’s important book barely sold. She was neglected and dismissed in favor of the version presented by Theodore Roosevelt, who explained that “The expansion of the peoples of white, or European, blood during the past four centuries…has been fraught with lasting benefit to most of the peoples already dwelling in the lands over which the expansion took place,” notably those who had been “extirpated” or expelled to destitution and misery.
The national poet, Walt Whitman, captured the general understanding when he wrote that “The nigger, like the Injun, will be eliminated; it is the law of the races, history… A superior grade of rats come and then all the minor rats are cleared out.” It wasn’t until the 1960s that the scale of the atrocities and their character began to enter even scholarship, and to some extent popular consciousness, though there is a long way to go.
That’s only a bare beginning of the shocking record of the Anglosphere and its settler-colonial version of imperialism, a form of imperialism that leads quite naturally to the “utter extirpation” of the indigenous population — and to “intentional ignorance” on the part of beneficiaries of the crimes.
G.Y.: Your response raises the issue of colonization as a form of occupation. James Baldwin, in his 1966 essay, “A Report from Occupied Territory,” wrote, “Harlem is policed like occupied territory.” This quote made me think of Ferguson, Mo. Some of the protesters in Ferguson even compared what they were seeing to the Gaza Strip. Can you speak to this comparative discourse of occupation?
N.C.: All kinds of comparisons are possible. When I went to the Gaza Strip a few years ago, what came to mind very quickly was the experience of being in jail (for civil disobedience, many times): the feeling, very strange to people who have had privileged lives, that you are totally under the control of some external authority, arbitrary and if it so chooses, cruel. But the differences between the two cases are, of course, vast.
More generally, I’m somewhat skeptical about the value of comparisons of the kind mentioned. There will of course be features common to the many diverse kinds of illegitimate authority, repression and violence. Sometimes they can be illuminating; for example, Michelle Alexander’s analogy of a new Jim Crow, mentioned earlier. Often they may efface crucial distinctions. I don’t frankly see anything general to say of much value. Each comparison has to be evaluated on its own.
<中略>
George Yancy is a professor of philosophy at Duquesne University. He has written, edited and co-edited numerous books, including “Black Bodies, White Gazes,” “Look, a White!” and “Pursuing Trayvon Martin,” co-edited with Janine Jones.
by shin-yamakami16 | 2015-03-22 18:54 | Comments(0)