[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: The Dialectical Problematic of Resolving the Black White Aca.pdf



Thanks, Paul. Often, when I read your work, I am set off by this or that.
For example:

a)  the vastness, almost to the point of vacuity, of the "and" with which
you propose to link climate change and the achievement gap, (pp. 1-9)
b) the idea that social class is a "language game",  (3, 5)
c) the idea that the embourgeoisement of black mustic only began in the
seventies, (5)
d) the idea that what black kids need are more remedial programmes in white
English, and (6)
e) the lack of any reference to the huge black industrial proletariat whose
rise and fall was both the precondition and the postscript of the "American
Century" (1-9),
f) the number of times you cite yourself in the references! (9).

But then I find that almost each point that sets me off has something that
sets me back again, in ways that are often just as weird or even weirder.

a) I think that in SOME ways the discourse of prosperity IS linked to
climate change, but concretely, politically, in the very person of
the "poor man's idea of a rich man" president we are now enduring
and in his (fortunately tokenistic) perfidy on the Paris Agreement. I also
think that the transition of China, from a country that was following the
model of "get dirty and then wash your hands" to a country which now
seeks--with considerable success--to be a world leader in the struggle
against climate change is a model worth considering, not least for the
so-called "black -white academic gap". (I don't see how subsistence
agriculture enters into it though.)
b) Social class is not reducible to a language game, but if I have to
choose between John McWhorter's view and that of Paul Mocombe, the latter
has Ruqaiya Hasan--and science--on his side.
c) Embourgeoisement of black culture was already old in the sixties. But
something new DID happen in the seventies--and what happened seems to me
linked with point e).
d) Remedial programmes based on dialect are not only fruitless--they are
beside the point, because the "language game" in b) is not chiefly about
vowel sounds or copular "to be". But programmes based on register--on
functional literate varieties of whatever dialect you happen to speak. Now
you're talking...
e) I remember working on the assembly line at General Motors during the
seventies to the tune of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5LXTNvJ38w
It's not a tune you hear today except on youtube. Something happened to
this music and to the people who sang it along with me, but it was the same
thing that happened to the industrial proletariat as a whole....
f) Alongside all the hecatombs of Macombes in the reference list, there is
an F.E. Frazier! As Halliday likes to say, you shall know names, like
nouns, by the company they keep....

In China, the remedial reading programme is the Song Dynasty "Three
Character Classic", a little over a thousand years old now. It begins like
this:

人之初,

性本善。

性相近,

習相遠。
Humankind
Good at root
Close in kin
Far in forms

That is, "Humans in their origins are intrinsically, essentially kind to
each other. This is because they are close in their intrinsic, essential
qualities, and they only differ in epiphenomenal, cultural habits."

(I once asked my wife if she ever learned these words as a little girl, and
she says that they learned to denounce them as reactionary relics of the
old, black, dark times before liberation in China. Yet to me they just
mean: "Workers of the world, you have nothing to lose but your chains....")

David Kellogg
Macquarie University


On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 10:57 AM, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <
pmocombe@mocombeian.com> wrote:

>
>
>
>
>
>
> Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note® 4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone