Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On someone who said "white people have no culture"

This video tries to prove him wrong, which of course he is:

On Culture - Do White People have no Culture?
TheBritisher | 3.X.2017

Mainly my response at 2:00, trying to understand what someone meant by "white people have no culture", but also some shorter on later time signatures. Because I try to understand what he might have meant. (The man was white, btw, it was not a black man venting frustration over himself being considered as uncultured by whites he lives among).

2:00 Let us analyse the statement "white people have no culture".

On a very basic level, it could be sth like "English has no grammar". If you think English has no grammar, that is because you consider "grammar" is what makes Welsh (with the initial mutations at feminine adjectives or even nouns after the article) or Spanish (with the masculine and feminine articles being different and where neutre "lo" can't refer to an object, let alone a child) or Latin, Russian, German (with the many cases) different from English.

Of course English has a grammar. It is conspicuous (along with Welsh in same area) for having both the thorn sound and w sound (Spanish further south, at least North of Madrid, also has these). It is conspicuous for having 16 tenses, each of the 8 tenses being doubled into "simple" and "continuous" - and knowing when to use which one is sometimes a bit hard for foreigners, as I found out at 15. It also restates questions and negatives with a circumlocution either in continuous tense or, if in simple, using the verb "do". But English don't imagine this is grammar, since they didn't have to learn it in class, but grew up with it.

The basic idea behind that man's factual statement is more like the same thing, thinking of "culture" as sth you learn about in geography class or get introduced to in Chinese restaurants (like eating with chop sticks instead of knife and fork) or Japanese restaurants (like eating raw fish with rice and algae) or in anthropology class, like "the Amazonas Indians live with a Palaeolithic Culture".

Obviously, the man was also upset when blurting this out.

He may have felt the idea that "white men's culture needs to be preserved" - I guess this was a thing he could have been responding to - as preposterous, like giving "cultural associations" doles for introducing us to knife and fork instead of chop sticks (a scam, arguably, outside China) or like persecuting chop sticks because they are not knife and fork (which would be somewhat "white suprematist-ish").

But on the main, I agree he was wrong, I am just stating this so as to understand his error.

Even he might understand it if you put the English grammar parallel before him : "do you think promoting English grammar by teaching the circumlocution with do is a scam or a persecution of non-English languages?"

I guess he might agree teaching English grammar has its real uses.

On a more specific level of fact, he could of course have been thinking of white people having no one single culture, because we have so many different ones (British, French, Polish, Russian, Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, American).

Would you, @The Britisher, kindly link to video for original outburst in context?

Merely appropriators of others' cultures?

Maybe he bought into the idea Egyptians and Sumerians were black? Or he somehow doesn't consider "Middle Eastern" as white anymore than to some Americans "Hispanic" is that? (Both positions are beyond me, btw).

4:47 Laocoon in the automatic subtitles comes out now twice as Larkin.

Why do you consider him a fictional figure? You said literature created him?

6:32 What if the guy thought of Romans as "Hispanics" or "Dagos" instead of as "White"?

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