Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Acid Test of Legitimacy

For any street, neighborhood, town, region or nation in the world -here is a test to see if it is in need of change.

Remember, I am talking about the whole earth, not just American neighborhoods.

Most places have a dominant type. The type may be Vietnamese, Saudi, Buddhist, Islamic, Baptist, Russians, poor whites, wealthy Japanese business owners...et cetera.

The test: can an individual that is visibly of a very different 'type' walk in that place without being attacked or harassed? And on top of this, the individual is not there to help others, but is ambivalent, having no outward sign of respect or role in the local culture. I am not saying they are trying to be offensive, but simply in an ambivalent relationship with the local culture.

  1. Can a white Baptist preacher walk down the street in Tokyo?
  2. Can a jewish woman walk through Gaza?
  3. Can a black man walk through Monroe Louisiana?
  4. Can a Japanese Buddhist monk walk through Islamabad?
  5. Can a white business woman walk through the poorest black neighborhood in Little Rock Arkansas?

If the answer is "no", then that place is in need of reform.

Any, any, form of racial/religious/cultural solidarity that results in the other not being able to walk ambivalently, and without escort through the area -that culture is a culture of intolerance or even hate.

Since WW2 the world has focused on English and Americans as the ones needing reform, needing to mend their ways towards more tolerance. This was absolutely needed. Now the same spotlight and demand needs to be placed equally on everyone worldwide. Any and every people should allow those different from them to walk peaceably down the street, and to carry on their business without kow-towing to local identity.

1 comment:

LanceMiller said...


This is not a test, it is a provocation.
< kokoh > 01/01 06:46:34

And if you provoke there will be repercussions. Simple as that. One can devise 'tests' to prove or disprove anything.

this is a praxis, theory to action
< linux_lance > 01/01 10:37:19

You are afraid of a true, flat decent moralism that would invade and police areas under the control of poor people inflicting violence on the rich, more enabled or foreign who wonder into their space.

The model of New York City since the late nineties is a good one. There are more middle class and families with babies than at anytime in the last several decades. Yeah, police have shot people stupid enough to run around on roofs, and the city is better for it.

The militant or criminally violent poor can't hide behind a Marxist prerogative anymore. It is illegitimate.