The challenge in Eurocentrism is that what should perhaps be viewed as the mere creative license afforded an artist to render an image or story in any form they choose, has imposed upon it this whole philosophical and corporate context of marketing and creation, which instills all the biases of society and imposes them in the form of obligations on the artist and artisan and threatens them with the idea that they will be able to create what they wish but not be heard. So many in the face of that capitulate. The true artist has the courage to resist, even if it costs them greatly financially and in terms of social status, and it often does. It’s one thing to make a “white superhero” “black” or a “male superhero” “female” as an artistic matter. Tragically, it is so much more that must be done to have the Eurocentric audience accept those artistic reformulations as in fact equal to the previous, more well –known renderings without specifically genderizing or “racializing” them. For me the question is less whether such figures will find a niche audience, they will, as well as a host of those fickle curiosity and novelty seekers who will “peek” to see “how are they going to do that.” My question is that is there ever a point where the “female” superhero is just that a superhero or whether a “black” superhero is ever just a superhero?
I think back to that question I got from a young Euro-American woman in college. She came to me with what was her a serious and perplexing question and one she thought I needed to be concerned about. She came as a friend, a colleague, a fellow social justice advocate and she said I see you in Afrikan liberation type organizations and mainstream (read “white”) organizations..when you grow up (implying a maturity I did not yet have in her estimation since I had not decided), are you going to be a “black” leader or a “real” leader? I’m sure either answer would have been fine for her, but she was literally the first person that made me realize that there was such a question. And somehow I HAD to answer this, whether I gave her a personal response then and there, or not. And so the tragedy of Eurocentrism is whether “female Thor” will ever be “THOR” or “female Thor” in perpetuity and so on. And “female” Thor without it ever being said or needing to be said, is alternative Thor. We still know who the “REAL” Thor is.
I say this as a person who has apparently inadvertently engaged in torture of my fellow Eurocentric brothers and sisters, consistently doing things out of the box that didn’t go with the narrowly defined categories of what I was supposed to do and be and think and even worse, I showed no sympathy for the psychological trauma shown on their faces when they realized I neither cared nor completely understood the idea that my humanity was somehow a “problem” to be solved.
A sister elder of mine shared with me recently a rant that I have often gone on about our own people, especially the young, and their lack of real historical knowledge and understanding about themselves. Here’s the basic scenario:
She was in a Family Dollar around 6PM and heard a young Afrikan male (looked to be around 17-18) sharing with a young lady “they worked me like a slave!!!”
My sister… elder described herself as “speechless.” I would describe myself as wanting to seriously smack a fool, but if I did that every time I heard this, I wouldn’t have enough bail money.
No matter how hard you work and believe me, many of us work seriously hard and in difficult circumstances, as long as we earn ANY wage at all, have ANY kind of humanity or citizenship within the context of that labor, and if we can go to some place we call home at some point end of that long day, then we will never know what it is to work like a SLAVE. I am even leaving out the violence, rape,kidnapping, mutilation and other “extracurricular” aspects of THEIR daily work environment. Simply working hard for low pay is NOT being worked like a SLAVE. Even being an actual indentured servant is not being a SLAVE.
I think back to what Malcolm X said about the word revolution and how most in the movement in the 60s throwing that world around would be a lot more hesitant to use it, if they actually understood what it means.
Eurocentric conservatives fail miserably at understanding the fundamental principles of sociology, tending to see society as little more than a multiplicity of totally self-responsible and autonomous individuals and believing for the most part in the notion that economics alone is the arbiter and a rightful one of human social relationships.
Eurocentric liberals, while deeply aware of sociological issues and desirous of collective progress, fail at history, because their recommendations for positive sociological change inevitably are rooted in the same Eurocentric ideologies, processes, and institutions that have historically failed to have either an interest in or ability to, advance social justice and which actually create and maintain the status quo.
It is not ENOUGH to merely make a moral appeal against oppression in the absence of real social, political, and economic power which can compel those who oppress to listen. In the absence of those latter elements, the moral appeal will not be heard. Those drunk with oppressive power must be forcibly sobered up before they can be reasoned with.
Eurocentric “Platonic” love: Many people use the abstract Platonic idea of love to get closer to you with the knife. One must have the spiritual gift of discernment to avoid that. Sometimes the person most fervently pushing a rhetoric of love is lying in wait for you to sleep. A wolf does not come in wolf’s clothing, it would be too easy for the sheep and shepherd to sniff him out. Love is actuated in action, not in words.
If the ONLY info you have on the “world” is CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, you really don’t have a clue about what’s going on in most places and what you DO “know” is heavily distorted and filtered through Eurocentric interpretations.
One of the greatest strategies of Eurocentrism was instituting the rhetoric of a “free” press under plutocracy. Since “press” is actually based on those who can afford to pay for its creation, and who then control it for the cultivation of personal and collective profits, it is not “free.” The overwhelming number of “official” media outlets in the globe are controlled by a handful of companies and we have been brainwashed into thinking that a “free” press.
You TRULY learn about a social issue when you meet or encounter in some other way, the human beings who are living within that social reality, talking to them or listening to them talking about their real lives in their own narratives. That is the ONLY way that the complexities and subtleties of their conditions will make sense or put you in a position to engage and help THEM make effective changes in that condition.
No criticism of a state, which is a constructive human artifice for purposes of political governance, is the same as criticism of the people subject to the authority of that state. One of the most basic tricks of the objectifying philosophy of Eurocentrism is to try to equate people (the nation) with the state in such a way that any state action can be justified as the will of the people, when often the masses of the people may not know, support, authorize, or participate in state action and are generally completely and intentionally misled into believing state actions are on their behalf.
When it comes to what is right, I try to be a citizen of the world, not of a particular state because I believe the most important ethical dimensions of human life apply to us all regardless of the contrivances and divisions we as humans set up for convenience or conquering or both.
Those who gamble on this thing called “luck” have been bamboozled by Eurocentric philosophy. Luck is based statistically on this notion of probability which for me means the Eurocentric system creates problems which impair your God-given abilities to accomplish the objectives and missions for which your life force exists or that it probably will. In the absence of the problems it creates, you have those abilities and abilities are not “luck”, but a combination of training, planning, and dexterity in execution. People of spiritual faith and knowledge should not be relying on “luck”.