Melissa Harris-Perry | February 17, 2013
>> we're back and talking about how anticolonial movements, antiracist movements and the continuing struggles are an international and global phenomenon to learn from one another. raul reyes is here. you want to jump in on this?
>> part of the problem in moving forward and learning from history is challenging the narratives of the past. to decolonnize history. to talk about schaumburg, they are currently celebrating an underexplo underexplored, unknown history of africans coming from ethiopia beginning in the 14th century to the 20th century . people recognize as africans who rose to be architects, sailors who really rk to this day are responsible for shaping the landscape of the subcontinent. it's part of telling the larger story of people who have been colonized before the colonization period were able to contract humanistic enterprises. in the contemporary moment, one of the things king says is he makes a pointed critique saying white, black and brown behave the same, the world over.
>> right. the challenge moving from the anticolonial moment to a world where the colonials were in charge or should say the indigenous people in charge is a problem of recognizing what must be done, what must be undone in order to make the world a better place. he talked about the untouchables. he said in india, the problem was cast. in america , segregation. it was the same problem. we did not want black people to inherit that system.
>> what i like about you bringing us to that is that intersection that part of what i heard you saying is that there is a story to be told about african-american development of identity and politics and ideology moving together. i think it's a story that as latino communities from all parts of the world develop an overarching identity of latino in the u.s. to do it without falling into the trap the racial identity is sufficient. remembering that we have to have that connection with gender and with class and with all these other identities otherwise, we are going reproduce the same hierarchies. one thing we have seen in the latino community, among the younger people, the dreamers, they are noticing we are stronger as a coalition. it's been interesting to me, sometimes i have been at rallies or events, i see activists and dreamers carrying signs with slogans from doctor king. that is sort of a new phenomenon. it's not often the younger generation is willing to look back. in the past, latinos and african-americans have this pointless argument about our struggle is the real one. i think now, the younger generation recognizes we are stronger together. that's the results of the election prove it. also partnering with the gaye and lesbian community to move forward.
>> as white americans become a minority, which is about to happen in a few decades, we have to change the discourse from we blacks, we hispanics and asian americans to we people of color and create a new america . a new kind of america . i don't call it the post american century , i call it the new american century . that means there's an opportunity to create a new nation. it's not built on your history and philosophies and world view and all that.
>> for that to happen, we have to read one another's works. we didn't have to read one another's works to see that sense of solidarity. to actually read the letter from the birmingham jail, to engage with the writings of not just the quote of king, the writings of him and gandhi.
>> institutions, conversations, forums to bring people of color together, in anticipation of the time we will be the majority and not talk as minorities anymore. we will be the majority. that has to happen. we are thinking in terms of separate groups. the institutional mechanisms need to be brought about in forums like this. it's actually cross cultural.
>> matt, it seems to me as the one white guy at the table, i'm going to address you on this. part of the reason we have seen a movement toward the bobby jindalism is whiteness continues to carry privilege. america looks more like this table than tables on other sunday morning shows, whiteness carries a set of residual cultural and economic privileges that make it valuable for groups to be as proximate to whiteness as possible.
>> calling it whiteness, barack obama is in the middle of that. he's as american as it gets. there's always going to be a dominant cultural ethos here. part of your what project is talking about is what happens after the revolution, after you fight against actual serious oppression. it's a different thing there. one part of you says i want to hold on to this cohesiveness and identity here. the other part is then struggling like what do we do now? we are more of a plurality. that has to be and is difficult and happens to every activist group. it has to accept your ranks have more than you think. the great thing in america right now, not as a value judgment, but as a large thing is we are all becoming more hyphenated. we don't want to be republican or democrat or conservative, liberal, progressive. we are crazy hyphenated. how do you fit kind of a sort of identity or community based politics in that. it's difficult and sometimes gets ugly.
>> can i say there's a danger here in seeing our demographics shift and our actual rainbow diversity from the real politics of the world that we live in and privilege and structure and power. i want to sort of see the world through the eyes of harold and kumar .
>> all right.
>> is that legal?
>> it is legal. there's no marijuana. it demonstrates how conscious we are of identity politics and playing on stereotypes. one of the scenes is you have an asian-american playing the asian stereotype as well as kumar playing the indian-american. the opening scenes, the two white guys at work trying to figure out how to go party because one has a lot of work to do. they come up with a brilliant idea. let's give the work to the asian guy. they walk over to harold and say you asian guys love crunching numbers. we just made your weekend. this notion that that is actually post racial.
>> somehow he's at work --
>> yep, yep, yep.
>> embedded in a culture of high finance yet it teases the stereotype that is do that. it's a category of honorary whites.
>> right. yes.
>> that's the danger. we think we are all operating on the same --
>> what i love about that is our next segment is on race jokes. somehow you totally made that transition for me. thank you. up next, did you hear the one about the black comedian thrown off stage at the republican leadership conference. i'm not joking, except i'm joking. we're going to be joking.
>> i was thinking about your anniversary. you are right. it's right around valentine's day. i want to thank you for bringing more of the love to our weekend lineup. plus you get to sleep in a little more on sundays.