Thursday, February 10, 2011

What's the Point??

Upon initially reading DuBois’s argument on the Conservation of Races, I thought that it seemed to be a pretty solid argument. I was impressed by the fact that he brought to the light the real problem within the Negro community. He believes that every nation (group of people) should be working on establishing some ideal to present as a message to society, and furthermore, that Negroes have not established themselves as a people yet because they have no message to present as a unified group. While this all sounds like it may work in the scheme of present-day things, I must challenge DuBois’s rationale. At the beginning of this class, Dr. J mentioned that we shouldn’t think of things in terms of being racist yet because we may all be racist. DuBois mentions that everyone maintains some form of prejudice because there is always a difference in aim between two races. The resounding question in my mind, then, is why, if we are all in some form prejudiced towards other races - even if it is not in an actively negative way – does DuBois think that we can all come together and work towards one universal ideal? I think it makes sense for each group to be working towards their own ideals because ultimately, each dominant race group does have their own beliefs, feelings, and aims or goals in life as a whole. However, if we were to work together, in our different “race groups,” in order to establish and work toward achieving our own respective aims in life, then how would we come together under one huge racial umbrella and work toward this “universal” aim that God has supposedly meant for us to achieve? Wouldn’t we then be recounting our own values and personal aims in order to fit into the scheme of premeditated things?

Furthermore, DuBois says that “any striving that is against natural law is in vain” (Bernasconi 109). I understand that African American people should be striving towards the enforcement of the Negro Academy as to better themselves as a people and therefore become established in history as a nation. However, why strive toward achieving these goals if we know that it will be in vain according to DuBois. The natural laws of this country are overtaken by embedded stereotypical boundaries and are written to “fit” those who are of the dominant class, leaving behind those others with un-established racial identities. So, what DuBois is saying is a paradox within itself. Why strive for something that has implicitly already been denied by law to a group of people? How do we gain respect after we as a people have established a history of debauchery? This could go for any minority group…What’s the Point??

1 comment:

  1. I think there is plenty of justification in Du Bois' argument. I think now it may be looked at as a "What's the Point?" kind of question, but I think that his notions of creating a Negroe Academy has withstood in society today. There are plenty of HBCUs (Historically Black College/Universities that formed during this time that Du Bois wrote this and for it to be years later, HBCUs still are thriving and producing individuals who are able to compete in the world. I actually think that Du Bois had a good outlook and it challenged the thoughts of others.


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