Link to jeanne's Birdie Calendar Derrick Bell's Comment on Identity

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 28, 2001
Latest update: March 28, 2001

"If blacks hadn't existed, whites would have invented them."

I think whites would have just picked
some other group to be slaves

On Wednesday, March 28, 2001, Angela Ervin wrote:

I was browsing the site when I saw something that caught my eye. On the URL,dearhabermas/color.htm#notx, it was stated that had black people not existed, white people would have created them. I don't think that is true at all. I beleive that the superior white people would have just found another group to oppress, even if it had been other whites that they felt weren't as superior. They might have made all fat white people or the ones that did not have blonde hair and blue eyes into slaves. I really don't believe that it would have mattered who it was, as long as they had someone to hate.

Also, I am very interested in Juvenile Delinquency. If you know of any sites I can visit or have any interesting articles to read, please post them on the site or pass them on to me personally.

Angela Ervin

On Wednesday, March 28, jeanne responded:

Good comment, Angela. That's a quote from Derrick Bell. I think you need a little more explanation, and I'll try to give it soon. I'm glad to see that you're thinking in hypotheticals. What other possibilities are there besides inventing blacks? Certainly the possibility of just choosing another group to hate is one of the alternatives we can imagine. Notice the extent to which that is still an adversarial approach. So that what you are suggesting is the adversarial nature of the dominant discourse. Ernest Gaines, an outstanding black writer, also expresses the need of one group to invent another for purposes of identity, so that they can determine their identity as "not black" or "not poor," rather than having to figure out the more difficult "Who am I?" Ernest Gaines' Three Men.

More on this later.

These references should get you to material on juvenile delinquency: