[Milton-L] Paris

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Nov 16 10:35:34 EST 2015

There has always been  chauvinism but modern racism has a rather precise
starting point: July 4, 1776. It flowed from the spontaneous need to explain
slavery in terms of the statement that "All men are created equal." It took
a while to really sink in: as late as 1800 a white man was hanged in North
Carolina for the crime of kidnapping a  free black man and selling him into
slavery. Forcing Shylock to allow his daughter to marry a Christian would
ring hollow by the early 19th-c -- it took time to "racialize" antisemitism.
One can also contrast Othello to Emmett Till:. 

The same gap occurs in reference to gender. Around 1700 a man wrote to his
daughter that were it not for the necessary subordination of women she would
be a better writer (e.g., more intelligent?) than he. By the early 19th-c
gender had been "biologized": Broca wasted a lot of time trying to prove
that the female brain weighed less than the male brain.  

Dario and Richard can debate the role (or non-role) if the Enlightenment in
all this.


 Useful references:

Thomas Laqueur,	Making Sex: Body and Gender from the  Greeks to Freud
Stephanie Coontz, Social Origins of Private Life
Barbara Jeanne Fields, "Slavery, Race and Ideology in the United   States of

-----Original Message-----
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
[mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Dario Rivarossa
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2015 1:59 PM
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] Paris

>But don't you think racism was also embedded in the Renaissance . . . ?

Sure. But, in its root, it was no dealing with "universal rules of a
universal nature" (that is Enlightenment insanity), but precisely
with: "We may be fighting you, but we will respect you _if_ you _concretely_
show you deserve it," e.g. in the field of culture, or in a battlefield.
Chess play. See Cervantes' own biography, in addition to his masterpiece.

Independently of Islam, one may want to have a look at African servants and
maids as they appear in 16th paintings, especially those made by Venetian
masters. They had been bought as slaves, yeah, slaves, in the "Christian"
city of Venice that was the biggest slave market then. But, as soon as those
black people started to partake in the Venetian civilization, wealth,
fashion, etc., they BECAME noble, beautiful, etc., precisely as all others.
Nothing like 19-20th century racist pictures.

Going back to Islam, the poems of chivalry were not weekend pastimes but
cultural manifestos (they included everything that currently is divided
among books, essays, plays, movies, exhibitions, . . .). They perfectly show
what society wanted to look like, and the policies to be adopted.

But this will work only with 'Tancreds' on the one side and 'Arganteses' on
the other side. Both sides sharing VALUES -- of which, blasphemy, conceit,
as well as the philosophy of "One Civilization, One Culture, One Technology,
One World Bank" are not in the list.

il Tassista http://tassonomia.blogspot.it e http://stornielle.blogspot.it
co-artist with the Magic Trio http://tiziafra.wix.com/the-magic-trio
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