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Response to Denis and Spence-Lewis
In Response To: Re: The Afro German Experience ()

Dear Denis and Dr. Spence-Lewis,

Your statements really demand a response. Denis, your assertion that "a German is a European" and that only Europeans (by whom you mean, presumably, people of European ancestry, not people who live in Europe) are Germans is simply racist, i.e., your definition of German is racial. Frankly, it is the same thing Hitler said -- Germans are "Aryans," Jews are not Germans, black people born in Germany (Rhineland) are not Germans, etc.

At its most basic, a German is someone who lives in Germany or a German citizen living abroad. There were no Germans before 1871 -- there were Prussians, Saxons, Franconians, Hessians, etc., etc., but Germany did not exist. The German nation is a composite of ethnicities, cultures, religions, and languages (there are still widely varying dialects of German).

A culture is not something transmitted in the blood. If it was, there would be no such thing as an African-American or an African or an American, for that matter. There would be only Bakongo, Yoruba, Akan, Igbo, Wolof, Mandinka, all the same no matter where they lived, what language they spoke, etc. It is self-evident that all people of Yoruba ancestry -- in Nigeria, the USA, Brazil, Cuba, wherever -- do not all share the same language, history, culture, etc.

Cultures are learned individually and historically, not inherited by heredity. That is why there are Irish-, Italian-, Mexican-, African-Americans. People of different skin colors can share cultures, like Afro-Germans share German culture.

There is no "Teutonic integrity" as Spence-Lewis would have it. His assertions that "Blood is blood," that every nation has its own "God-given land," etc., his references to "living space" and "Greater Germany" ought to ring alarm bells with anyone even vaguely familiar with 20th-century history. As he is certainly aware even if his readers are not, these are all lines straight out of Hitler. He may share Hitler's ideas on racial purity, but he can rest assured that Hitler would shove him in the gas chamber just the same.

There is no such thing as "racial purity." DNA testing is showing that most African-Americans share more DNA with people from Britain and Ireland than with any African people. In your fantasy world where we all go back to Africa, What do we do when we realize we are "racially impure," all 30 million of us? Since "blood is blood," do we all go to England and Ireland?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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