People Who Abandoned Their Homelands to Escape History
There was a really interesting reply to my comment which the poster unfortunately has deleted. They were making the case that US blacks don't have a legitimate basis for a grudge against US whites, considering the enormous amount of lives (US civil war), money (welfare policies) and effort (affirmative action) that whites have invested in blacks. I'm not sure if I'm doing the comment justice, since I disagreed with it, but I then spent about 15 minutes before dinner on a longwinded response which I'll post here anyway for shits and giggles:
I think you've jumped the gun a bit in imagining what sort form my gripe would take, and at whom it would be directed, and also whether I was endorsing the total justice and accuracy of my hypothetical feelings.
I'm familiar with the outline of white Americans' beef with black Americans, and the points about crime stats etc. you have here. I take them seriously.
So look, firstly, when I talk about a "historical gripe" I'm analogising from my own national consciousness as an Irish person. Ireland as a collective entity was, not to put too fine a point on it, shat on by England for about 800 years, and subordinated in a single state with it for about 120 years of theoretical equality, during which Ireland was very much the untermenshen lumpen-partner. We were colonised, had our language extirpated, people ground down into ignorant peasant brutes, our intellectual and political elites exiled and executed, our masses dragged into their wars, and were ultimately subject to a more-or-less engineered famine to control our outrageous Catholic breeding rates, and prevent the reproduction of inferior sorts. And Ireland today is a slip of a country (albeit, eventually, a wealthy one): England has about 15 times our population, whereas historically the ratio was closer to 1:2.
Now: do I have a gripe with individual modern English people? No (though there's a thread of condescension and ignorance still in a large number of English people with regard to Ireland). However, insofar as I think of myself as a member of the abstract "Irish nation", then I think it's absolutely appropriate and correct to maintain a certain grudge toward the UK, at least for another century or so. Nations operate on different rules to individuals, and different timescales are appropriate. I suspect I'm not wildly unusual or nationalistic by Old World (ie 90% of humanity) standards here.
What's interesting about the situation of Foundational Black Americans, to use the director's apt phrase, is that they actually are subject to history, to a relatively normal historical evil, unlike most in the USA. Typically nations (and I'd absolutely grant that FBAs constitute a nation, one of two or three native to the USA) maintain their character for a very long time, through a heap of mechanisms (some even genetic, I'm not quibbling with any graphs there).
It was always struck me as amusing that white Americans, both pro- and anti- black, seem kind of puzzled and disgusted by Foundational Black Americans' inability to just get over it, and sort their shit out. This is the example par excellence of Americans/the US lacking a historical sense. The majority of you are descended, a scant few generations back, from people who abandoned their homelands to escape history. You come from deeply WEIRD stock. But FBA's were pressganged into your arrangement. They are in the most globally normal population in the US in this regard: they didn't sign up for the whole American Deal.
So I think we were talking at cross purposes, or rather you understood something quite different to what I meant, when I said I'd probably hold a historical grudge too. The things you mention just don't really come into it. Half a million whites died to end slavery: okay. To be really callous; I'm sure the English expended a lot of blood and treasure to defend Ireland from Napoleon, but I can assure you that literally no-one at all here would feel any great sense of gratitude over that.