Classics & White Supremacy (again)

A Historical Claim

It is difficult to date precisely the beginning of the discipline of Classics. With the bickering scholar-poets in the bird cage of the muses? The first recension of the Pentateuch? Ulrich’s review of Fred’s Birth of Tragedy? The study of the ancient mediterranean pre-dates White Supremacy and, therefore, cannot be in some essential way be white supremacist in itself. In other words, it is not claimed that all Classics is phrenology or a race science. It is not really an essentialist claim, but a historical one. I see this error frequently.

This Old House

In Caste, Isabel Wilkerson deploys an extended metaphor to describe our situation as recent arrivals in a society (or a field) defined and structured by race.

Appealing to the Top-Hats

If any top-hats are still reading, there are a few points to make clear. Enjoying and finding pleasure in classical texts does not make you a neocolonial white supremacist racist fascist sexist, even if the field is deeply implicated in White Supremacy, colonialism, fascism, both in the past and now. Do not listen to those seeking to sow division, as they so often do, by encouraging you to see yourself attacked in this discourse. Do not let yourself be manipulated into trembling before an existential crisis in the necessary home inspections our old house requires. Do not ignore the past or close your eyes to the present. This house is our house. We may not have built it, but we are bound to care for it. And we cannot care for it if we fail to see that it has, like all old houses, many problems.

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Maximus Planudes

Maximus Planudes

The online pseudonym of the other online pseudonym Leopold “Poldy” Bloom. Really, tho, who I am doesn’t matter.