Ferguson, USA: A New Opportunity for Racial Integration

ferguson_protest2Events in Ferguson present a new opportunity for racial integration in the United States. This little town of St. Louis County, in the State of Missouri, took center stage on Saturday, August 9, 2014, when 18-year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. A crisis ensued, caused by public protests and police containment. This is a repetition of the race violence of the 1960s, and this crisis presents an opportunity for a new level of integration among the three races. For that, however, we need a pattern of integration; I offer the Back-to-the-Body Perspective as a solution for this crisis and a pattern for integration. My suggestion is that, instead of races for world integration, we should rather be thinking in terms of geographical regions.

What Was Missing in the 1960s

Half a century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work against racial inequality in the United States. His death in 1968 was followed by a steam of riots—and decades later, we are there again, still facing race riots. What went wrong?

1960s_vietnam_warWhat was missing in the 1960s was clarity of vision. What was good seemed evil; what was evil seemed good. Those who advocated violence came in the name of peace; those who worked for peace appeared to promote violence.

Another problem of the 1960s was the Vietnam War, which brought about an end to the Communist world. The civil struggle to end racial inequality became all bundled up with the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War.

Today, forty plus years later, we can work with clarity for racial integration. The pattern I offer is the human body, and the ideas I offer are contained in the Back-to-the-Body Perspective. (Click here for an explanation of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective.)

Integration in the Body

body_in_joyThe body attains integration by celebrating and respecting differences and by establishing sovereign limits among the parts. Thus, the stomach is not the brain and is not the heart. They are three, and yet, they are one. The Stomach is sovereign in its area; the brain is sovereign in its area; and the heart is sovereign in its area. This pattern can be used as a model for the integration of races.

Racial Integration: Three and Yet One

A tenet of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective is that any integration follows the pattern shown in the body. Any being that shows integrated parts will have a part playing the role of “stomach,” a part playing the role of “brain,” and a part playing the role of “heart.” They will be three; they will be independent; and yet they will be one.

brain_prestigeThe problem with this view is that we, humans, tend to give prestige to the brain as contrasted with the stomach and the heart. This bias creates confusion and prevents integration. The Back-to-the-Body Perspective eliminates this confusion and facilitates integration. The three parts (stomach, brain, and heart) are equal in value and sovereign in their domains.

Races and Geographical Areas

But perhaps it is easier to speak in terms of integration of geographical areas rather than integration of races. How can races be determined? Malcom X, for all his rhetoric of racial violence, had a blond and blue-eyed grandfather from Scotland. And Hitler, who based all of his world view on racial purity, was aware that one of his men, Reinhard Heydrich, was rumored to have Jewish ancestors.

geographical_areas_worldThus, we could talk about an area being the “stomach” of the world; an area being the “brain” of the world; and area being the “heart” of the world. Broadly speaking, Asia could be seen as the “stomach” of the world; Western nations as the “brain” of the world; and Africa and South America as the “heart” of the world.

This generalization is left broad on purpose, for two reasons: first, this application of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective is only that, an application. It is probably controversial, and it can be improved. And second, I would like to receive the usual comments from my friends and readers. I find those comments to be helpful in developing the Back-to-the-Body Perspective. I am always thankful for them, and I welcome criticism.

As we can see, then, the Back-to-the-Body Perspective places a different focus on the goal of racial integration. We speak more in terms of areas of the world than in term of races. Areas are more definitive; races are fuzzy and will become even more so, with the movement of people from continent to continent.

With clear minds and cool hearts, we can tackle the problem of race today in away that eluded even the great Martin Luther King, Jr. In the Back-to-the-Body Perspective, we don’t just tolerate one another; we know that, in order to have peace and prosperity, we need all the races.

I will be looking forward to your comments, whether sent publicly or in private–and I thank you in advance.

I will conclude with a quote:

I will be; I do not ask what I will become. To be, to live, that is enough, that is the honor of the gods; and therefore all that lives in the divine world is equal, and in this world there are no masters and slaves.  (Excerpt From: Friedrich Hölderlin. Hyperion. iBooks.)

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
August 21, 2014

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  1. Why Russia Fails—Again and Again | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - August 25, 2014

    […] blog, I have suggested a pattern for world integration based on the Back-to-the-Body Perspective (Click here for more information). The guiding tenet of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective is that any integration of any kind will […]

  2. Racial Harmony: Who Must Change? | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - August 31, 2014

    […] This is the work that people of all races must do in their own way of thinking and feeling about blacks. Blacks are not these “challenged” individuals that need a helping hand; they are equal partners. If ever we are going to solve the problems of poverty and health in the world, it will be through the mediation of the black race. This perspective comes from my own belief that Africa and South America constitute the heart of the world, as I argued in another post. (Click here for more information.) […]

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