WARNING.... Extremely disturbing and racist Awake! magazine (October 8, 1977)

by Alfred 22 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Alfred
    Alfred

    Warning: Offensive and racist Awake! Magazine...

    Really, how great are racial differences? Are they of such a degree that people of different races cannot live together as equals, and take real pleasure in one another’s company? For example, is there a big gap between the intelligence of people of various races? Or, do the races have a distinct body odor, making it objectionable for blacks and whites to live in close quarters with one another? –Awake! October 8, 1977 page 4

    But still there are persistent views that hinder persons from applying this fine Scriptural counsel. A prominent one is that persons of other races than one’s own have an objectionable body odor. -Awake! October 8, 1977 page 16

    In centuries past, when blacks were slaves and considered as property, whites often spoke about their body odor. In his recent book Race, John R. Baker says: “The authors of earlier centuries remarked on this subject with greater freedom than those of the present day. Thus Henry Home, in his Sketches of the History of Man, refers to the ‘rank smell’ of Negroes. In a work published in the same year (1774), The History of Jamaica, Long says that the Negroes are distinguished by their ‘bestial or fetid smell, which they all have to a greater or lesser degree.’” –Awake! October 8, 1977 page 17

    I remember once pulling a crosscut saw with a young black my age in cutting down a tree. When he got hot, he really smelled! Ah! I thought, this proves what they say about blacks’ having a peculiar body odor. But I didn’t stop to consider that while I had taken a bath that day, he had very meager facilities for bathing in his humble home. Also, lack of early family training in hygiene likely diminished his incentive to take a bath often. –Awake! October 8, 1977 page 25

  • dog is god
    dog is god

    the borg....King of Crock

  • aquagirl
    aquagirl

    We had a woman get df'd in the late 1960's for marrying a black man...

  • NewChapter
    NewChapter

    UHM! WOW! This was 1977! Three years before 1980. They were writing this crap? I remember 1977---we didn't talk this way. As a matter of fact, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I've heard such a notion about body odor. OMG. Leave it to the Awake to school me on a whole new level of racism.

  • cofty
    cofty

    I actually remember that Awake article, I would have been 14 at the time.

    Was it not the whole point of the article to debunk those sort of offensive racist stereotypes?

  • NewChapter
    NewChapter

    Cofty, I think it must have been something like that. I was 12 at the time, but not a JW, and I remember very well that we were past this kind of thinking as a society. Of course, I lived in a diverse area, with kids from all kinds of backgrounds, but still, the world understood by this time that this was offensive.

    NC

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I gotta look this up. Something to show my wife who is a woman of color. "Yep honey, God is talking to some crazy old guys in New York and he sad black people smell. Sorry, it's God talking"

  • Alfred
    Alfred

    Cofty... You're correct... that's what the purpose of the article was... but they didn't do a very good job at it... in fact, aside from having the opposite affect of its intended purpose, this article was incredibly childish, irrelevant and completely unecessary IMHO...

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    can someone post the article here?

  • jam
    jam

    Is this for real, I was in the borg. in 1977. I would

    have definitely remerber that article and taken offense

    aganist such A foolish article. If this was A print, then all

    I can say, I had my head up my rear. Or maybe it was sent

    only to the white congregation.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    The articles were written to dispute older white supremacist ideas, and so a good amount of space was given to stating what those views and attitudes are. But the viewpoint expressed in the articles is one that rejects the idea of natural differences beyond trivial physiological variation; it asserts that inequalities in achievement are the result of environmental factors including access to education and social prejudice. Which is pretty much in line with what was generally published in the 1970s. The articles are rather pedantic and superficial, and afford no real probing analysis of racism, but Awake! articles are always incredibly superficial. It is striking how much space is given to stating the racist views and especially the (seeming bizarre) focus on body odor. I think the articles are especially directed to racial prejudice within the "brotherhood", particularly to views held by white JWs. The same magazine back in the 1920s, published under the name Golden Age, published much racist material (referring to "backward races", racial differences caused by genetic deficiencies, blacks being a meek and teachable race, etc.), and even after the end of segregation, it is certain that many of these ideas were still very much current among some white JWs. I think it's a legitimate question of whether these articles, by devoting so much space to these racist views, helped perpetuate them unintentionally.

  • Alfred
    Alfred

    Jam... I just double-checked in my WT CD 2010 and yes... this is for real...

    Wha happened... this is not ONE article.. It's actually 4 different articles in this magazine October 8, 1977

  • wannabefree
    wannabefree
    this article was incredibly childish, irrelevant and completely unecessary

    When looking back at the 70's, what isn't?

  • jam
    jam

    Thanks Alfred; to make sure it is for real before I E-mail

    it. What the hell, how did I miss that. Why print such

    garbage and in 1977. WOW.

  • cofty
    cofty

    No offense but don't the borg print enough dangerous bullshit and hate without us having to misrepresent the things they say that are just plain stupid?

  • jam
    jam

    Cofty; Good point. No need to spread the stupidity. And

    to think we were there just as stupid.

  • rebel8
    rebel8

    What dumbasses. Honestly, even if they were allegedly trying to debunk it, why even comment on such a thing?

  • cofty
    cofty

    I think the article reported at length on a trial that involved sweating, blindfolds and sniffing. Totally insane!

  • NewChapter
    NewChapter

    WOW! So a people that were moved by the spirit needed to be reassured by blind fold tests! Obviously there was a need for the article---

    NC

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Access to the actual articles would be nice to see the overall content. My cloistered JW aunt repeated the body smell part of me about the time of the article. Quite the opposite is true. I saw a painting circa 1800 of a mulatto. The woman's skin tone was blue black and very dark. Look at African-Americans going on. The reality is that white overseers and masters were not repelled in any way. I imagine black women wished they were repelled.

    I see nothing wrong with asserting and naming commonly held beliefs in a religious periodical. Also, 1970 for Witnesses is the same as 1930s for normal people. Racists beliefs should be stated boldly so people can see how wrong they were. Perhaps something today is equally as wrong. The light of day is disinfectant. If all the Witnesses ran were these articles, maybe an issue arises. The WT is not wrong 100% of the time.

    They are wrong about enough that we don't have to invent claims to prove that they are a cult, that is dangerous, absurd, and venal.

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