You will be offended by this post.
Human beings are unique in the animal kingdom for intelligence and communication. However, just like all other creatures science shows us that we communicate more in body language than we do in actual verbal communication. Our cousins, the great apes, operate solely on this body language. Have you ever had a zoo keeper tell you “don’t make eye contact with a gorilla, appear to be bigger than you are”. A gorilla when seeing a possible threat (a two eyed large creature) becomes territorial and will puff out its chest and glare unblinkingly to dare the intruder to come closer.
In 1450 the Portuguese landed in West Africa to find villages of Central Africans at war with other tribes living in clay buildings and starving. These tribes would rape, loot and make slaves of their enemy tribes. These slaves would be forced to work, give birth and die for this new tribe. The Portuguese noticed the “barbaric” actions and took advantage of the violence. These tribal Africans only noticed two things about the Portuguese their massive ships and their metal weapons. These tribes attacked, not because they couldn’t understand the Portuguese language but because they felt threatened by them. Threatening body language, entering ones territory and futuristic weaponry would cause anyone to be frightened or feel threatened. Imagine if an alien landed in America today with a massive ship and crazy laser weapons and we couldn’t communicate with them — ever seen Independence Day? — ya we’d start shooting.
Since the Portuguese could kill much quicker and more affectively, the warring tribes came to understand their danger and entered into trading their slaves to keep the Portuguese from killing them. Enter the beginning of what we know as the “slave trade”. A tribe trading their slaves in order to not be killed by the Portuguese.
Language barriers and technology overwhelmed these new African/Portuguese slaves but they knew one thing well, how to work hard and how to fight for their lives. This natural instinct was lost to advanced civilizations like those of the Portuguese at this time. Why? You may ask. Because European, Chinese, Israeli, Indian and Portuguese people had come to the realization of a new words “murder” and “barbaric”.
These civilizations began to compress their cultural heritage under laws and regulations. In Europe it was no longer natural to fight for survival and if you did you were put to death. These societies began researching into other cultures as well and began defining and drawing lines between “barbarians” and “civilized” cultures. This difference was not based on if they had a written language or the ability to learn new ones (basic intelligence) but on how they lived and how they interacted with the world. On body language.
Fast forward to the 1800s when science and art became the forefront of discovery and self expression. You would think that our “barbaric” heritage (survival and territorial instincts) would be completely out of our system, right? Wrong. Our self expression only became more defined in the use of artistic creativity where government institutions and educated civilizations began defining art and science by these same terms. It was considered barbaric to have sex with someone who wasn’t your wife (survival instinct) or take another man’s property because he couldn’t pay his rent or tax (territorial instinct).
So what did people do? They tried hard to stay within the confines of civilized culture by expressing themselves in artistic ways. By writing down their political thoughts, or inventing things to make money to pay for their way of life. But, this is not the way of natural human life. We may communicate facts and logic in written word, but to another creature who refuses to adhere to facts and logic they are just an alien speaking another language. The same goes for a man writing down something the other man doesn’t agree with. The second man is the alien, the barbarian, the government, the tyrant, the “other”…So, what do we do? We act. We speak with body language. We make war.
Now, in the 2000s, we see an even more hard pressed culture trying to differentiate between “barbaric” and “civilized”. The way we see this affecting our lives today is by teaching us to associate factual words as hate speech, racism and prejudice. Words such as “black”, “white”, “privileged”, “man”, “woman” etc. It is a fact that I am a woman with white skin and it is a fact that my roommate is a woman with tan skin, however expressing that fact on either party to the other has been told to us it is offensive and thus by extension “barbaric”.
These terms of a civilized culture give us an extremely limited ability of self expression. Our natural instincts and intelligence has been hard pressed to be heard and felt heeded. Not because others don’t listen, read or even agree with us, but because it is not natural for us to not act. Our new territorial instincts have extended to political opinion and individual freedoms. Our new survival instincts have extended to the ability to work and communicate freely. And…it only escalates.
The invention of hate speech and profanity is the first act on the offensive, meaning the opposite of defensive. The first act of defense can be the same: calling someone names, using profanity or resorting to these “hate speech” terms as defined above.
Think of a child with a toy in a sandbox. Another child comes along and takes that toy. The child screams and kicks to get it back. And what does the parent say “use your words, baby.” You might as well be telling that gorilla to calm down and shut up. It is the same with people. But! We are a civilized nation…. so, what do we do?
We become angry, spiteful, racist, vindictive and eventually feel so compressed from our natural instincts some resort to action which can take the form of violence, defiance and law-breaking. Psychologically, people who tend toward this type of “barbaric” behavior have been ill treated in the past. Ill-treatment does not mean physically in this case, however (though it can), it means ‘not being heard’. Think of a young teenager who wants to die her hair black. Her parents don’t believe in doing unnatural things to her body “until she’s 18”. She tries to communicate that she wants to fit in better at school, she likes black, this is her art-her science-her self expression. All the parents hear is rebellion. So, she does rebel. She does it anyways. She has become the barbarian, by using body language to get herself to be heard.
So, if you want a simple solution we could say that actions speak louder than words. The reason is the fact that our conversation has not resorted to education but restored to body language. However, that is not me condoning violence as the answer. Quite the opposite. It is stating this nonnegotiable fact: that when one defines natural defining words, terms and opinions, by way of communication and self expression, as barbaric you only produce barbaric action.
Culture drives us to make these natural distinctions to be diverse and allow others to define their own “civilization”. To the west African tribes afore mentioned, raping, looting and enslaving enemy tribes wasn’t barbaric, it was their survival and territorial instincts. Once upon a time it was this way for all cultures! Especially in BC history. As we progressed we continued to try to define others by the differences in hopes to enforce culture norms. Now we try unify cultures by “culture norm definitions”. This takes away communication altogether and breeds increase division, spite, hate and yes even racism.
[[Now, this has been a historical and scientific narrative. I do not usually express my personal opinion or take on these facts, due to my intentions with each post or conversation being education and narrative. However, due to recent horrific events, I feel the need to define my position very clearly on this matter of body language. Violence in my opinion should never be the answer. Words when they become violent are the same thing as taking action against another person. If you partake in calling someone names on social media, you to me are a child in a sandbox, and I would come to you and ask “are you using your words?” It makes me sad, depressed beyond belief. I’ve been called many things and I choose to not take things personally however it does make me sad when aggression is the answer when someone disagrees with you or uses facts that someone defines as hate speech. I personally believe that defining things with facts does not prove offensive. If we actually allowed cultures to be divided naturally, we could come to a common respect and understanding. We’ve seen this happen in history before when two completely different societies with entirely different ways of life banded together against a common enemy or to achieve a common goal. Do I believe this is an end all solution? Absolutely not, because in every culture there will be those who resort to violent action rather than defensive understanding. To me, these people need education. I could get political but this was not my intention.]]
So to finalize the narrative, remember we are all barbaric cultures defined by civilized society. This is why one may feel the need to be spiteful and hateful verbally and physically.
Keep trekking, Patriots.