Freitag, 3. Juli 2015

The White House

One of the most underestimated phenomena of human existence is language itself. Many people think that the language they use doesn't really matter. On the contrary: Language does matter, according to the renowned Austrian philosopher of language Ludwig Wittgenstein, or for the American audience, the American philosophers of language John Searle and Steven Pinker, just to name a few. The language we use exposes much of our underlying thinking structures.

Now there is my take on this issue: From my language and cultural philosopher's standpoint I have to argue, that black people have been oppressed by the white race for centuries in different parts of the world, not only in America. But analyzing America and American history it becomes obvious, that even though this time round African Americans won America's 'race race' - as I want to put it - through a sitting African American president for the very first time, I really find it discriminating against African Americans that the office of President Barack Obama as African American is still called 'The White House'.

What a stark contrast and grotesque symbol of a still existing chauvinist and deep-rooted racist structure from the past, a sign of a living anachronism in Washington D.C., America's political nexus! It must be part of America's 'cultural WHITE spot' to still call their most influential and powerful house 'The White House'! It seems as the white color the founding fathers chose for the exterior of the house reflected the power structures of America in that time and age. But nowadays it seems more than anachronistic to still keep the name and call it 'The White House' and refer to tradition as an opportune excuse.

So in order not to be in the situation of having to rename 'The White House' with every new president every some years, I plead for renaming 'The White House' with respect to reflecting about America's society as a whole and through the renaming to respect and represent all colors living in America. My suggestions for the new name of 'The White House' are therefore: 'The Colored House', 'The House of Colors', 'The House of All Colors', or simply 'The President's House'.

Dr. Dr. Immanuel Fruhmann

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