Is there any more misused word in the contemporary world than “race”?
A classic example was the contrived band-wagon furore following Trumps’ suggestion that the four young Democrat Congresswomen he was rowing with should go back to where they came from and fix their own messed up countries.
“Racism” was the ludicrous but predictable response. Putting aside that unsurprisingly Trump had his facts wrong, three of the four women being American-born and only one, in that great melting pot nation, being a migrant from Somali which is indisputably one of the most messed up countries in the world, Trump’s infantile response had absolutely nothing to do with race.
Apparently, in the words of his critics, to justify the race claim, all four Trump targets were “women of colour”, possibly the most ridiculous term for negroes yet invented. The ethnically correct term for black people is negro.
There’s a long history of numerous, correctly described negro advancement movements in America, going back 200 years.
But suddenly in the mid 1970s some American negro activists deemed this word offensive, why we were never told. Henceforth they were to be called black and they accompanied this descriptive change with the “black is beautiful” cry. When that view plainly gained little popular subscription they switch from being black in the 1980s to being coloured.
That lasted two decades when once again, perhaps to avoid skin colour as pertinent, the new vogue was to adopt the description of Afro-Americans.
Now that’s gone by the wayside for the nonsensically clumsy “people of colour”. Putting aside the fact that white is a colour, the latest scientific research suggests it’s the original human colour; or more specifically pinky white.
The basis for that belief is that our ape ancestors gradually shed their fur exposing a pinky white skin. In the African sun from where we all derive, our ancestors skin became black to protect it from the sun.
When many thousands of years back some headed north to Europe, their black skin was a liability and gradually turned white to capture the sun’s vitamin D. In short, differing colour reflects individual geographic ancestry. Read highly respected English science commentator Angela Saini’s new book “Superior” which traces the changing scientific knowledge on these matters in the post-war years.
That said I’m puzzled by this obsession with skin colour, more so as so much of it is inaccurate.
For example, why were Orientals described as yellow? I say “were” as one doesn’t hear it anymore, probably thanks to mass Oriental migration in the post-war years exposing the reality that Orientals have whiter skin than Europeans.
I hammer a Taiwanese friend, prone to wearing low neckline, for her sickly white skin, the basis for which is snobbishness. Specifically Orientals traditionally views a tanned skin as evidence of peasantry.
And why are Latinos such as the massively over-publicised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, describes as “people of colour”? The vast majority of Latinos have European ancestry and especially Puerto Ricans. Of the exodus south from Central America, El Salvador in understandably a major source thanks to its pervading corruption and incompetence since the civil war 4 decades back. I popped over to have a look when that was going on, leading as always to a few highly amusing incidents. But alone in Central America there are no black people in El Salvador yet their migrants are still classed as non-whites.
Race is an age-old issue and I’m damn sure I speak for 99% of the public when I say I’m thoroughly sick and tired of hearing it bandied about by attention-seekers, such as the inaccurate response to Trump’s oafishness.
That’s why the developments in DNA in recent years are so important in revealing the concept of race is largely a fiction.
A progressive first step towards putting an end to it would be to get rid of our Race Relations office, dealing as it does in a fiction.
Hear, hear. And the perverse joke is many pakeha try to get a bit of colour up most summers as we imagine we look a bit healthier/sexier and some with a naturally darker complexion favour lightening creams. I refuse to engage with the modern mania for labelling folk by skin colour, which seems to fly in the face of the drive in my lifetime to discourage racial discrimination & promote ‘colour-blindness’. Contrivances abound in these hyped- up times..it’s wearying and destructive.
By definition the -isms e.g. racism, sexism must involve a generalisation about a broad group of people sharing stereotypical attributes. These opinions are reinforced by confirmation bias but are also easily refuted by everyday observation. Describing criticism of individuals (even if so-called “racist tropes” are involved) as racism is something of a logical stretch. If a magic wand could be waved and racism were to disappear overnight, people would continue to like or dislike each other on an individual basis (which today is often attributed to racism) as freedom of association is a basic human right so the aggrieved and supposedly oppressed individuals would be no better off.
I think southern Europeans mixed with Negroes and that’s why they have black hair and dark eyes, and slightly more Negroid features. Though they are from Europe, they’re a bit more “coloured”.