How do we go back thousands of years and change the human condition of race and superiority, or the illusion thereof? How do we move forward and change the future? We can’t do either. For lack of a better term – we’re screwed.
All the work done in the name of friendly race relations doesn’t seem to be sticking, or working, or getting into the thick human skull that we’ve all come to know and love. The oppression against every race in some way, shape or form is seen throughout our very busy, sometimes happy, but brutal human history.
It would appear that if humans aren’t beating each other into a bloody pulp… we’re not having any fun. Yes, we’re just that sad.
All the feel-good videos, songs, stories, posters, and conversations have done squat. Some may argue that the internet has made things worse by actually opening up the racism door even wider by the simple fact that it is a world-wide medium – for all of us to use. All of us.
The flip side to this is our inherent desire to speak our minds in whatever fashion we deem suitable despite who doesn’t like it. Although that’s a different story, the results are connected to this one.
Perhaps many thousand of years ago we should have stayed in our respective caves with our respective races and not ventured out to other lands. But we all know that wasn’t gonna happen.
I suppose the strangest element within our many race issues is the undeniable fact that our human journey started in Africa. Africa… being the number one home of a people who were for all intents and purposes… black… or a reasonable facsimile.
Our skin colour changed as we moved about the planet where different UV radiation (UVR)* levels altered our tones and set us on the course to the superiority differences that we so boldly fight each other about today.
From the very beginning when darker skin was prevalent up to the moment where people split off and ventured down a new skin colour path to where it split once more for another version of colour, our species was ignorant of each other’s race and we were still ‘colour-blind’. (< see image)
This ‘utopia’ wouldn’t last.
Unfortunately, the whiter the white folks got, the more obnoxious they became, and this cycle of hubris went on until the white race declared itself the number one colour for human skin tone. Along with their geographical advantages white people began to carve out a seemingly half decent existence in comparison to their darker brethren.
The white race in all its glory became the most pompous, the most arrogant, and the most hypocritical. When time caught up to the Americans and their idea of importing people as slaves, the world was already well underway with repressing people of all races.
Racism and oppression was alive and well in the human world.
The American Pie
Although there are various stories as to whom, where and when the first black people (slaves) arrived in America, the stone was cast and the flood gates of human beings (slaves) crammed into boats and dragged to the land of the free to become labourers (slaves) for southern plantation owners kicked into high gear making slave-trading a rich industry of its own.
America, or rather certain parts and certain people got extremely rich during this time. Extremely rich. And they got this way by mistreating and abusing other human beings. Yes, I’m afraid they did.
Almost every week in the United States, there is a shooting of an African-American person by a white police officer. In the case of Freddie Grey, there were six police officers; three white males, 2 black males, and one black female. This case boggles the brain.
And recently in Texas a video of a white police officer* slamming a fourteen year old African-American girl into the ground for no apparent reason made the rounds online, upsetting an already upset group of people. It makes you wonder if white police officers across the United States want a race war – because if they keep this kind of detrimental crap up, I’m pretty sure our coloured friends will go large scale ballistic.
I suppose I have to state the obvious fact that Asian/black/white police shoot Asian/black/white good and/or bad guys. There.
The race issue is a worldwide malady, but America has its own brand of racism. Its own finely tuned version embedded into their collective conscience. In recognizing that the country was essentially built by African people from almost the very beginning of its existence, and coupled with the fact that most African-Americans are still getting the useless end of the proverbial stick, this unhealthy situation created a cesspool of hate – on both sides. One that’s warranted – one that isn’t.
To have a police force with 83% white officers to in a town with a black population of about 76% is ludicrous, ignorant and just plain shameful.
And it proves that we have learned nothing. Dr. King would not be impressed.
The Wrong Colour
White folks everywhere will never understand what it is to be a coloured person.
Just in case someone didn’t get this the first time…
White folks everywhere will never understand what it is to be a coloured person.
Black people don’t hold a patent on all things racist. And black people are racist as well. Thought we’d get that out of the way. Coloured people are anyone who doesn’t look like they were born in Sweden.
And it doesn’t matter where you are on this planet; people everywhere are being happy little racists on a daily basis. Human Rights don’t even cross their tiny minds until something happens to them.
Putting this into perspective, there are a wide variety of coloured people on this planet which translates into thousands of people having a hard time over being the wrong colour every minute. Like being alive is an easy trip in the first place. No. It isn’t.
From Norway to Israel, people of colour and ethnicities are continually discriminated against just for being who they are.
Hey, I did mention we’re a sad group.
And In the End
This is just ‘race’ I’m talking about. Never mind the other stuff on the ‘Great List of Human Intolerance’ such as sexism, religious freedom, gender inequality, and other basic human rights.
So, what do we do? There is no definite answer. We can not deny the fact that as humans on this planet - we suck. We couldn’t get it together if our lives depended on it.
We pat each other and ourselves on the back when someone does something righteous and someone else captures it on their holy smartphone for all of us to gaze at with undue admiration. Big whoop.
Our atrocities will forever outweigh our once-in-a-blue-moon, lacklustre humanity moments. Because saving a duck and her ducklings from a sewage drain and uploading it on YouTube to get as many ‘views’ as possible is what humans are all about - unless the ducklings are black.
And in the end… and if we survive ourselves… humans will eventually become one colour in the future.
Humans will become... one.
Yeah, crazy ain’t it.
*(This Texas police officer has since resigned.)
<Read the scathing Commentary regarding this article by GFP Columnist G. Tod Slone.>
Top Image: Brazilian fine art photographer Angelica Dass and her series Humanae identify portrait subjects from around the world using the Pantone color system. Using an 11×11 pixel swatch from her subjects’ faces, Dass matches them to corresponding Pantone colors, creating an abundant and unique catalog of skin tones that reflects the world’s diversity beyond the categorizations we have long been confined to.
2ndImage: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_skin_color There is a direct correlation between the geographic distribution of UV radiation (UVR) and the distribution of indigenous skin pigmentation around the world. Areas that receive higher amounts of UVR, generally located closer to the equator, tend to have darker-skinned populations. Areas that are far from the tropics and closer to the poles have lower intensity of UVR, which is reflected in lighter-skinned populations. Researchers suggest that human populations over the past 50,000 years have changed from dark-skinned to light-skinned and vice versa as they migrated to different UV zones, and that such major changes in pigmentation may have happened in as little as 100 generations (~2,500 years) through selective sweeps.