"There are no people who actually have true black, white, red, or yellow skin."
Human skin color is quite variable around the world. It ranges from a very dark brown among some Africans, Australian Aborigines, and Melanesians to a near yellowish pink among some Northern Europeans. There are no people who actually have true black, white, red, or yellow skin. These are commonly used color terms that do not reflect biological reality.
Skin color is due primarily to the presence of a pigment called melanin , which is controlled by at least 6 genes. Both light and dark complexioned people have melanin. However, two forms are produced--pheomelanin , which is red to yellow in color, and eumelanin, which is dark brown to black. People with light complexioned skin mostly produce pheomelanin, while those with dark colored skin mostly produce eumelanin. In addition, individuals differ in the number and size of melanin particles. The latter two variables are more important in determining skin color than the percentages of the different kinds of melanin. In lighter skin, color is also affected by red cells in blood flowing close to the skin. To a lesser extent, the color is affected by the presence of fat under the skin and carotene , a reddish-orange pigment in the skin. Hair color is also due to the presence of melanin.
Created and maintained by Dr. Dennis O'NeilPaleness isn't a blessing that signifies superiority but a curse that renders sunlight painful and dangerous to eyes and skin. I'm practically vampiric myself. White superiority may be similar in some ways to penis envy, hatred self weakness transposed upon the truly superior adaptation of the visible other, as well as resentment of their purity, when you think of Africans as being the original and pure homo-sapiens, lacking other genes and influences. We're all their descendants.
Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California
Copyright © 1998-2013 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.
The institution and protection of power and privilege through division, exploitation, and oppression are universal corrupting evils within and between groups regardless how they are defined. Skin colour is the simplest visual division, false like most excuses, but effective as a uniform that draws justified hate away from those deserving of revilement rather than profit.
Humans are earth-toned. We're ALL brown.
Race and Class are invalid concepts created by those trying to use them to support their claims of quality of a higher nature than that of those they oppress. The idea of Race was created by racists, Class by the privileged, both used to convince the oppressed that they deserve and can't change it. Both create "natural orders", levels of privileged infantilization that provide the oppressed the change to oppress those below them in the tradition of bullying. Bullies blame their victims.
Class may be correctly used to describe quality of behaviour but not person. Race more closely describe the differences between homo sapiens and neanderthals than among homo sapiens.
We are variations of one race, one colour, our actions determining our class. The rest is ethnicity, culture, and opportunity. We must reject the divisive false labels of oppression and its false benevolence. We don't need them. Their privilege can't exist without us. Its is our power that they wield, our wealth that they enjoy. They stand on our backs telling us to be grateful for the employment. Regardless of appearance, gender, sexuality, location, belief, background, or work, the oppressed are the oppressed. We are legion. We are one.
Class and race aren't separate, they are a continuum, a spectrum, a hierarchy, created to protect the privilege and control of the few. Class creates false division within a group, race is the class applied to outsiders. Once some consider the English, French, and Germans to be separate "races". Race is the class lower than the lowest, beyond untouchable. Sub-human. By extension, the middle-class are sub-human compared to the so-called upper-class, who consider themselves to be the only pure/quality humans. Women have long been oppressed by the concept of purity and viewed as lesser humans.
If you accept racist-created categories to define yourself you help the oppressor by perpetuating the false divide. Divide and conquer. Turn the oppressed against each other. That's how 1% can control 99%. By definition, white and black are irreconcilable absolute opposites. One positive and one negative. Brown, as a third division has no relation to either as a colour. The acceptance of the division prevents any common ground. Focusing on differences, especially essentially minor ones, is the basis of discrimination. We all deserve basic respect.
Dehumanization is the universal evil whether you are reduced to a surface colour, facial features, a level of wealth, an accent, a religion, a consumer, a job, a market, an investor, a tax-payer, a gender, a sexual orientation a body size, or a medical condition. It has been the historical norm that anything we view as less than human gets abused, exploited, or destroyed. No one is less than human.
Facts are the only defense against false belief and lies. Fear always dehumanizes and division only makes it stronger.
We are all created equal and are stronger together. The struggle is ours, not theirs.
It is a fact that Black Lives Matter because all lives do, including those with mental or developmental disorders. We can't change history but we can make changes now. Or we can continue to let fear rule by division.
Ideas can have more power than the sun and be more destructive than a black hole. They are what makes us unique, as far as we know. But what do we really know? Facts are vital for survival.
The first act of war is dehumanization and the first casualty the truth.
The Privilege War began long before humans. Nature's laws make survival and mating privileges. Life only has the right to try.
Only we have the ability to make more compassionate laws than Nature. We have the Right, Reason, and Responsibility, to try. That's what makes us human.
Just as there are no such things as truly black or white humans, the idea of a "pure" human is absurd. The human body contain more microbe DNA than human. Each of us is a ecosystem, a diverse community working for the common good, when in healthy balance. Unbalanced, some work against the community and everything can break down. The body rejects its own parts as foreign and attacks itself. It's protection system kills it.
"Common sense" says that objects possess colour. Colours actually exist as frequencies of light that are either absorbed or reflected by pigments in the objects. The rejected frequencies are what we observe as an object's colour, when really it contains every colour except the ones visible. Black is produced by a total lack of light or its complete absorption. It contains no colour or all colour. Green pigments reject green light. White rejects all colours equally. Should we define ourselves by what our skin rejects, by what we are not? Then why not call ourselves Martian gods?
Colourblindness is a medical disorder usually created by a lack of colour sensors in the eyes or brain. We shouldn't be colourblind, but we should see the colours that are actually entering our eyes.
"Black" is darkness. A "black" mood, experience, day, or life can only be negative, a deficiency, a void, an abyss. Otherwise it is no longer "black". Light enters the darkness and we can see.
Symbols are what we define them to be. Colours are symbols, like stars. Some people claim to be blue (bloods), implying purity and quality of lineage. The only reason that we don't have purple people is that we haven't assigned a moral or social status to it beyond the clothing of Roman emperor. And that went out of fashion. Ultramarine blue replaced it as the colour of "nobility".
Facts are the only steady, real light we have in the darkness of ideology. Don't let them be filtered through a colored lens, particularly one created by those who are half-blind to humanity. Those unable to see a clear reality. A lens rarely provides better vision than its creator's. You come to see as they do and we tend to believe what we see.
We've become trapped in a shared illusion created with the darkest magic of the mind. We need to see through the glamour to what's real. Change will appear impossible and nothing will seem to change until we BREAK the spell. We need to see what's real to take effective action and stop fighting ourselves.
According to existing, repeatedly verified, evidence, other races exist only in fantasy literature. Racism is a real ideology that devours everything it contacts. Evil is dehumanization.
Recognize it as what it is and call it such.
Their glamour is our nightmare .
No one is less than human.
The problem with shouting "Black Lives Matter" at racists and a racist system is that they would largely agree. Except, they view blacks lives as mattering no more than any subhuman animal, even though humans are animals. Another oppressive false division because we're not mineral or vegetables. To them you are saying that "black" lives matter more than theirs.They can only think in hierarchy. You have to stand on someone. As long as they fear being dragged down, Trey will punch down. The weight of oppression pushes down, each level upon the lower multiplying and building until it explodes upward. But, instead of destroying the hierarchy it is usually used to reorganize it.
Individualism and hierarchy have declared war on community and egalitarianism. If we don't try to establish a balance, it could destroy us all. Especially if we fight it for them. If we oppress ourselves. If we compete in a Oppression Olympics instead instead of recognize that we all have value talents and knowledge, and a role to play.
If being "Black" means having an African ancestry, then we are all "Black". Humanity is ancient, ongoing African diaspora. We all descend from a small number of early humans. We're all cousins, or closer. dysfunctional, but a family by blood, relation. We're not strangers, just estranged. There are no "others", just "the othered", the disowned. We're teenagers forming cliques.
We're just a large family competing violently over an inheritance that we all share.
The universal good is compassion. It's the basis for for human laws and really the only law we truly need. Goodness is compassion.
Dehumanization and compassion are black and white.
Humanity is not a privilege. It is our responsibility to be compassionate. Otherwise we are actually less than the other animals. They have no reason and no choice.
You cannot have effective communication without agreed upon, firm definitions as a beginning. Otherwise, you end up talking about two different things and there can never be agreement or negotiation, only confused disagreement and escalating anger. Both sides could be right or wrong but there is no way to tell. They're just throwing apples and oranges at each other. They aren't speaking the same language. Language divides as powerfully as it unites.
You aren't considered truly conscious until you define yourself as a self, forming a theory of mind to become a self-aware individual. Only then can you consider others. Language is how we form concepts and express them in life. If mind is a theory, it can be altered by additional concepts. A word can make all the difference. Ideas are harder to defeat than armies because they attack invisibly from within. They can become self-realizing and self-defeating. Defines are the basis of organized thought. Blueprints are definitions. Laws are definitions. Genomes are definitions. It is madness without them.
Colours mark, identify, protect, warn, attract, and confuse. They don't define. White, red, pink, yellow, and black roses are all roses.
That's just my view from the outside edge.
In Part 3 of 2016 BBC Reith Lectures, philosopher and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah argues for a world free of racial fixations. (BBC Radio )
In the 2016 BBC Reith Lectures, philosopher and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah considers Creed, Country, Colour, and Culture. He argues that we over-emphasize scripture in our view of faith; that our concept of nationhood is usually mythical and romantic; that race is 'something we make, not something that makes us"; and that the idea of "Western" civilization is far too limiting. But, he suggests, a broader perspective on all of these offers genuine hope for the world. Recorded in London, Glasgow, Accra in his native Ghana, and New York.
What makes us who we are? Is it our religion? Our nation? Our race? Our traditions? None of these things? All of them?
In the third of his Reith Lectures, philosopher and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah argues for a world free of racial fixations.
He tells the story of Anton Wilhelm Amo Afer. He was 5-years-old when he was brought from the Gold Coast to Germany in 1707, educated at a royal court and became an eminent philosopher. He argues that this elaborate Enlightenment experiment illuminates a series of mistaken ideas , including that there is a "racial essence" which all members of that race carry. Modern science long ago disproved this, as almost all of the world's genetic variation is found within every so-called racial group.
The lecture is recorded in front of an audience at the British Council in Accra, Ghana. The series is presented and chaired by Sue Lawley.
Kwame Anthony Appiah grew up in Ghana and in London, the son of a Ghanaian independence leader and an English mother. He's taught at some of the world's top universities, and has written extensively about ethics, honour, and cosmopolitanism. He's also a novelist, and now teaches philosophy and law at New York University.
- Is there such a thing as Western culture? Sonia Sodha reflects on Kwame Anthony Appiah's fourth Reith Lecture, Culture
**The producer of the Reith Lectures for the BBC is Jim Frank.
**The producer of this episode for IDEAS is Dave Redel.