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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ebony and Ivory

I really thought that I finally understood all of these discrimination terms: ableism (disabilities), ageism (age), anti-semitism (anti-Judaism), classism (social class), heterosexism (same sex), racism (skin colour), and sexism (gender). My first confusion was about anti-semitism, which word is (very) misleading. See my 2016 blog: The origin of antisemitism.

My current confusion is about the stretching of the meaning of racism. Originally, the term was rather clear: discrimination based upon having a minority skin colour (eg, education, housing, jobs). This also explains why white people in countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe claim that they experience racist treatment.

Nowadays, the term racism also includes any majority activity that includes skin colour, which is not appreciated by minorities. In the 20th century, black-facing by white entertainers, like Al Jolson, caused (minor) controversies. Black-facing in the 21st century is considered a racist expression, albeit by minority activists (eg, Dutch Sinterklaas celebration for kids).

Activists claim that black-facing during Sinterklaas is a reference to slavery (ie, Black Pete). They conveniently ignore its historical roots: the celebration of the death of Saint Nicholas (270– 6 December 343), a Greek bishop of the (now Turkish) city of Myra, giving presents to children together with his (Muslim black) Moor helpers.

If black-facing is racism then how about skin whitening? Excerpt from my 2015 blog "Out of Africa - skin colour": "The global market for skin lighteners is projected to reach $19.8 billion in 2018, driven by the growing desire for light coloured skin amongst men and women primarily from the Asian, African and Middle East regions." (cosmetics).

If black-facing is racism then how about sun tanning by white people? When will the next majority activity be considered an insult to minority activists?

Many people don't even believe that white people were once black people too. Excerpt from my 2016 blog "Identity and skin colour": "A gene mutation of some 5,000 years ago was responsible for developing white skin to adapt to a lack of UV sunlight in Northern European countries. The success of this gene mutation was overwhelming in human evolution."

I think, feel and believe that most white people are proud of their skin colour. I assume and suppose that most black people are also proud of their skin colour (eg, 1960's Black is beautiful movement). Activists and extremists at both racial sides are turning races against each other (eg, Black Lives Matter, White Supremacy). That also qualifies as racism.

Ebony and Ivory (1982) by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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