Monday, January 11, 2016

Race Purity in North America

Many things have changed in North America but the issue of racial purity has remained the same since the days of slavery. And racism (racial hatred actually), we've seen, is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Until such time when a 'white' parent will include his/her mixed-race child in his/her race, it's a waste of time to talk of end of prejudice. Nelson Mandela was right that no one is born with prejudice but when one is born into it and starts learning prejudice as the function of color differentials then the difference between 'learned' prejudice and 'natural' one disappears. 
It's understandable as illustrated by many mixed-race children in books, films and literature that this is a societal imposition. But who's the society? When one accepts what society imposes without grand attempt to challenge it then one becomes complicit.
It's a moral tragedy that a child with one 'white' parent is excluded identity-wise from part of her heritage, her blood. The exclusion of a mixed-raced child from the 'white' side of her identity has remained the same since slavery. It's remained so from the 1600 to now (2015). 
"Yes, you're part of our family, but 'race?' sorry, honey, you're not in and cannot be in."
Whether it's Fredrick Douglas during slavery and reconstruction, or Lawrence Hill in 2015 Canada, the problematic of mixed-race children has remained a haunting, counter-civilization constant. 
Jesus son of Joseph the carpenter!!
Having read heart-breaking words from mixed-race children, especially the participants in Lawrence Hill's book, Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada) and how they are excluded racially from their 'white' side of the family, I was forced to question whether we've gone anywhere racially speaking.
Anyone who blames Donald Trump should acquaint himself/herself with America and Canada of the past and America of today. Whether it's America during slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow or contemporary America, a cop can get away with a murder of an African-American.
Some people, especially Americans, will tell you "this is the reality of the world.' However, a place that prides in moral sublimity should also pride in having left the barbarous past behind. American has changed for better or for worse, however, that change has also come with a change in a manner in which prejudice is exercised.
"We are no hiring!" as Eddie Griffin would say!

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SELF-ESTEEM AND DISCRIMINATION

As someone who grew up in war conditions and lived as a refugee for a long time, I'm sometimes considered by many people in the 'west' to be prone to (or have) low self-esteem, be poor or illiterate. Living as refugees or displaced persons, who depended on the good will of others put people in a situation where they don't think much about themselves. But that's not everyone though.

As I stood by our front desk at my place work talking about Race and Identity in relation to my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?, the issue of why many African peoples in North America become so over-sensitive when racial issues come up! For many rational people, this owes its origin to slavery and racial segregation.

But one of my coworkers, a person of European descent, was surprised to realize that her 'black' friend, a very intelligent woman, easily becomes irritated by simple things she [friend] considers racist. The friend considers any mention of a watermelon racist; and complains a lot about 'white privilege.' This means that discrimination is considered something 'whites' don't face because of 'white privilege.' In any discussion between 'blacks' and 'whites', 'white privilege' issue comes up!