One planet, one race
Somebody at Memorial University has evidently decided that it’s OK to be white. I hope it didn’t require a couple of years of undergraduate studies to arrive at that conclusion.
I thought most white people, since they first encountered nonwhite humans, had more or less assumed that their colour was as good as anybody else’s.
In fact, white people have long believed that their whiteness was better than other colour, rather than simply being “OK” with it.
Here I am assuming that the “It’s OK to be white” posters are thumb- tacked or sticky- taped up by white students, but maybe that’s an unwarranted assumption.
I wonder if perhaps Trinidadian or Sri Lankan students are trying to comfort us by validating our rather ho-hum colour. In which case, on behalf of white people everywhere, I commend their generosity. If, however, the posters are being posted by white students, then it seems to indicate an inferiority complex.
Are white people feeling embarrassed about their pale skin, and trying to counteract a sort of colour-envy syndrome? Are they trying to reassure one another that white is a not really, after all, such a blah colour to be?
Could the fact that white people have for centuries been invading, enslaving, raping, massacring and generally mistreating people of every other colour be, at last, sinking into the white psyche? Could remorse or at least self-criticism, after all this time, be making itself felt? I know we can’t undo centuries of colonialism, apartheid, slave- owning, slave-trading and slave-breeding, but I don’t think we should pretend we didn’t do it.
By “we,” of course, I mean Western European Christian cultures. If we feel remorse, even vicariously on behalf of our ancestors, shouldn’t we try to accept, understand, welcome and celebrate people of whatever colour they may be?
So I propose a poster series. “It’s OK to be white” … “It’s OK to be black” … “It’s OK to be brown” … “It’s OK to be yellow” … “It’s OK to be green” … “It’s OK to be blue” … “It’s OK to be red, or orange, or purple, or pink with lavender polka dots.”
Judging people by what colour they are is silly. Colour gives us only a vague clue as to the geo- graphic origins of a person. It tells us absolutely nothing about the intelligence, the courage, the honesty, the friendliness, or anything else, of our fellow humans.
Pigmentation of the skin tells us nothing at all about the inherent worth of any person from whatever part of the planet they may come. They are humans, just as we are, and anything done to hurt them hurts us all.
I know white supremacists don’t like other colours, nor do they want my advice, but if they felt open to it, it would be very simple: spend your youth making friends with people of as many different colours and cultures as you possibly can, and learn to value the humanity in every one of them.
As our climate changes and becomes less hospitable, there will be more migrations, and we will be living in a much more heterogeneous society. Darwin’s “Evolution through Competition” theory is not the only theory of evolution.
Pyotr Alekseyevich Kropotkin found that Co-operation and Mutualism work equally well, and often much better.
And I beg you, please don’t feel obliged to fear, or distrust, or think little of others because of something as superficial as the colour of their skin!
Are white people feeling embarrassed about their pale skin, and trying to counteract a sort of colour-envy syndrome?