We have been trapped: The black white conundrum

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     The dictionary compilers incorporated in their definitions, the laughable suggestion that Europeans are Indigenous to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America. Such is delusionary writing by any standard.

    3.The spread of the black/white people phenomenon has now reached epidemic proportions; in many features, its movement is similar to that of the bubonic plague, alias! “The Black Death”, that swept through Europe during the Middle Ages. However, unlike that plague, the people’s demarcating colour system operates selectively. the drawn conclusion is based on the fact that; the people’s colour term “white” only applies to those who have origins from the Continent of Europe. That remains the case, despite the hundreds of millions of people from other parts of the world, who shares the same skin complexions as the so-called “white” people from Europe who are exempted from the so-called “whites” category. Similarly, the people’s colour term blacks, is mainly deployed to represent people who have origins from the African continent with dark skin pigmentation and there again, that remains the case despite the existence of hundreds of millions of people from other parts of the world who have the same skin complexion as the so-called “blacks” from Africa yet are not referred to in such a demeaning manner.

    It should not be misconstrued that this paragraph is advocating that the hundreds of millions of people on the Indian subcontinent and the many others elsewhere in the world, who happen to have dark skin complexion, should be referred to as being “blacks”. Neither is it being proposed that the hundreds of millions of people in the Far and Middle East with light skin complexion should be called “white” people.

    The simple argument presented here is; that the use of the two colour terms for human demarcation is carried out with a sinister inconsistency. A further disturbing aspect of such language use is that; only 20% of the world’s human population is affected by that ridiculous human colour-coding system. Thereby, 80% of the world’s human population is exempted from the obscene human demarcation colour system. That anomaly not only creates a dichotomy between the so-called “blacks” and “whites” but also provides for the polarisation between the exempted 80% and the already contesting “blacks” and “whites” 20% group.

     

    That on-going debacle is further exacerbated, by the now growing trend in language use whether in writing or speaking, whereby, African people indigenous to and living on the Continent of Africa are now being referred to as “black Africans.” The practice is spearheaded and encourage by Europeans, in order to maintain their well-established agenda of keeping African people pegged to the, “just blacks” status.

    Nonetheless, that faulty language use also suggests that there are such people as “white” Africans, which is a phrase not generally written or spoken. Further, it also infers that people who have their origin from the Continent of Europe should be called “white” Europeans, thereby raising the prospect of there being a group of people referred to as  “black” Europeans.” Gladly, such inappropriate language use, is rarely spoken or written. Further, there is in place a great effort on the part of Europeans to make the “black” Africans become an accepted precedence.

    Should the said become the case, then; there would be a need to denote other nationals in the same manner. Such would take the form of “black” West Indians. ( On a point of correction, the term West Indies and West Indians are void of any geographical or people descriptive legitimacy and the phrase “black Caribbean” would be equally bogus) nonetheless, the terms are maintained in place due to cultural inertia. Because of such, this short discursive exercise must continue along those warp language paths.  Therefore, such persons as “white” West Indians or Caribbean would become an acceptable phrase. The same branch of speaking would also apply to what are now throwback terms, namely, “yellow Chinese,” and the old favourite “red” Indians.

    If such seriously flawed language uses are taken to their natural conclusion, then there will be a need to create a people complexion-calibrating instrument to monitor the on-going fallacy. On its given scale, the pale of pink or light cream skin complexion will represent the “whites” zone, and correspondingly light tan to very dark brown would represent the “black” zone. Also, on that given human barometer colour scale, there would  be a point where the not-so “white” people became “black” people, and the not-so “black” people became “white” people. It would then be assumed that; the position before that divergence of the black /white colours would be representative of the people who are now referring to themselves as “the people of colour.”   That bogus label is ironic; as such language use is just a roundabout way of saying “coloured people,” a term which is a throwback to its hey-day when such language use for the demarcation of humans was deemed to be prejudicial or its alias term “racism.” Putting that outlined conundrum into some imaginable context, it all amounts to herd mentality galloping backwards.

    This writing has already adequately made the case that using colour terms to separate humans into “race” categories is absurd at best. The said is because our place of geographical origin adequately suffices that purpose. So it is clear that colouring as a means for people’s description is a legacy from previous malicious and prejudiced generations. Despite that, we are all seemingly predisposed to accept such without objections. The begged question is: what contribution have African people worldwide made to the now well-established and seemingly unstoppable trend of “white” and “black” people? In answer to that, African people are in no way culpable for such devious language use.

    The said is the case, because of the overwhelming empirical evidence which clearly shows that from the mid-16th century to the mid-20th century, most African people on the continent and those in the Diaspora were under complete subjugation by Europeans and Middle Eastern people. In those barbarous times, captured Africans taken from the mainland for enslavement, were transported in conditions not fitting for pigs and treated worse than that, when they arrived in the so-called “new world.” As a direct result, many Africans, particularly those in the diaspora, remain perplexed about who they are. That condition has manifested into a state of cultural paralysis. The said makes the case very well, that African people worldwide are in no way liable for the malicious manipulation of the English language in its many forms, including the use of colour terms, to their detriment.

    With little doubt, words have long been a vital frontline strike force in the warfare for mind control. Now with the advent of the centrally controlled world media and the rapid development of communication platforms such as the internet, and other social media platforms, all of which are centrally controlled, words can deliver their deadly payload with incredible speed and accuracy. That situation is now very evident in the raging psychological warfare which is constantly taking place, where the misappropriation of language is now a well-entrenched combatant.

    In that front line, what is at stake are the valuable assets of African people’s sense of Identity, heritage, and belonging. That state of affairs has been worsened by the seeming willingness of African people worldwide to eagerly embrace the colour term blacks as a satisfactory means for their Identity. They are generally doing so under the mistaken belief that they are doing so, of their own volition since their cultural revolutionary uprising in the 1960s. But in reality, all that has taken place is the inheritance of the terms from the descendants of their ancestor’s enslavers.

    What is now clear; is that African people in general, have become unsuspecting victims, caught in the well-made and well-laid “black” trap. That trap can be compared with the calamity the cartoon character Bra-Rabbit found himself, in the classic Walt Disney hybrid film “Songs of the South.”  The film’s historical setting was during the closing stage of the American Civil War. The main character is played by an elderly African American male whose role throughout the film, is the narrator of the Bra-Rabbit, Bra-Bare, and Bra-Fox encounters. In the scene now referred to, the quick-thinking Bra-Fox outwitted a very astute but naive Bra-Rabbit. As a result, Bra-Rabbit found himself completely stuck on Bra-Fox’s very well-made and well-laid tar-baby trap.

    His pathetic situation became even more agonizing when he had the unfortunate luxury of time to reflect on his gullibility that led to his precarious position. Though the referred-to example is a cartoon depiction of a fable scenario, it quite aptly demonstrates the folly of the use of the colour term black to represent African people worldwide. However, the unsatisfactory situation has come about due to the unseen and, thereby, unintended consequence of the African Americans’ nationwide Civil rights uprising throughout America The movement, was generally sporadic from its inception in the mid-1950s and remains so throughout its evolution. To make matters worse, the process mistakenly directed itself down the “I am black and proud route”.  That folly has entrapped African people to such an extent, that it now seems that our state of identity vacuum has been hermetically sealed forever.

    One of the many adverse fallouts of the African American Civil Rights uprising is that it produced an endless stream of the misuse of the black colour term as a reference for African people worldwide. Those terms and phrases took many forms such as; “black” power, “black” Panthers, black Muslim, black this, black that.  Now, as if to add insult to injury, in the 21st century, we have the pathetically named, “black lives matter” crusaders. The constant endeavour by African people to embrace the colour term black is a worthy representation for their identity status, amounts to a great cultural misadventure.  It is high time to call on the clowns in this tragic black-and-white circus.

    It is common knowledge that the colour term black is also employed figuratively to represent infinite situations as bad, while conversely, the colour term white is usually used to describe all things or situations as good. To expand on the given point, here are some findings from various dictionaries for the present-day symbolic and so-called “race” use of the two colour terms. Starting with the Oxford Dictionary. Its first entry for the word white states; The colour of snow, salt, or light-collared skin, not black, brown, red, or yellow. (Repeat, White is light-collared skin.)  “Caucasians” are defined, as members of the so-called white race or having to do with any one of the Caucasus languages of the Caucasus region, such as Georgian. The Caucasus Mountains are speculated to be the early home of Europeans.

     In figurative use of White, it is Spotless, pure, innocent, honourable, trustworthy, and fair. White is the symbol of purity, goodness, truth, and Whiteness or fairness of skin complexion, as in a white person, a person of the Caucasian race. Caucasians are members of the white race, including the chief peoples of Europe, southwestern Asia, northern Africa, the Western Hemisphere, Australia, and New Zealand.  What has become clear from their fictitious composition is that the dictionary compilers have also included the laughable claim that Europeans are Indigenous to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America; such is delusionary thinking by any standard. Notwithstanding, under the dictionary reference for black, it states;

    Having the colour of coal or soot, Opposite to White, a black day, without any light, very dark; the room was as black as night. In other entries about Black, It read dirty, filthy; his hand was as black as soot. We find Angry, gloomy, dismal, complete and unrelieved black despair under figurative use. Black is Figurative, angry sullen. She gave her brother a black look. She was lowering, frowning, and threatening. (Figurative. Evil, wicked, a black lie. Witches (who are fictional) were supposed to practice black magic, Sinister, baneful, and deadly. Having dark skin, swarthy dusky. Also black. Have or have to do with blacks, (b) Resembling blacks, People belonging to any of the black races of Africa. ; brown or black skin, coarse wool hair, and a flat nose.  : Blacks are members of any of the black or brown races of Africa or other brown people. Blacks, A person having some black ancestors (subject to precise definition by law in certain states and countries. Negros” was the preferred term when formerly used in American English speech or writing. This would be the case When the speaker or writer has no intention to demean people of African descent or make reference to them contemptuously.”

    However, in the mid-1960s, the word black began to gain respectability, as ethnic groups (Whoever they may be?) promoted labels with such slogans as Say it Loud I am black and proud, and on the political platform, “the Black Caucus in America and the black sector in Britain. Black Power, Black is Beautiful. Further, using Black as an adjective is less offensive than in black men.

     However, using it as a noun between Black and White in this sense is ok. “The term Negro or Negress is considered to be offensive. It is better to say a black person”. “The term black is construed by many as derogative, so the term Africans should be used in its place.”

    Rylan Fletcher, Senior assistant editor Africa Bulletin and Africa Analyst

    This is chapter 3 of his forthcoming book ‘The Black White Explosive’

    @ Rylan Fletcher