Yellow Indians, White Asians, Black Europeans

Yellow Indians, White Asians, Black Europeans

… And Green Clovers?

It’s easy and sometimes even required in politics to categorize peoples into very simplistic groups. Otherwise it would be difficult to sufficiently demonize whole swaths of the population.

Given its rather binary racialized history, the USA is a nation that is used to clumping minorities by general skin color, rather than ethnicity. Black = black. Yellow or similar epicanthic fold = Asian. Brown = Latino. Brown w/beard = Muslim = Middle Eastern. Red = dead.

There was a time that differences among white people, ie their European ancestry, made a real difference in the body politic of the USA. Italians or southern Europeans stood in contrast to English or eastern European immigrants. Those days have largely passed; mostly culinary differences remain, along with other exaggerated and benign differences (ex. Italians talk with their hands).

Pockets of this-or-that non-white or black ethnicity didn’t move the needle until they started growing in population in the 20th century. But such is the way our country was set, that this increasing diversity has proved to be difficult to categorize and understand by the elite classes.

In the early 20th century, American newspapers were all atwitter over the Dusky Peril:

The negative characterization of ethnic communities that was rampant at the turn to the twentieth century — Sikh immigrants were accused of stealing jobs and even for the emerging use of marijuana in the west during that period — can’t be ignored in how these communities were mistreated.

Though, ostensibly, there is reason other than racial/ethnic discrimination that can be identified as the motive in both acts of violence, a necessary question is warranted around whether the incidents would have been violent, or would have occurred at all, had the victims not been from ethnic communities, and more, whether this tendency is just a relic of the past.

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Muslim or Black in America

Muslim or Black in America

I think, if there’s one thing I will like about President Obama’s term coming to an end, it is that perhaps the extreme right-wing of this country will go back to their classic culture wars tropes – wars on the poor, black people and a little misogyny thrown in for good measure. Actually a lot of misogyny if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. (Yes, the Left has its own classics so shut up).

Eight years of people screaming about creeping shari’a law. Eight years of the President supposedly being a Muslim and facilitating the rise of militant Islam in the USA. Eight years of not understanding what the hell the President Obama’s speech in Cairo meant. Eight years of people posting stupid bullshit taking the President’s tolerance completely out of context while throwing their hands up in the air saying, “No really I don’t hate Muslims!”

Did you hear that [insert geographic location] was bombed the other day? Whodunit? Too late – almost every single Muslim in the USA already thought, “oh please let it not be a Muslim!” How relieved I was when the Oklahoma City bombing was found to be done by a non-Muslim. Praise Jeebus!

But I was struck tonight, after reading another half-assed attempt to tar and feather Islam and President Obama, that this ain’t shit compared to what blacks in this country have and continue to endure. Read more about Muslim or Black in America

The Darker the Flesh, the Deeper the Soul

The Darker the Flesh, the Deeper the Soul

I read a post over at Girl You So Well Spoken detailing an apparent casting call for a Ciroc commercial seeking “light-skinned african americans”. Now that it’s been discovered and publicized, Ciroc is taking to denying, denying, denying having made such a request for their commercials but the larger point still remains. Unfortunately, it’s notRead more about The Darker the Flesh, the Deeper the Soul[…]