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Sunday, May 23, 2010

People of Color

    Meet Trevor Richards
  Trevor was a  high school student in Nebraska.  Trevor is an African American.  A few years ago Trevor and a couple of his friends were suspended from school for mounting a campaign to recognize him as an African American.  Trevor really and truly is an African American having come from South Africa and becoming an American citizen in Nebraska.  Some people were offended by the campaign on the basis that the term African American should be used exclusively and only for black people.  How strange is that?  A person from Africa can't be an African American but a person who might have difficulty finding Ghana on a world map can be.

    Of course we know the answer.  It has to do with political correctness.  We have labelled people as black, brown, yellow, red, and recently some people have even "gone green" making me wonder if once you go green you can ever go back.  People in our parents' generation commonly referred to black people as colored people.  Today that term is unacceptable but somehow "people of color" is OK.  How strange.  Colored people at least is grammatically correct.  People of color is not.  You can be of Eve or of Adam but you can't be of fuchsia.

    Maybe we should just stop labelling people.  I think that the ones who try to come up with politically correct ways to apply labels are really the racists.  Who cares?  I just want to know a nice guy or a nice girl or a nice neighbor.  Perhaps we should end the practice of adding check off boxes at the end of various surveys that ask you to check of what color or race you are.  Let's just replace that with two choices namely, terrorist or not a terrorist.  We'll use the honor system for now.

    After all, we have had a number of black leaders over the years who when defined by the term African American would have difficulty defining their ties to the former word in the phrase.  And I'm not sure if the proper word would be irony but how interesting is it to note that today our most prominent black leader, the current President, seems to have some difficulty in defining his ties to the latter.

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