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Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:05 PM

Pink and brown--a new way of looking at people.

All my life I have been absorbing news about fellow Americans, including those called "Black". This was to distinguish them from being confused with "White" people. Finally, one day, it occurred to me that White people aren't white, and Black people are usually not black. And so I had the only original thought about race relations in this country that I've ever had. It is this:

It ought to be illegal to call a person white unless they actually are, and also to call a person black unless they actually are. Black and White are political terms, with the good connotations always going to the "Whites" and the bad connotations always going to the "Blacks." We should move instead to an aesthetic view of people, and describe them as the color they actually are. When we do that, we have, distributed about this globe, a number of pink people, and a whole lot of brown people. "White" people are actually pink, and 'Black" people are actually a wide and beautiful variety of shades of brown. You have Native Americans, who are a reddish brown, and Japanese, who are a yellowish pink, or plain pink. The advantages of disciplining ourselves to think in aesthetic terms are several. People used to look for what they called a "Great White Hope" -- somebody who could beat the great brown heavyweight boxers who kept beating all the pink boxers. We could only look for a Great Pink Hope. Sounds silly, doesn't it?

This is the same sort of mental discipline that feminists hoped would change male thinking about women. If men would just try to stop thinking of women as "broads", "c****", cows (still popular in the UK), and other derisive terms, and just think of them as women, these men might eventually examine their assumptions and prejudices about women. If we pink people start to think of others as various shades of brown, and describe them so, it would be a reminder to ourselves and others, that we all bleed red, and that everything essentially human is contained in skin shades that vary between ... pink and brown. If you thought you had actually found a black person, you would have to show that they didn't register on a light meter to actually call them that. There are also some albino people around, but I think they're a pale pink.

Everyone we meet would have to be judged on ... the content of their character (Thank you for the phrase, Dr. King.) "Black" and "White" are already judgments in our culture. We've got to change that. This is one small way to start.

Another way, of course, would be to read some of the great African American writers who have illuminated the condition of humans in this country. Feel free to ask for recommendations.

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Reply Pink and brown--a new way of looking at people. (Original post)
planetc Jun 2018 OP
greymattermom Jun 2018 #1
kas125 Jun 2018 #2
planetc Jun 2018 #14
msongs Jun 2018 #3
blugbox Jun 2018 #4
Bonx Jun 2018 #5
planetc Jun 2018 #12
lunatica Jun 2018 #6
planetc Jun 2018 #17
DrDan Jun 2018 #7
planetc Jun 2018 #11
Catherine Vincent Jun 2018 #8
DrDan Jun 2018 #10
Skidmore Jun 2018 #9
chowder66 Jun 2018 #13
planetc Jun 2018 #16
MountCleaners Jun 2018 #19
Takket Jun 2018 #15
planetc Jun 2018 #18
logosoco Jun 2018 #20
ProudLib72 Jun 2018 #22
LeftInTX Jun 2018 #21

Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:33 PM

1. Years ago I had an employee from South India

and he was much darker than the "black" folks around. He was not eligible for affirmative action though. I kept thinking about ML King's phrase "the color of your skin". It wasn't. Lots of pictures of Barack Obama and John Boehner under the same light show very little difference in their skin color.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:38 PM

2. Reminds me of a story my mom used to tell...

My mom and little sister, who were "white" were riding a bus and sat next to a "black" mom with her little girl. The kids were toddlers and sat next to each other, playing like babies do. Soon, they had their arms together, as if they were comparing them. The other little girl asked my sister, "What color are you?" My sister said, "Pink. What color are you?" The little girl said, "Brown" and they started doing something else while the moms sat and tried not to laugh.

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Response to kas125 (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:53 PM

14. Exactly. Out of the mouths of babes.

Isn't toddlerhood when you're supposed to learn colors? Well, these kids know their colors, and no one has taught them any politics yet. I want everyone to see through their eyes.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:48 PM

3. been around a while. never saw a person who was pink. except albinos perhaps most ppl

are variations of brown

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:48 PM

4. This may sound very nerdy

But that's one of the reasons I like comic books and sci fi movies -especially the MCU- because they have such a wide range of alien species commingling, who literally cover the spectrum of visible colors. It makes the human species as a whole just blend in with everyone else, suddenly our skin color range is what defines us as...human.

Humans range from peach-pink to all shades of tan and brown all the way to very dark grey-brown. All very unique and corresponding to the varied geography of our home planet. It's beautiful, and it just... makes sense.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:52 PM

5. Pynkpipo?

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Response to Bonx (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:47 PM

12. Certainly!

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:55 PM

6. On the face of it this sounds like it's so obvious

that writing about is is just a duh thing, but you’re right. I’m old enough to have seen how words have been changed first and that the change does also change perceptions. For example, the word ‘Gay’ used to be equal to all other pegorative slang, but when the LBGTQ community told the world to use that word the changes in attitude started. Now we use the initials LBGTQ because the Gay community want it. Referring to black people as Black came about in the 1960s with the Black is Beautiful movement which changed the way Black people were seen in the makeup of our national culture. It also changed deeper perceptions and eliminated a lot of stereotyping from our language.

There are other examples, but the most important fact about these movements were that they were initiated by the groups themselves. It doesn’t work otherwise.

Your thought is a very good one though.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 02:06 PM

17. When I was young, all the committees had chairmen.

After the feminists started addressing the assembled multitudes, we started to hear about chairpersons and chairwomen. People actually did start to think differently. The human brain is extremely malleable, for evil AND good.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 12:58 PM

7. "illegal"? You want a law?

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Response to DrDan (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:46 PM

11. Well, actually, I thought a constitutional amendment. To counteract the three fifths of a person.

No, not a real law--can you think of our current police forces enforcing it? No, a social law, like the one that says smokers will take them outside, or people will stop bullying children in front of us, or crowding ahead of us in line. That kind of law. Another bit of ... not so much political correctness as aesthetic correctness, which happens to work out well politically.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:18 PM

8. I consider myself coffee colored

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Response to Catherine Vincent (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:33 PM

10. me too - but with a heavy splash of milk

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:27 PM

9. How about we just call

everyone "people?" Labelling with different colors does not get to seeing the "content of their character" in any way.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:48 PM

13. I'm blotchy; peach, pink, off white/cream aka Fair complected.

I get bright pink when I'm particularly hot or blushing.

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:59 PM

16. I'm pinkish, with little brown spots when I've been in the sun.

Sometimes, brown spots (age spots) appear on the backs of my hands, but so far, my macrophages show up and drag them off again. Someday, if I live that long, the macrophages will be too tired to do that, and I'll be pink-speckled-with-brown.

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Response to planetc (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 04:05 PM

19. I always say I'm "tan"

I've got North African and Middle Eastern DNA in addition to European. I'm really cappuccino-colored. I don't see a lot of pink except on the palms of my hands.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 01:57 PM

15. You would like Star Trek enterprise

On the show the Andorian (blue skinned) captain always referred to the “white” human captain as “pink skin”

https://m.

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Response to Takket (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 02:08 PM

18. I like dang near anything Star Trek.

Do you remember the one where Frank Gorshin played the guy whose face was half black and half white? Star Trek wasn't subtle, and it returned to some themes again and again.

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Response to planetc (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 04:45 PM

20. This reminds me of a comment my grandson made a couple of years ago...

during the Michael Brown murder. He had over heard us talking a lot about this. He was about 5 at the time. One day he said "Oh, I get it, the brown people are the black people and the tan people are the white people". I wonder if up to that point he was wondering when he was going to see these white and black people everyone was referring to.


On another note: I know it is a favorite term for racists and bigots to call folks "apes" as an insult. As someone who enjoys learning about evolution, this drives me insane. We are ALL apes. I would like to reclaim that to make it not as an insult. We ALL share a common ancestor. In fact, it seems to me that white people are mutants. When someone tries to use this as an insult, it not only shows their hatred for others but also a major ignorance of science.

I think once we saw the photo of the earth taken from space all of this BS about others being inferior or superior should have went right out the window!

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Response to logosoco (Reply #20)

Thu Jun 7, 2018, 06:41 PM

22. Reminds me of a "conversation" I had with an aunt

Evolution was good enough for some races, but white people were created.

And that right there is the ideology that lets them believe that bigotry is justified.

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