A UW Graduate Writes About Howard, III. a response.

I disagree with you about the notion of “people of color.” 

A response to the essay here by Amarilis Lugo de Fabritz.

I think this term is NewSpeak,  in the Orwell tradition.

“People of Color” The term is used by aggressive African Americans to claim a larger constituency than the AA community actually has.  The same term is used by racists to lump “others” who are really very different.

This lumping esp true in talk about the US becoming non-white. For example, European oriognHispanics are increasing rapidly  in the US population.  I doubt anyone can tell the difference between Mario Rubio and most of my cousins.

Even lumping “black” folks is racist. As I am sure you know, folks like Colin Powell are as different in cultural origins from folks like Michelle Obama as either is from me .. a Jew.  If you really wnat to see how misleading skin color is, meet some Tamil folks .. they look African because of ancient migrations from Africa, while “Black” Ethiopians can be impossible to tell from “white” Yemeni.

None of this might matter if the term was not used to promote very different agendas. For example, here in Seattle, rhetoric about “people of color” is used to justify a concentration on the needs of African American kids, even though in real numbers they are no where near a majority and many of Seattle’s “people of color” etghnic groups are actually very successful.

On the other hand, at the UW “people of color” is used to claim a diversity we really do not have.   The UDub’s numbers of “diversity” students are largely suspect.  The “black” kids include a huge over-representation of athletes.  As a result “real” black folk … the descendents of Jim Crow and slavery who are not in the top 1% by physique, are very much under represented.  Of course the UW counts its Samoan football players and as part of its “people fo color” as well but I find it hard to imagine two cultures with less in common then Samoa and Mississippi!

I see a lot more dark faces in the faculty, but most of these are Asian or Indian.  When you do find an African I would guess there is at least a good chance that she is either Carribean or actually from Africa.  Culktural interests in American black culture are pretty low.

Native Americans face an even worse problem.  I have had trouble finding any students who are of Salish or other NW origin (i.e. local) and there is little evidence for a pride in what we should all shgare .. thew heritage left to us by Chief Seattle and Chief Leschi. I doubt that any Lummi, Nisqualli, or DEuwamish person fels at home, much less pride, when on this campus.

My bottom line, I think skin color based prejudice per se is fading but classism and ethnic bigotry seem to me to be growing.

My two cents plus your ..does that make a nickle?

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