The Racist Fallacy of “People of Color”

Spelling Bee ends in an unprecedented 8-way tie – all but one form India!


Leaving aside my own jokes about spelling, I get very angry at the effort by condescending liberals to replace the real issues of racism  with the term “People of Color.”

Somehow, as a Jew,  somehow I am accused of being “white” while the President of my University, a very European looking woman, insists she is a person of color because she is of Cuban ancestry.  Oh and somehow, my Yemeni and Palestinian cousins get the proud claim to being POC but I do not??? Interim President Designate Ana Mari Cauce.

The equation that skin color defines race is both common and disgusting.  Congressman Stephen King, certainly a true racist, gets laughed at for claiming that Europeans .. people he calls “white” .. have been the great source of civilization while equally racist comments by Afro-centric demagogues are accepted as, I suppose, a  new form of noblesse oblige.

This year’s presidential campaign shows how ludicrous this all is.  My own candidate, an ethnic American whose American identity is as real as George Romney, Henry Cabot Lodge,  Martin Luther King or Chief Seattle is forced by the ohso righteous people in her own party to apologize for having had a Cherokee ancestor and for being raised to be proud of that slender indigenous root.  Meanwhile, Senator Kamila Harris is proudly recognized as a “Person of Color because Kamila’s skin is browner than Elizabeth’s.

Would the identity of the impressive Senator from California be challenged because none of her ancestors were American slaves?  As an American, I think both women have a lot to be proud of but the idea that Senator Harris has suffered because of her skin color is nuts. Kamila Harris’ father is a Jamaican with slaveowner and slave roots.  The Senator was raised by her Hindu mother,  Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian-American cancer researcher and civil rights activist.  Dr, Goplan admired African American culture and, by choice, sent both of her daughters to an African American church.

Put another way, Kamila Harris made the proud choice to be black.  Would the left be less condescending if Elizabeth Warren had chosen to celebrate her Cherokee descent?

Image result for who is Kamala Harris mother?My last point is that melanin does not determine privilege in America!  Senator Harris is a great woman as was her mother.  BUT the Senator’s ethnicity, descent from India, really does not give her any claim to the inverse privilege of being a person of color.  Look at his year’s winners of the Spelling Bee.  It was an eight-way tie with all but 1 of the winners a descendant, like Senator Harris, of people from the Indian subcontinent.  Look at Satya Nadella at Microsoft,  Pichai Sundararajan running Google, Nicki Haley from the Trump administration, Tulsi Gabbard running for President, Ajit Pay heading Trump’s FCC, or Pramila Jayapal as Bernie Sanders most successful protege.   Is there Hindu privilege?
I did not want to pick on Hindus for their success.  It takes only a little effort on Google to see the amazing success of Caribbean-Americans, mostly black Caribbeans like Kamila Harris’ father Donald Harris or Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder or the Bush favorite Secretary of State Colin Powel.   More recent immigrants from Africa are also succeeding.  As for President Cauce, one would need to be obsessed with color to not see that Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz represent a very powerful record of success without much in the way of melanin.
Racism in America is all too real. Diluting the problem by equating skin color with bigotry is a simplistic excuse for forgetting what this country has done to  Indigenous Americans, to the descendants of slave and today is doing to Immigrants from Latin America. 



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  1. Mark Adans #

    We are all Homo Sapiens. There is no sub species of Homo Sapien. Some terms used for race are totally wrong such as Latino or Hispanic which do not denote a race at all. te term Anglo is much more specific in its meaning that Hispanic or Latino, but does not include people linving in Quebec who speak French who are also mostly Caucasian.

    Just like teenagers trying out new fashions to mark their individuality (often in fact demonstrating they are just one in a particular crowd) we all do this by trying to say we are Irish (articlarly on St Patrick’s day) or German, or well Jewish. Now most Jews of European descent do have genetic markers that are similar to others in the Levant, many of whom are not Jewish. Some of thee residents of Levant may have Jewish ancestry that they struggle to hide, being good Muslims they brush off. And all of these people in the Levant are well Caucasians unless they are recent arrivals from Ethiopia whose future children will likely mix these genes in with the dominant genes of the region. Only way to create a true sub species is by keeping the children pure, and enough genetic change the children cannot pass them to or from the rest of humanity. Or only produce some kind of hybrid that is typically sterile.
    Perhaps all these claims should be put on a shelf and we should all get back to celebrating what it is to be human.

  2. theaveeditor #

    I really like this essay. Do you want to post it directly? Let me know.

    One comment, “Caucasians” is itself a racist term with no meaning in biology. To the extent matters, Ethiopians and other east Africans are genetically very similar to the Arabs who live 14 miles away across the straits of Hormuz! Neither a short stretch of water nor back skin defines one as being or not being Caucasian. A more interesting criterion may be the presence of a Neanderthal ancestor .. except that all no Africans have such an ancestor and, curiously, I do not know if that genome is also found in Ethiopia.

    The term “Caucasian” is even false for “European.” There was never the aryan root described by 18th-century racists. There were migrations from the Caucuses but there were also migrations across Gibraltar and from the steppes. The first homo sap in Europe, the Cro Magnon, may have come across from Gibraltar and are now believed to have has black skin,

    And all of these people in the Levant are well Caucasians unless they are recent arrivals from Ethiopia whose future children will likely mix these genes in with the dominant genes of the region.

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