Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Colour bar or colour farce? How a persons's race can change.
Ths U.S. election has raised the issue of race, with the possibility of the nation's first 'black' president. It is an interesting thing to see how people are classified regarding their race. Barack Obama has one parent for each, African and European. He is what some have called 'biracial'. I heard that the same is truue of Colin Powell. In the U.S. and Britain and here in Australia, if a person is visibly part black they are just classified as 'black'. A person is either pure white or they are black. I'm told that in Liberia, in Africa, the same syndorme operates in reverse. A person is classifed as white if they are visibly part white. You are either pure black or white. In South Africa, under the apartheid regime, those people of biracial heritage were classifed as 'coloured'. Can you see the impication of this? The one person can be a black American or Australian, a white Liberian and a coloured South African. Incredible! Travel across a border and you change races. Does that make the whole issue rather ridiculous? I know that race also has issures of culture, but it is a flawed way of relating to a person, or expecting things of them, because of their race.