The confusion about race

How is race to be defined? By skin colour? That is, white vs. coloured? How much whiter is the European in contrast to the people in adjacent Asia, all the way to the Himalayas? Or, is the white race limited to the people of Europe who, over no more than 5 centuries (a mere blink in the face of human history), dominated the seas to invade the lands of long-settled people, and to establish white-ruled nations?

What then of Admiral Cheng Ho’s 7 Treasure Fleets which collected tribute and changed rulers here and there, before European men were enabled by the loot from Central and South America to develop their own economies, and thence to expand overseas militarily? Chauvinistic Chinese could claim themselves to be a separate (and superior) race. What then of the Indians, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians and Mongols, each of whom dominated (in one way or the other) some significant part of the globe in historical times? Are they separate races?

Worse still, how is the term used, both officially and in private transactions? Racial vilification legislation applies in Australia, which is a white nation, in spite of recent improvements in its colour-balance. This legislation is to protect a coloured person from acts or utterances by a white person. How then does one treat abuse by a coloured person directed at a white person? What of abuse by a coloured person directed to another coloured person, especially if the latter is of a different ethnicity, country of origin or language?

The bottom line is that an alleged offender displays either prejudice or discrimination. This can be triggered by all kinds of differences, especially cultural (including religious). Then, of course, it is far too easy for some to feel offended, especially if there is someone official to complain to (hopefully, with some cash available in ‘compensation’).

As the immigrant-created Western nations are becoming progressively tinted, and many of the ‘coloured’ are becoming lighter in shade, how are they going to hold the line that racism refers to a ‘white’ abusing a ‘coloured’? How white has the abuser to be? See my article ‘Racism – decidedly a meaningless term’ in