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 http://www.ezinearticles.com

‘Reffos’, ‘wogs’ and ‘blackfellows’

The arrival of my cohorts coincided with the arrival of 2 categories of foreigners, the ‘reffos’ and ‘wogs.’ The reffos were war-displaced European refugees whose entry was facilitated by reference by officialdom to ‘Beautiful Balts.’ Most of those I met were well-educated. Indeed, the first girl to befriend me in Australia was a fellow student who had been raped in a concentration camp. The wogs were able-bodied young Europeans (many with trade qualifications) much needed to develop Australia’s infrastructure. I have talked with many of these so-called reffos and wogs, since I tended to collect interesting foreigners.

Any foreigner (of all 3 categories) heard speaking a foreign tongue on public transport or on street corners got a tongue-lashing from self-appointed guardians of white British Australia – ‘Why don’t you speak English, you (expletive)’!

The government’s efforts to have the European entrants respected, led to the nomenclature ‘New Australian.’ It was soon translated into Bloody New Australian, mainly in the pubs. I remained a ‘black bastard’ for a while. I was then told that the indigene refers to himself as a ‘blackfella’; all others, white or coloured, were apparently described as ‘yellowfella.’ Rejecting the latter description as misleading, that is, it said nothing about being tan or brown, I tried describing myself as a ‘blackfellow’ (carefully pronounced). That did not work. I now had no label reflecting my superior colour – the shade that so many Aussies are attempting to acquire on beaches and elsewhere.

It has to be accepted that, as each new immigration or refugee intake arrives, the host people would include the earlier waves of arrivals. I believe that this helps ultimate integration. But not quite. I heard the son of a Croation immigrant refer to Vietnamese refugees as wogs. However, the old Anglo-Aussie remains sensitive to foreign accents, forever remarking on them. He is deaf to his own peculiar accent!