Colour is a limiting descriptor
In the old days it was Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Now we call it Science. In the old days , it was civil, mechanical and electronic engineering, now we call it Tech! In the old days everything was colour coded including people, now the only code we talk of are the strings of instructions that drive programmes. Language should change to suit the needs, perceptions and understanding of the times.
Its time for the language describing people to change too. The idea of people as "black", "white" or "brown" is just too limiting; way too yesterday to be meaningful. Once we impose a colour label on people we actually help create a problem we then have to solve. Invoke colour, and you invoke stereotypes based on recent political and social histories. In the hierarchy of modern times, white folk self perceive as superior , followed by the brown folk and orientals (once called Yellow - how cringe making is that ?),with the dear old black folk bringing up the rear at the foot of the totem pole of social worth. These stereotypes prescribe how people should be perceived, and quickly become a self fulfilling prophecy in social and global outputs.
Different levels of worth according to the colour code
If you're not "black" or a council worker during October's "Black History Month", or an executive in an enterprise that's been approached for sponsorship of a "Black History Month" activity, it will likely fly blithely under your radar. The month has become an increasing non-event year on year and I'm sure the moniker we give it is in part to blame. I can see everyone shouting about Fashion Revolution, or Bringing Back our Girls or, Standing up for Cancer. I can't however, hear any but the die hard "community activists", long a dying breed, getting excited about Black History Month.
Geography is a far bigger driver of behaviour
The air war Britain is already involved in is about economics and geo-politics. It is being framed as a religious war by those who need the PR mileage such framing confers. This would be analogous to say a hyper active thyroid being diagnosed as a nutritional problem because the victim presents with weight loss. Without the right language, we look for the wrong solutions and misdirect our efforts.
So forget the colour spectrum, I'm going for the human spectrum. Join me if you dare! Call it African Diaspora Month. Its far more descriptive, or can you suggest a better name?
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