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By Gordon Abernethy in All Sorts

the autgor argues that we should embrace our differences and celebrate each other’s uniqueness, diversity of thinking, abilities, and looks.

When you read of ‘colored’ (deliberate spelling) people, do you picture humans looking like Joseph’s coat? In 1851 the New York Times referred to the ‘colored population’. In 1863 the USA War Department established the ‘Bureau of Colored Troops’.
This to differentiate from the white. The name ‘colored’ apparently was a person of mixed European ancestry (white) and African or Asian ancestry (black).
To many ‘whites’ the ‘colored’ were not ‘pure’. Unfortunately this way of thinking is still found throughout the modern world.
Back in the 1820 -30’s a Philadelphian physician collected and measured hundreds of human skulls. His aim to confirm that there were differences among the races. In particular, difference in brain size. He gave the highest brain capacity to Europeans, with the English highest of all of course, second were the Chinese, third were Southeast Asians and Polynesians, fourth were American Indians. The smallest brain capacity he assigned to Africans and Australian aborigines. His ideas were used to justify slavery.
We should have moved a long way from that way of thinking but, as the media keep reminding us (sometimes sensationally) that racism – intolerance, cultural supremacy, bigotry, can be found in all areas of society, no matter the skin colour, or nationality, or religion. Many people are suffering the colour of their skin, rather than feeling proud of it. Reverse racism is also getting media attention.
The colour of our skin is not determined by the sun – forget about getting tanned. The colour of our skin is a consequence of how our genes developed over time as our ancestors bodies dealt with sun exposure.
Science tells us that we, all people alive today, evolved from Africa. Modern genetic research has shown that all humans are closely related. Trouble is that we have been convinced, brainwashed, over the centuries to believe that white skin is superior to coloured skin – false truth. And unfortunately some in high influential office believe this, or have convinced themselves, with the help of their forebears, parents, teachers that this is true. We may say that many people have been ‘colour blinded’, affecting how they see and react to others of a different culture.
As in all species there is variation in the human species. We recognise this when we walk down the street or look among our congregation. Yet scientists/geneticists tell us the DNA of all human beings living today is 99.9 % alike. Now that is mind boggling, almost too difficult to believe. (someone verify this for me)
Why this subject? I don’t know about you who are reading this, but I am fed up with what is going on in the world regarding skin colour and culture. One of our human faults is that we tend to stereotype others that are different to ourselves. Perhaps our own culture’s thinking has ‘colour blinded’ us? But we can defeat these images we have inherited - the way we see others and their culture as inferior to ours. I’m not one to march or demonstrate in the streets or outside parliament disrupting other folk’s daily lives. Better we live out our daily lives respecting others.
By now most ‘civilised’ people should be well aware racism in any form is destructive, instead of looking for the bad, the ‘so called bad’ or deficiencies in other’s lives, focus on examples that debunk the stereotype.
Look to the successful, the clear-thinking people of this world. As I mentioned, science wrongly determined that African Americans, (the ‘black’), were less smart than ‘whites’. Think of the many of a different culture other than ours, who demonstrate better ways for us to live, who give us positive leadership, values for us to follow, inventions to improve our lives. The scientists, doctors and nurses we see, not only in other countries but ours as well, who strive to bring cures and healthier ways for us. Being ‘coloured’ is not inferior.
We need to become aware, and embrace our differences. To celebrate each other’s uniqueness, diversity of thinking, abilities, and looks, is to be valued, rather than put down, rather than censored.
Black matters, white matters,
yellow matters, red matters,
colour matters, life matters.

Gordon Abernethy