Archive for June 9th, 2008

SEMANTICAL DERACIALIZATION A MUST.

June 9, 2008

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO INSULT THEM, DON’T CALL THEM UNNECESSARY NAMES.

In an otherwise excellent editorial in the New York Times (“Deracialization: It’s a Different Country”, Monday, June 9), Prof. Krugman points out that: “we’re about to elect an African-American president … racial division, which has driven US politics rightward for more than four decades, has lost much of its sting.”

To further decrease the sting, I propose some psycho-semantical antiracist advance.

Why to systematically call Obama an “African-American” candidate? If this is an allusion to his father’s origin in Africa, by making this labeling systematic, one is giving African origin more weight than to his mother’s origin in Kansas. Is then his father’s origin more prominent than his mother’s because his skin was black whereas his mother’s skin was white? Would one label him “African-American” if his father had been white, born in Cape Town? So then it’s all about color? Is black such strong stuff that it warrants a permanent, hereditary label?

Now, according to the Nazis, a person was Jewish under two conditions:
a) that person had more than one Jewish great grandparent, and,
b) Hitler had not given that person Honorary Aryan status.

(Even pure Jews could be made Aryan by Hitler’s pen. Thousands were.)

To keep on calling Obama an “African-American” rather than a European-American is a marker of racism and sexism. Indeed, on the face of it, Obama is just as “European-American” as “African-American”. Thus, by not calling him a “European-American” one weighs black more than white, and father more than mother. It’s similar to what the Nazis were doing; if one had some Jewish origin, then one was labeled a Jew.

Distinction is the first necessary step towards discrimination. To avoid the later, better to root out the former. Ironically, at the very least, one could at least be at least a bit more modern, follow Hitler, and make Obama an Honorary Aryan. After one of his Marshals, a pure Jew, had done well in Norway, Hitler made him and his family honorary Aryans, thus not defining them according to their origin anymore.

Racial divisions start with sharp semantical divisions, where there should be none. Obama is a US citizen, end of the story. Such is the non racial future. Stop calling them names, if you don’t want to insult them.

Patrice Ayme.


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