As we have seen, some are hoping fervently for a 'post-racial' West in which we all blend to a mocha color and harmony comes at last. In such a world, so it's thought, we'll see no more prejudice, exclusion, oppression, micro-aggressions, or 'other-ing.' There isn't a social problem, it appears, that cannot be righted by us all becoming beige.
But where is the evidence that tossing diverse ethnies in a pot leads to a happy racial purée? To those who insist it is coming, we at Those Who Can See offer three counter-hypotheses:
(1) No multi-ethnic society will blend smoothly down to one race.
(2) Multi-ethnic societies will always breed inequality, and the more disparate the groups, the more inequality there will be.
(3) The resentments that spring from this can only weaken, not strengthen, society.
For these reasons, we propose that the ideal society is not ethnically diverse, but ethnically homogenous.
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'Ours! ... It was our people! ... Everywhere you saw nothing but this superb brown color that only the loveliest human beings have... [...] Personally, I don't want to be Western. I don't want to be a white Catholic; I'd rather be a black atheist.'
--French Socialist MP (and white Catholic) Jean-Luc Melenchon, describing a political rally full of immigrants
'Look at all the beautiful colours the women here are wearing. Within ten years this is what it is going to look like all over Europe. Back home it’s so bleak and dreary, the colours are devoid of life. ...'
--Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, appreciating the aesthetics of Lagos, Nigeria
We see echoes of the 'exoticism' of 18th and 19th century colonialism, where displaying a Chinese painted screen or an Ashanti mask in your drawing room was a sign of status. Today, appropriating not the possessions but the very identity of these 'exotics' has become à la mode.
But let us not be fooled: The light-skinned elite may preach 'marrying out' to the masses, but they avoid it scrupulously among themselves. At the same time, it is rare that high-status men of color have children as dark as or darker than themselves.
Black legends and their wives: Music greats Herbie Hancock and James Brown, sports icons Michael Jordan and Pele, acting legends Sidney Poitier and James Earl Jones (Courtesy of A Field Negro)
Which leads us to the two great color systems the colonial world has known: The one-drop rule and the pigmentocracy. Is there evidence that either one can lead to post-racial paradise?