When You Can't Use Colour

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 13th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>General

When the usual excuses and explanations can not be used.

From another place

I was lurking in a particular forum. When you are NOT American you find that lurking is the wisest move. To post opens you to attack. Now let me define 'attack'. No. Before I define it, let me give you a few bits and pieces so you can get your mind into the groove.

A friend of mine once wrote; "It was a filthy night and I threw another fag on the fire." He was accused of 'hate speech'.

(I'll admit when he told me what happened I laughed so hard I nearly choked).

What he had said, (translated to American English) "It was a cold and rainy night and I put another piece of wood on the fire."

Now there are those of you who are familiar with English as it is spoken in England. There are those of you who are not. There are those who will also say; "Why can't the English guy speak English so I can understand him?"

In Jamaica, there was a time when we used the term 'corn' to describe bullets. Hence when I was told that a youth I knew "picked up corn" I understood that he had been shot. The person who was with me, who came from New York City, said, 'Oh, he's a farmer and grows corn? I didn't know corn grew in Jamaica."

You see where I'm going with this?

-

Call it Chauvinism

Most people believe that the morality/culture/life where they are is the 'standard'.

Some people have the flexibility of thought, or are well traveled, or know people from other countries, and understand that what is your 'standard' may not be universal. What I know as 'the runnings' (standard every day life) is much different than what you know as your 'runnings'.

At least I know this much.
Which is a lot more than many people seem to know.

Usually when you live in the 3rd world and get 1st world T.V. you have an opening look into another culture.

For example, in South Africa they 'hold thumbs' for luck. In America they 'cross their fingers'. America doesn't know about holding thumbs. They know about crossing their fingers.

The South African will learn the American style. The American won't learn the South African style.

Say 'Moor'


My major confrontation on message boards is usually with Black Americans.

This is because they can not get their heads around the fact that in some places on Earth the Prime Minister is Black. The Commissioner of Police is Black. The Chief Justice is Black. The reason the accused is standing in the dock is NOT because he's Black.

In Jamaica, when you say the word 'Moor' we instantly see dangerous pirates, powerful pirates. This is because there were a number of organisations which were created in Jamaica in the 1700s/1800s which had as their purpose the redemption of slaves taken by the Moors.

More than a million European Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780

Pirates (called corsairs) from North Africa raided ships in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Those in the Western Hemisphere were not immune. This has been ignored as it doesn't 'match' the accepted 'history' to say that Europeans were enslaved by Africans.

To publish that on a message board will gain the rip-roaring attack from every black person who needs to believe that Moor is just a term for 'African' which means 'Slave'.

To state that on every ex-British colony in the West Indies were organisations which raised money to redeem these slaves and set up self-help organisations to help them back into society doesn't even get a question.

It is slapped away as a tooth fairy, although a number of colleges were created with funds from these organisations after the danger of the Moors was over.

To state the Jamaican view of 'Moor' is to raise the ire of American Blacks who need to see all Africans as oppressed by white people.

Excuses

Now you can see that where you grow in a country in which the colour of your skin has nothing to do with how you are treated, and that you don't fail because of your complexion, this totally destroys the self-image of Americans whose reason for everything is their colour.

The same week that Michael Brown was killed by a police man in America a man named Mario Deane was beaten to death in the lock-up in Montego Bay. Michael Brown was killed 'because he was black'.

We, in Jamaica, don't have that excuse cause 99.999% of all police in Jamaica are Black. The police who beat Mario Deane to death had their own reason. Alas, we can't use racism.

Now when you can't use a knee jerk excuse as 'race' to explain an event, where does that leave you? You have to look at other factors. You have to explore attitudes, actions, and can't make a generalisation. Mario Deane was Black. The police who beat him to death, are Black. The lawyers, those who represent Mario's family and those who represent the police are Black.

Hence one has to do a bit of brain activity to find out who and what and why this event happened. The lawyers who will represent the Government of Jamaica, (for when you sue police you may toss up their names but the main Defendant is the Attorney General of Jamaica) will give their explanations. Right now they are trying to say that other prisoners beat Mario to death, even charging a couple of them, (one is a 'mad man' the other is a deaf mute).

The fact that a black man was murdered by the state, is real. It is real in America, it is real in Jamaica, but where America has it's 'catch-all' of colour, we don't. We are forced to look at class, to look at attitudes, to look deeper than complexion.


All photos are from www. freestockphotos.com except the image of Mario Deane which is from http://jablogz.com/2014/08/we-need-justice-for-mario-deane-sign-the-petition/

Tags

America, Black, Colour, Excuses, Jamaica, Moors, Murder, Race, South Africa, White

Meet the author

author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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Comments

author avatar Retired
13th Sep 2014 (#)

What a fascinating piece! I followed the link to your "race experiment" page and was astounded by the results.

Have you noticed any differences in this regard on Wikinut? I wonder if the fact that this is a UK-hosted and managed site, as opposed to an American one, makes a difference?

As a white male Brit I am two-thirds of the category that makes life so difficult for third world website members, but I hope that I am right in saying that I have never disparaged any writer because of their race - I hope that if I ever did so I would be given an instant rap over the knuckles.

I have only been to the United States once and I remember thinking, as the the plane flew over thousands of miles of ocean, that I was going to the world's largest cultural island. This is the impression I have stuck with, because so many Americans seem to imagine that their culture and way of life is the only norm that matters and that all others must be at fault in some way. In cultural and social terms they are the world's largest imperialists but many do not appreciate this.

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author avatar kaylar
13th Sep 2014 (#)

That's exactly what I have found...a cultural island in which if you talk loud enough, everyone will understand.

Online, if an American thinks you are an American they know how to talk to you. If you come from anywhere else your experiences, your knowledge, is slapped away.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
13th Sep 2014 (#)

well kaylar this is absolutely wonderful ..the way you have shown how words/names so often are regarded as slights instead of just being expressions of that particular place...most european people travel widening their acceptance of others which unfortunately you do not find so much in the usa especially away from the major cities..if only people could live in harmony and accept others ways...and be loving what a wonderful world it would be!!!
I also love John's comment...

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author avatar kaylar
13th Sep 2014 (#)

The fact is, most people know there are other places in the world with other cultures. Americans assume that cultures are ranked and they are at the top.

Americans make assumptions and because colour is so convenient they use it.

It has become a fantastic crutch

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author avatar Joyce Singha
6th Nov 2014 (#)

Ah, looks like between you and John, you keep each other happy :) You probably don't understand liberal America and its garbage because if anything this country suffers from, is self-condemnation. However, you are correct about the color nonsense; that's again a liberal thought, crappy as usual.

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author avatar Retired
13th Sep 2014 (#)

On a slightly lighter note, some wit once wrote that you should never criticize Americans - they have the best culture that money can buy!

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author avatar kaylar
13th Sep 2014 (#)

One of the problems of critising America when you're 3rd world is that they will overthrow (or underthrow) your government.

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author avatar Joyce Singha
6th Nov 2014 (#)

What a silly thought because they haven't been able to get rid of UN in NY where all kinds have a go at America.

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author avatar kaylar
7th Nov 2014 (#)

I have no idea what you are talking about Joyce. CIA documents have been declassified so the fact many government were underthrown by the US is proven.

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author avatar Chip Greene
14th Sep 2014 (#)

Hmmm. Then please explain why so many in the rest of the world are trying to come here!
Kaylar, as someone once said, the United states and Great Britain are two countries separated by one common language.

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author avatar Retired
14th Sep 2014 (#)

Chip, Many people seek employment in other countries when they know full well that they will be second (or third or worse) class citizens when they get there. People emigrate for money, not respect.

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author avatar kaylar
14th Sep 2014 (#)

When one doesn't realise that words may have different meanings and different emphasis mistakes are made.

The main focus is on the cultural differences, where one assumes that what they think / believe / and their explanations are universal; when they are not

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