Re: Is there one human race?
Posted By: Eja In Response To: Re: Is there one human race? (discipleofthenile)
Date: Saturday, 19 August 2006, at 6:20 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Is there one human race? (discipleofthenile)
I try not to use the word 'race' because to be honest, I am not sure what it means. I have heard talk of the 'white race' but before that, I heard people who (would rather not use the word 'tribe') describe themselves as a 'race'. For example, I knew people who spoke of the Igbo 'race' and the Yoruba 'race'. I found this to be confusing; if people who are similar in everything (except for certain cultural aspects) can be described as members of a different 'race', then, the implication is that what differentiates the 'races' is culture, not physical attribute. This means that by assimilating enough of a previously alien culture, one can change one's 'race'.
The funny thing is, there are enough examples from what we see around us to show that this belief is actually held as a fact of life by some people. I have heard people say "black is only a state of mind". I have also witnessed instances where persons who have no REAL life knowledge of other cultures/worlds make this same assertion (about there being only 'one human race').
Which if true, means that whoever is FIT enough to make a claim is entitled to anything which comes under the description of 'human heritage' (be it a form of cultural expression or the whole Earth itself). Also, since we are all the same, nothing will be lost if an entire 'race' vanishes either through acts of violent genocide or by being 'loved' into physical extinction.
How can anything be lost if "we are all the same.." as they say.
But, I would ask ones who say that this : How do you know? Have you travelled the entire Earth (and it's vastly different time periods/ages) and seen all there is to see? Have you experienced all interpretations of existence and is this why you can claim with full confidence that there is only type of human?
There is no plainer exhibition of blind arrogance than the one that causes the refusal to acknowledge or, a half-hearted (and thus hypocritical) acceptance of these other interpretations of existence. Interpretations which are, at the very least, just as valid as the one these so-called world leaders inherited.
The word I overstand is "species". There are (and have been) various species of humanoids. The one I belong to came from an African father and an African mother. There was (and still is) another species called the neanderthal. As far as I know, no neanderthal remains have been found in Africa, nor has anybody shown any evidence that proves that the neanderthal came from the so-called cold-adapted African.
So, in my opinion, since we are descended from different roots, we are not the same.
Thing is though, whenever one of us says this, there are always some who take offence. Perhaps because they have been used to such acknowledgements being a code for claims of superiority, they have the belief that only a 'white' person is allowed to say such things. Therefore, as far as they are concerned, for an African to acknowledge natural differences is taboo.
Yes, we have some so-called proud Africans, who find it less troubling when they hear talk of differences coming from 'whites'. They think it is more natural. They don't agree with it and they think it is a horrible lie but, they are not suprised when a 'white' speaks of the difference (which equals superiority) of his species. They know how to react; even thier 'anger' is a familiar (and thus comfortable) thing.
Usually, such talk (from 'whites') is accompanied by 'facts' that are supposed show how this superiority is based on certain features or innate abilities (and instincts) so, some Africans do not want to hear any talk about differences. They have been scared away from acknowledging differences. Scared because opinions like this, coming from an African is not based on as solid a 'scientific' foundation as that of the 'white' supremacist. They are like ones who will not commit to joining an insurgency because they are uncertain of the ability of (and the tools held by) the insurgents.
Yet, what is not overstood is that for an African to speak on the existence of differences is not ALWAYS the same as when a 'white' speaks on it. The 'white' claim to supremacy is a justification for past depradatons, and a licence to carry on with futher predations in the present (as in the future).
What I have learnt is that there are several ways of using knowledge of the past, one can use it as a reference for overstanding the NOW and for planning towards the future or, one can use it as an excuse, a narcotic. One can also use what one knows (or accepts as the truth) of the future as a justification for negative activities (which may be unfolding presently or still be in conception). Any African who is has a good grip on his/her realistic senses will feel no blind pride in the past. Pride in the past, when not leavened with an acceptance that it is the past that got us to where we are NOW, is what I refer to as blind pride. I look at where we are NOW, and I ask what reason I could have for feeling superior to any other species on Earth.
Were I to be one who has disassociated where I am NOW from the events of the past that led DIRECTLY to where I am now, were I to be one of those who only acknowledges an African past that consists of all-wise and all-knowing ancestors, then I would be one who uses the past as a narcotic.
Then, in speaking of diffeences, perhaps in truth, I would be no different than the self-deluding 'white' supremacist who believes that his species was the best thing that has happened to planet Earth.
What I also know about some who claim us all to be the same is that, by saying so, they mean to graciously acknowledge that the African is 'just as good' as the 'white'. Thier assertion of 'equality' between all 'races' is meant to be some sort of gift. We are not only expected to agree, we are meant to be flattered, to be pleased because at last, we have been acknowledged as being 'human'. But, some of us have always known that we are human. That even our most 'inhumane' acts are a part of what it means to be human and that being human is no gift that one species can give to another by making certain spoken words politically incorrect.
We are all human but we are fundamentally different. The Oak tree is not the same as the Iroko. When I say "we are not the same", that is all I mean. Overstanding that may then make me ask why we were made different.
What are our respective purposes? I know for certain that even though to the untrained eye, all trees look the same, thier bark and thier leaves often serve very different purposes.
Ones who claim us all to be the same would have me believe that even though we were made different, we were all made for one same reason. It just so happens of course, that by defining civilization, justice, wealth and all the other criteria by which status, entitlement and responsibility is measured, that this one reason is the same one the 'white race' has being fighting for since it's conception.
What ones who say we are all 'one race' really mean to say is that we are all capable of being a shade of 'white'.
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