mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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so here is the run down of my prefered nomenclature in relation to "race." notice, i put race in quotation marks. as an anthropologist, it is real easy to see that that word only describes a social construct & not actual groups. the subject actually has been on my mind since we've started talking more about colours in japanese. in particular because it reminds me of a japanese girl i once knew, yayoi, who decided to hate me at one point.

the story there is this: i was good friends with a certain group of rikyo students some years ago; among them chikako & sunao. chi-chan & i had a sort of verbal sparring going on- we used the various curses & epitaths we learned on each other. for a while one of my favorites was kirojin, or "yellow person." (i also really like kyoshubenjo, or "public toilet," which was the closest i could get to a personal favorite: "cumdumpster.") anyhow, yayoi over heard us one day, & thought i meant her, since she was very self conscious about being so pale. i didn't learn that she disliked me until years later, but that is how these things go.

anyhow. my point is that like the japanese, i prefer "black guy" over "african-american" & "white guy" over "caucasian." the real simple reasoning behind this is that "black" & "white" are descriptive terms. i mean, that is it. if there were two guys standing next to each other, each in jeans & a tshit, & one was black & one was white, & you are trying to tell you're friend which of them you mean, i think "the black guy" is fine. because its sort of an all over thing. i've seen people struggle & say things like "the guy with the, uh, really frizzy hair" or something along those lines, & i think that it stupid. unless the guy has like, a really impressive afro. in which case, man, the hair is easily more distinctive than skin tone. i don't know- skin colours are diffrent. i wouldn't flinch from saying "the tall guy" or "the guy with red hair," so why should any other physical trait.

i mean, the counter argument is that skin color is diffrent because alot of people think or act like it makes a diffrent. but i don't know. thats just playing to the lowest common denominator. & that just isn't my style. i mean, i'm the sort that thinks satire is more effective than a soft touch. & saying "african-american" just perpetrates the notion that there actually is some kind of race group, or some sort of racial diffrence. a few funny allele clumpings is evidence of bottle necking & adaptation; not speciation.

& how does this address the issue of japanese & chinese (& korean etc) people? i don't know about that. "yellow people" still has that racial slurring that sticks in your throat. & i don't really know how yellow they look- but then, white people arn't so white & black people arn't so black. what the fuck, do i look like i have all the answers? i'll probably stick with "asian," but i think "oriental" sounds more poetic. but debs got really angry at me for saying it one time. i never figured that out, but i don't know so much about anti-asian predjudice & slurs. i mean, i live in ohio; the way i've summed up the "racial divide" here is white guys, black guys, & exchange students.
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