On rare occasions I get on my soapbox—usually when the world’s news has exasperated me to distraction. My muse goes into overdrive and my mind slides into the computer. I can’t stop it!
I know my voice is a whisper on the wind, compared to those of the loudmouth know-it-all celebs and politicos. I’m just a nobody know-it-all.
But, I may as well share, since I spent so much time writing it … though someone will certainly misinterpret my words; blow them all out of proportion, and send me into permanent hibernation. Wait a minute—that isn’t such a bad idea …
You may think you know what this week’s word means. You might feel I oversimplify a complex issue. But let me put a different thought on it as we apply it to people …
MONOCHROME: (mänʹɘ krōmʹ) n. – 1) a painting, drawing, design, or photograph in black and white, or in shades of one color often with black or white;2) the art or process of making these; adj. – of or having to do with a single color … [the bolding and italics are mine, hint, hint; WW #97].
Black and White, White vs. Black—but as people, what are we, really? We’ve battled our differences since the beginning of time. To what end? Add a little brown, yellow … throw in some rainbow colors. Has no one thought to create a monochrome blend?
Black and White are supposed to describe certain ethnicities. But in this blended world I think we’ve outgrown those terms. They have become impossible definitions that we continue to chase around the globe. Again, for what purpose?
A Black person may seem relatively easy to define. Per Webster (in part): “designating or of any of the dark-skinned traditional inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, or Melanesia or their descendants in other parts of the world.”
While Whites—Caucasians—are more of an enigma now than ever, in the history of racial profiling. The dictionary states (in part): “a person with a light-colored skin; Caucasoid.” A tad on the ambiguous side don’t you think?
I am an admitted Caucasian—as dictated by our government—“White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as ‘White’ or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan, or Caucasian.”
We “Caucasians” have quietly accepted and used our official designation since the late 1700s. After just skimming the surface of this issue however, I’m objecting.
If you read the light exploration into “Caucasian race” on Wiki, you’ll find arguments abound and the definition across centuries and sciences is ill-defined. All ethnicities can have light-colored skin members; doesn’t that make the official definitions of all races erroneous from the get-go?
Even within the same family—my mother’s heritage is Irish and she had olive skin and black curly hair—I appeared with auburn hair and great skin that tans easily (thanks mom!). My dad was of Austrian/German descent. So what does that say about us?
And what of those folks who are lovely shades of brown, tan, or ivory—through natural evolution or enjoyable romps in the hay? Methinks we have diluted the melting pot.
Over the course of the past century, African Americans have eschewed the term Black. Are there anymore “Black” people, or have they all disappeared into the African American reference?
Even after millennia, we can’t agree on any true and definitive basis for “race discrimination”—why not celebrate monochrome and the diversities that brings in common understanding—rather than vilify each other for our differences?
Honestly, any nuances in any race are important only to those in that designation. The rest of us are busy with our own discrepancies.
If we were monochrome … perhaps there wouldn’t be such a perceived need for segregation. We have worked hard at segregating our communities, from ethnic Chambers of Commerce to ethnic churches and schools. Yet, we tell our children not to be racist. Right.
Another concept to consider, is terminating governments payments for restitution of centuries-old racial discrimination and cruelty. We cannot undo or make right the wrongs of our ancestors. No amount of monetary restitution will fix it. Nor is it right to expect descendants to pay for the sins and/or stupidity of those who went before. The only ones who deserve it in the U.S., are the Native Americans.
While none of it needs to be forgotten, it DOES need to be forgiven. Because it’s happened to ALL of us.
When we choose to destroy and slaughter, regardless of the excuse,* the color of your skin which may come with any of a number of religions, is no excuse.
Not just African Americans, Chinese, and other cultures have felt the pain of discrimination. Caucasians too—of varying descents—have also experienced mass slavery, bullying, and genocide.
Which brings me to HISTORY. When someone yells fowl about the political correctness of certain archaic words in literature or textbooks or performances, we jokingly reference Orwell’s 1984.
IT IS NO JOKE. We are in danger of attempting to erase or revise historical contexts …once more, to what end? WE will know it happened. And when we’re gone, is it right that our children and their children do not? Don’t they have a right to know the truth of their heritage?
More to the point, it is our duty to create a new understanding for our descendants. Be proud of your heritage. Celebrate it and learn its intricacies. Improve upon it with love, peace, and compassion.
Bottom line, folks, we are ALL human. For the most part, we’ve been watered down to a scintillating monochrome of our former ethnicities. Embrace it!
Let’s be MONOCOLOR (mänʹɘ kulʹɘr) n. – 1) blended of all colors to form one spectrum; 2) one bond of humanity without racial discrimination.
[New word created this day, just for you. While it appears in Wiktionary as a solo word without real definition and is used often in writings, it does not appear in Webster’s humongous tome. So there you have it. LR]
Personally, I don’t care what color you are, what religion you practice (or not), whether you’re tall, short, fat or svelte. Are you basically a good human being? Then you’re all right in my book.
Under the sky, under the heavens, there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different. ~ Bruce Lee, 1971.
*A rare tip-off to the next Wordplay Wednesday: February 8th we’ll explore the differences between excuses and reasons.
Word Challenge: Take your choice—MONOCOLOR OR MONOCHROME. Blend, merge, and improve your writing as you fit one of these anything-but-colorless words into your week of thoughtful writings.
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