a reminder about race
December 18, 2013
okay okay okay
since i saw something again on my dash about how european race relations are sooooo much more complex than in the us/canada.
not only is race != ethnicity
but. race has a very specific historical origin based in anthropology, the natural sciences, etc.
importantly… it is and has always been a reductive philosophy and process. there are, in most classic constructions of race (the legacy of which still exists and informs all of today”s global race relations) only four or five races.
Four. Or Five. To use the colours: Black, Red, Brown, Yellow, white. Which map to: (i blankly refuse to use the white anthro terms, so)
- African & descendents
- Indigenous ppls of the americas
- SE Asians — what some called ‘Malay” — this is the category that swings
- central and east Asians
- Europeans (inclusive of the mediteranian and near east — well, this latter depends on the historical figure)
Now. None of these are neat and tidy categories because, well, they aren”t based on any observable fact. So who counts as what is constantly shifting.
But note the globalized nature of this, ppl from every corner of the planet are implicated in this. This means, that the development of race as concept and category required widespread colonization, or rather could not have been developed in europe before they began colonizing everyone else.
This races and everything they entail inform race relations and white supremacist oppression all over the world.
More to the point: This is the system of race and white supremacy that europe created. It served many different purposes.
In any case, what is at hand here is that anyone who is trying to assert that european race relations are magically different than americas…. no. sorry.
race is inherently a global phenomenon
some geographical variatons exist, but in order to serve its purpose as a way to structure whiteness as supreme
it must maintain a basic, deep, and fundamental shared ideology.
in other words: the empire requires hegemony