“If you are in a partnership now with someone from your own race and country, the chances are excellent that you are at some level related.” – Bill Bryson, A short history of nearly everything.
If this quote from my favourite book by one of my favourite authors isn’t enough to get you to move out of your small town, I honestly don’t know what will. Everyone in it is your cousin, man!
“If you go back sixty-four generations,” writes Bryson “to the time of the Romans, the number of people whose co-operative efforts” (doing ‘it’) “your eventual existence depends has risen to approximately one million trillion, which is several thousand times the total number of people who have ever lived.”
It means “Your line is not pure. You couldn’t be here without a little incest – actually quite a lot of incest.” With that in mind, no matter what race you self-identify with, it’s in your best interests to look outwards when choosing potential life partners.
What I’m trying to say is: I am mixed race. And so hopefully what follows can’t be construed as racist, you sensitive internet jerk.
Chris Rock did an excellent job in his Oscars monologue; perfectly describing Hollywood’s establishment – who are and have for a very long time been super liberal – as “sorority racist” (legitimately open minded but markedly self-absorbed. Conscious or not, they end up associating with people whom they already look and act like).
But also skewered the more hysterically shrieky keyboard “cultural commentators” who declare everything either sexist or racist. Your ‘student unions’ basically, or writers for Junkee.com.
Chris was basically saying “Chill. We can and should do much better, but chill.” But even then he managed to offend Asians later in the show. Unfortunate, in light of a very carefully worded article by The Economist which found that the ethnicities really being screwed over are Latinos and Asians:
So apparently even Chris is racist along everyone else.
Except me! As a relentlessly handsome mixed race man I don’t self-identify along racial lines. I can’t. I don’t actually know how to.
My dad is white, which is technically meaningless at a global level (a white Australian is not a white Russian. A Dane is not Irish, Northern or otherwise), and my mother is Asian (Filipino, which is not Pakistani, who are also considered Asian but specifically in the UK).
By default, I can only describe myself as “White-Collar Australian”, as it says much more about me than either of my races do. The most Asian thing about me is that I eat a lot of Asian food i.e. like an Australian. Barbecued shrimps, whilst delicious, are actually only an occasional treat for Australians. Much of the rest of the time we’re eating noodles.
The only notable Filipino thing about me is I’m really, really into basketball. For some reason, basketball is the Philippines’ second most popular group activity after Catholicism. Scholars maintain that the reason was lost many hundreds of years ago.
However, the other nation that’s equally into basketball and Catholicism is Lithuania.
Point is that, to me it makes no sense to aggressively base your identity on something as broad as nationality or skin colour. I’d say we are mostly the product of our closest 150 associates whatever they happen to be.
150 is known as “Dunbar’s Number” and is suggested as the limit to the number of people a person can maintain a social relationship with, and lines up perfectly with army units and ideal office sizes. Writing about Dunbar’s Number in his book Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell highlighted that Amish villages tend to split in two when a community reaches 300 members.
When the Amish, who are a very specific and tiny subset of Christian fundamentalism who live in a single US state – whos members can’t not be extremely closely related – aren’t homogeneous,
why throw your identity in with hundreds of millions of people who just kinda look like you? Superficial is what that is.
I’m not sure what it is about America that makes inter-racial relationships still vaguely taboo. I noticed it was exceptionally common in the UK and is pretty standard in apparently super racist Australia.
When our second Bachelor from the Australian edition of The Bachelor happened to be half black, it wasn’t until it made news in the US that we double-checked and went “Oh, so he is.” And then we went “So…?” Because why care? He was just a handsome dude.
Maybe it’s starting to change in the US. There’s a lot of mixed-race people in the public eye: Mariah, North West, The Afro-Polynesian fusion that is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vin Diesel *cough* Tiger Woods *cough, Malcolm Galdwell, um… reigning NBA MVP, Steph Curry is half Creole, which just by itself is an Afro-Southern Euro mix.
Steph’s sharp-shooting team mate, Klay Thompson is mixed, both finalists in this year’s dunk contest Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon are mixed, as is perennial All-Star Blake Griffin, who has red hair for Rodman’s sake! Somebody else… oh, Obama.
Both my girl friend and one of my Sims families are mixed. The dad, “Tiago” is an athlete, which might be construed as racist, but his son, “LeBart” grew up to be an astronaut. So there.
So here’s my three-step plan for ending racism for ever:
- Find someone of a different race.
- Fall in love.
- Have beige babies.
Why’s it so hard?