It has become almost second nature for us to use colors to categorize ourselves. Is that a good thing? Let’s think about it.
Identifying people as black, brown, red, white, or yellow, in the opinion of yours truly, is not only unhelpful, but in itself both lazy and divisive. Here’s the rationale for that opinion in a nutshell. It might be a big nut but brevity is at least the target…
Each of us has a national heritage. In the majority of cases Americans are of mixed national heritage. But black, brown, red, white, and yellow are not the names of nations.
Nor are continents identical with nations. All of the Earth’s continents are inhabited (in Antarctica’s case, visited ☺) by multiple nations. So using the ethnic identification formula: [continent hyphen American] is no better than the use of the color names.
So yours truly is determined (knowing his own frailty of mind and purpose) to refrain henceforth as much as possible from using the names of colors or the above formula to refer to people. And he asks you to join this peaceful “terminology revolution” by which we just might take some strides toward amity and mutual understanding.
When there is a legitimate need to refer to someone’s ethnicity, let’s use national terms, not the colors. In the case of first generation immigrants who become naturalized citizens, it is reasonable to designate them [nation hyphen American].
But from the second generation onward, their descendants are simply Americans. And let’s immediately abandon the terms African-American, Asian-American, and European-American. Let’s get really radical!
Finally, we humans find conceited arrogance to be what we might we call a stench of the soul. Pride stinks, just as the Bible teaches. A thankful and happy recognition of our natural gifts and talents is sometimes called pride; and there we have another misnomer.
That is not what is meant here. Like that personal sense of accomplishment we enjoy when God gives us perseverance and strength to complete a job or project, the thankful recognition of national accomplishments and heroes is not bad.
So if you are offended on the personal level by malodorous pride – by the snotty, raised eyebrow attitude of the one who looks down his nose at others, ask yourself: is that kind of pride on the level of one’s national heritage any better?
What individual human being is without sin? Only One, Who walked in perfect love. What nation on Earth has an immaculate history of neighborly love to other nations? What kindred or tribe has a record unblemished by warfare, bigotry, and hatred? None, and on the last day every soul of every nation will face that one crucified, buried, risen, ascended Man as his or her Judge.
“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” — the LORD Jesus Christ, per the gospel of John
Let’s aim for greater purity and precision in our speech, and for humility on both the personal and national levels.