I'm looking for interesting websites, and I run across this blog on race. It's not updated, but I still browse it, to see what people have been talking about. This one totally gets me:
...It is not an expression of the unity of all mankind.
It is not getting back to the most natural state of things.
It is not any of these things, because you make them look dirty. You take it as an excuse not to bathe, as if there is no water in Africa, or Jamaica. You take it as an excuse to appropriate a culture you probably know next to nothing about, so you can look liberal, socially conscious, politically aware. You don't look liberal. You look stupid...
The post got 46 comments (while most of the others got some 7-10 comments). People reacted in various ways. But what puzzles me is how a particular way of understanding difference in relation to ethnicity/ race permeates this post. To each race, its hairstyle. When we see difference, we see it in racial terms. We see it in national terms. It is this juxtaposition of difference and race within the context of racism that I find simultaneously repugnant and dangerous. It may be the case that race has no meaning nowdays except in relation to racism, which - we need to be reminded - has not always been the case in human history.