Tambu Meri in Kieta Way
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Don’t join the race to the bottom: Call out racial stereotyping


MORRISET - Does race exist, and if so what is it? The answers are many and vary over time and geography.

The only thing we can claim with certainty is that we are all members of the human race. We are all one species, as opposed to say horses or dogs.

Unfortunately the term race is used in such a loose and ideological way as to have become meaningless. There no white or black race, just as there is no American or Australian race.

Sure there are different ethnic backgrounds and ancestry which can be measured according to genetics and sociology.

But such explain diversity and culture, not superiority or degrees of 'civilisation'. These are value judgements.

In Papua New Guinea terms, Central and Simbu are different ethnicities and cultures but neither is a 'race'.

Sadly 'race' has become such a loaded term and is used by extremists to arouse fear, division and to promote stereotypes.

Just look at how 'African gangs' was used as a political slur and dog whistle in relation to Melbourne crime (by prominent right wing Australian federal ministers like Peter Dutton, no less). There is no African race.

Look at how Australian far right Pauline Hanson constantly jumps on the race bandwagon and how Donald Trump targets black female members of Congress with the same divisive and violent rhetoric.

So I suggest stop using the term ‘race’ and call out people who do use it by asking them to explain what they mean.

A bit of logic goes a long way to deflate an ego.

The word serves no purpose other than to inflame hate.

The only meaning it has when used by such people is to indicate a race to the bottom of human decency.


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Raymond Sigimet

I think the negative connotation regarding the word "race" is to do with colonialism, skin colour and political geography. There are the whites, blacks, reds, yellows, coloureds and such.

Race as a terminology is more to do with politics, ideology and geography while ethnicity is, I believe, to do with culture, language and genealogy. Race is politics, ethnicity is anthropology.

I agree that racial or ethnic discrimination and stereotyping has no place in the world. We are, after all, humans with the same human instincts, emotions, hopes and dreams.

The problem is that by nature, "people" are untrustworthy of other "people". People trust their own and have a high opinion of themselves. Whether their opinions are based on truth is debatable.

Maybe the world needs a more "inclusive" terminology to replace the word "race" to describe the world's "people", after all there are of course "different" people.

We just have to revisit prehistory. Africa is still the cradle with the exodus of what became modern man from the inbreeding of the Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo Heidelbergenses. They all originated from there or somewhere there.

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