People of Color: An Artificially Inclusive Term –
by Vikki J.Aisiki, UIN Staff Writer
The organized struggle between people based on the color of their skin
began with the introduction of race by European invaders in Africa, and
other parts of the world, including the West Indies. The idea of a “people of color” originates from the revolutionary Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung who sought to create a new China void of western capitalist values. The term he introduced in 1974 to identify global freedom struggles was Third World and consisted of Black, Red, Yellow and Brown peoples. It was part of arevolutionary spirit embraced by the Black and radical movements that sought to end racism and/or capitalism.
This spirit among third world advocates was one of revolution that aimed to bring about systematic change far beyond socially retractable reform
legislation that ultimately surfaced in the 1970’s and 1980’s, such as busing and affirmative action. The radical struggles centered on the denied human and civil rights of U.S. citizens under the system of white supremacy and capitalism. However, in 2020 there are clear ideological differences between the political and social goals among those who in the 1970’s would have identified with the term “third world”, and those today described today as “people of color”. For example, the Farm workers labor movement led by Cesar Chavez, specifically fought for the labor rights of Mexican Americans or Chicanos. He recognized the difference in interest, goals and civil allegiance between people who embraced America as primarily a vehicle for freedom, and those who experienced it as a vehicle for insurmountably human oppression regardless of their commitment and contribution to the
Under the current state of affairs, the term “people of color” has become an artificial term to suggest unification based on color among groups who in 2020 have little in common with the Black community. Much like the uniqueness of the Chicano Labor struggle recognized by Chavez in
comparison to the struggle of non-American workers.
Additionally, the term is racially misleading. For example, in relation to the non-Black immigration movement, if one views racial demographics in Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, China and India, for example, a dividing color distinction exist between Black and white. Those that are afforded the label “brown or yellow” in the United States would often be considered white or of European ancestry in their home countries, and granted greater racial privileged similar to those of European descent in America. In the United States, however, due to the racial
struggles among African Americans under the system of white supremacy,
it is unfortunately possible for buffer groups that fall under the old definition of “brown” and “yellow”, intentionally or not, to gain more substantive rights and opportunities than African Americans due to their higher elevation on the racial scale.
Essentially, the new state of racial affairs requires a greater level of
sophistication that extends beyond antiquated political relationships. The racial groups that comprise the United States continue to make advances for their communities often on the backs of African Americans. Dehumanization is often disguised as racial guilt imposed on the spirit of the Black community should they acknowledge and act on their own behalf outside the “people of color” deception. African Americans are the only group facing genocide within the borders of the United State, yet they are asked to smile and accept this plight as a “person of color”.
Political sophistication requires African Americans to expand beyond their misguided priorities to be accepted by people who use their legacy and ongoing struggles to advance, and by those who impose a litmus test on the Black community that can only be satisfied by underwriting their own humanity on behalf of so-called allies. African Americans are an ancient, heroic people who are the foundation of the economic, social and political freedom, many Americans and immigrants alike, enjoy within the borders of the United States.
The past, present and future struggles of Black people in America that have persisted for over 400 years is at risk of being sidelined,
minimized and displaced via a dehumanized transition from relevancy to an irrelevant people under the artificially inclusive term “people of color”