Hi Mark, thanks for reading and writing.
As you may know :-), I am very curious about race, culture and ethnicity, but don’t think I have a need to determine ‘black’ or ‘white’. (though I more so once did via American training :-))
I had a white German ex-boyfriend who couldn’t understand such reductionist classification of people. The racial construct in America is not unique to America, but it is uniquely American, ‘white’ American specifically and historically, as American history is based upon using color to determine the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ (and so temporarily chucking classicism amongst various classes of ‘whites’).
I actually do refer to Europeans as ‘Europeans’ regardless of skin color because an German ‘white’ person has little to nothing in common with an American ‘white’. (laughing) (a Serbian girl whose skin was the whitest of white once lamented to me about how many ‘white’ people there were in Boston). In that vein, I also do view ‘white’ as a continuum, and I think many people do as well. It’s just very difficult not to default to literally ‘black’ and ‘white’ thinking when you are on the receiving end of (sometimes scary or life-threatening) racism.
I don’t know what the Paradigm Shift will be for America since ‘culture sharing’ and adoption is considered offensive, or “appropriation”.