It’s Not About Race!
John Metta

I’m not sure seeing things as “White Culture” or “Black Culture” is that helpful, if anything that simplifies the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between cultures which do go beyond skin colour.

There really is no such thing as “white culture” or “black culture” which I can recognise. Maybe in the USA there is a homogeneous Black and White split, but not in Europe and I doubt very much in Africa or anywhere else.

Take “White Culture”, I am white (for the most part, perhaps with a sprinkling of middle eastern Arab from around 8 or 9 generations back and certainly with a Jewish hint from my great-grandmother’s side) and English (note there is a difference between English and British, which I also am..). While not religious, the religion I’m not is certainly protestant. Culturally I share many things with northern Europe which I don’t share with Europeans from the Mediterranean. In fact there are cultural norms I don’t share with white English people who have an aristocratic background or white English people from what I’d describe as the underclass. None of that identification is informed by skin colour, much of it is informed by how much money their parents had and how they got it, and none of it could be lumped together in to “White Culture”. Yes the people in those cultures are probably white but the norms within the cultures are divergent enough that using one to predict the norms of another is likely to fail.

In the same way lumping a load of cultures into a “black culture” does a similar disservice to the differences between a Libyan (who’d probably not thank you for lumping him into “black culture”) and woman from Mozambique (I’m willing to bet I’d be able to find parts of Mozambique which consider other parts different enough to be a distinct culture).

So whats my point? Labelling people as a homogeneous group based on skin colour, like this article does, does little to aid you is guessing what they think is normal.

Culture is a subtle animal, picking an arbitrary and basically wrong measures of membership to divide it up repeats the mistakes of the various colonial powers that divided up the world in the last few centuries. Its like using distance from London to determine what breed a dog is and then using that to guess what the puppies will look like.

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