Thursday, December 05, 2002

The souls of brown folk-and more.... Send this entry to: Spurl Ma.gnolia Digg Newsvine Reddit

My afterthought on my post about Derbyshire's article on Coon produced a lot of response. I stated that "brown" people should take back the term brown, and that South Asians, I mean brown people, have a particular interest in h-b-d. To R on brown preoccupation with shades of brownness, you might be surprised how much other Asian groups care about skin color. Japanese farm women wear veils in the field, and to be called "black" is a horrible insult in China. A friend of mine from Vietnam commented on how his mother associated dark-skin with low class, while Thais I know are well aware that the average Cambodian is darker than they (a mark of inferiority). The Incas often brought light-skinned Amazonian women into their harems. Among American blacks, there is a spectrum, from red bone (off white/light tan), high yellow (tan or very light brown) all the way to skillet blonde (very dark). India, because of the prevalence of microraces and endogamy displays color consciousness more noticeably, as light-skinned Brahmin groups might live in the same region as dark-skinned Sudras, while in China, light-skinned northerners would not mix in such close proximity with darker Cantonese (until more recent economic dislocations). But I believe that the difference is of degree. I had a close friend who was Eurasian and from Singapore, and the first question people would ask him as a child is "what race are you?" To Sanjay's point that not all Indians aren't brown-well, as someone who's family socialized freely with very light-skinned Punjabis and who's maternal grandmother sports the familiar nickname of "red grandmother" owing to her rather un-Bengali fair ruddiness, I understand your objection. On the other hand, living in a white society here in the United States, you must also remember that an exotic name and anything darker than off-white will label you as non-white, and if your exotic name is Indian, brown. The vast majority of Indians are brown, even if you look at the Miss India's, they are still brown, though a very light shade (one was also Anglo-Indian and another 1/4 English). Indians can often pick out regional and social/caste differences in phenotype, but to white people (aside from a few discerning types such as Steve Sailer and to those who have lived in South Asia) we all look the same (in general). Black is black, even if you are as fair-skinned as Jennifer Beals (who could pass as southern European) If you don't think cultural origins make a difference, ask all the swarthy Greeks and Italians who are white, and all the light-skinned Syrians and Turks who are non-white. And why do you care that there is discrimination against dark-skinned women Sanjay? That just leaves plenty more for you.... Update: Readers will find this Steve Sailer article on blondes as well as this non-PC FAQ on race over at Human Races Archive interesting when it comes to explaining attitudes toward color. I do believe that higher levels of testosterone make one darker-explaining why in any population men are darker than women. Just as high testosterone causes the strong jaws and rugged appearance associated with virility, and a strong immune system, dark skin might also be a sign of health. The hypotheses are myriad, and I'll wait to see what the readers come up with before I weigh in....

Principles of Population Genetics
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The Genetics of Human Populations
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Mathematical Models in Biology
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Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
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Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
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Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
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Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
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Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
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R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
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Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
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Out of Thin Air
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