Amongst other atrocities performed in Australia against Aboriginals, the use of "black" and "white" as racial identifiers was taken dangerously literally. Not all Aboriginals are dark brown; some are very pale or even albino. Families and tribes were split into different cultural roles due to their different colouring - the "white" ones were taken into Anglo-Saxon society and forced apart from their "black" counterparts, who were forced into slavery and institutionalisation.

In light of this bizarre discrimination, it is now politically contentious to refer to racial differences as "blackness" and "whiteness". The more "correct" terms are "Aboriginal" and "non-Aboriginal".
Racism is colour-blind ?

Look closely at a "white" person. Look at something white, i.e. a sheet of white paper. Compare.
Do the same with a "black" person. Look at something black, i.e. a piece of anthracit coal. Compare.

I am what people call white - but I am not a Georgian, people living in the caucasus usually have a slightly darker complexion than north Europeans. Also, I am German but not "aryan", whatever the Nazis said - people on the Indian subcontinent look different from me.

I spend a lot of time outdoors - so my skin is brown, more so and Michael Jackson would look white by comparison.

In South Africa, many restaurants had signs saying "No Blacks !". Nowadays, they say "Right of Admission reserved".
Different sign - same meaning ? Sometimes, yes - but in some place it translates as "No matter what colour your skin is - if you behave like any colour of trash, according to our standards,we won't let you in."
Not perfect - but this attitude can be seen as an improvement.

Germany, however, let me tell you - it's looking grim nowadays.
After exposure to only a very few people who are "black", especially in the former GDR, a part of the uneducated and stupid (for some reason also often unemployed) chooses to believe that foreigners are guilty of taking their jobs, future, wives and space. Anybody not looking German can expect bodily harm or loss of life as a result.
Combined with the local attitude of If I look away, I won't get involved (remember how well it worked during the Nazi regime), the conclusion can only be that, if you are black, you are safer in South Africa than in Germany.

The problem with replacing the term "black" with "African-American" is that not all people who consider themselves black are African-American.

I witnessed an instance of this first-hand, when, in an attempt to be politically correct, a woman standing near me asked someone: "Who is that African-American gentleman who's speaking?" To which the other person replied, "He's not African, he's Haitian." But he still considered himself "black."

Therefore, rather than use the word "African-American" as a cure-all for the so-called "slur" of calling someone black, people should realize that everyone needs to have some kind of label applied to them, otherwise it would be impossible to distinguish one person from anyone else (Even the term "person" is a label, differentiating a human being from another piece of matter).

Perhaps for the sake of sanity, the terminology for describing someone previously referred to as "black," "white," "brown," "pink," whatever should be altered so as to describe explicitly the person's skin-color, rather than their race or their personality (i.e., to identify someone who looks “white,” one could say "that guy with light skin," instead of "that white guy"). Of course it's all relative, but I think you'll find it's much less problematic than trying to find a simple definition for a person based on their skin color.

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