Complexion

Complexion: (n) the natural color, texture, and appearance of a person’s skin

Sometimes I want to laugh, and I’m told it’s not permissible. They connote it would be disrespectful or place me out of step with the times.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But I find it very difficult to take one matter seriously–after tens of thousands of years of habitation on the Earth, human beings are still evaluating one another by complexion–and not only evaluating, but feeling the need to live out a personality, a lifestyle, and a culture because of the hue of their skin.

But on this, the liberals and conservatives agree: there are many different cultures with many different customs unique unto them, which are often initiated simply due to the color of skin.

So if you’re a black person you don’t just have a darker complexion–you also need to be in agreement with your ancestors, going all the way back to Africa, which many Americans who have black skin might not even be able to identify on a map.

And if you’re a rosy-cheeked person who has relatives who were once Vikings, you must surely have an affinity for hard work, brats and beer (while denying rape and pillaging.)

I’m a mess. Ends up that I do have a color to my complexion, but enjoy perks from all different cultures and styles.

When will the Earth be able to solve its problems?

When our thinking has a deeper tone than our complexion.

 

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Color

Color: (n) pigmentation of the skin, especially as an indication of someone’s race.

To find a real black person you have to go deep into Africa.

The only white people are albinos.

To get yellow skin usually requires liver disease.

And red skin is any one of a number of young girls in Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break.

Yet for some reason we decide to take these colors and differentiate not only race–not only customs–but certainly intelligence, morality, violence and quality.

What actually is the difference in color between an American Negro and an American Hispanic, or an American housewife of Beverly Hills after leaving the tanning booth?

It can’t be about color. There just isn’t that much variation.

And of course, once you get right below the epidermis, we all pink up.

So what in the hell is this all about?

At one time we were so frightened there wouldn’t be enough squirrels, rabbits and wild turkeys in the woods, so we tried to thin the herd of our human competition by making them lesser, therefore teaching them they couldn’t eat the actual meat of the buffalo, but could have all the internal organs they wanted.

Are we still stuck in that survival mode?

Are we so terrified that we’re going to be exposed as lackers or slackers that we try to characterize one group of people as already occupying that space–and then colorize them?

 

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Clad

Clad: (adj) clothed.

If you are not clad correctly, you can be considered a clod.

Since we are obsessed with how people look, we become doubly possessed with what people wear. I was always amused by the phrase, “dress for success.”

What does that mean?

If I want to be a successful construction worker, I should wear really tough jeans, a t-shirt and a hard hat. I don’t think that’s what they mean, do you?

If I’m leading a safari in Africa, Bermuda shorts and a pith helmet would be in order. Yet I assume they wouldn’t welcome me into a party in Hollywood dressed that way.

As always, the American culture has defined success as flamboyantly displaying wealth in such a way that you convince others that you’re prosperous. So nowadays it’s not good enough to wear a nice suit of clothes if the designer is not considered rad, and in the hierarchy of the profession.

We have people who do nothing but stare and glare at the garments of those who arrive at to the Oscars, deciding who is best dressed and who should have stayed home, embarrassed over costume.

I’ve coined a phrase which sums up much of what goes on in the daily humdrum of American dialogue: arrogantly irrelevant.

Not only does it lack purpose, but it puffs itself up to believe that being significant is not nearly as important as coming across as contemporary and beautiful.

What am I clad in?

There’s an old-fashioned idea that the best thing to be clad in is righteousness. Of course, then we have to realize that even that righteousness, when compared with greater beauty and deeper mission, can be “filthy rags.”

 

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Circa

Circa: (prep) approximately (often preceding a date)

Circa the time that humans discovered fire, they started cooking their meat.

Circa the arrival of iron, swords and plowshares were made. (Unfortunately, our species preferred the weapon.)

Circa the revelation that knowledge could be transferred into manuscripts and eventually books, libraries were built to confirm the power of
our more docile wisdom.

Circa the season when souls from Africa were considered slaves and only two-fifths of a person, the “Abraham of America” came and made us all a great nation.

Circa the arrival of instruments came music.

Circa the introduction of music came soul-washing.

Circa the introduction of a madman, the atom was split.

Circa the dropping of a bomb, we discovered the power we have to destroy ourselves.

Circa one war after another, young men and women have learned to protest the insanity of blood-letting.

Circa the arrival of the Internet with the ability for international communication, there is a scream for moderation and a prayer for personal contact.

Circa this moment, we are in search of our heart.

Here’s hoping we find it.

 

 

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Chink

Chink: (n) a Chinese person.

I am prejudiced against skinny people–mainly because I’m fat.

I am intimidated by handsome men, truthfully because I’m quite plain.

I get nervous around other writers because deep in my heart, I need to be the best.

And the only reason I would ever call a Chinese person a “Chink” is because deep in my heart I know he or she is superior to me in attitude and talent, and I need
a way to degrade the prowess.

Certainly white people would never have brought black slaves from Africa unless the natives were superior to them working in the fields. Even after Emancipation, the white community was intimidated that the black work ethic would overtake them and lead to their poverty. So it’s easier to call them “niggers” and send out the signal that they are to be relegated to a lesser position.

We’ve done it for years with gender. All the terms used for women have eventually exposed a disguised prejudice.

  • “Ladies”
  • “Weaker sex”
  • “Little miss”
  • And of course, “bitch”

I’m not quite sure why the word “Chink” is in the dictionary. Perhaps it’s to remind us that there will always be people who are better at what they do than we are, and simply humiliating them with a condescending name does not take away their power.

We live in an America where there is still prejudice against the black race, even though we mimic their actions, customs, worship style and sports efforts in almost every way.

If bigots actually did think they were better than the people they prey upon, it would still be disgusting, but at least comprehensible.

But knowing that bigots are mean-spirited because they are secretly jealous and wish they possessed the abilities of those they attack may be the Earthly definition of satanic.

 

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Black

Black: (adj) the very darkest color

  • Dictionary BA black comedy.
  • A black cave.
  • A black situation.
  • A black scenario.
  • A blackened sky.
  • Black as sin.

Sometimes we wonder why ignorance persists.

We muse over our alleged newfound openness and genteel demeanor concerning our differences while continuing to perpetuate myths.

First and foremost, there are really no black people. Even those who live deep in the heart of Africa are not actually black.

The human race is an unusually diverse palate of browns–even white people are peachy-beige. We apply hard names with hard definitions onto individuals in order to quietly segregate them in a conversational way, since we’ve made it illegal to do so in a general way.

Black is beautiful.

Black is classy.

Black is the new orange.

The truth is that human beings are neither black or white. They continue to be, and always will be, unpredictable.

 

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Apaches

dictionary with letter A

Apaches:(n) members of an American Indian people living primarily in New Mexico and Arizona. The Apaches put up fierce resistance to the European settlers and, under the leadership of Geronimo, were the last American Indian people to be conquered.

Sometimes I choose silence because speaking is such a minefield of “lip-slip-bombs.” It is difficult in this present age to know what to say or even what to call things without offending someone.

This is quite apparent with those original citizens who occupied the North American continent before the European settlers invaded.

(You see how carefully I worded that? Of course, I probably offended the Europeans, who would insist they “settled,” not “invaded.” Once again, you can’t win.)

But concerning these individuals, in my lifetime I have heard them called Indians, American Indians, tribal nations and Native Americans.

Even though I want to be as gentle as possible with the feelings of others, I think what we call them is not nearly as important as how we treated them, and how the treatment continues today with a sense of antipathy.

Yes, I think the American consciousness occasionally needs to be pricked by our approach to those who were here when we arrived and those we brought over from Africa to tend our fields.

We have two groups of people who have a vicious history with the white class, who continue to suffer under varying degrees of subjugation and prejudice to this day.

So I don’t know what you want to call them, and I don’t know whether it makes a difference if the Washington football team is called the Redskins or not. I think the true problem is does not lie in calling “Indians” and “Negroes,” or “African-Americans” and “Native Americans,” but rather, when you finish addressing them, the determining factor of your quality of life is in how you grant them equal quality.

  • What did the white man bring to the Apache nation? Disease, guns and whiskey.
  • What did the white man bring to the African? Slavery, punishment and the ghetto.

So I think it’s a bit pretentious to believe that simply because we choose the correct verbiage for greeting them that we’ve bridged the gap.

Actually, I would much rather call them Indians and Negroes, but love them as my brothers and sisters as opposed to referring to them by the popular lingo of the day … and sequester them in lack.

 

 

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