Posts Tagged ‘Black People’

Alright, I know many would squirm  at this topic, but it is; nevertheless, an issue that we have to discuss. Now, I would like to start by saying that this post is based on my own observations and, well, common sense.

Many times throughout my life I have been hearing the same phrase, on and on, about this issue. Some people even go through hoops to make it sound more logical. Some say: “Haven’t you noticed how el khwal (Omani Blacks) are dumb and only care about their traditional singing and dancing?”  I am pretty sure that most Omani’s can relate to this quote. We all hear it at some point of our lives.

Now, there is a twist. Obviously all of these observations by some of these Omanis do not come out of nowhere. Yes, as many of you have observed: The number of successful black Omanis are less than those of “brown – light skinned” Omanis. Someone described a scene to me once of busses loaded with blacks coming towards a “black-less” village to attend a wedding where a black singer was performing. Of course, the description was full of racist and sarcastic comments.

Anyway, in short.. the general idea is that Omani blacks have lower education, lower business successes, lower aspirations, and are mainly good for man labor. Sounds familiar?

Young Omani kids attending school

Now, lets examine this a bit further. Slavery was only abolished in Oman in 1970. Ex-slaves, though not treated as bad as slaves in the United States (in 19th century), were illiterate and their main profession was “man labor”. Oman’s ex-slaves living condition has progressed in the past 40 years. Though racism remains present in the society, the government does not favor or differentiate between races when it comes to education and jobs.

However, we need to remember that these ex-slaves are only two generations behind. Many are well and alive, and they teach their children and grandchildren the values that they grew up with, which are to serve your masters. Also, since many of these “masters” are also well and alive, they encourage these values and teach their kids and grandkids that these ex-slaves will always remain servants rather than equal contributors to society.

Though I consider this to be a major problem in the society, I do think we are living in the “transitional” point. Racism and this sense of belonging are fading (slowly) as these values contradict global emphasis on human integrity and equality.

So back to the point: Are Black Omanis dumb?

Well, in 1994, Richard Hernsterin and Charles Murray, in their book “The Bell Curve,” argued that blacks were inferior in intelligence to whites.  In other words, they argued that for blacks to become intelligent, they had to marry whites. The whiter you are the more intelligent you become. However, it is very difficult for me and many others to accept the idea that the skin’s production of melanin is connected to the brain’s function (intelligence).  Of course, Hernsterin and Murray were proven wrong, but I guess this message did not reach our Omani friends yet.

Here, we should not look at intelligence and success through skin color. Though these “brown-lighter skinned” Omani’s observations of success are somewhat correct, their reasoning is totally screwed up. The fact that some black Omani’s are unsuccessful  is not because the mere fact that they are black. No. It is because of their role in the Omani society as black people. Hence, when we look at this question again, we should not talk about black vs. white people’s intelligence only. Rather, we should look at the quality of the world that these black Omani’s vs. “brown-lighter” Omani’s have lived in.

It is only after that that we can come to the conclusion that the gap in Black Omani’s success vs. “lighter” Omani’s is becoming smaller as newer generations emerge. Their quality of life (from slaves to ex-slaves to a generation of ex-slave parents..etc) is growing better as they become equal contributors to society and compete for a better life.

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Today, at work, a co-worker approached my desk and started asking some inappropriate questions.

He wanted to know, he went:

You have two options, which one will you choose?

1- a guy with a high-school education, a good guy, small salary, and a good family, or
2-a guy with a masters or a PhD, a good guy too, larger salary, and a good family, but they are either Baluchi or Zedgali.

I replied immediatly and without hesitation: “the second option”… thinking, its just natural selection. We all want to select the best for our off-springs based on our own standards.

So, of course the guy was offended.. “he was option one :-p”. After I blurted out my response, it was obvious to me that I just opened an unwelcomed door for debate. “What about your family? you should think of them,” he said. “My dad sees all people equal, thank god!”, I replied. “But what about your kids, think about them. No one will want to marry them when they grow up”, he continued thinking he will persuade me from being such a “selfish” human being. “Okay,” he said, “what if it was a khaal (black)?” I looked at him with disgust and said, “are you serious?”. I think he was trying to find a common ground between us, but struggling somewhat. I told him my response is the same. I won’t reject someone based on color.

Then, some of the most ignorant words started coming out of his mouth. “What do you mean its okay? why would you marry a black guy? and what will happen? are you okay having a mixture of color within your family?” I think I was surprised because he was so frank and comfortable with his replies. Then, he continued… “A story from the prophet Noah, that Noah had three men. One black, one white, and one brown. The brown one’s private parts became visible. The black guy didn’t do anything. The white guy covered the brown man’s stuff. So, God made the black guy slave to the others. See God’s knowledge. He knows that black people are not as good”… First, I never heard of this story before though I read the stories of all prophets, second of all…. I became furious. I said, “You are saying that the whiter people are the better they are? Then you are telling me that Europeans and all Americans are better than us. Should be, because they are lighter!”

“No no no,” he went on, “those are red people! they are not white”… Uhuh!!
“No” I said, “they are WHITE, some are even like these white walls. Not red.”

“You guys run after lighter skinned girls, the whiter the better, and you are telling me about mixing colors?! Just because black people are two tones darker than us, then that means they are less?! You know what, I prefer not to talk about this because we come from two totally different ideologies and thoughts.”

The End …

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