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GUEST COLUMNIST: Can human race be defined

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Georgia Mountain Music Club

Robert Rakestraw plays the bass during the performances at Georgia Mountain Music Club. (Kristina Wilder /

In regard to the term “the human race,” what is the meaning of the word “race?” Does it refer to color, or to species, or what?

If it refers to species, many scientists believe that there are three different types of humans: the Caucasian group, the Negro group and the Mongolian group, and many mixed combinations from these three groups.

I guess I'm a Caucasian. So, if someone calls me a racist, does that mean that I'm prejudiced against one or both of the other two groups?

Or, if the word “race” in the term “the human race” refers to the color of the human race, then we are all basically the same color — brown.

If you add a bit of red pigment to plain brown paint, you get reddish-brown. And if you add a bit of white to the reddish-brown mixture, you get light reddish-brown. And if you add a little more white pigment, you get “pinkish tan,” the color of so-called “white” people.

If you add a bit of black to the reddish-brown mixture you get dark reddish-brown. And if you add an additional bit of black pigment to dark reddish-brown, you get “burnt umber,” the actual color of so-called “black” people.

And if you add a bit of yellow pigment to plain brown, and perhaps a bit of white, you get yellowish brown, the color of Mongolians.

If you are a so-called “white” person, place your hand on a white surface and you'll see that your hand is not white, it's pinkish-tan.

And if you are an African-American, place your hand on a black surface and you'll see that your hand is not black, it's burnt-umber. And the so-called yellow race isn't yellow, it's yellowish-brown.

We probably can't make it illegal to call someone a white person or a black person or a yellow person. But, perhaps it would be okay to require that people in government use the correct terms. Police officers, for instance, could be required to be honest, and say, “The perpetrator was a 'pinkish-tan male'” instead of referring to him as a white male or that the perpetrator was a “burnt-umber male,” not a black male.

I was just thinking that perhaps if we were to start using the above mentioned terms, instead of the extremist words of black or white or yellow, it might help to reduce racism and division among us. Huh?

Any comments?

Robert Rakestraw of Rome is an artist and former U.S. Marine.