Tarek "started" it about two weeks ago with a post titled "Gorgeous by the Media" - in which he offers his opinions on the beauty of Halle Berry and Beyoncé. The post made some references to alleged racism by society and the media.
Intrigued by the post, I wrote a couple of comments. It wasn't long before a reader known as Amre commented on my site as well as on Tarek's. Amre suggested that those of Arab heritage needed to look at how they perpetuate racism before hurling allegations at others.
Tarek just wrote a follow-up post, Black and White. In it, he summarized the issues at hand. But it was how he began his post that was the most compelling:
Are we racists!? Do you really think, we, Arabs, are racists!
I will say that I have observed that some Arabs - and I emphasize the word "some" - can be condescending to people of other cultures. Often, it's subtle rather than overt.
When it comes to who is prettier,
I find it interesting that Tarek couldn't just write a post about which celebrity is prettier. He had to bring the issue of race into it. Then Amre posted his own comment on my site. For me, here is the most interesting part:
One more thing in case you are african american. I have to tell you that the ancient Egyptians were not black people. They were just like the contemporary ones of an arab or middle eastern material.
Let me get this right. We all are descendants from Adam and Eve, but people of color can't claim ancient Egyptians as part of their heritage?? The sad thing is that Amre obviously doesn't see the truckload of biases this comment carries.
Are Arabs racists? The question remains open for discussion. Kudos to Tarek for having the courage to put the issue out there.
Tags: arabs, egyptians, egypt, racism, culture, naomi-usa, the journey to naomi
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