Beige is Beautiful

Qiwi's post immediately below reminds me of a usenet story I came across a few years ago. The author decided to be a bit rebellious when applying for a high level security clearance. Hilarity ensues.

As an arrogant young computer scientist, I believed that if there is any decision that you can't figure out how to program, the question is wrong. I couldn't figure out how to program racial classification, so I concluded that`there isn't such a thing. I subsequently reviewed some scientific literature that confirmed this belief. "Race" is, at best, a fuzzy concept about typical physical properties of certain populations. At worst, of course, it is used to justify more contemptible behavior than any concept other than religion.

In answer to the race question on the security form, I decided to put "mongrel." This seemed like an appropriate answer to a meaningless question.

Shortly after I handed in the form, I received a call from a secretary in the security office of the Defense Communications Agency. She said that she had noticed a typographical error in the fifth question where it said "mongrel." She asked if I didn't mean "Mongol." "No thanks," I said, "I really meant 'mongrel.'" She ended the conversation rather quickly.

A few hours later I received a call from the chief security officer of D.C.A., who I happened to know. "Hey, Les," he said in a friendly way, "I'd like to talk to you the next time you're over here." I agreed to meet him the following week.

When I got there, he tried to talk me out of answering the race question "incorrectly." I asked him what he thought was the right answer. "You know, Caucasian," he replied. "Oh, you mean someone from the Caucusus Mountains of the U.S.S.R.?" I asked pointedly. "No, you know, 'white.'" "Actually, I don't know," I said.

We got into a lengthy discussion in which he informed me that as far as the Defense Department was concerned there were five races: Caucasian, Negro, Oriental, American Indian, and something else that I don't remember. I asked him how he would classify someone who was, by his definition, 7/8 Caucasian and 1/8 Negro. He said he wasn't sure. I asked how he classified Egyptians and Ethiopians. He wasn't sure.

I said that I wasn't sure either and that "mongrel" seemed like the best answer for me. He finally agreed to forward my form to the security authorities but warned that I was asking for trouble.

The story continues on from there.

Interestingly, Qiwi and the author reach similar conclusions:

Whether or not we solve the problem of racial discrimination and conflict through education and political action, human biology will probably solve it for us in the long run. Recent studies indicate that if there are no more major influxes of foreign populations into the U.S., distinguishable racial groups will essentially disappear in this country within 300 years because of "the urge to merge." In other words, the U.S. is destined to become a nation of mongrels.

This likely will be disappointing to white supremicists and black activists, who will _both_ soon be members of shrinking minorities. In fact, they may be already. I predict that new rallying cries will be heard as the mongrels become the majority -- maybe things like "Beige is Beautiful."

Any solution that involves mass amounts of copulation is a good thing in my book.

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