blacks cannot be trusted with the Bomb

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
What are the blacks? Indians? Indians are considered Caucasoid.


Thanks in advance

*******************
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan seems almost inevitable, given what most Indians and Pakistanis believe about the afterlife. Arundhati Roy has said that Western concern over this situation is just a matter of white imperialists believing that "blacks cannot be trusted with the Bomb." This is a grotesque charge.

-Sam Harris

Source: The End of Faith (PDF)
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    At one time it would not have been unusual for Indians to be referred to by Europeans as "blacks."
    Maybe in 1890? Arundhati Roy was born in 1961. I have certainly never met an American who would remotely consider a Pakistani or an Indian as being "black." Perhaps in Britain they have a broader definition of the term.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Maybe in 1890? Arundhati Roy was born in 1961. I have certainly never met an American who would remotely consider a Pakistani or an Indian as being "black." Perhaps in Britain they have a broader definition of the term.
    I think it would be British, and I think Roy may have been deliberately using an anachronistic term.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    As I know, in terms of color Indians are generally considered brown.

    The bolded phrase was said by Arundhati Roy and is supposed to convey a stereotype "white imperialists" have about countries like India, Pakistan. In the OP, the writer says Roy's charge is "grotesque", and goes on to imply that it's indeed dangerous if countries that fight each other over religious (irrational) matters have the bomb.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "Now in Injia’s sunny clime,
    Where I used to spend my time
    A-servin’ of ’Er Majesty the Queen,
    Of all them blackfaced crew
    The finest man I knew
    Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din,"

    Gunga Din - Rudyard Kipling.
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Maybe in 1890? Arundhati Roy was born in 1961. I have certainly never met an American who would remotely consider a Pakistani or an Indian as being "black." Perhaps in Britain they have a broader definition of the term.
    Nobody actually uses it, but keep in mind that the context here is what someone accusing someone else of thinking. Things that one person accuses another of thinking are often substantially worse than what anybody actually says.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Well for the title "blacks cannot be trusted with the Bomb," it is now clear that the blacks are Indians. Yet the meaning of the title is not very clear. For India has its own nuclear weapons (See Wiki: India and weapons of mass destruction). If India had no nukes and the UK or US wants to give one to Indians to use, we call this process "Indians are trusted with the Bomb." But now the Indians have their own Bombs. They don't need you to trust them. So how can you call this "blacks cannot be trusted with the Bomb"?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I agree that by "black" she meant "non-white and dark skinned".
    If India had no nukes and the UK or US wants to give one to Indians to use, we call this process "Indians are trusted with the Bomb."
    Not necessarily. When someone can't be trusted with something, it means they can't be relied on to be responsible about it. Roy meant that Western powers don't believe that Indians and Pakistanis can be trusted not to be irresponsible with their nuclear bombs.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Cool.

    PS. Why do you like to use double negative - "be trusted not to be irresponsible" gave me a bit of headache. Do you mean "be trusted to be responsible with their nuclear bombs"?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yes. I used it because I thought it went better with "don't believe". Your headaches will go as you get used to it.:)
    .
     
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