A long Sunday morning web surfing session with a cup of coffee by my side delivered me to a site called, Fact Retriever and I quickly discovered an interesting article entitled, 50 Thought-provoking Facts about Race and Racism written by Karin Lehnardt. All fifty facts were of interest, but Fact #5, which relates to the future, was the most fascinating of all. Here it is:
- Fact #5- Scientists project that in 1,000 years humans will still come in many different colors, though people in the city will have a more mixed skin color rather than strikingly dark or light skin.
Before I get started, let’s admit that this is the most questionable “fact.” The only aspect that is “factual” is that scientists did project this—whether their projection will come to fruition, however, remains to be seen. This last fact really provides food for thought—actually excellent material for a book! What might the world look like in a thousand years if this projection proves to be accurate? There are a number of scenarios to explore. My imagination, along with three strong cups of coffee, provided the inspiration for two interesting possibilities. Here goes…
The first scenario…
It is the year 3017 and children are shocked when they learn in history class that billions of lives were lost or ruined over the years because of the color of someone’s skin. “Moniker” has replaced the hurtful term “race” in recognition of the fact that it is only a name that will always be subject to change. The moniker for people in metropolitan areas is the Adorned and the fact that their mixed heritage connects them to all of the other people in the world is a source of great pride. The more enlightened citizens of the city bristle when they hear someone refer to their rural neighbors as the Unadorned, because no group should ever be defined as the opposite of the positive traits of another—those were thoughts of days gone by.
Rural citizens go by the moniker Absolutes because their lineage is concentrated within the confines of their districts. Instruction in the schools within the rural districts focuses on multi-cultural issues and Absolutes are counseled to also embrace their own heritage. Many rural teens, however, suffer from feelings of inadequacy based on their purity. All schools are staffed with well-trained counselors who know the signs of the disorder.
Wealth is concentrated in the cities and as such, the average income of an Adorned tends to be higher than that of an Absolute, but a breakthrough in the year 2850 led to great progress in equitable income distribution. In that year, Henry Gates, who descended from the founder of Microsoft, developed what became accepted as a worldwide definition of “enough.” Now, all entrepreneurs are as motivated as ever to make their fortune, but they no longer “win” by dying with the largest estate. In 3017, you “win” when you accumulate “enough” at an early age and spend the rest of your days generating larger profits to be redistributed to those less fortunate, while enjoying national acclaim and generous tax and other financial benefits from the federal and state governments.
Okay, I probably went too far with the definition of “enough,” but I have a feeling that no matter how much we evolve, the “money issue” will always be a big one!
The second scenario…
It is the year 3017 and children are shocked when they learn in history class that many years ago, it was possible to move to a new place and be welcomed by a different kind of people. Rural citizens laugh at the old labels used for race, because the bottom line had been clear for many years—either you are pure and with your own people or among the half-breeds in the city. Citizens of the city suggested they were Adorned with the influences of all of the people of the world and should be known as such. Rural citizens then took umbrage to the implication that this made them the Unadorned, and appropriately modified the balance of the name after the Un to Unsullied.
Racial divisions dominate many aspects of life, and the labels of Adorned and Unsullied have also become the names of the political parties. Over the last ten years, the Adorned gained ground on the Unsullied because they welcomed converts to their way of thinking in the cities, where the wealth is concentrated. Rich Adorned benefactors refuse to spread their money to rural areas, however. As a result, the divide between the wealthy (Adorned) and poor (Unsullied) has become extreme. In November of 3016 a very famous and long-time Adorned candidate for the presidency began expressing some Unsullied views. He lost the popular vote, but won the electoral college. The country is on edge as he assumes office and begins issuing executive orders…
I’ll stop here. I had a little fun with that—definitely food for thought. Maybe it is a good idea for a book! Only time will tell.
A Robert Allen (Tony)
P.S. The author of the article I referenced above provided a full listing of sources for each fact. If you have an interest, you can find the article at factretriever.com.