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> Maybe it's just a "different" element: One could argue that a hispanic-black
> relationship is an interracial relationship. Or Indian-Chinese. Or
> Slav-Turk.
 
        My point exactly.
>
> I think that most Americans are conditioned into thinking of race primarily
> in terms of Black & White, when across the world you don't always *have*
> B&W.
 
        Let me elaborate on across the world, since that's where I come
from.  Across the world people are not classified in terms of color but
in terms of national origin.  So you would have a European who is also
French--not a white person.  Black&White is an American invention.
Personally I believe that terms such African-Americans define a persons
race quite adequately, by place of origin: an American of African
descent.  It is the Black& White category that lumps people in two
categories.  So that somebody from Ghana who lives in this country is
called Black--whereas Black does not belong to the history of their
country of origin.  They are not Black, they are Ghanaian.
 
Also, even white
people get subdivided by race - Jews, for instance,
> have long been considered a "race" when they are *many* Jews who are fair
> of skin and, except for their culture, are indistinguishable from "white"
> people.
 
        Race is not defined in terms of degree of darkness.  One belongs to
a race regardless of the fairness of their skin tone.
>
> Maybe that means it makes more sense to classify people by something *other*
> than skin color - like, say, their actions.
 
        See above.  How could you classify somebody from a racial point of
view in terms of their actions?
 
> who's the man?
 
        I know who the *man* is, do you?
        And how does all this apply to film?  Take the *A Shine on Your
Shoes* musical number from *The Bandwagon* for example.  A *white*
man--Fred Astaire and an African-American man--LeRoy Daniels are engaging
in a relationship of sorts.  Nothing is mentioned about their racial
difference, and everything needs to be said about that topic.
 
        Gloria Monti