I’m reading “Race” by John Baker and I just came across this (pg. 159):
Nevertheless, people do commonly make remarks about those non-white races that are in fact very different in morphological characters, to the effect that ‘the only thing that distinguishes them is the colour of their skin’. It scarcely seems possible to believe that anyone who has seen an Australian aborigine, a Melanesian, a Bushman, or a Negro could accept such words as true. They are directly contrary not only to the established facts of physical anthropology, but also to ordinary observation.
An albino Melanesid (Melanesian) or Negrid, who is fairer than any non-albino European, appears even more unlike a European than a normal Melanesid or Negrid. This fact was pointed out (with reference to Negrids) by the French mathematician Maupertuis more than two centuries ago. The association of a pale face and straw-coloured hair with the features of a non-Europid race brings out strongly the great differences that in fact exist. This is perhaps partly because darkness of the skin interferes with clear vision of the face. Indeed, if the skin were actually black (which it never is), it would be impossible to see any features, apart from the lips, gums, teeth, and whites of the eyes, except in profile.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about all those white women and girls I see walking with black men (some of them very ugly black men) and it has occurred to me that people are trained to detect beauty or ugliness more within their own race than outside of their own race. This is why we often hear (sometimes in jest) that “all Asians look alike” for example. Perhaps these foolish girls overlook the ugliness of their black boyfriends because they cannot see it. In their eyes, “blackness” is an attractive attribute in its own right and if those same black males woke up one morning with light skin, those girls might be revolted by what they see.
(added a few hours later):
I came across another worthy quote from Baker that I just couldn’t resist adding:
The question arises, why so many people say or imply that the races differ only in skin-colour, when this is obviously untrue. Those who minimize racial differences, by speaking as though the only distinction between a European and (for instance) a Chinese or a Negro were one of skin-colour, appear unwittingly to admit that recognition of the more fundamental differences that actually exist might affect people’s views on the ethnic problem; for it might be regarded as unlikely that such differences could coexist with exact similarity in the parts of the body concerned with thought and feeling.
This merits reading over several times because it is so profoundly true.