His Majesty was obviously profoundly aware of the emotional & political power of the words "Black" and "White", as nouns or adjectives, to foment anger & hostility, and to perpetuate age-old resentments. In calling for the use of "black and white as forms of speech" to be "eliminated from human society", H.I.M. was prescient in foreseeing the weaponization of those words to perpetuate historic skin-color-based animosities, and to block true reconciliation and peace.
As a Christian, Haile SelassieI was awestruck by the power of forgiveness and knew that it was the only way that mankind had any hope of realizing His Vision of a peaceful world. His Majesty clearly understood that the world's languages, and specifically English, are so rich that, even with retiring the tainted terms "black and white" from this one context, there would be no lack of words to express concepts of community, fellowship, or shared history & culture. That he singled out the the language of "black and white" to denounce was no mere fluke. He quite clearly saw the potential militancy with which the terms were already being imbued and knew that it would only get worse.
His Majesty was an idealist, a man of peace, a man of Love. Many would say that He was simply naive to think that anyone would heed His exhortations to stop viewing people along racial boundaries and to truly make "the color of a man's skin of no more significance than the color of his eyes." I real-eyes that I have lost the debate with a tiny group here to champion His Majesty's noble vision in this particular regard, and that they will continue to insist upon pushing to the forefront the divisive language which His Majesty sought to see "eliminated from human society". It just seems to me that, at a minimum, even as some exercise their fully legitimate right to defy His Majesty's position in this regard, they should not belittle those who heard & understood clearly what He was asking of us and who have sought to comply with it.
Haile Selassie I was a Holy man and He was a Visionary. I had naively hoped that I would live see His Vision put to reality in my own life (and it still can be on a personal basis), but the human race as a whole is not yet ready to let go of animosity and resentment based upon historic injustice, and immerse itself in forgiveness and, as H.I.M put it, "to establish new relationships, devoid of any resentment and hostility". I can accept that. Perhaps it will be the triumph of the next generation to see His Majesty's vision brought to reality.
"Let us not recoil in hatred against those who, even while protecting their freedom from bias and prejudice, reveal by their actions that the poison of racial discrimination has left its lasting effects, and by this reaction reveal that we, no less than they are prey to unreasoning emotion, that we, no less than they are susceptible to that virus which is called intolerance." -Haile Selassie