It's just something that's been niggling at the back of my mind for a while (a good while before things blew up, really) and it wouldn't be much of an issue in a different context really, but let's have a quick look at the kinds of images that crop up if you Google Image search "Nomads":

Yeah, people of color. The nomadic communities I didn't see in the lazy Google image search are ones we've already had intense discussions about their marginalization and racism directed towards them: Roma and Irish Travellers. But to my limited understanding, many nomadic cultures and traditional ways of life are under threat from politics, expansion, economic change etc. globally.

I get that the itinerant lifestyles or traditions of nomadic peoples are ripe for metaphor making. However, there's a difference between a "nomadic lifestyle" and travel. And using "nomad" as a metaphor, one has to be careful about romanticizing the lives of Others . . . or fetishization. That's where context becomes important.

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Images sourced somewhat randomly, but in order:

http://blog.snowliontours.com/2010/04/campin…

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/locations/noma…

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/wor…