Thursday, April 1, 2010

We're all Just One Race

I've been struggling, lately, with feelings of doubt and confusion. When I started this blog over two years ago, I was so certain about my passion for the topic I was writing on. But over the last few months I've realized that my previous musings have actually been masking a deeper truth, one that my conscience must declare to everyone today.

So. Inspired by google, I've decided that I need to change the name of this blog to reflect the true beliefs that I hold about race.

From now on, this blog is going to be called "One Race America." Because I think Stephen Colbert really gets it right. He doesn't see race and neither should I. After all, we're really just one race, the human race. Why have I been promoting the idea that there's actual racial diversity?! HOW ABSURD! I mean, every time I talked about race what I was really doing was perpetuating divisions and highlighting differences between people. And I know I've said previously that noticing difference was fine--it's the hierarchies we create that cause problems with respect to racial categories. But I realize now I was wrong. Every time I talked about race I was really promoting the idea of racism.

And I know I've written previously that racism caused race--but I was wrong. I see that now. I see that talking about race just makes people feel bad, and making people feel bad is what actually harms us. Especially white people. People of color should stop making white people feel guilty for things that aren't their fault. I mean, they weren't alive during the relocation of American Indian tribes or the transatlantic slave trade or the Chinese Exclusion Act or the Mexican American war. It's not their fault.

And people of color, I apologize to you especially for perpetuating a mentality of victimhood. Remember: love sees no color. Why look back at the past and worry about what happened to your ancestors or your parents or the childhood insults and taunts. Or your co-workers strange remarks and glances. Just stay positive! Focus on the future! If you bring up your feelings, then you only leave yourself open for others to call you a racist for mentioning race, so it's better to just hold all those feelings in and find a more productive outlet. Like needlepoint. Or water polo.

So remember. Today this blog is ONE RACE AMERICA. So when someone shouts a racial epithet at you or you were mistreated in a restaurant and you suspect it had to do with the differential melanin condition between you and your server or people look at you and your phenotypically different partner, remember, it's not because of race. You just need to move on and not worry about such things. And whatever you do, DON'T TALK ABOUT IT. Taking about race only makes things worse!


Unknown said...

Interesting perspective. And, while I agree with your goals and respect your intentions... I have come to embrace the opposite approach. Not opposite as in opposed to your views or to be against you, because I think the fact is that there is a place for every approach in a world where diversity reigns and is required for life to progress.

Being an Artist and Genius, I experience daily the effect of diversity through the expressions of individuals who normally have nothing in common, but bridge that through common practices or social-isms. I have always felt that the way to conquer racism is to acknowledge the unique differences culturally, socially, ethnically, etc. and be able to talk about the wonderful diversity that brings to the world. And, yes, while the concept of RACE is bogus, the concept of RACISM is very real. And whether it is a result of fear, ignorance, nepotism, or just a plain superiority complex, the fact is that education i.e. knowledge conquers all (over time of course).

To clarify, I am a Black Man, according to modern ideas. I have a strong knowledge of myself, which means that I understand my place in this world and the contributions I have provided historically, prior to the brief past period of slavery, and contributions I actively provide to the world today! I understand that I there are stereotypes that others might use to prejudge (Prejudice) or disqualify me from certain things as a result of being a Black Man. However, my confidence in my own ability and my strong foundation in self knowledge and the knowledge of the order of nature and the universe, allows me to have no qualms or concerns with those whom are racist.

And because I understand that diversity extends beyond the precepts of racism, I see the issues of classism, sexism, and any other form of discrimination you can think of.

The truth is there is no fear in recognizing distinctions, the problem lies in the inability of one or other through "groupthink" to not be able to appreciate its value. And, to appreciate the value of distinction, you have to acknowledge its distinct value... not ignore it.

KUDOS to you for this blog and I will continue to read it and contribute as I can... thanks for having me.

LMarieBB said...

It seems in this post you establish race as a problem or at least a negative. Well,since when has not talking about our problems ever helped anything? Although, you make some valid points I beg to differ with the fact that Black people should move on and stop looking back. I won't say that this is the direct reasoning behind every thing ever done by any Black person but, not knowing anything about your past or knowing only horrible things does shape who you are. It should not define you but, it can put a slant on your view of the world. In undergrad I did a study on human behavior, particularly Black people in an impoverished urban neighborhood. One of my findings was that many of them felt isolated from the rest of the world and quite unwelcomed. I found that to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. However,to deny that race and racism exist or to not acknowldge them is akin to emotional abuse to those that feel oppressed by either or both - so much so that I think those people would be automatically and forever on the defense. Besides that I like to compare Black people to adopted children. They almost always want to know where they come from and are likely to want have a tense relationship with their adoptive parents whom they may be very grateful for but, still long for their parents or grow to love their adoptive parents and become ashamed of their own and a part of themselves. Anyway- I'm not sure if that was cohesive or coherant- I just need to get that out- ur post def got my attn.

MG & BAS said...

Just had a huge disussion (argument) with some friends about the colorblind concept. I'm constantly accused of focuing too much on race. They'll enjoy this!

Tanya Lam said...

Bahaha, you almost got me.

Shan said...

Good one!!!!

Jennifer said...

Hello dear readers/commenters,

Many of you make excellent points. The only thing I will say related to this post is to look at the label on this post/today's date: APRIL 1. It's a big clue! Hope you will stop by in the future for more dialogue/discussion.

david said...

Initially, I bought this...but...looking at the date I realized that this could be a joke; and it was. Although a kind of mocking one, but that's neither here nor there. While reading this, it made me think of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" play. Especially the monologue where one of its famous lines is; "If you prick us, do we not bleed."

Arun said...

I usually hate April 1, but you made this day most wonderful. Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

So, I was beginning to despair, and thought to myself with my hands in my hair, "Please, someone tell me it's the full moon, or April Fool's, or SOMETHING" and lo, it's BOTH.

That sound you just heard? A huge sigh of relief.

I heart you anyway, you rascal :P

Dr. Crow said...

"We're all Just One Race"
Well, duh . . .
Neelepoint? Water Polo?
I hope this is an April Fool joke. If not, I think this person is politically immature, short-sighted and basically foolish, if not downright racist and insulting in their approach to "people of color," especially blacks.

& "Coldbeer" is a jackass.

There is no problem with being black on this planet. There is, however, a problem (in western society) associated with being "non-white" (that's when white folks find out you're alive/here).
We are black in our own minds; in our own eyes; in our own skins. We are black, dark, "colored" and out of sight, when they are not concerned with us. We are "other," old, starved & emaciated, young w/ distended belly, crippled with disease & pitiable: Where's the remote?
When, however, they have to deal with us (issues - politics), then we are "non-white." And that is when we are a problem (for them). The "West" has a problem with non-whites. This is actually, practically, anyone or thing which is "not a white male." The West invented the concept of race because dealing with non-whites was a problem for them.
Thus, they captured, enslaved and studied or killed every "non-white" they could get their hands on. It is not unreasonable to assume that they had "non-whites" in carnivals, freak, geek & side-shows. & they sold, Without Sanctuary, postcards (of the hanging).
Westerners are best know the world over, to kill, capture, enslave and study anything & EVERYTHING. The West is down for identify, label & CONTROL.
True, white people alive today didn't actively participate in the AST or the genocide of the Red man but they benefited from it & continue to benefit, and thus, support & maintain the practice of institutional racism & discrimination. Yes, all westerners do. We are all made into vampires. Well, no deal, Drac: I'm not down for sucking blood when my guts are getting ripped out.
Racism is as endemic & intrinsic to this country as political deception, exploitation, rape & murder. Make no mistake; the foundations of this "great nation," this fascist insect, are firmly rooted in the very inhumane, distasteful attributes of racism & sexism. The "Founding Fathers" were racist, murderous, rapacious, greedy white male chauvinists (Landed Gentry) with naught but their own interests at heart and in mind. They wanted the British out & off their backs so they could rape & rob with impunity & without having to share the booty with other murderous rapists, their maximally efficient teachers. This is the gist & purpose of the Monroe Doctrine, f'rinstance, in case you didn't know . . .
& this racist, guilt-ridden blog for "One Race," in its true form of American naivete & self-imposed blindness, while conceptually true, is a little more than a day (like 400 yr.) late and a few dollars (like 40 acres & a mule) short.
But I suspect it's easy to be "inspired" by Google & other frivolous inanities when your stomach is full & your bills are paid.
& I don't think it's funny.
X out

Oh; It's all an April Fool's joke?

Nevermind . . .

Jessica said...

I read your blog on a regular basis and was shocked at first! But, I get it now. Happy April Fools!!

macon d said...

Heh heh. You had me for a minute there!

Alliyah Gallows said...

*shakes head*

High-larious, dear.

The Constructivist said...

Good one!