A few minutes ago an article came through my Facebook newsfeed. “Rachel Dolezal’s Unintended Gift to America.” The blurb under the title: “Troubled as she is, she has opened up a candid, long-delayed conversation about the meaning of racial identity.”
On the surface, this seems like a wonderful thing. Except for the fact that I have lost count of the number of titles and subtitles I’ve read that said practically this same thing. Whenever the latest race issue rears its ugly head, as the story starts to die and people are about to move on to the next shiny news story, someone trots out the “We’ve started a conversation,” or “We’ve begun a dialogue” mantra. And again, that’s well and good.
When are we going to FINISH the conversation? Cuz, I gotta tell ya, I’m tired of talking about the same things over and over.
Race is a man-made construct. It was created to divide people. And if we human beings aren’t good at anything else, we’re damn good at pointing out differences. We don’t just separate our whites from our colors, we separate our whites into different shades and our darks into different hues. I could go into reasons both biblical and historical to explain why this happened, but that’s not what this post is about.
Here’s what it’s about, and another question…
Why does it matter?
In 2015, this is what we are:
Race A blames Race B for what Race B did generations ago.
Race B doesn’t like Race A because Race B thinks it’s superior because of how some of Race A behaves.
Interestingly enough, Race A and Race B will come together in hatred of Race C, again because of how some of Race C behaves.
Pick a continent. Any continent. It applies.
But, here’s a concept; instead of hating an entire race of people because of the acts of a few, why not just hate the acts of a few? You don’t chuck the whole set of china because of one broken plate. You don’t dump the car because of one broken taillight and you don’t throw away the whole bag of cookies because some of them are broken. You fix what you can, discard what can’t be fixed and you enjoy what’s left. We can do that with dinnerware, autos and cookies but not with people?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all hold hands and sing kumbaya, but I am saying that we’re all human beings. We are all born the same, we all need the same things to survive. We all bleed red. We all have whites of our eyes and black pupils that can go from pin heads to nail heads. Some of us are dark, some of us are light, some of us are black and some of us are almost transparent, but our hearts beat the same, our brains form thoughts in the same manner and deep down we all know that hate based on a man-made construct is stupid.
Don’t believe me? Watch young children play. They could care less what color the other kids are. As long as there is room on the merry-go-round and space in the sandbox, kids will play together. Happily. Forever.
I know it’s going to take an invasion from Race #42 for the races on this planet to start acting like they have some sense. And I know that for the most part this blog post is preaching to the choir. But if we’re going to have the continuous loop of “race issue occurs/social media all atwitter/furor dying down/insert comment about dialogue here,” I at least want my blog post to stand as a reminder that we still have a conversation to finish.