Race and racism is a complex issue. I can readily admit that I lack the proper skill to tackle the entire beast in one post. However, there is something that has occurred to me over the past few years that I would like to put out in the world.
Until we learn to completely disregard race as a factor, racism will never die.
What does that mean, to disregard it? Many of you are thinking, “I already do that!” But here is the catch, I mean we have to disregard it in both the positive and negative manners.
I will use the recent Super Bowl as an example. There have been endless posts and updates on social media either attacking or defending whatever message it was Beyonce was attempting to convey during her performance, and I do not need to add my part. Someone has already said it better somewhere else, so I’ll leave that be.
One article I read though said something to the effect of, “Beyonce brought Black Pride to the Super Bowl…” and, in my opinion, this is as much a part of the problem as it is the solution.
Throughout human history different peoples have been made to feel shame for their ‘differences,’ and one response to this was to rally together and establish this ‘difference’ as a source of pride rather than shame.
However, and to utilise a beloved quote of mine, “Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it’s source.” Pride in something like race, sex, or nationality can be just as poisonous as feeling shame for it.
Because it forces you to recognise and accept that that difference matters and somehow sets you apart.
It doesn’t. If you want people to stop seeing you as Y, stop stomping around shouting, “I’m proud to be Y!!!” So many humans have it in their head that things like race denote belonging, pick up the banner of their so-called ‘ethno-political grouping,’ and rally against who they believe to be the “opposition.”
In reality most of these people can not site a single instance in which they had personally suffered a grievance at the hands of the people they are opposing so vehemently — we are a world of people that exist in a state of anger by association.
The world is divided. Humanity is divided. We draw lines on maps, lines between ourselves, pick gods and governments and allow our pride to blind us to the reality that none of these things truly defines us. The goal, in my opinion, should be to eliminate these differences from our hearts and minds altogether, the shameful and prideful alike. We have to put it to bed completely because pride, as much as shame, has contributed to the compartmentalisation of humanity.
We all have our little sects that we belong to and by being associated with said group we somehow suffer as they suffer and thrive as they thrive – or imagine that others do. This is false. Assholes come in every shade, shape, and size. So do wonderful people. Some of the people I have the most in common with I don’t share boxes with on a census sheet.
So what is the answer? For me, the only way to truly end racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination is for human beings to look at each other and see nothing but another human being. Be proud of being human and work to support and advance humanity. Celebrating our differences is just another covert way to keep racism from dying.
In closing I would like to alter one of the slogans Beyonce borrowed for her performance: