So What is Race Anyway?
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash
I saw this post the other day on Facebook: “I’m proud to be white. I bet no one passes this on because they’re scared of being called a racist.”
This made me incredibly sad as a human being and a caucasian woman living in the “wealthy” west. I know this is a delicate, sensitive, rage invoking topic but I am going to dive in anyway.
So what is race? Why do people cling to this perception of there being a difference? Why is one colour or one gender or one belief more important than another? Why are so many sentences started with..."I'm not a racist, but..." ?
I don’t think it’s about being white or black or brown or in between. I don't think it's about being female or male. I don't think it's about sexual orientation. I think it’s about being human. I, personally, would like to be proud to be human but I'm not so much these days.
We are all one species and if humanity focused on that instead of what colour they are or where they live or what they believe in or how much money they have or how successful, the world might be a better place. It’s a big, beautiful diverse world. There is room for everyone and their ideas. It is this that makes humanity great. It is our small differences, our array of colours and the beauty of our unique thoughts that make humanity great.
We see this in movies all the time. I’m a science fiction fan, so I see it regularly as a theme. True “Aliens” attack and we all pull together as one race, humanity, because that is what we are. We need to see that every day in our lives, in our world and in our creation of society. We are one people.
We are not special or more important or more valuable or better or smarter or stronger just because of the colour of our skin, our gender, our sexual orientation or where we live or grew up or our cultural background. None of it matters.
We had nothing to do with it. It was simply the hand of fate. We did not create this for ourselves. We did not work hard to be what type of human we are. We did not study hard to be white or black or brown or Japanese, we simply had the fortune or misfortune of being born what we are and in the place that we were and that has nothing to do with humanity. How did we earn being born into a family of generational wealth or suffer into one of generational poverty? We didn’t. It’s that simple.
I was born a white woman into a middle class family in a very wealthy province of Canada. That was luck. That was fate. That was good fortune. I am grateful for that aspect of it and all I can do is use the opportunities that were given to me by this twist of fate and work to be best person I can be, not because I am special but because I got lucky.
The ways in which we are different pale in comparison to how we are all the same. If we taught this lesson to our children perhaps wars would end and true global collaboration would begin in an effort to save this incredible planet from us.
Humanity is all people. Humanity is one race - the human race - and we all belong to it. We are all valuable. We all matter. We all have the right to live in whatever way serves us best. We are only divided because we choose to be but the reality is, we are and will always be, one.