There are so many reasons to believe in race and it is certainly easier to just accept the reality that I have been given— to be as I’m told. Black. But, what if I don’t agree? Is it then wrong to talk back to society, to argue with the seemingly parental figure that is my culture? I don’t think so. Not if I don’t believe that race birthed me, that I am seeing my identity and place in society as more of an adoption than a product of natural conception.
I do not look black. My skin is not physically black so I can then question my maternity/paternity. What came together to create black people and for that matter, white, red, yellow, and brown people? It is not a divine conception or a scientific product. Of course, these truths then call into question those that I would consider family and the stereotype that “we all look alike” begins to lose its credibility. I must reconsider membership and belonging, self- image and self- understanding, reality and social reconstructions.
Why couldn’t I just believe in race? So much has been invested in making race a reality. Why waste a great lie? It seems that the entire world has agreed to this social contract. We have already been fitted for the costumes of colored people (White is a color too.), our roles are understood and the script has been memorized. It seems easier to merely perform to sold out crowds that increase with the birth of each new American citizen. Why ruin a good thing, right?
Wrong because race is not a good thing. Race not only does not speak to the good things about humanity but it doesn’t bring out the good in us. Has race brought us any closer to ourselves or each other? What awards or accolades can be attributed to the work of race or its progeny? How has being identified as a color contributed to the progress of humanity?
Not believing in race is a stretch. This stance does more than goes against the grain but my position as an anti- race writer goes against historical interpretations of social interaction, cultural memory and governmental rule. Still, it is what I must do. I’m a runner and stretching is necessary.