“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” ~The Revelation 22.13, NRSV
Of the many things that I dislike about race, one is its use in the predeterminations of a person’s life. Before the plot begins, race has already finished the story. It is the same for everyone. You will hate this social color and you will love your own. You will live here and they will live there. You will believe this or that about those people. Year after year, the script remains the same.
No matter her or his accomplishments, abilities or desires, they are no different or better able to change the course of race. If race says it, that settles it. If you are black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige, this or that will happen. It’s just the way it is so you might as well get used to it.
Well, what if I don’t want to? What if I don’t believe in race or its social colors? What if I was tired of being identified by race and wanted to change the means by which I came to be known and how I know myself? Why don’t we ever question race? Why don’t we ever ask ourselves why this continues to be our truth? Why do we allow race to talk so much about us?
I think that race needs to be interrupted. We should ask race, “How do you know this about that person or people/ cultural group? Are they really all the same? And if so, then what is the point of living? If we have no say in the outcome of our lives, if we are all headed toward the same racialized end, then what is the aim of our existence? Why comb our hair or brush our teeth or wear clean clothing if only one socially colored group will be seen as beautiful? Why attend school or excel academically if only one socially colored group is intelligent? Why dream if it will only come to pass for one socially colored group? Why explore if there are boundaries? Why love if there are limits and restrictions as to who I can love? What is the purpose of being born if there is nothing new about one’s life, if it is all predetermined by race?
We need to be reminded that race does not have the last word, the final say in our lives. There is life after race and a language beyond race. So, when race begins to talk to us, we need to say, “Shut up!” It’s not polite but it is effective. We have heard enough from race and about race. Truly, only God knows us and only God knows our end. Race is out of place and out of order. God is the Alpha and the Omega so race does not have the last word.