Caged. That’s what I feel like when I begin to talk about life lived according to race. My voice even starts to constrict and my palms start to sweat.
Sure, I can move but only so far and I can see and be seen but my vantage point is very limited. My world is shaped by what has captured me.
I can never move about freely– not even in my own mind. There is no roaming here. We must live within the stereotypes. I cannot think about myself, my neighbor or even my future apart from the conclusions of race. I’m not in charge here and neither is God. There is no where to go but with “my own,” nothing to do but compare and hate. There is no freedom to do or be anyone different while living racially.
It has become normal though race is not natural, not made for the body. Segregated according to the social coloring of skin, this is not the way that we were made to live: confined to cultures, restricted bodies unable to move beyond the flesh.
Ah, but there is good news! We were born into it. It is not innate though we have gotten used to it. Race is a cage not the house of our being. Those are bars not a fence. We are not participants but spectators of our own lives, watching and being watched.
And it’s abuse. Race abuses our lives and enlists our mouths to do its dirty work. It makes us accomplices; this is why we won’t confess it’s wrongdoing. So, we’re guilty but this does not mean that we cannot be free of race.
We need only stop saying the word and be delivered. I’m tired of walking and talking in circles. I want to see and be the new creature that God has created (cp. Second Corinthians 5.17). I think it’s time for a prison break, don’t you?