“There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
While I knew that God desired that I denounce race, I did not know exactly how to say it without hurting someone’s feelings or sense of self. There are millions of people who identify with race and identify themselves through a racial identity but I could not. Perhaps, I am the one in a million for which this category does not fit.
But, my fear did not prevent me; it did not stop my mouth. In fact, not saying it would have silenced me altogether. Race simply does not speak for me and I could never live with myself if I agreed with what it said about others. So, I chose to take a risk.
William Du Bois said, “The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” I didn’t have to wait until a certain age, until I could legally drive or vote or smoke or enlist in war or drink alcoholic beverages. I didn’t have to wait until the middle of my life. But, I could change now because I was ready to give up race for what I might become.
Now, I don’t know who I will be but I do know that the racial identity by which I existed is so much smaller than who I am even now. I am fuller and freer in step and speech today than when I first said it, “race- less.” And I will say it again and again as an invitation to change and a demonstration of faith in the process of becoming.
I am worth the risk and so are you. So, take it. Take the risk.
5 thoughts on “Take a risk”
So there is race as self identity and race as people identify us.
We can reject labeling ourselves and reject labeling others into races – but most people will still label us into a race.
What would you say to acknowledging and loving the diversity and beauty of all races?
Wouldn’t that be a healthy belief; and less stress than bucking the main stream?
I can understand rejecting stereotypes. But do we need to reject the concept of race in order to reject stereotypes?
Race is as real as society makes it. The same way paper money has value if people have faith that it does. Also, like the way witches are not real, but the belief in them still got women burned at the stake – as professor Rainier Spencer says.
There are also a couple blogs about the abolition of racial categories – but they don’t seem to have much of a following.
Here’s an article I wrote about him
Starlette, you might be interested in Carlos Hoyt. He ran (or is running) research on ‘race transcendence’.