Race is not a Mirror

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Mirror, mirror on the wall… Whiteness is the fairest of them all.”

What do we need or expect to see of ourselves that calls for the social construct of race?  What of our humanity is made visible, evident, real when we become colored people?  What can we not see without the lens of race?  What of our vision of self does race provide, enhance and reveal?

Do you know who you are if you are not addressed by the social construct of race?  Would you know how to answer for yourself if race could no longer speak for you?  Could you find yourself if you could not be socially colored beige, brown, black, red, yellow or white?

Could you see yourself without the social construct of race?  What do you think that you would see in the nakedness of this reality?  What do you and I cover up when we put on race?  What are we hiding behind when we say that we are socially colored beige, brown, black, red, yellow or white?  And why the need for these colors?

Why do we pretend that race is our reflection, that it can see us as nothing else can, that it is our true self, God- given even?

What of ourselves are we ashamed of, embarrassed by, unsure 0r afraid of that we need race to boost our confidence, to hide behind or to shield us from assault?  Why do we keep it so close to us even as it is used to segregate us from ourselves and others?  When it does not show any of us in the best light?  Race is not our good side.

And why can’t we, why don’t we snatch it down, crush the idol under foot?  Why do we make ourselves look at it and like it?  Why do we hang it up in our homes, schools, offices and houses of worship?  How do we lift up race when it is neither Creator nor looking glass?  We are not made in its image and it is no reflection of who we really are.

Race is not sight or vision but prejudice.  It has never really us but looked passed us.  I suspect that it may be blind, blind to our humanity.

I suppose you are wondering, “Why all the questions?”  But, why not?  We would do our identities a great service to question the social construct of race, to challenge its colored-ness.  And to allow these answers to reflect back us what we really see when we say race.

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2 thoughts on “Race is not a Mirror

  1. Hi starlette I’ve written on a post before, but thank you for bringing to light this issue of race. I still struggle a lot with my Identity as to whether I should be my race or not, or love my race or not. I have prejudices towards people of my so called race and I hate having this hatred in my heart, I want to believe that race is not real but it feels so real to me and I keep seeing other christians believing that they’re their race. So it’s hard for me to not believe that I ought to be my race as well. If you could pray for me to see God’s truth I would greatly appreciate it. Some of the same verses that you talk about in some of your blogs are some of the same verses that God has spoken to me about as well, such as 1 peter 2:9, Colossians 3:11, and Galatians. I have been dealing with this issue of race for a long time and I’ve always felt condemned for not being my race and feeling like I’m sinning against God because I’m not being the “race” God created me to be.

    1. Joseph, thanks so much for your honesty and yes, this is a struggle. What has helped me to unravel my identity from race has been to read books like Thomas Gossett’s Race: The History of an Idea and Winthrop Jordan’s The White Man’s Burden: The Historical Origins of Race. Reading that race as a beginning, a birth date, stripped it of its eternal power and overbearing presence in my life. I will certainly be in prayer for you and for support as you separate yourself from race. Keep reading and reflecting.

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