I know that the actions committed in the name of race are real, that is makes a believer and faithful follower out of us, that we pledge allegiance to our skin and create borders around our bodies. No race- mixing.
But, race does not have a real name for me. Socially constructed, I don’t want this American society or any other to have a say in who I am because the revelation is only skin deep. The social construct of race can only say so much. Race does not know my real name and instead, pretends to know me by lumping me into a color- coded group. “Hey, black people!” But, what’s my name?
I know that the social construct of race orders our lives, assigning position and extending power based on the social coloring of skin. I know that race has a place for all of us and there is not much wiggle room. “White people have this.” “Black people belong here.” But, I don’t have to take the seat that race pulls out for me. I don’t have to give up the power within me because it somehow disrespects the social construct of race. Besides, I require more space so I will need to move on to greener pastures. Trust me, the grass is greener on the race- less side.
And the social construct of race can only go so far. It can only take me to stereotypical places. But, I can’t help but stop race and say, “I’ve seen these boxes before.” I want to go somewhere else and more still, this is not the place for me. I don’t fit in and I won’t try to.
Because race is not enough for me. Unable to keep track of me or to tally all of my being and its expressions, race is not the sum of my existence. The social construct of race is not the defining attribute of my life. The color black is the not synonymous with my person and blackness does not capture my presence.
My life is bigger than the social construct of race and it could never satisfy my identity. Because there is more to me, race will never be enough. I dare not pretend that it can be. So, how about you?