“History is made by those who break the rules.”
~ An author unknown
If you want to get me fired up, just start talking about how helpless we are in terms of race. If you want to get me energized, just start telling me what I can’t do because of racism, prejudice and stereotypes. Start spouting off experiences and examples, facts, quotes and statistics that seek to attack my humanity, to limit the possibility of me, to prove that I don’t have a chance if race has a say and position me as an eternal victim of race.
If you are trying to give me a “reality check,” to put me in my social place, I assure you that it will have the opposite effect. Instead of cowering, bowing my head and surrendering to the oppressive reality of race, my chest will poke out. Uh, uh. Not here. Not me. Not ever.
While I agree that the social construct of race has power, that its presence is systemic, I do not believe that I, or any other human being, is powerless to change it. I believe that we can change the system, destroy the system even because the operators are human. And it just takes one person to not put on the uniform, to call in sick, to not stand in place, to not report for duty, to break the habit of prejudicial relationships, to challenge and question the authority of stereotypes, to take a stand and talk back to this history of hatred.
Our belief in race and participation in this social faith is mass- produced. When we submit to race, we place our lives on a conveyor belt and our lives are boxed up according to its stereotypes. But, this conveyor belt of uniformity can be stopped. You and I can turn away from race and run in the opposite direction. Our lives can cause a jam that will allow others to fall off and have a chance at authenticity and individuality.
We need only speak the truth and in so doing assert our position as a child of God: The only all- powerful being is God. Race is not all- powerful. The only all- knowing being is God. Race cannot, does not and will never every know me deeply, fully or truly. The only always present being is God. We can rid ourselves of race.
We can stop. We can say stop. We can tell race, “You cannot go any further. You do not run my life.”
The fact is this is our game. We made the race cards. We pass them out. We play them.
We made the rules of race so we can break the rules of race, abolish them even. We don’t have to hate or prejudge. We don’t have to segregate ourselves. We can love across cultures.
We can cross “the color line.” We can erase it if we really wanted to. It’s written in self- regulating pencil not stone.
We can share our power and resources. We can stop cheating and stealing. We can stop manipulating and dominating. We can change the game. It just takes one to say, “Let’s play something else.”