This is an issue relatively close to home, not resulting from categorising myself, but more often being placed into a category purely from my exterior appearance. Categories such as: ‘we are all the black people’, ‘we are all the attractive people’ or even while you were at school ‘we are all the smart people’ or ‘the sporty people’, and many, many others. To me it all essentially boiled downs to meaning ‘we are not like you!’ Does all this really matter when attempting to form a lasting relationship with another individual? Maybe once the basis for an intimate relationship is being formed so for example to determine whether a child has a predisposition towards sickle cell anaemia so the skin type would become relevant as to whether a test is to be carried out within a hospital, or to establish if who you are attracted to is also attracted to the appropriate gender. I recognise situations when these topics can be brought up or even debated in plenty of various social settings but for it to be used as a disguisable factor to that of another individual or better yet in an attempt to form a lasting relationship on this basis is beyond me.
While I was at a bar enjoying Christmas dinner shenanigans, with then strangers, who invited me to sit down and join them I couldn’t oblige, they all seemed like such friendly people on first impressions. A friend and myself sat down on the table next to theirs, unbeknown to myself at the time it was considered to be the ‘coloured table’. There was another coloured person also already on the table and he felt the need to repetitively drill the notion that we were the ‘black’ table. Maybe as a result of his intoxicated state so I politely smiled and continued small talk but after hearing it constantly droned down my ear as to the colour of our skins I had to silence this man. Although it was said in such a proud and honourable manner I still questioned his reasoning behind it, with myself echoing the words ‘ I don’t choose to identify myself by the colour of my skin and I certainly don’t choose to segregate myself from other races as a result’. The kind of segregation described causes an opposing desired effect, a seclusion on my part, rather than it being a ‘solid comparable trait’, a ‘categorical group’ or a ‘distinguishable liking feature’. And quite frankly it is a fact, which doesn’t need to be pointed out that abundantly, already very evident, with I myself being fully aware of my own racial background. Furthermore we should be able to connect from our minds and our selfless natures alone. It takes away from what really lies deep within and it may possibly have been a defensive mechanism as to avoid having to say something meaningful, expressing factual statements instead.
This isn’t the first time as well that these words have been used within a setting where race is a comparable feature between a group of people, to be used as some sort of connecting bond. I hate to say but it kind of irritates me to think it would have to be used to bond at all, my belief being that this should be able to be achieved with any human regardless, purely based on the fact that we are all humans, surely; the connecting factor if one was to be needed. And besides it segregates you from other groups of people as a result of distinguishing yourself into a category to begin with. I hate to sound like some sort of spokeswoman towards black rights, because to me it is the past although still such an influential piece of history in order to grow wiser from these past mistakes, but I don’t think we have come all that far since the abolishment of segregation, which was once fought so hard to eliminate, with a long way to go to be fully liberated from this unforgotten past, and in changing the mindsets. The notion ‘I am black’ is used as a tool for segregation, but unlike in past historical events, it’s is achieved without any help needed, and what was most probable said as a positive statement previous has lead to a separation from other races. I look back at the not so distant past, previously seen as a period, which couldn’t fully be comprehended in my eyes, purely because no sort of society would think this segregation could ever be justified. Yet with the mentality that people continue to show, identifying and placing themselves into certain categories, causing this isolation all on its own, the concept now doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Albeit taking a whole new diluted and changing form, but still leading to the same effect. Segregation. Should society still be held accountable for allowing this segregation to continue to exist or are we to blame for a lesson very well unlearnt, or not learnt at all? We are for sure to blame, for not having become wiser as to the exacting impacts.
Another issue related to race, and another quite very irritating factor, is the constant use of the race card for situations unrelated to race, unable to debate in a rational or just fashion, so resort to underhand tactics; quite like physical fighting when a passive debate is only necessary. So, so silly! And on the opposite end of the scales is, in effect, adding meaning to words of racial abuse; adding fuel to the fire. I have previously had racial abuse directed towards myself but it has always been used by such an ignorant or senseless mind, so it adds little meaning to what is being said in that sense. Nothing said is of logic so why should that be of any difference? So I choose not to ignite the fire in cases where many would get caught up in a battle, which simply can’t be won; there’s no reasoning with stupid after all so better just left alone. I have had conversations about this very topic amongst people of varying racial backgrounds, with it being a universal topic of debate rather than for just the ‘blacks’, and just to get an insight into other peoples views. And this leads onto the idea that many other races ‘cannot’ have an opinion on this matter, because ‘they cannot possibly understand what we went through’. Well first of all ‘we’ didn’t go through anything. Yes, our possible ancestors had some real hardships to endure, and I would never belittle that, but can’t we all have this same understanding towards the hardships faced, race irrelevant. Likewise we can empathise with a whole range of historical events, each one just as deep-rooted as the last. Like the genocide of Jews during world war II, the lack of rights towards women, or gay people preventing their expression. It would be ludicrous to think I can’t empathise because ‘I’m not gay’, or ‘I’m not a woman’ or ‘I’m not a Jew’. And so much emphasise is placed on these past events that it can lead to a drastic counter opposite effect, not making forward strives, since it prevents a rational or untainted perception in understanding and interpreting the issues of race in todays society, with views not forming a real logical basis. And just this emphasis of skin colour alone prevents the topic from really dying out and becoming extinct.
However, the issue regarding as to whether your exterior appearance can ulitmately hold you back in society is also an interesting topic of debate. And this doesn’t just relate to race, but can extend to your tattoos and piercing, hair colour or other external factors having the same effect. One of the more widely documented issues, in America as of recently, are the constant black shooting drawing a plethora of blanks and question marks as to whether these extreme measures are really vindicated, by the very citizens who should be upholding the rules of the law, and the ‘justice’ that follows. And quite rightly so; it should be interrogated and fought against using whatever just means. Every citizen should be entitled to fair and just handling on a basis of equality. What is a real insight as to the universal views were the protests held as a result, race unrelated to the greater issue. The fact that this discrimination continued to exist, but on a more inconspicuous basis, serves the fact that we haven’t come all that far. I can’t personally grasp this type of discrimination having never been or grown up in America but nonetheless I refuse to let anything hold me back. And besides I wouldn’t want to work or be associated with anyone with such a backwards mentality so it’s just a well really. And in that effect no part of my exterior can really put me at a disadvantage or prevent me from achieving. And just as long as you continue to let your mind guide you in all aspects of life then eventually your exterior will become worthless. Hopefully. But even still, lets not limit ourselves in placing ourselves into our own elected category, it is just not needed.