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Race and The Role Model Myth

The role-model myth, as I have termed it, says, that you must have positive role models that look like you to influence your thought of being (outlook on what you could become). Take some time to let that sink in and then continue on reading. Now think, if that is true, how does anyone ever become something different than what they have seen from those who are similar to them? How

would Maj. Robert H. Lawrence Jr., become the first "black" astronaut in the U.S. space program without seeing someone who "looked like him" doing it? If that were true, how could

Dr Daniel Hale Williams III become a doctor in 1883 and perform the first open heart surgery in 1893? If that were true, how could Barack Obama believe that he could become the President of the United States of America without having someone previously in the position who looked like him? The reality is that the

role model myth is just that, a myth. It is a myth that we unknowingly teach our children when we train them to think "racially." We train them to think this way by insisting that their role models must look like them. And we "parade" people with their skin color in front of them as exhibit A to show you what you could be. The exhibition is fine, but it's the unspoken idea that "you can now be this because you've seen someone like you doing it" is the problem. When they learn that lesson, they subsequently believe that they can only dream of being what they have seen from those with their same skin tones. They then watch TV and want to be the singers, athletes and actors/actresses, which are most prominent on TV.

But what happens to the young child whose parents train them to believe that they can be anything without regard to the color of their skin and to believe that role models come in all skin tones. What if our children were trained and believed that their identity was not in their skin color? What if the universe of possibilities for the lives of our children consisted of any job, skill or profession open to mankind? What if our children actually believed that?

That is why the race concept must be abolished. The race concept, the belief that there are different races, a scientifically untenable position, creates a belief system that generalizes and stereotypes about what certain "colors" of people can do well and other areas in which the same people, don't fare as well. Many children are led to believe by our culture, that there are pre-ordained roles that limit their options because of their skin color. We must begin now to unravel the cloak that has covered the minds of our young children so that they are able to see the wide range of life options and opportunities both professionally and personally.

America is a land of limitless opportunities and because we are such a diverse gathering of humanity, we benefit greatly from the sharing of culture and gifts

otherwise foreign. Young people need to grasp this fact, explore life and then live out their fondest dreams and believe that whether or not they've seen it, they can be it.

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