"Race," is not real, but it is a reality and that's because we make it one. We do the same thing with unicorns. True, they don't exist but there are pictures and stories of them, so they are a reality in some sense. The only difference is
that we know that unicorns are a fabrication of our imagination and therefore they cause no harm. However, the fabrication of this thing called "race," well that's a different story.
In case you've lived under a rock for the last 50 years and haven't noticed, "race" is always in the news. Every day, whether in our public or private life, pretty much every area of our society has to deal with "race." This past week one particular episode involved the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam. He was accused of hosting a "racist" photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.
The page, pictured above shows one man dressed in blackface and another in a KKK hood and robe. He eventually held a press conference where he denied being in the photo, but said that he did something similar during the same time period. This takes place only a couple of months after NBC terminated Megyn Kelly and her Today show for saying it was okay to dress in black face when she was a kid as long as you were portraying a character. This is America and "race" issues while common, always demand center stage.
The Governor apologized and despite protestations from every side, he has declared that he will not step down amid these allegations of "racist" behavior. I imagine that it will take him a day or more and he will acquiesce to the demands of his party and others who are all calling for his resignation.
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if we didn't have this concept of "race," which is my goal for our country with the ERASE Races movement? I mean, what if we saw every event as an issue of character, which it surely is. What if we all realized that "race" itself creates prejudice?
And here's the ultimate "what if" question on race; What if our country's future on how we are going to get along, was dependent on whether or not YOU and only you started treating all people without prejudice and bias, period. Yes, what if it was up to you? Well it is.
Though you and I both believe that we are not "racists," most all Americans subscribe to "race" because it is a part of our culture and that's the problem. Our culture supports a concept that tears us apart and it's as if we haven't noticed that. I received this great Facebook post yesterday that says:
Isn't that the truth? Our culture has programmed us to believe that "race" makes a difference and that it matters and we often act accordingly. I'm afraid we will continue to do so until we clearly reject the concept of "race."
Inevitably we will wake up tomorrow to more news about "race" and the repetitive chorus of anger and resentment will rise up and shout about "racism" and it will breath fresh air into the ill-conceived concept of "race." We know better and ought to do better. Though it is always about "race," it really isn't. Perhaps people think that they hate you because of "race," but the reality is that they hate you because of hate. Hate is a universal problem of man's soul and it is not a privileged domain of anyone with a particular color of skin, color of eyes, color of hair, height, weight, or any other physical characteristic. It's plain and simply hate.
Man's greatest challenge is to remove the hate that he/she has for fellow human beings. Were that to happen, racism, along with all of the other "isms" in the world would be gone in a flash.
There is only one race and it's not true just because we say it. It's true because it's truth. "Racism" descends from the
concept of "race" and we may feel good by placing haters in a special group called "racists" allowing us to believe that it's about "race," but it's not. They simply hate.
Update: Before I could even get this published, another "race" issue hit the news scene. This time it was Liam Neeson, famous movie actor from the "Taken" series, identifying that at one point in his life, decades ago, he wanted to kill a "black" man because his friend had been allegedly raped by a "black" man. Listening to the interview it was quite easy to see that the issue was indeed hate and it used "race" as an object of that hate. If we did not have "race," there would surely be other objects to receive that hate. That answer is to fix the hate.