Not White

Race issues and research has long piqued my interest.  If you asked me why, I’m not sure I could really tell you. Not in any way that could justify my deep sensitivity to it.

I am, after all, considered “white”. Maybe privileged. Definitely, untouched by things that people of color must deal with constantly.

Maybe, I just answered that question right there.

Because, I’m not white.

In fact, my Sweetgirl, at all of five years old, will proclaim that for all the world to hear. You can count on it.

Just a few weeks ago, in fact, we were filling out a form at the doctor’s office. She was very interested in what the questions were.  “What does that one say?” she repeatedly asked.

“This one is asking if you are black or white or…”

She interrupted me to ask, “What am I?”

That threw me for a loop!

“You are white.” I replied.

“No, I’m NOT!” she practically shouted.  “I am peach-ish!”

Yes.

Exactly.

And when you, census people and questionnaire creators, insist that I label myself as color-less, I don’t like it.

Why can’t I just be… human?

The US Census Bureau, in fact, asks those of us who live in the United States, to define ourselves as to our origins.

I don’t know about you, but my “origin” is in sin.  And, thank God, I don’t have to identify myself that way any more!

And when you, academics and activists, label my neighbor from India, and my small group sister from Vietnam, and my fellow soccer mom who’s skin is the color of coffee as a “person of color”, I don’t like it. Because, you imply that there is a social relationship amongst all of them that excludes me.

When I message my friend “of color” to ask her about the new book she’s reading, I’m pretty sure we already have a social relationship. And, it has nothing to do with my pale skin and her dark skin.

Friendships are not an either/or arrangement. They are a both/and.

Humanity is not either/or. Humanity is AND.

Labeling us European or African American, Native American or Asian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian, draws a line in the sand. It makes delineations that certainly hold value for some demographic reasons. But, really?  It seems more to serve the divisiveness than to serve unity.

I know you have your reasons. Some of them make sense to me. Most of them, though, do not.

You, over there, have color. You, right here, don’t.

Because, let me tell you, I have plenty of color! My neck is red in parts, my thumb can be green on occasion, and just ask my Sweetman about my language in my less-than-stellar moments. Colorful.

I am never white.

Even when I see a ghost.

Which I never have.

If I did,though, I’m fairly certain I’d be a very pale shade of peach. Maybe even cream.

But not white.

Advertisements

Five Minute Friday – Race

I’m linking up with The Gypsy Mama again, for Five Minute Friday.  Click right here to check out all of the inspiring and encouraging writing that happens when you set the clock for 5 minutes flat, don’t edit, and just write!

 

Race

 

GO…

 

Of all the prompts to write about… I’ve been racing toward some prizes lately that are not meant to be mine.  I realized after reading a beautiful post about chasing dreams that aren’t yours the other day, that I’ve been doing just that.  And I pulled me up short.  Right there in the middle of one of my biggest race days.  I was flattened by sickness, depression, fatigue, and a host of other nasty things that come with doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons.

 

What’s a person to do?

 

Be still.  Psalm 46:10 reminds us to “Be still and know that I am God.”.  Yes, Lord.  Yes, Lord.  Yes yes, Lord!  I want to know deeply what it is I’m to be racing toward.  And I do.  I had forgotten.

 

I’ve noticed that different themes seem to pop up in my life, unwanted, at times that are impossible to ignore.  Does this happen for you, too?  There’s a song running through my head about “being still”.  I pick up a particular magazine for the first time in months and the first article you flip to is on getting “still”.  I have a convicting phone conversation with a trusted friend and mentor and she asks me pointedly if I’ve “taken the time to be still, lately?”.

 

Oh, Lord.  I am sorry.  Sorry because it took being flat-out busted to realize that I’ve been running on the wrong track.

 

STOP

 

*That post I mentioned above?  You can find it here, at Elevate Ideas.  And if that doesn’t stop you in your tracks and make you take pause…