What if that were true? What if someone were acknowledging that they refuse to endorse a made up system of oppression that uses skin tone to separate people into a caste system? This statement often comes at the ire of most black, brown and native Americans because often it seems to denote, “I don’t see racism.” – which would of course be like standing on the metro tracks at rush hour “The trains have stopped running”. It will only be a good idea if it means you no longer have to work for a living.
But what if, we NO LONGER SEE RACE. As of, September 2016. What would we see then?
Black people would still have hair with varying curling patterns, Arab Muslims would still sport long beards and hijabs and pray at mosques, Italians, Turks, Greeks and our mediterranean brothers would still have their olive tint, Our Asian subcontinent and Mainland Chinese brother would still stand out with their high cheekbones and chisel features. Black people would probably still dominate sports and popular music. Italian restaurants would still serve pizza and pasta, Chinese food would still be the no.1 takeout food and Downton Abbey would still be the binge favorite on Hulu and Netflix. Does this mean we would have to rename or culturally reassign these staples? I hope not…
Because we would be doing the other thing we have been doing with race. Appropriating it as culture when it serves us, and politicizing it as race when it hurts us. We might finally have to bring up the word CULTURE. What if we officially did away with race but kept CULTURE? Historically, culture has traveled in seamless ways across continents through food, fashion, music, storytelling and, oh boy… RELIGION.
Race says we are made up of Whites, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American and Biracial or Mixed race. We saw the politically correct adjustment into Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Asian… It was finally okay for all the formerly oppressed people to publicly acknowledge their ethnic origins as part of their genetic past. It was okay to be a hyphenated American. An ode to America the experiment. An ode to rising above our genocidal and slave-owning past. An ode to the cultures that were destroyed in the creation of it. An assault on culture by a racist construct to maintain the system of white supremacy. Because at the end of the day, that is what race is; a white supremacist construct.
Now we have been living in a world where race and culture appear synonymous. So no matter how influential African or Asian culture is in American society, their acknowledged importance is relegated to the percentage in the census. The presence of Mexicans in border states like Arizona, New Mexico and California will remain an issue of immigration regardless of how many Mexican tribes are native to those very states. We go from describing ourselves as the melting pot that we are to a system of warring interests. Thousands of years of history and civilization boiled down to a bill in Congress along with the Gun Lobby and the Oil Lobby. Humanity and Commerce are in a contest and humanity is on the ropes. Looks like we are back to the days the country was getting started and power was in the hands of the most willing to exterminate the weak.