The world has gone fully mad. When I cut myself do I not bleed red?
We are all human beings no matter the color of our skin. I have been a pale pale person for most of my adult life. The horrors my brothers and sisters face as people of color is unfathomable. I didn’t understand it 60 years ago and I don’t understand it now. It’s not the hue of your skin that matters but your character that counts. I can’t walk a mile in the shoes, in the guise of someone who isn’t instantly a target simply because they aren’t “white.” I am privileged to not be driving while black, privileged to avoid striking fear into the hearts of people who think despite all the facts that people of color are out to harm people of no-color, privileged to have banks and credit cards and store owners and the rest of the world fear not me, attack not me, charge not me.
I watched my students of color struggle against a repressive system designed to act in one way only towards them. The intent was to disenfranchise them, impoverish them, imprison them or execute them. No matter how hard I tried to impart a desire to achieve excellence, every one with privilege – I included – knew deep down that meeting these challenges was asking them to go beyond what any of us could ever achieve.
The facts – the hard truths – are that people of color are subject to a system designed to make sure none of them can ever realize their dreams. It’s the lie. The big lie. If you’re not lily white then you are tainted.
No matter how many times I told my students of color that variations in skin color from the palest to the darkest barely registers using any valid scientific measure, no matter how much I believe that what’s in your heart and mind counts more than what you look like or who you pray to, the reality is that they are coming for you first and me second. A split second perhaps because I belong to the group of historically chosen scapegoats but you first and me second nonetheless because I can pass. What a horrible thought.
What is my complicity in this insanity?
How the f’ can we escape this insanity. There was an “Adam and Eve.” Variations should be celebrated not condemned. If we all looked alike who would we be attracted to and why would we be interested at all? I love the idea of San Diego – 340 days of gorgeous weather. Yet who wants that? I seek the change. The variation. Blue skies and stormy weather. Cold miserable and stinking hot. Torrential rain and rainbows. It’s jazz baby jazz not Pat Boone and straw hats.
Is this the moment it all changes?