Let’s talk about race.
I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time now, because I’m tired of seeing so many people, myself included, being judged and defined by skin colour. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning and it’s unwise to define our lives by it.
I was exposed to the same education and environments alongside peers with all different shades of skin colour, yet we all had different ideas of where we’d all end up in life. Our upbringings differed from home to home, our own decisions and our own motivations encouraged our individual paths in life, and it’s our individual experiences that influence these decisions and motivations. Unfortunately, when we accept messages that define us by the colour of our skin, we lose sight of our individual freedom and rights as we conform to stereotype and ideology. Enough is enough, we’re all worth so much more than the labels that define us.
Why are we so foolish to associate ourselves with untrue stereotypes? Why shape our lives based on the representation of our skin colours? It’s an issue that’s irritated me my entire life. Personally, I grew tired of feeling stuck in-between what felt like, a rock and a hard place; never feeling completely embraced as an individual because "he’s so white-washed" or “he’s so brown” were phrases that echoed through my entire existence.
Just like all of us, I am a product of my environment and a slave to the nature I inherited and as a result, I’ve become who I am… and it has very little to do with pigment. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning other than the clues it leads to my ancestry. With that said, we innately have more in common to unite us, compared to the differences we’re taught to separate us.
Who I am and who you are cannot be defined by any single label, prejudice or idea. Yes, there may be traits and traditions I share with others of similar cultural heritage, as do we all, but no, it’s not specific to the colour of my skin. Nor does my cultural heritage completely represent my identity, I’m much more than that too.
So, to the officer that profiled me, the employer that overlooked me, the group that rejected me and the politicians frightened of me. Generally to the people that choose to judge me because of my skin colour or any other prejudice for that matter, I will not continue to perpetuate hate by getting angry, nor will I hide away in shame or embarrassment. Instead, I’ll use the avenues I’ve embraced that showcase my identity in order to educate and inform. Although I may have to work a little harder in prejudice environments, I will not allow them to restrict my potential. It’s just the colour of my skin, just like the colour of my hair or the colour of my eyes, it doesn’t mean anything.
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