We know that "All men are created equal," but the men who wrote those words were slave-owners who institutionalized inequality by counting slaves as 7/10 of a human. (Let's not even get started on the equality of women.)
This example -- and you can provide your own -- is part of a problematic definition that interferes with our social, political and economic relations.
"Race," in other words, interferes with:
- How we relate to others because the color of skin has nothing to do with the person or their mind.
- How we vote and act collectively because it groups people who share physical characteristics when we should be grouped by ideals or goals.
- How we work, trade and develop because it pits one "team" against another in an irrelevant game (National Geographic's race issue has a great article on this topic, on which I've done research, i.e., how to manipulate teams to improve cooperation.)
|Jesus washed feet in this book too!|
Besides my intellectual perspective on this topic, I also have personal experience. I am "white" (or Caucasian, a word that's even more stupid) because I say so, but my DNA shows that 1/6th of me comes from South Asia.
What does this all mean?
- We need to stop thinking of ourselves as from a "race" when we are all humans.
- We are too complex to sort into neat buckets, as our DNA is mixed from everywhere.
- "Black" or "White" means nothing because it's subjective. I just talked to a girl who said she was "black" in the Netherlands but "white" in Tanzania.
- What really matters is a person's education, their cultural background and -- above all -- their socioeconomic status, as I am pretty sure that rich people have more in common than poor people, American have more in common than Germans, and so on.
- Going further, it's more important to focus on someone's community as a source of their identity, strength and limitations than their skin color.