I’m Not Going to Spend My Life Being a Colour

I’m living in this society fuelled by racism and I’ve had it. I laugh off the subtle stereotypes, play into them for jokes and yet I get offended when someone is outright racist to me. I can’t help but feel that in being blasé to the whole thing, I am in fact perpetuating it. We want to live in this world where we don’t see colour, where race doesn’t matter but it’s so inherent in our past, in our education that it’s hard not to notice the differences,sometimes I feel like history simply emphasises them.

The ignorance of racism infuriates me, it’s easy to throw out racist slurs in the heat of the moment but is that what we’re reducing people to? Forget that you may be unbelievably ignorant, have done something to jeopardise my safety or be a blatant bigot but, at the end of it, all people can reduce it to is a racist category? I thought I had experienced racism all my life and to an extent, I had but it was always brush-under-the-carpet kind of racism, something I felt silly about getting offended about. Recently, in the middle of an argument I was reduced to a single racial slur and for a moment I stood in disbelief worrying profusely if this was the way people saw me. It had never occurred to me that subconsciously people, especially people my age, still harboured these ideas, these categories for people. What is this obsession that the human race – yes at the crux of the matter, we are a single race – has with categories? Do you know what makes people racially diverse? Its that they share phenotypically similar characteristics. It occurred to me that it couldn’t be these group similarities that scared people because within individual races there is such unconcealed diversity.

So what is it that provokes this hatred? That someone is a little lighter? A lot darker? That they have certain characteristics you could only attribute to another race? In all honesty, I can think of little as pathetic as that. My, how history has changed everything but nothing at all. In the heat of the moment, I’d rather be reduced to my flaws, to all that you think is wrong with me as a person rather than you reducing me to an offensive racist label. If there’s anything I believe, it’s that I refuse to spend my life being a mere colour.