I believe that racism is a part of a person’s insecurities that are deeply embedded in their minds. The color of one’s skin does not take away the rights of their human ability and their freedom. When I say freedom, I say it in the context of one’s mind not by society’s definition of being free. Whiteness has bound and chained every soul on this planet, regardless of what color they actually are. I believe whiteness impacts everyone, whether it is to be an advantage or to be something we label and hate. I believe that racial harmony is something of a fairy tale and an untamable dream that eats away at our country. I have been waging a war with myself to deconstruct the whiteness that swells around me, to find myself without the use of skin color. I do not need skin color to show others I am beautiful or a strong being. How do I take away the bitter stain of whiteness out of my skin color when it deeply penetrated in my life? When I look at myself in the mirror, I can see that I can change every part about me from my hair, eyes, and weight, but I am still the color white. I cannot take away the color of my skin, but I can change what I see in the mirror. If change is possible for one person, it is possible for all people even if it takes the rest of the time we have left on our planet. The mirror may reflect a white complexion, but it does not dictate or decide who I am or what I am capable of. A person cannot be an individual if they need whiteness to construct it for them and to pave their future. That is what whiteness wants us to do, it wants us to rely on it and use it to its full advantage to keep its status in the world. If there was a day that everyone in the world could dress up in a costume that took away all aspects of a person you could judge them by and the person went about their usual activities, would we find a friend in someone we once judged by their skin color? I think all colors of people would find bits and pieces of themselves in people they thought they hated. Whiteness is a disease of ignorance and lack of an open mind or willingness to challenge our traditional beliefs. I believe that many people think whiteness gives them an advantage, but when you dig deep into that advantage it is nothing more than an insecurity with oneself, ones lack of individuality. Whiteness blankets those who cannot formulate their own sense of identity, it is a shallow grave people hide in because they are scared of stripping away their snake skin and realizing there is nothing underneath it. I think the hardest thing is to detach whiteness from being white, it is taking away that “advantage” and surviving with what you have left. I believe that I am strong enough to live without whiteness sculpting my achievements for me, that even if I am left raw and bare I at least know that my state of mind and self are truly mine and not a product of whiteness. If I succeed or fail, it is my success and my failure it is not the achievement of a fake friend that relishes in my insecurities. Whiteness is not a true advantage; it is the disadvantage of believing I have something that someone else cannot have. All humans are inherently equal, nothing should be able to determine otherwise. We all breathe the same air and cry the same tears, how could the color of someone’s skin deny that we all are apart of just one race, the human race. Perhaps I live in a fantasy world that believes we can all some how get along with one another, at least when it comes to the color of our skin. Maybe it takes the start of a fantasy to lead to the achievement of ending whiteness and racism even if it starts with one person at a time.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.