Do Raceless Individuals Exist?

As many of you know or may not know, I was born in Jamaica— an island with an┬áancestry of both┬áTaino and Africans. Before I migrated to America, I never labeled myself as black, non-white, non-hispanic because those terms did not exist in my vocabulary or culture– I was Jamaican and then I came here. For many immigrants there is a unwritten language that you have to know here without being directly told that the language even exist which is to┬ácategorize yourself. One of those subtle languages you are expected to know is the language and the history of race in America. Race in America is extremely sensitive, there is almost no way to desensitize the terrible implications of slavery.

First, I must say that as an outsider, it is unique paradigm to see, you are a part of it but in many ways your are not. There is the white world and the black world– no mater what country you are from you are forced to choose a category. I don’t make the rules, that just how it is in America. We are encouraged to create a three fold color scheme where white, black and shades of grey exist but the reality is the predispose and reinforced dichotomy only exist with two shades and the American media reinforces it every single second they have. And for any second you think that it does not exist then you are too naive or you have been privileged to have not seen the murky waters.

There are people who are forced┬áto categorize, label or identify, whatever they are calling it now, as one or the other and then there are those who identify as raceless individuals.┬áNot to discount their reasoning on identifying as a “raceless individual” because it’s quite a utopian view, however let me remind you that this is America we are talking about. You cannot afford to choose because the choosing has already been done for you, the choice has been made. In Lisa Lebduska article “Racist Visual Rhetoric and Images of Trayvon Martin” she toys with the idea “Whether we see, what we see, and how we see it is determined by tacit cultural conventions and regulations.” (1)┬áThe truth is or at least my truth is, you can’t change it because you can’t undo slavery, you can’t undo racial tension, the eyes can’t unsee it, you can’t rewrite the past and you can’t change the past. You can’t prevail in America as a raceless individual because it won’t allow you to, you have to choose black┬áor white┬áor by some chance you may be both but nonetheless you still have to choose. You are not afforded the luxury of┬ánot seeing color or any features that expose someones’ ancestry┬ábecause the American conventional views does not allow it. The ways in which we see a person, and how we see them are influenced and will continue to be influenced by the┬átraditional┬áways of thinking of the already established, non-changing paradigm of America.

 

So where do we go from here you may be asking and my answer is I don’t know.

 

 

 

One thought on “Do Raceless Individuals Exist?

  1. Those are anglo-terms. What does it have to do with slavery? Every country had slavery. Africa had slaves as well. I’m from Russia and we had Russian slaves there for four hundred years just as well. While American slaves were toiling in the Americas, my “white” ancestors were too busy being slaves themselves, toiling the lands of their landlords. We had no “black” people come in and start a Civil War just to end our centuries’ long serfdom! But in the US, they got “other” people who fought a war to liberate them. No appreciation of that fact exists. Instead of happy liberation, they went into segregation. But so did we! Instead of happy ever after the emancipation of serfs, we went into the Bolshevik revolution and nearly a century of oppressive Soviet Regime. By the time Americans got free, desegregated, got a right to vote, we had been still segregated by the iron curtain and literally didn’t get a right to even vote UNTIL 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed.
    We have a Soviet history, which has NOTHING to do with white identity. Nor had we anything to do with African people for thousands of years back till present. We don’t even have or ever officially use concepts of race. We don’t have color label categories either. Yet color labels are used in the US to compare demographics! How insane and abused “study” is that?
    Ok. They might have their own “black” and “white” identities, which I don’t want to deny. But when they impose those labels on immigrants (whether they appear “white” or”black”), they grossly misrepresent our true identities. And that practice is vastly undemocratic. They erase true ethnicities, make them invisible, and worse – impose false labels on immigrants that never had anything to do with those labels NOR had any history around those labels. And that’s what totalitarian regimes do – they impose false identities and erase true ethnicities by force, thereby breedibg their own population more and more ignorant. Hence, American people see me as “odd” or “crazy” for my differences because they don’t know I am different with different culture and history. They assume my culture can be described by a stupid ignorant American label “white”. And so they do towards Nigerian and Hatian and Greek and many other people from around the world! Maybe idiots who have zero education about geography and ethnicity work in US census? Maybe not. But who ever came up with these categories has zero sense! Anyone who thinks of people in terms of black-and-white categories is automatically an anglo-person: a person, brainwashed fully to see the world through the anglo-mentality. I encourage you to not fall prey to their malicious ideology. Love your black skin, if you have it, but don’t call yourself a black person – you are NOT a color label walking on two legs. Your personhood nor identity can never be described by an ignorant color mark. Call yourself who you truly are – a Jamaican person. Be proud of being NOT black BUT Jamaican. That does NOT make you color blind. You don’t deny the color of your skin. I don’t either. I admit and see my skin color as white. But not me!!!! I’m a person – not a color category. The only race term I ever heard growing up was Slavic Race, which I can identify with partially. However, “white race” is forever an anglo/alien concept to me and to anyone outside of the anglo-speaking world. Moreover, it’s them who are color blind. They call Barack Obama “black”. Did you his skin color? Only color- blind society would see black color in people like Barack Obama while totally NOT SEEING any black color in really black-skinned Indians!!! That is worse than color-blind- that’s on the verge of delusional!!! Yet they will accuse you of being “color-blind” simply by not following their truly color-blind and idiotic color-categorizations, with artificially created false identities attached to those labels! Let them drown in their own absurdity. Don’t be a part of it!
    If you join them, you become one of the anglo -herd. The US will deny immigrants their connection to their roots forever, if we don’t speak up for ourselves!

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