Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What does the color of my skin say

It is impossible to not think about the statement "what does the color of my skin say" with all that is going on these days in the States.  

I believe the media does like to focus only on the negative but they are not the sole cause of the problem.  There are of course few pictures of people working together, loving together, making a family together who are of mixed races.  Yet we see, or maybe some seek, mostly the strife with few exceptions.   A friend and I who were speaking the other day also feels that to choose only one of the races that makes her who she is does not line up with how she defines herself. As the world becomes more and more multiracial these definitions have to give way - we are all more than the box we check off on a census. 

I do not assume anything based on skin color  - now I may or may not like you, I may or may not befriend or love you but it is not based on your skin color either way.   I see kids every day doing this too and I hope that the next generation is that much better at it since we seem to be slipping back and losing some of the ground we had made in this space. 

What does the color of my skin say ?  Does it tell you how smart or not I am? 
Does my shade tell you how often I swear and yell in anger?
What does the color of my skin say ? Does it tell you how and who I love?
Do you know from the color if I have loved many or a few?
Do you think you know my beliefs, my dreams, my fears just based on the shade of my epidermis?
Does the color of my skin make you think you know me ? Know what makes me tick?
Can you tell from my race what my past was or that of my ancestors?
Do you think from just looking at my skin that you know if I am a mother, a wife, a loner, a lesbian?
Am I happy or depressed ?
Am I running to something or from something ?
Can you tell if I have a job and am a contributing member of society?
Does my skin tell you things like how often I cry or how easily I laugh?
Can you tell just from the color of my skin what my friends and family look like?
Do you think the color of my skin makes me bad, or good, or evil, or lazy, or productive?

The list is endless of all the things that the color of our skin does not tell anyone - nor should it.   Is it not time that we stop pretending we know so much about someone just from the color of their skin?  We should all embrace the fact that we do not have to live in a world where we only look at a mirror reflection -- I mean really there is a reason that mentally ill people are locked in a unishade room - it removes all stimuli, all cause for excitement.  

The color of our skin is the covering to the amazing box of wonders that is who we are .. if we remember this and ask ourselves the above questions once in a while maybe we can all stop pretending we know anything just by the color of one's skin and start remembering to admire the quality of one's character.   When my kids open a box of Crayola the colors in there differentiate themselves from one another -- but it is only when you put them to use that they become a masterpiece. 

1 comment:

  1. When Pax was in pre-k, he and his classmates explored what color crayons best matched their skin tone. His was almond. His friend Mike's was mahogany. If describing a person's appearance he and his brother still refer to crayon colors rather than race.

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