Yeah, I know it sounds cute, even contrived. I’ve heard the term before so I won’t take credit coining it, but I like it. Erase racism. I have many opinions on the subject, most of which boil down to: I have no tolerance for racism. There is nothing anyone can say that will justify their feelings of separation, segregation, elitism or full blown prejudice to me. Not when it’s based on hate of other people, or simply because of who they are.
In my opinion, we are all one race: human. (Until we boldly go where no one has gone before – I’m a sci-fi geek. It could happen!)
I’ve never met a black, white, red or yellow person in my life. I’ve met lots of brown, tan, mocha, pink, almond, cream blends, but never straight primary colors. Crayola does a better job of providing skin tones. Come on, who didn’t use peach, atomic tangerine or burnt sienna crayons when they were coloring people when they were kids? Actually, I used blue violet, silver and forest green just as often. Yes, I always colored within the lines. Anyway, I’ve got a lot more brown in my skin than I do white. The older I get, a variety of new colors seem to be appearing in my skin (something to look forward to kids). My long-winded point: we are all of color.
According to the US Census, I am a Roman Catholic Caucasian male of the following nationalities: Italian, Greek, English, French, German, Irish, Welsh, Scottish. I am trying to learn about all eight of my countries, and the family that came from each. Yes, they’re all European. Because of the kinship I feel with so many people, I’d also like to think there is some Native American, Latino, African, Island, Asian and Baltic heritage, but I haven’t traced my full family tree yet (AKA really found out who slept with who over all these years). I can guarantee this list will grow.
I think it’s important to celebrate our differences without excluding others. It’s important to know your roots, your ancestry, your history, your family, your faith, where you’ve come from, and your traditions to be part of something bigger than yourself. It’s also important to share all of those things with as many people as you can. And there’s the key. Embrace what makes you different, and share it.
I have learned so much about “other” people by sharing meals, talking to their grandparents, attending milestone events and religious ceremonies, celebrating holidays, and simply talking about things. My roommates and I used to celebrate Christian and Jewish holidays together. I was honored to attend the Passover seder (meal) with the family of my best friend (Victor) shortly before his grandfather's passing - also my first (and last) experience with horseradish. I've attended weddings and funerals from so many different faiths and cultures, including my own, and I've learned something every time.
I've also been fortunate enough through family and work to leave American soil and experience lands, languages and cultures in different countries. At first I was nervous, going off into the unknown, but now I can't get enough. Travel is something I now cherish when given the opportunity.
I'm rambling now. If we step out of our comfort zones once in a while, share our differences, and celebrate them together, maybe we won’t feel the need to separate, or fear, or even hate.
Just my thoughts. Sorry if it’s too bleeding heart. No I’m not. Kumbaya.