But when you experience racism personally, you know it’s there. I’ve been strongly aware of this my entire life. I wish I had spoken out more often, but hey, better late than never.
I’m sure my experience of racism has been softened by the lightness of my skin. I’m also sure that I’ve experienced more racism because of my mixed appearance, and it’s been a very different kind of racism than other people of color.
Being mixed gives me a unique perspective to see race from outside of socially constructed meanings. I shed light on areas most people aren’t aware of so we can make new, healthier meanings.
For us lighter skinned folks, whether we’re white or of color, we need to start sharing our advantages. Provide opportunities and support for those who’ve had to deal with extra challenges because of their darker skin color.
We need to check our assumptions about people based on race and ethnicity. Understand that every person is unique. There is no “they are all like this” because “they” is a completely made up social construct.
I’m not saying race doesn’t exist. Yes it does.
I’m also not saying we should all be the same and treat each other like we don’t “see color.” That would dishonor the rich cultural diversity that we all bring.
Yeah let’s have lots of color in our world. I’m a big fan of mixing races because it brings us closer. We open our minds and hearts more when we join in the same families.
Instead of relating to someone as a “person of color,” get curious with them. Ask them about their heritage, where their ancestors came from.
Think about it...would you like to just be seen as white, with your unique ethnic background disregarded? Probably not because “white” is an oversimplified ambiguous category too.
Let’s honor each other for our specific unique backgrounds. Let’s celebrate our differences. And let’s lift each other up with generosity.