Saturday, June 18, 2016

Running To Daylight

("Why "Transcending Race" is a Lie")

Race, as it is said, is a social construct, not made of immutable facts, but of our own determinations. If, for example, one parent is black, while the other is Caucasian, how is one to be defined? Is it by skin tone? Is Barack Obama black but Derek Jeter white? Can one be considered black in this country but not another?

OJ Simpson saw a world of white privilege, of better educational opportunities, employment possibilities, where one was more free to walk down the streets or run through an airport as a man without color than one saddled with the burdens and condemnations that attached to every waking moment of being black in America. 

While we spoke of being a post racial nation in the aftermath of the election of 2008, we have learned that too was but a fiction. With every glaring statistic on our incarceration rate, with every new revelation of police brutality, with every attempt to suppress votes, with every action taken to remind us that color matters, we understand that the need to transcend rests not in the black community but in our white one. 

Until we face the reality of our prejudices and our preconceptions, until we understand the fault lies not in others but in ourselves,  until that day dawns we have doomed this nation to live a perpetual lie, where "transcending race" is something to be applauded. Where running away from his race was the best open field move that OJ Simpson  thought he could make.

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