Monday, December 2, 2013

The African American Label Is a Dangerous One

There’s a humongous mural painted on the side of a building I pass going into the city.

Considering its location, it’s not at all surprising that it only features black people. But what is much more striking is how it includes a giant globe turned to show the entire continent of Africa.

That placement depicting American citizens in an American city isn’t a coincidence, of course. It’s a blatant and unhappy reflection of the education of the African American mind.

Sorry if that’s offensive.

It’s true nonetheless.

Blacks in America are trained to automatically first focus on the color of their skin. They’re told to put their genders, personalities, gifts and abilities, preferences and location on the back burner to being black.

That makes them different from all of the Caucasians, Asians, Native Americans, Middle Easterners, etc. who share this country of ours. For better or – usually – worse, blacks living in the U.S.A. are not Americans; they’re African Americans.

This distinction keeps them – and anybody who insists on following that same flawed focus – from truly enjoying life.

Because yes, some of us are black and some of us are white. Some of us have certain facial features and some of us have others. But that’s just one facet of what makes us who we are. We’re each a giant hodge-podge of characteristics that ultimately make us individually unique.

For instance, there is no other person out there who has pale skin, dark brown curly hair, strong nails, a penchant for writing, a hatred of the Baltimore Ravens, a love of Tinkerbell, a sarcastic sense of humor and a strong faith in God, who has written seven full-length novels and runs her own side business at www.InnovativeEditing.com.

Moreover, that’s the short list! Clearly, there’s so much more to me than just my pale skin, just like there’s so much more to every other American – or person in general – regardless of pigmentation.

We are doing a giant disservice to our society by focusing on skin color over everything else. And I don’t understand why this error isn’t more obvious.

2 comments:

  1. as a American who happens to be black, I appreciate your blog. I think we as Blacks do focus on our racial diaspora more than our character. Very well written blog -

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  2. Kelvin, thanks for your feedback! I'm glad the post came across the way I wanted it to instead of being offensive. I could have also stated that I know plenty of whites who are obsessed with the same delineation. It's sad how society can't seem to accept the concept of individuality instead of group-think.

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