“We are all one race” Erases Struggle and I’m Sick of Hearing It.


«Unknown source. My Google Fu has failed me»

Not exactly a rant… Just tired.  Work with me here.

If you can honestly believe in a “We Are One Race” argument, you’re touched by the hand of privilege. (This is also a classic version of the “I don’t see color” argument that Black America is getting tired of hearing, but that’s another rant.)

I cannot. I am not. It is exhausting to argue with the people who really and truly believe this, because when there is no way to offer the perspective—despite trying—all you get is frustration.

If you argue that racial dividers are manmade and only really tribal markers made to divide us, I’ll agree with you—and I will remind you that one half of my family’s “tribe” was yanked from its home continent to be used as slaves and had its culture beaten out of it, while the other half has been nigh exterminated, both by the “division/tribe” called “White Man.” “We are all one race” in response to someone bringing up injustice only serves to silence. And if you haven’t noticed, people are very tired of having people use the privilege of being a step up in the form of a boot on the neck.

Yes, this is on my mind a lot. It’s a thing that I have in the back of my mind most days. Every time I get a “You don’t sound [this word is always in a stage whisper] Black.” When a new person gets promoted over me. When I get passed on a hire because “I don’t fit the aesthetic” and I meet the new hire, with perfect alabaster complexion.

In today’s world, the way it works, “We are all one race” only applies practically in a gaming group or a video game. It does not advance discussion of the problems that exist. It pushes them under the rug. I see where people are trying to get at with it, but it will never, ever work. Not in the world we live in.

It simply is not that simple.

4 thoughts on ““We are all one race” Erases Struggle and I’m Sick of Hearing It.

  1. Yes! The “we are all one race” meme is too glib, and shows ignorance on the part of those who utter it. It glossed over the fact that racism is still deeply entrenched in the fabric of our nation. Great writing!

    • It’s almost as bad as “I don’t see color.” All “O don’t see color” tells me is “To me the struggle that you have gone through is unimportant and inconsequential because now we are here.” It brings up an unrealistic, kumbayah utopia view (friendly reminder that the word Utopia means “no place” that with today’s cultural vocabularies cannot happen.

      “I don’t see race” usually means “I don’t see you.” It ignores entire swaths of identity.

      I’ll admit to having been one of the people, for a long time, until I developed a keen interest in my roots and how they shaped me. After that, it was impossible to ignore what was literally in my face.

      • Very well put, and I agree wholeheartedly. I’m glad you developed an interest in your roots.

      • It’s always been there on a low key level—I know how a slave ancestor bust out basically hitching on the underside of the carriages, and my maternal grandmother had the distinctive Latinx thing of having the thing where you have four fairly long names—whereas Grandfather had a FIRST name and that was where it stopped because reasons.

        Had to look into things after that.

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