This I Believe; We are All Created Equal
I wrote the following based off a project by National Public Radio where essays were written by individuals from all over the country simply by giving them the prompt “This I believe”.
I am a 20 year old Caucasian male who has never had to worry about going hungry, thirsty, having clothes on my back or a roof over my head. I have never had to worry about not having anything I have wanted. Whether it is something material or an opportunity my situation along with my right mental attitude (RMA as my grandfather says) has always aloud me to obtain all I desire. This has instilled in me confidence that cannot be counterfeited and rarely wavers. For all this I am endlessly grateful. I have always known that I am overwhelmingly blessed and most of it is through none of my own doing. I have always struggled with the “why me and not someone else?” question.
I have never seen race as a differentiating characteristic in people. My mother always tells this story about when I was in 4th grade where she dropped me off at my friend Stephen’s birthday party where I was the only white kid. When she picked me up I said to her, “Mom I was the only …” She thought I would complete the sentence with “white kid ” but my only observation was that I was the only one wearing shorts! All the other kids were wearing jeans! I then went on about the movie and never even realized I was the only white kid there till I heard her tell the story. This isn’t because of my lack of observance for even as a child I always took in the details of the world around me; rather, I didn’t notice the difference in skin color because I did not understand why would matter.
Through this past semester of studying the history of the Afrocentric school of thought I have come to a deeper understanding of the hardships that an entirely innocent race of people had to suffer. At the same time I still have not been able to grasp why skin color still affects people’s views today. Then I get a reminder of why as soon as I turned on the TV while putting off writing this very assignment. Race has been at the top of the headlines in the recent days mostly due to the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, and his extreme views on the topic in a sport that is highly saturated with African Americans. While we are all blessed with the right to our own onion in this nation we are also given the right to disagree with other’s ideology. The ignorance and arrogance of an individual like Mr. Sterling is virtually incomprehensible to me. It is people like this that create a radical racial divide in the world we live in. People that think they are better than someone else because of the things they have, have done or are.
At the end of the day in my book I believe that all people no matter where you are from or what you look like are and were created as equal creatures. Some might have been thrown into better situations than others, which is a sad truth, but that in no way makes one human better than the next. I believe we are all here to enjoy, help and love one another period. We do not have to like everyone we meet, but I would hope that we show him or her respect as a fellow human being. The color of our skin makes us each unique not different this I believe. Those two words might have similar definitions but personally I see them as having opposite connotations. Unique in my mind portrays an air of distinction like showing the special aspects of the cultures that make each of us who we are. Instead of putting the emphasis on the color of our skin showing and the animosities of our past (differences) I believe in showing love and an appreciation for the uniqueness in our diverse heritages we can all come to a better understanding of what it is like to live as one. After all is said and done no matter what box you check on applications under race/ethnicity we are all apart of the human race.
I’ll take a quote out of one of my favorite musicians/thinker’s most iconic songs, “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I am a Dreamer but I am not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will be as one.” It is as cliché as they come, but it is as simply true as they make them. Those words John Lennon recorded back in 1971 echo the words or Martin Luther King Jr eight years later. They are still as relevant today as they were in the days when hippies and flower power ran wild. It might be a dream that is seen as unobtainable by some, but it never hurt anyone to dream. Everything great that has ever been accomplished has been preceded by a multitude of failed attempts this I believe. So if anyone can find a quality reason for us not to try to bring peace to people, bring about an era of not only racial harmony but also global harmony then I say we march forward until we reach the purest goal of all: peace. This I believe.