Thursday, March 19, 2009

One race--human!

For most of my adult life, I've had a problem with the idea that I need to be defined by my race. Maybe it's because I'm such a mix--everything from Scotch-Irish to Hispanic to Native American. Or maybe because my parents taught me that who I am is defined by what I do, not who my ancestors are. Or maybe it's because I want to look forward at what we can become instead of back at what we were.

I also detest the "victim of race" mentality that I think hinders many people more than their actual race does. Socio-economic factors, not racial ones, have a greater effect on advancement in our society today. However, until we get past the concept of race, we don't be able to fully concentrate on those issues, which affect people of all races.

So that's why yesterday, this article made me smile. Edward James Olmos was part of a panel about Battlestar Galactica being held at the UN. (Glad to see the UN being useful.) This is from the Entertainment Weekly article:

When one of the UN's representatives talked about how part of their mandate was to safeguard the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and station, Olmos got a little heated. "You never should've invited me here," he said, before blasting the UN for continuing to use race as a term of separation, of division among peoples. His voice rose, steadily, as if years of social activism was coming to a head on this night. Then, directing his attention to the high schoolers: "Adults will never be able to stop using the word 'race' as a cultural determinant....There is only one race: the human race. SO SAY WE ALL!"

I swear to you, everyone in that chamber shouted it right back at him.

Sadly the author of the article attributes this to the fact that "Captain Adama asked us to." I think he missed the point.

I think most, at least, shouted back because they know he was right.

So say we all!

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