Well, here's my story.
Today, I was talking to my mom on the phone and I actually spoke out
loud things that I've realized about myself, but never really let anyone
else know. Mainly because it's embarrassing and I'm prideful. Now, here I am letting all of you know because maybe you've
felt the same before...
I always wanted to marry a person darker than me. I called it, "not being racist, just a matter of attraction." Right. Really, I didn't want to fit a stereotype. Everyone always says "you are most comfortable around people who look like you." Which I disagree with. I believe you're most comfortable around people who share the same values as you. Notice that has nothing to do with skin tone or even really culture because different cultures can have the same values. Also, notice that I decided to fight this with focusing more on outward appearances. Because that's not counterproductive at all. My mom likes to point out that I would never even consider being with someone of my own skin tone because of this. She's right. It took me a few bad life calls to figure this out. I started getting romantically involved with men simply because of their skin rather than basing it on their character. I just happened to choose guys whose characters were, well, not right for me.
Then, there's Africa. Basically, from the time I was in middle school I've wanted to live in
Africa. I wanted to chill with the elephants and help people in poverty. I mean, obviously there's no one in poverty in America. Well, maybe there are but come on they don't need help, that's what the government
is for, right? Not only did I want to help people (I'm so noble), but I
wanted to be something that I'm not physically. I wanted to be surrounded by people with darker
skin than me because I thought maybe I'd magically turn dark and people
would accept me. I didn't want to be known as "the white girl" anymore
so surely, this was the answer. I honestly thought my passion for "helping" Africa was rooted in something good. I thought it was rooted in the idea that we are all equal and we all deserve to experience joy and love. I do believe this. But, behind that was this idea that Africans need my help rather than Americans. Deep down, whether I knew it at the time or not, I was holding America to a higher standard because Americans were "more civilized" or something of that nature and that's why it pisses me off so much that America is so screwed up. We're too "advanced" to still be doing stupid things. Africa, on the other hand. It's okay for Africa to be screwed up because they don't know any better? Come on people, THIS IS RIDICULOUS! It's ridiculous and a super archaic line of thinking. This is really deep down how I felt. Not only is this how I felt, but this is still how I have to fight feeling constantly. I don't know if what I was dealing with was a sense of nationalism or racism; I think maybe it was a combination of the two. Either way, it's lame.
It doesn't matter if you're thinking your "race" is the best or if another one is. It's all racism. It's all rooted in ranking human beings based on the most shallow of things, the pigmentation of your skin. It's absurd. But, as much as it hurts my heart and my pride to admit it, I do it. At the end of the day, it's still seeing people as their outsides rather than their insides. Sure, I think it's cool to be grateful for physical differences because we're all so different and all so the same and beautiful at the same time. But, that's not what makes you feel deep, deep love. You get that from being understood and having a connection with someone. That's where the heart of humanity is at. That's what it should be about.