Friday, August 17, 2012
Guess What? She's Black.
I tried to leave this alone. I really, really, really tried.
But it just burned inside my heart and my head.
You see, some people were really upset and took offense to the fact that the press said this amazing young woman was the first African-American to win gold in this event for America.
And I was stumped.
Their point was that she is AMERICAN and to point out her race was to be divisive. And our country needed to stop being divisive about race.
And my point was that ignoring the most visible part of who a person is (their appearance to the world - the skin) was to "whitewash" them which implies there is something wrong with being anything other than "white" or colorless.
But we aren't colors they said. We are AMERICANS.
Umm....even the youngest child can tell you that we ARE most certainly a color. (Which goes even deeper as each color has a heritage to share also.)
And that's where I personally think the problem lies in this country.
Not in the fact that we all need to be "the same".
We all need to be respected and loved for the fact that we are exactly who we are.
To pretend we aren't something is to imply that there is something WRONG with being different from you.
My daughter is Chinese. And the most insulting thing a family member ever said was that they don't see her as Chinese...she's just part of the family.
She IS Chinese and there is NOTHING wrong with that.
If you have to "whitewash" her and strip her of the most visible part of who she is, that is not being inclusive or showing value and accepting her as part of the family.
Its just the opposite. Its saying that being brown is something to ignore. It's saying that being Chinese is shameful. Its saying that being a different color than you is not okay. It's saying you can't see her as she is. Its saying you want everyone to be the same.
And we aren't.
We are different.
And its GOOD.
Not something to hide or ignore or pretend isn't there.
And until white America gets a grip on that, the decisiveness is here to stay.
Because, white America, you aren't the one that has to be something other than what you already are.
Everyone else does.
Gabby is an amazing, black, American Olympian.
And I see her color.
And it is glorious.