These two phrases: “I do not see color” and “I do not think about race” are indeed offensive. I am a Black American woman. I want you to know this, acknowledge who I am culturally without harming, hating, or abusing me. The goal is not for us to ignore race – which “good” Americans claim to do. The goal is to embrace our racial and cultural differences without fear or hatred in our hearts.
Race should not be motivation for how we feel or behave towards others. Our initial impressions are often shaded by race. As good, God-loving Americans, we consistently have an undercurrent of race that has been projected upon us by our experiences, our nation’s history, and popular media.
Imagine a man in his mid-thirties, beer belly driving a pick up truck. He is dipping snuff and spitting out of the window. He is on his way to pick up a six pack from the package store and then head out to the pond to do some fishing. Imagine a man in his mid-thirties, slim and well groomed. He is driving a silver family sedan. He is dropping off his children on his way to work at the bank where he is a Vice-President.
What color are these men? Some of you will say one is White and one is Black. Some of you will say both are White. A few of you will say both are Black. Most of you will say “you do not know” because that is the true answer to the question.
How did you imagine these men when you read the description? THAT is a different question. The human brain assigns a picture to your thoughts. Those men had a physical appearance in your mind. The fact that your brain assigned a race to 80 words on a page means that race is evident at the core of our being. The longer we continue to ignore this, the longer our journey as a nation of diverse people.
A winner seems sure to succeed –which means in life, self, and the totality of living. Being a winner isn’t about trophies, championships, and material spoils – though we don’t begrudge the symbols. Being a winner is about being “you” - being whole in mind, body, and spirit to accomplish that which “you” were put here to do. That wholeness brings light and success to everything you do. If the only true competition on earth is the challenge to be “you” in a world forcing you to conform, then the way I see it, it is impossible to lose as long as you keep playing.
Since it is impossible to accurately spot you as a winner in a crowd, it is equally impossible to spot you as a loser. The only person that can be defined as a loser is someone who has self-selected the title. Only you know the criteria for being “you” and whether or not you are truly achieving at the goal of being “you”. Don’t let someone else define success for being “you”. If you were playing checkers you wouldn’t use the rules of chess to determine the winner. That would be insane. Likewise, you can’t use the criteria of being someone else to determine whether you win at being “you”. Some of the greatest “winners” on earth are unknown while some of the biggest “losers” are people we celebrate daily. You cannot truly see who’s who with your eyes.
Only you know if you are a winner in pursuit of your destiny. Are you winning at being you? If you don’t believe you are winning, consider how impossible it is for someone else to be a better “you” than you. Losing is impossible in these terms – unless of course you give up on the task. So if you think you are losing, develop your plan, look in the mirror and declare, “Winning!”