Racial identity

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

God made us all, and no one should have to apologize or deny the beauty that lies within each and every human being. It is no secret that those in the know recognize and understand that we all are products of one race, making us inherently one. However, man as a whole acknowledges different races. These races are identified as divisions among human beings, derived from different groups that pass on certain physical characteristics or traits from one generation to another.

Man has divided human beings as belonging to three basic groups. People are identified as Caucasians (White or of European descent); Negroids (Black or of African descent); and Mongoloids (of Asian descent)—each with distinctive characteristics. However, there exist different ethnicities within these races, based on differences deriving from these group’s specific native ancestral birthplaces, inclusive of the characteristics, customs, traditions, and languages associated with these groups. The coming together of different ethnicities should only bring special attention and appreciation to the beautiful and wonderful tapestry of people making up this country as well as the world. There is so much that each group brings to the table to be shared and incorporated in all our lives.

We must be cognizant that with our ever intertwining global association, most of us have a multitude of different ethnicities in our bloodline. But we are basically judged according to our physical characteristics or skin color. Regardless of how one may personally feel, physical characteristics, especially skin color, is the common denominator used to judged one’s race or ethnicity. It isn’t likely to change anytime soon. The dilemma lies in the stereotypes and depictions generally associated with some of these groups or races, making them positive and appreciated, or negative and despised.

Herein lies a very volatile and caustic problem in racial relations, especially in this country. This is evident in the historic and presently negative treatment and portrayal of African Americans in this country, especially by the media. Blacks for the most part are portrayed in a negative light as inferior, lazy, criminally inclined and offering little to the development of this country. While Whites are generally hailed as being superior, good, industrious, and identified and associated with positive characteristics or attributes.

It is no wonder you find so many African Americans harboring low self-esteem, hating themselves and being ashamed of their race. This self-hate (along with a multitude of social and economic factors) may be a contributing factor for a lot of criminal behavior in some young Black boys and girls. If you think about it, you don’t find too many people of other races apologizing for and denying who they are. How do you think African Americans, especially young children, feel when they see Black celebrities in movies, TV, or celebrated Black athletics not wanting to be called or identified as African Americans.

Many people of mixed race (generally in the United States and consisting of one Black parent and one White parent) are automatically identified as African Americans. But some of these offspring vehemently identify themselves as White or ‘other,’ dismissing their Black bloodline. This sometimes is ironic because usually their Black characteristics overshadow their other characteristics and the public automatically sees them as being Black. It is very rare you find any other person of another race ashamed of or emphatically denying their race.

While racially mixed people are entitled to their own opinions regarding their race, they don’t realize the damage they are doing to impair the Black psyche of many African Americans when they embrace their White bloodline or ancestry and dismiss their Black lineage . In all honesty, most Americans are genetically mixed, especially Black Americans because of the sexual interactions of slave masters with the slaves. We need more Blacks proudly embracing and acknowledging the greatness, beauty, spirituality, and creativity they see in being recognized as African Americans or as Black people.

Perhaps the world that tries to degrade or discriminate against people of color is a world perpetuating ignorance out of fear—trying to hide the greatness and possibilities they know is inherent in these people.

Maybe one day we can truly embrace the fact that we really consist of only one race: the human race.

Everyone should be respected.