Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Do I write like a colored person?

I believe ethnic identification is ultimately delusional and regressive. Yet in immediate daily life, in a "short term" that lasts lifetimes and generations, it can be beneficial, even survival-necessary. Ethnic identification therefore is a game that as humans we are forced to play, forced to collude in. Think of us all as spies in enemy territory, playing roles that hide our true selves, suffering damage for reasons we believe to be worthy.

The game is stacked against us. We have a moral obligation to cheat.

The only way to play this game and not be destroyed by it is to play it consciously and without attachment: like getting dressed for a job interview. We may choose to represent ourselves honestly, or to hide or falsify parts of ourselves. In either case these must be conscious choices, whether impelled by need or by moral principle or some other contextual consideration.

Ethnic identification is becoming less and less clear-cut, less and less useful, and I hope less necessary in an age of increased exogamy. I doubt that the need for it will disappear completely in my lifetime, but then I doubted this country would elect a black President in my lifetime.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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