Matthew Duris
Fresno, CA

Race has no basis in biology

I hope it’s OK that I did a number of them, each one encapsulates a bite-sized chunk of the construct of the human mind that is race. Much like other constructs of the human mind, such as time and money, race both mesmerizes and beguiles us, especially when viewed from the materialist, cosmetic kaleidoscope of American capitalism. Image is everything in our society and race is based on visually apparent differences between individuals. It therefore becomes acceptable to judge people based on looks, much like this patriarchal society judges women on appearance. This way of thinking pervades every aspect of our culture that places a material, monetary value to everything possible, from the top soil we walk and live on, that sustains all land-based life, to the water that every living organism on Earth depends on for survival. We are not born into a world that grants us all an equal share of the Earth’s bounty, instead we all are predetermined to have a disproportional share based on constructs of the human mind like race, money and arbitrarily drawn national borders.

By the way, I am a twenty-something, heterosexual, white male who was born and raised in a Christian household in the suburban sprawl of Eastern Los Angeles County, and I am sorry. I feel I have to apologize for this because I benefit so greatly for belonging to this socially preferred demographic. Earlier this week, I was rolling a joint in my car and a police officer walked up to my window and caught me red-handed. He said nothing about the marijuana, instead asking me if I was OK? He had seen me with my head down and thought I was asleep. The officer just stopped by the van with “DEMAND AN END TO WAR”, “FREE BRAD MANNING NOW” and “END THE FAILED WAR ON DRUGS” spray painted on it to make sure the long-haired white boy was OK. If I were a person of color I’m sure I would have had to show my doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana and I still would have had my car searched. Maybe I’m mistaken, but that sort of occurrence has happened to me more than a few times over my 26 years, and I hear the opposite from my friends of color. Anecdotal as it is, the evidence all points in one direction, “the system ‘aint broke, it’s inherently racist!”

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