Colour is not a culture

Ashley C
Canada

The colour of my skin does not define who I am, and colours can often be misleading. When people ask me “what I am” I tell them I am human. I am a product of my environment. I am a piece of my mother, my father, my grandparents, and my extended family. I am part small-town and have all the beliefs, customs, values and upbringing that were prevalent in that community and within my family. Above all, I am human and possess all the qualities that define the human race. I am capable of anger, hatred, prejudice and egocentrism as well as compassion, understanding, love and kindness. I refuse to pick a racial “label”, because each label is vague and often comes at a price. I am sure other people will try to put me into some neat little category, either based on what I look like, how I speak, how I act, or how I dress. They will guess I am one race or another, based on the colour of my skin, my hair, my eyes, the shape of my face. I will fit neatly into some, but not into others. And ultimately, they will find a label of “best fit”. And I will remind them that the colour of my skin does not define me. An orange and a carrot both have orange skin but they are very different. They have qualities that distinguish themselves from each other, and they have both been grown in different ways. It is the same with people. We may group each other into categories based on a few small attributes like skin colour, but we all have different qualities that make us unique and it’s unlikely that we have all been raised/grown in the same way.

 

Tweets by Michele Norris