Me? All-American mutt. That’s enough.

Brad Boyer,
Lawton, OK

Why enough? At the deepest level, my conviction is that the same God with the same love made us all; therefore we are all equally valid and valuable. It appears to me that racism (and all other -isms) is a corruption of the normal human function to constantly filter the environment into safe/not safe, yummy/yucky, known/unknown, etc. It’s something like an emotional allergy that we warp into taking seriously, assigning meaning to the meaningless. Children hear a noise and “see” a monster; racism is this instinct gone wild. … But on a historical level, I can’t trace my ancestry that far; what limited information I have suggests that this is due to criminal activity and general low-life character that my more immediate ancestors wanted to forget. This leads me to conclude that sooner or later we all have totally embarrassing ancestors. That’s another false basis of racism, that somehow “my” family tree is purer or nobler than “yours”. Total baloney. Finally, I married a naturalized American from Japan. She’s very comfortable with her Japanese heritage, but she hates being called “Japanese-American”; she wants to be called just “American”. We’ve taken issue with some of our relatives who though well-meaning have told our kids, “Your daddy is American but your mommy is Japanese.” Our challenge is, “So ‘American’ only means one race, one color?”

 

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