It does matter if you’re black or white (or in-between) actually, and I think it may have to MJ himself, too.
It matters because the world is DIVERSE.
Diverse in cultures, colours, language, customs, religions, practices, opportunities.
Diverse in access to shelter, safety, stability, fresh food supplies, health aid and financial support.
Diverse in EDUCATION, access to it, the content of it.
It matters because the colour of peoples skin has determined their social status globally, since colonisation. White supremacy has determined ownership of land, and distribution of money, care, respect and justice.
To deny this history, and the effects of such blatantly racist, inhumane actions, and to deny the existence of ones cultural heritage, is to deny part of their identity.
“Fit in or Fuck Off”
In other words, demanding that all citizens of a country (like Australia) be part of the ONE EQUAL, HOMOGENISED TEAM that thinks and acts in the same way, not only denies the celebration of individuality and difference, it alienates and isolates the ‘others’. It is also racist.
Last week I had a mind- altering convo with a few pals. Being the wanna- be philosophers we are, we were (as always) pondering the problems with the world and the need for social change, when a guy friend said “we just need to treat others as we’d like to be treated, it is simple”.
My friend responsed with a long pause before asking DO WE THOUGH? how do you know how the people in Somalia or Indigenous people want to be treated? do they have the same needs as you? have you had the same life experience?
She made a point, and I think she is right. We don’t know what is right for everyone, or what others may deem best for their circumstances.
We know that we all experience life differently, and have a different story and perceptive as a result. We also, particularly in OZ, celebrate our multicultural society and laid back, fun loving attitudes. But there are limits.
Limits on what we consider “normal”, “acceptable” and “cool”.
These constricting labels don’t just apply to people with darker skin obviously, I mean we can’t even legalise gay marriage (or find healthy weights on the cat walks).
Unfortunately, when something or someone is foreign and unknown, they are often seen as a threat. And instead of educating ourselves by interacting with, and getting to know different people, cultures, practices, norms and celebrating diversity, we sit in our glass boxes and judge, assume and isolate.
This is such a shame, because not only do we miss out on the rich experience of story exchange, we miss the opportunity to identity our similarities as humans~~ as people navigating this big scary world side by side.
I don’t see any benefit in pointing the blame at our selves individually, as shaming never gets us far and it is obvious that we, especially in the western world, have been programed to think this way. I mean FFS, where are the black and Asian emojis? Why is the angel blonde?
Even in Asia, models and actors are photoshopped to look Eurasian. This is SAD.
Look, I aint’ perfect. Assumptions about culture, race and characteristics are so deeply ingrained in my European veins, that it’s impossible to claim that I’ve never made a stupid judgement in my life.
But I am lucky to have friends from different parts of the world, with different skin colours and mother tongues. I have more in common with some of my ‘foreign’ pals then I do with my white neighbours. I know this because we have taken the time to get to know each other and to bond. Bond over our similarities and our differences.
I think we need to start putting a lot more emphasis on the character of people, and whether or not they are a fuckhead, and a little less on the connotations of their associated labels. Maybe then we’ll reconsider who we choose to run our country too?