I had an unstated rule about not seriously commenting on race relations. I prefer to pointedly ignore reality and focus on a colourblind lifestyle. My rationale is that, by calling attention to invented divisions, I only help perpetuate painful memes. I won't claim perfection. I am quoted on Max's Facebook profile, "Some call it the race card, I call it the trump card!" To my chagrin, this demonstrates my philosophy rarely stops me from lampooning the issue between vetted friends.
This particular circumstance of birth is not a "trump card." I quickly withdraw my respect from anyone who seriously expresses that sentiment.
Contrary to common belief, I do not wake up in the morning and remind myself I'm a black male while looking in the bathroom mirror. On most given days, I am never reminded of my membership in a minority demographic. Unless there are grand conspiracy meetings, I believe I go through my day-to-day life as any other average college student. I am under the impression the honest composition of the preceding paragraph was the goal of the civil rights movement.
Take a moment to read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. If you have a short attention span, start reading the famous one-liners near the end where he vignettes a world where his dream is reality. His hopes are realistic! I won't claim perfection. But, consider the incredible societal changes that have ensued since these words were first spoke and this very moment.
I am infrequently directed to the fact I could indulge in affirmative action-styled programs. My fairer-skinned friends sometimes point out I have been mistreated as a direct result of my race. Some people express a preference for darker-skinned company. In response to these, I walk a line between indifference and avoidance. Some have called this irrational behavior: "Why do you not maximize your advantages? You should take every opportunity." Others imply treasonous behavior: "Are you ashamed of your race? You should love Black." These are confrontations I prefer to avoid. But, my internal dialogue consistently responds to both with the inquiry, "I was born this way. Isn't that enough?"
I enjoy a privileged position. I don't live with a burden of race. The woman in the Violent Acres article lives with that burden. Unfortunately, she's not alone in carrying that daily weight. In the same vein that I take offense at the implication I am conditioned to ignore harms society inflicts upon me, she would be offended at an implication she is imagining those same harms. Our society isn't perfect, and so we're both right. I won't claim perfection.