I once had a conversation with someone who went on and on complaining and said the phrase, “Because I am black..” in a sentence more than I could count.
At that point, I realized that many times we kill and condemn ourselves before others do. The phrase, “Because I am black” has become a stronger bondage than racism.
We gladly accept the labels we are given and prisoners of it.
Before we are even put down by racist people, we are already trampling and rolling in the mud ourselves.
Martin Luther King in his speech “I have a dream” said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The question is,
“Where is the character?
“What is the content of our character?”
“Do we even have character?”
It’s been 55 years since MLK made that statement in 1963. Yet, the dream is still just a dream. This is very sad. And this is because many of us are not working towards this dream yet we long for it to become a reality.
Instead of building and refining our character/identity and uphold the dream that someday we will be judged by our character, we instead live up to the expectations of our labels (Skin color).
We have no character, so we are still being judged by our skin color.
I am aware of racism but I am NOT bothered by it because I refuse to pay attention to it, thus, it can’t hurt me. Many of us the moment we don’t get a job or anything that happens to us, we immediately say, “It’s because I am black.” We accredit all the bad and not so good things in our lives to our color.
What if it isn’t about your color this time? What if you didn’t get the job just because you weren’t qualified for it? What if that bad thing happened because you somehow caused it by your lack of character?
We’ve got to stop putting everything on our color. We’ve got to stop turning ordinary skin color (black or white) into an idol.
Personally, you will NEVER hear me refer to myself as a BLACK woman. Because I don’t live by labels and there are so many other words that define my character (WHO I AM) and can come before and after the word woman rather than black. These are words that define my character and identity (which I expect to be judged by ) and not by the color of my skin.
Labels vs. Identity
What is the difference you ask?
- A Label is what people call you, while Identity is what you call yourself, preferable what God calls you.
- Labels are limited to what people see (the physical), while identity is unlimited. It includes the physical and spiritual.
- Labels are usually negative and mocking, while Identity is mostly positive and affirmative.
Many of us, if asked to describe ourselves, always begin with “I am a Black boy, girl, woman, or man.” In fact, that’s all many have got. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t be proud of our skin color or to throw it away (not that we can). However, I am saying, don’t make it an idol, don’t make it your top identity.
When we are asked to describe WHO we are, our answers should be more about WHO we are on the inside (this lasts forever) than on the outside (this is going to fade away).
WHO YOU ARE should be about your character not your skin color
To the parents (Moms & Dads)
I implore us to bring up our children to embrace all the awesomeness of their lives and to look within themselves and find out who they are. We shouldn’t make it our duty and obligation to tell them who they are, “You are a BLACK girl/boy, so don’t dream and don’t build your character.” We teach them ALL they CAN’T be because they are BLACK instead of ALL they can be because they are simply HUMAN. We empty out the content of their budding character and turn them into puppets of skin color. We’ve got to stop this. We must begin to nurture those great and awesome characters right from childhood.
Rather than building our character, we have taken so much pleasure in forming cliques of BLACK people. We celebrate our BLACKNESS instead of celebrating our character, true identity, & accomplishments. Even when we celebrate our accomplishments, we always fit the word, “BLACK” somewhere there.
“I am a successful BLACK nurse. I am a black ______.” Why can’t it just be, “I am a successful NURSE.” Let the emphasis be on who you are not your color.
If you are to tell me WHO you are without the word black or attributing everything to being black, WHO will you be? WHO ARE YOU?
It’s not a rhetorical question. Try answering that honestly.
We ourselves have refused to drop the color label yet we wonder why racism, prejudice, discrimination & stereotypes still exist. We’ve got to drop the color label.
You can’t plant orange and expect apples. NEVER gonna happen.
Plant the right seeds, drop the label and the labeling might just stop. And even if it doesn’t it won’t affect you because you know who you truly are.
We must understand that we are more of spiritual beings than we are a physical beings. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. So, the description of who you are should be spiritual and many things that happen to you are more spiritual than just “Because you are black.”
Your skin color has no power aside the one you give to it.
#BetheChange #BuildyourCharacter #Dropthecolorlabel
Have a great week
You are Eternally Loved.
The series (Freedom from Racism) continues tomorrow. Be sure to stop by. And if you’ve been blessed be sure to share with others. God bless.