"It's not about race…"
In the car today, I had my attention split between driving, talking on the phone and listening to the BBC World Edition on NPR. On the show, they were discussing that how Britains (I could be wrong) have a more difficult time accepting immigrants into their culture because at least as far as recent history is concerned, Britain is a self-contained country by which those who live their have a distinct view of what being Britain truly entails. This state of affairs was contrasted with America where everyone, minus Native Americans are immigrants, can legitimately claim and believe to be truly American.
The part that jarred me is when an interviewer asks a Britain why its more difficult for Britains to accept immigrants (I should note that there appeard to be a tacit understanding that they were really talking about people of color) and a woman responded dryly, “It’s not about race, it’s about space.” For years now, I have considered how conflicts over land and resources become painted in race/culture specifiic terms in order for the powers that be to misdirect their true intentions. But I think the woman’s response more accurately depicts my thoughts and here is why.
Taken literally and figuratively, what keeps racism thriving is a perpetual denial of accepting “others” into your space. Literally, this “space” can be interpreted by where you live, where your kids go to school, where you hang out, etc. No less important is the figurative sense which can be interpreted via who you do/don’t allow to have access to your emotional space. There are a range of things people do with this void. Some fill this void with stereotypes that can serve as barriers to the type of humanity that God envisioned; Love your brother as yourself. Others are aware of their void and take steps to fill it with love and understanding. In the end, I suppose the takeaway from this post is that you should be mindful of how you filter who gets in your space and the morals and values that under gird these filters. It is impossible to allow poor morals to inform who gets into your space and not think these same values are expressed when you try to enter into another person’s space.
Stay up fam,