When I was younger I must have fallen asleep for twenty years like Rip Van Winkle. Then when I awoke, somewhere in adulthood, I noticed a most unusual evolving phenomenon: in a world where only two distinct races existed (black and white) there were now Hispanics, Asians, Latinos, and others. Over the next several decades, more and more groups of people were being classified as such. A recent internet search uncovered an anthropologist named Carleton S. Coon who, a mere fifty years ago, decided to divide humankind into four major races: white/Caucasian, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black, and Australoid (sounds like something from outer space). These races are further subdivided into as many as 30 subgroups. Wow! I’m speechless!
I question who granted Mr. Coon the authority to decide people needed to be segmented into distinct groups? And by what criteria – the color of their skin, shape of their eyes, country of origin? And for what possible purpose? Was some good meant to evolve from this action? I can understand segmenting animals into specific categories: mammals, fish, birds, insects. Each has distinct characteristics, needs, living conditions, behaviors, and so forth that set it apart from other species. But people? How are we so intrinsically different from one another that we need to be regulated into different classes? Are we not all comprised of bone and tissue, muscle mass and organs, hair and skin, fingers and toes? Do we not all share the same emotions, need the same things to survive such as food, water and love? Do we not all enter this world in the same way, breathe the same air, laugh, cry, hope, and dream the same things?
Classifying dogs into different breeds is harmless. Each canine knows instinctively that underneath the obvious external differences, they are alike. People? Not so much. Categorizing humans causes a breakdown in understanding, trust, and ultimately relationships. We fracture our likenesses. By emphasizing our differences we instill uncertainty and fear in one another. And fear leads to aggression. To survive as a species, we must develop and mentality of unity, of similarities and commonalities, of oneness. We are all children of God…Period.
Let’s remove all language and attitudes that separate and divide us. Let us think and speak as one and the same. I am human. You are human. The packaging may be different but inherently we all identical. When asked what race I belong to, I respond with, “The HUMAN race.” You see, it truly is the only one. Everything else is a myth.