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Culture or Race?

by Johnny Whichard

“I have a dream that my four little 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.” On the surface level, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote is simple to understand. Our society has used this quote as the pinnacle of expression for civil rights. I would like to argue that while we have employed civil rights well in our country, we have dropped the ball as to where race fits in.

It used to be a good thing to declare one’s self “color blind.” But as with most common sense, over sensitive people began declaring that they wanted their race to be noticed. Declaring one’s self “color blind” has since become taboo as some people believe they should be noted simply by the color of their skin. Is this what MLK Jr. wanted? Of course not!

In our universities and communities, the Left has called us to “celebrate” race and “celebrate” diversity.  I agree in celebrating diversity: it is absolutely beautiful all the differences God has bestowed upon the human race. Celebrating “race” however, is wrong. It forces identifiable segregation in our minds and how we view people with skin lighter or darker than our own.

What does race mean? Well, I’d argue nothing. When you hear about cultural clubs on college campuses, they are almost always based off of race.  For example, at Notre Dame, we have several racially based clubs. We have a “African Students Association” that focuses on culture and African history while we also have a “Black Student Association.” The “Black Student Association” is described as the following:


The purpose of The Black Student Association is to promote unity among Notre Dame’s Black students by:
-Serving as a representative body for Black students
-Acting on issues of importance to the community
-Serving as a support and discussion forum for black organizations, clubs, and affiliates on campus
-Voicing concerns of the Black community to the University.
The BSA will also strive to strengthen the relationship between the Black community and the wider Notre Dame community.

Is this what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted? I think he would be ecstatic for there to be cultural clubs on our college campuses, but why have race clubs? The thought alone is by definition “racist.” I’d argue that the best way to “celebrate” diversity is to promote cultural expression but I’d also ask that RACE be left out of the equation. Civil rights are to be used to take race out of the equation for our socio-political world.  Civil rights promote fairness and damage stereotypical thought. Bringing race back into the equation (as progressives would like to do) brings us to a mild form of apartheid.

I had a discussion with a Latina girl here at Notre Dame. She told me that because she is a Latina, I am to assume her ancestors went through a ton of strife and that I should understand that she has an insanely rich and colorful culture.

Take a moment to fathom this: because somebody has different physical characteristics than me, I am to assume things about their ancestors and treat this individual differently? I’m supposed to assume they have a culture stereotypical to their race?

Call me crazy, but I believe this is how progressive minds want us to think.

I sincerely believe this type of thinking has MLK Jr. tossing and turning in his grave.  His message was to remove stereotypes from our country, not promote them. He wanted to erase the concept of race, not promote racial pride. He wanted fair opportunities in our country, not have it be easier for one kid to get into college based off race than another.

Personally, I don’t call myself Caucasian or White. I have white skin, blue eyes and jet black hair. While it is obvious my ancestors came from Europe, I consider myself American. My ancestors came to this continent in the mid 1600′s. I am American. I may get more sunburned than somebody else because of my ancestors, I may be taller or shorter than people of different historical backgrounds, and I may have a higher chance of having children with cystic fibrosis than people of different skin tones, but I will refuse to identify myself as “White” as I don’t want people to assume anything about me. Just because my skin is white doesn’t mean people should assume things about my culture, my ancestors, that I have lived a comfortable life or even my taste in food.  If I want to celebrate my culture, I will.  But my culture is a part of American culture.  Not “white” culture.

It is time we as Americans stop focusing on race. I will proudly identify myself as “color-blind” in the way I judge others. I will refuse to mark myself as “white” on forms. I will continue to appreciate the diversity of the human race as God made it. I will continue to appreciate the amazing mix of cultures that America uniquely offers. I encourage all to do the same!

If the planet was “color-blind,” we wouldn’t have racial hate crimes. We would still have incredible cultural diversity and sickening racial “pride” wouldn’t exist. This is what Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of.  This is what America is meant for.

This article was originally posted on “Gentleman’s Corner” on Counter Cultured.

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