Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Definitions of Race

I've touched on race before, and I've talked about weaving a story like a tapestry. One prevailing thread that runs through this book is race. Not racism, just race. There are like four major races on this Earth, and probably several variants. But what if there were races we knew nothing about? What if these people purposely kept their numbers way down, propagating only by special permission? And then, what if you discovered one of them? What would you do? How would you react? Would you react at all?

Now, if you or I ran across one of these people, we might not do much of anything because we probably wouldn't know the difference, I mean, it's not as if their race was written on their face like having black skin, or slanted eyes.

However, John, does just that, and, just like anyone else, he doesn't know it, and doesn't really care. He was just on a routine surveillance job. Minutes later, nothing was routine anymore. Now he had to figure out why some out-of-town crime boss wanted him dead one minute and then wanted to be all friendly the next time they talked.

So tell me, what is it about race that makes it what it is? I mean, other than a physical appearance, what makes a black man a black man? What makes an Asian man Asian. If not their physical appearance; if not their country of origin, what else is there. A black person, a white person, all of us have other words that define us. Most of those words are derogatory on some level, but really, if you take away appearance and location, a definition, any definition, is about all that is left. So given only the definition, and given two definitions to choose from, which do you choose? Which one makes you stronger and which one destroys you, even if only within your own mind?


1 comment:

William Kendall said...

That's an interesting dynamic, the notion of a hidden race deliberately keeping their numbers down.

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a notion for a subset of humanity doing their best to stay out of the notice of mainstream humanity.