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Through Aryan Eyes

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We were talking about dog breeds in Freshman Biology, about dogs’ history with human and how their environment brought out certain traits that specified a breed. I remember raising my hand timidly and asking, “Are different races of people almost like different breeds?” I felt the whole room burning with judgment as my biology teacher negated my question. I could hear thoughts, and I saw looks; the whole room had contempt for the little blonde freshman that brought up the question everyone was thinking. In their eyes, I was another Aryan racist, looking down at others as inferior breeds. At the time, I only stared, embarrassed, at my desk while my Hispanic and Native American classmates glared at me, but looking back, if any of them had brought up the question about race, it would have been all right, no one would have thought less of them for it. Let me clear the air, I’m not racist. I asked the question because I wondered what made others believe that race mattered.

It’s hard for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, white girl to talk about race, and maybe I’m not the one to do it. After all, I’ve never been deprived of anything, ever. I’ve never been forcibly removed from my home, kicked off a bus, joked about, told where to sit, or prevented from attending school. I’ve never been raped, lynched, or gassed at a concentration camp. I’ve never suffered because of my race, but many have suffered at the hands of my race. And maybe that’s why I’m not the right person to talk about it, at least not in that respect. But for some reason, that seems wrong to me. After all, what is race?

Honestly, race wouldn’t exist without human pride; it’s the spawn of pride. It’s a social construct seemingly bred into us, one that is a challenge to overcome for some, maybe for all. Race seems to matter; it seems to, but if we were to raise a veil of ignorance that blocked out all ideas of race, would our judgments differ? Does judgment even happen if all we know about a person is that they’re a human being? That’s the thing about race; because of its outreach, never mind how much we notice it, we still judge, never mind how little, based on what we see; white, black, brown, or yellow. We reduce people to breeds, judging on wealth, crime rates, immigration, and intelligence, and we pick and choose what traits we want to train.

Why can’t we just see each other as people?

People with free minds and personalities, with unique and surprising talents; people with trials and secrets, with loves and hates; people with agency. As Thomas Jefferson stated and Martin Luther King Jr. reaffirmed, each of us is endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People don’t only have the right to live, but the right to live free of ridiculous social judgments placed on them. Race doesn’t matter. Race is a lie. I am a person.

And that’s exactly why I can speak freely through my pale lips about what I see through my Aryan eyes; I’m a person. I’m a person with hopes and fears, and sometimes judgments, but I’m also a person who makes mistakes. People tend to do that, after all. Race is our great societal mistake, but our humanity is everything else.





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