- Posted August 7, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
Diversity is Beautiful
Like most other American children, I lived on a block where we played in the front yard with all the neighborhood children until our parents called for us to go eat dinner. I attended public school, and my particular family raised me up in church. In every one of these experiences, I enjoyed a generally positive and average childhood, with one exception. As a caucasian child, I was a racial minority. Being a racial minority was a blessing and to some, that comes as a surprise. I found that my own "culture" wasn't "tainted," it was expanded.
Because of my upbringing, I faced prejudice, like any racial minority would. I was prejudged because of the color of my skin, I was spit on and called names. An interesting thing came from these hard moments and I discovered that it was all for my greater good. How can we say we understand racism if we aren't on the harder side of it? This is an ultimate truth only learned one way. And despite the hard moments, I'm on the better side of it. I've been able to experience multiple cultures, expand my knowledge, and see that diversity is beautiful. I find myself thankful that today, I can't be comfortable in crowds of my own race who don't get that. I'm proud to defend it even when its not popular, be that where I live, where I work, or even where I attend church.
Racism is everywhere. We'll be battling it for a long time to come. I'm thankful for the progress we've made but I'm willing to stand up and push it to the next level. It comes in all forms. I know those persecuted might be tempted sometimes to wish we could all just be the same. I disagree. The truth of the matter is, any person who thinks too highly of themselves will always find something about everyone else that doesn't match up to them. If it's not about color, it's something else. Color is irrelevant to the truth of our heart condition. Change comes from within. A change of heart condition can eradicate racism, bring a rich man to spend his free time at a soup kitchen, bring an educated man to donate his talent to the underprivileged, all of which come in every color and are found in the back doors of the world's most successful societies.
What would today's wealth of knowledge be if we were segregated? Lives are saved because of it. Progress is made because of it. Every story is valuable and can only be told by the lives that lived to tell it. Every perspective is valuable to advancement as a whole. Every step we take closer to embracing that truth brings us one step closer to embracing each other.
I'm willing to dare to imagine a world for my children that does just that and I encourage you to join me.