And The Tensions Keep On Rising

Published by GERALD SAMMS

 Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

THERE’S NO BETTER WAY TO SAY THIS: The world we are all living in today is so truly fucked up and beautiful at the exact same time, that there are literally no words to really describe it. It’s as wonderful as it is startling. And even though this is the greatest time to be alive; there are still terrible wars raging on overseas and domestic violence in the west (especially in the United States) is reaching its absolute summit. The divide politically between us is so wide that liberals aren’t talking to conservatives and vice-versa: they are just yelling and blaming each other.

Yet we see marijuana becoming legal, opening the doors for so many breakthrough medications. We see gay marriage becoming legal and deep inside the gay community there is now a more general acceptance of transgender people and the public’s understanding of their journey is better understood now than ever before. There is a debate in Canada specifically about this because during this summer Bill C-16 was passed in the parliament. There are boys saying that their girls, girls saying they’re boys — without even transitioning and some people say that they are a fox-kin or a dump truck: well that’s perfectly fine in The Great White North now.

If the 20th century was the sexual revolution, the 21st century is the identity revolution. Everybody is finding out who they are in an age of post-modernism and unlimited possibilities. People now have the choice to decide which gender they feel comfortable being. However, this century is not only the gender identity revolution: it is also about racial identity too.

Racial tensions are rising extremely high. With Black Lives Matters on the left and the rise of white supremacists on the right; the recent dove commercial coming out that showed a black woman taking off her shirt to reveal a white woman, with supposedly “cleaner skin.”  The article the model wrote after the commercial was sacked gave me a better understanding of what was happening. I see where people are coming from on social media to be freaking out about this ad but also I want to drive the fact that many people — including the black woman in the ad — didn’t think it was a racist at all.

While I agree with Dove’s response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased.

How we present individualism to others through our sexuality is much different than our racial and cultural identities. A race is something that cannot be changed. It is ingrained into our unique DNA and written by our childhoods. Yet a white woman aspiring to be a glamour model, named Martina Big, recently got enough tanning injections in his skin to make her — in her own words — “‘80 per cent black‘ because she still ‘has a lot to learn.'”

The choice to defy other people’s identity struggles is probably the most ignorant and selfish thing you could do with your freedoms. White privilege is literally taking other cultures and turning them into a costume. To claim you are not caucasian anymore and that you are now automatically a black person is absurd. There are so many differences between us and that is what makes the human race so beautiful.

There is so much for all of us to learn from each other but by getting surgery done and skipping the learning process, you are discounting entire populations and putting the spotlight on you instead of on important topics like racial discrimination, which is exactly where it should be.logo