The Tensions Are Rising

 Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

I
don’t know how else to say this but the world we’re all living in today is so truly fucked up and beautiful at the same time that there are literally no words to really describe it: it’s startling. Even though this is the greatest time to be alive; we still have a bunch of terrible wars that are raging on overseas and at home, and domestic gun violence 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 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 trans people and the public understanding of their journey is better understood. There is a debate in Canada specifically about trans people because during this summer Bill C-16 was passed in parliament. We have boys saying that their girls, girls saying they’re boys — without even transitioning. Some people say that they are a fox or a dump truck — well that’s all good in Canada now. The 20th century was the sexual revolution. It was all about asking yourself: am I gay or straight or bi?

Right now is the identity revolution. Everybody is finding out who they are and who they really identify within an age of unlimited possibilities. People have the choice to decide which gender they feel comfortable being. Anyone can choose. However, it is not only the gender identity revolution, it is also about your racial identity too.

Racial tensions are rising. 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.” I did not understand this controversy but after reading the article the model wrote it gave me a better understanding of what is happening. I can understand where people are coming from on social media to be freaking out about this but also I want to drive the fact that many people, including the black woman in the ad, don’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 DNA. Yet a white woman who used to be a flight attendant and is aspiring to be a glamour model, named Martina Big, recently got enough tanning injections 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 say that you are not a white person anymore and that you are now automatically a black person is absurd. There are 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 a surgery done and skipping that learning process, you’re discounting entire populations and putting the spotlight on you instead of on racial discrimination.logo

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