By Maurie Murray
On Facebook, I follow an LGBT support page called “Have a Gay Day”. Every now and then they always post a graphic with the message “We are all one race, the human race”. It’s a phrase that I’ve even heard said by professors in classrooms. It’s a phrase that leads you on to believe that my ancestry, appearance, and place in society are the same as yours.
“We are all one race, the human race” is the biggest lie you could ever tell. Sure biologically, we have the same blood flowing through our veins. I get that. But as a black woman, I am not the same as you.
I am not the same as you when my mother’s family literally slaved for their freedom, enough to own the 20 acres of land that is still in their name to this day back in the capital of Tallahassee. I am not the same as you when my father had to attend a segregated school back in Mississippi even after his father served in World War II. I’m not the same as you when back in Pensacola I lost my first job at the age of 17 along with three other black females due to us making our white co-workers feel uncomfortable in the office.
Race has become the dreaded big elephant in the room that no one wants to touch. There can be tons and tons of articles written about marriage equality (which I support), religious equality, and even food quality. But barely anyone wants to touch the fact that black Americans and other minorities still are fighting for equal housing and quality education.
As a senior on Stetson’s campus, I’ve encountered various types of people who buy what the phrase is saying. I’ve met religious people who dismiss or ignore race, because in God’s eyes we are all supposed to be the same. But ignore the fact that even in today’s world there is still a black and a white church. I’ve met liberal students who believe it’s “us” with the problem. Even though ABC News reported in “Here’s Why We Might Want to Use Race in College Admissions” article that black and Hispanic students are still largely relegated to less selective public schools with lower graduation rates and fewer resources.
During my time here, I’ve come across different types of people with various beliefs and ideals who still wish to believe that we are treated the same or that we are the same period. Naivety is clothed in all shapes and forms.
To me, the “we are all one race” ideology only furthers these views and pushes the racial elephant further into the corner. It gives people the false comfort that since we are all one race privilege doesn’t exist. Not only that, but I don’t believe that we are the same. I believe we are all different and we are going to have to come to terms with these differences.
I am not the same race as you. Never have been, never will be.