I take no pride in admitting that I have prejudices. It pains me to admit to the homophobia I once felt. I take no comfort that I am more mindful of sexism and gender discrimination than I once was, because I still fall into the trap of engaging in both, despite my desires to the contrary. If I am to be perfectly honest, part of me would just as soon forget all my acts of oppression and dehumanization, but that would do me no good. If I were able to erase all the things I’ve done wrong, I would be erasing the lessons learned, leaving myself in the horrific position of reliving the same events over and over again. Day in and day out, I would be seeking to regain my own humanity at the expense of others—robbing them of their rights and dignity because mine seemed to have been taken from me. So many of us have done this. So many of us continue to do this. And it is this act of erasing history—of altering what has happened in an effort to ease the soul—that has created the world we live in.
Becoming Black: Personal Ramblings on Racial Identification, Racism, and Popular Culture is now available on Amazon.