As our nation completes the 2010 census and the United States and the world moves toward a more racially and ethnically diverse population, many still are challenged by their identity. Groups of people although increasingly becoming smaller still challenge and minimize their own cultural heritage and individual expression but also seek to oppress other diverse populations.
The fact still remains whether you have a spiritual, humanist, historical or an ideological view, we can not change our biological DNA. Sure you can view yourself spiritually and embrace your identity as a child of God and that is your choice but when we are born unto this earth we are also the parts of our parents. Since the beginning of time cultures have intermingled through trade, workplace and marriage, so this notion that how did America or the world become so multicultural or a melting pot of sorts should be of no surprise. It is only a surprise to people who have made a selective choice to identify and socialize with only people of their own skin color or belief systems. Many in the past and current day use skin color in their mind to move up economically and escape the so called burdens of a particular race they believe are holding them back from prosperity. An example would be the "passing for white" or Caucasian during the slavery system. Ironically, it was a double edged sword as the benefits of skin color brought on by unjust laws and policies was based on a false hierarchy of entitlement that was morally wrong. Many know this deep down in their hearts but often times, and unfortunately, status, praise and greed trumps the moral high ground.
Lately, since the election of President Obama people have taken their rants out on people of color in the form of comments such as "Hybrids", meaning that if your heritage is of two or more races then your some sort of other strange anomaly floating somewhere in space whereby they can't wrap their heads around the fact that a person who was born of multiple races could not possibly negotiate their two worlds, let alone have educational, historical and social views that may be similar or different from their own. God forgive them, they don't know any better. Of course we all should be proud of our heritage, no matter what our skin color, experience or disability but that also means not isolating yourselves culturally within your own groups including your church groups, which by the way is one of the reasons for decline in church attendance because outdated social religious morays are not in tune with the younger generation way of life, so the result is religious governing bodies who continue to set agendas and programs that don't speak to their changing or diverse population. For sure, there are folks who just don't understand or care to know the historical and cultural history of a group and tend to take the community value approach, which is fine but the community is made up of different people and culturally orientated groups practice and view their spiritual beliefs and religions in their own way, even if they all share the same faith. As resources in our world environment are becoming more scarce, we should re-think how we live and converse with one another no matter how old you are. Some promote a multitude of identities and I call this the chameleon approach and that's fine too as long as you don't get confused with what is your core belief. The only problem with the chameleon approach is that people take on so many identities and absorb others identities as their own to the point that they lose their own identity along the way. I for one,who entered back into a more formal workplace rather than a home office, have just recently became aware of shadowing and its affects. The chameleon approach taken too far is the most harmful because if you factor out skin color, cultural group and spirituality, you are left with pure emotion and that can be uncontrollable.
So let's just leave the term hybrid to the electric cars and the human genome project; Chameleon to a changeable positive transformation while knowing your core self; and all the parts in between as a tribute to where you have been and where you are going.
As I have said in the past, I embrace all of who I am and at the center of that is my belief in God. So as the butterfly changes, transforms, rises and have fun doing it, the wings are never too far from the spiritual core.
Hybrid, Chameleon and all parts in between? We're Just People.
Let Your Inner Voice Rise-
Gloria J Bailey