Friday, September 30, 2016

Myths on Identity and Humanity

This well-written article in The Slate talks about white America's disillusionment with Obama which, the author says, began with the Beer Summit in 2010. I don't know for sure, but it seems to have a ring of truth about it, though Obama's subsequent actions with respect to the PPACA and others may have played a part. The article carries the view that many people thought Obama was beyond race, but his comments preceding the Beer Summit focused on historical injustices faced by the African American community, and consequently this idea gave way to disillusionment.

I don't think we could ever be 'beyond' race, faith, color, ethnicity or class. These are not impediments to humanity. We will always have the weight of context, in terms of history, of the kind of collateral in society which places us in positions different from others. This is just humanity. By denying one is Indian or white or black or Christian, and claiming we are simply human doesn't make us somehow better humans. Rather, I think it makes us lose the multi-dimensional wonder that true humanity exhibits. Our humanity doesn't preclude these dimensions. I've written here in the past about how being Christian doesn't preclude me from my pride in my heritage as an Indian. Sadly, many Indians seem to not understand this. These are our buoys and channel markers to navigate the labyrinth of the human experience- we explore and search for meaning. It makes us human. Wishing them away would make us less so.

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