I’ll race you!

Lately I’ve been pondering the whole issue of race. I know from studying science that there is only ONE race with many different cultures and skin pigment or the lack of.

I know if we trace everyone back far enough we will find we all have a common ancestor in Noah. As in Noah had a great flood, Noah.  I know we get all of our people groups from his sons. I know Europeans are descended from Japheth, Africans are descended from Ham and the Jews are descendants of Shem.

I’ve mentioned before how fascinated I have been since earliest day with people of color, especially people of dark color. I called them “brown” when I was a child, now they are called “African American”. Which is somewhat funny to me because I know three families all from South Africa and they are all as white as I am.

I notice people’s nuances of pigment. I wonder strange things. Like why those with dark skin often have lighter pigment on the palms of their hands and souls of their feet, while those who are not as dark don’t?

I notice eyes of those from the Orient. I know there is a difference between those from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, but I can’t decipher it at all. I know Lane Kim on The Gilmore Girls is supposed to be Korean but the actress is not of Korean descent.

I know there are plenty of white people that I would not want to meet in a dark alley if I was alone. Call me crazy but there is no way I’d even enter a dark alley by myself. That’s just stupid.

I know all of this. But I still sometimes sit and ponder what it means to be racist. Am I racist because I notice the subtle differences in how we look? Am I racist because I think to myself, “oh that person is black.” It doesn’t change what I think of them, I don’t think I am any better than they are. But I do notice.

Does noticing make you racist?

My family is truly an international family. My uncle was born in the United States but currently lives in Ireland. My brother-in-law is from Liberia, which is  country in West Africa. My sister-in-law is from China.  I briefly dated a hispanic several years ago. (It had to be several years ago because I’ve been married for almost 17 years.)

So I have no misgivings about those from other cultures, other people groups. We’re all just people. I just have a little less..okay a lot less pigment than some.

Just what makes someone a racist?