Philosophy – “When Race Doesn’t Matter” – 12/28/2022

“To think on a close friend for their race, or other surface-level detail, is to spit on your memories of them for what goes beneath that.”

– Modern Romanticism

At the point of knowing an individual for there to be a stable structure of trust, a person no longer needs to see them as a stranger. There has been bloomed a friendship, strengthened through trust, only possible because of the vulnerability of finding oneself comfortable enough to confess personal details that wouldn’t otherwise be told to anyone else. Those who wouldn’t be told such personal details are more of a stranger than this befriended individual who is trusted more.

At the point of being a friend, outside of perceiving that befriended individual as a stranger, there is no need to consider a surface-level detail as race. To courage, one has found themselves capable of stepping inside that individual’s life. What purpose was there to being ignorant of them, from the surface for which we could only see them as a stranger? There was no point, same as we cannot look back upon first meeting them to comprehend “why” or “how” we became their friend. There is no limitation to be needed in terms of an explanation, since ignorance, when we once considered them a stranger, was its own limitation. Beneath all surface-level details, there is infinity. There are an infinite number of possibilities, opportunities, and paths to get to know an individual even better. There is a universe that extends beyond the blue sky for two individuals to grow their friendship together.

Why would race matter, when we can get to know someone? Upon knowing them, we no longer refer to them through their race. Instead, we refer to them with details only we know. We can use their name, and if we trust another person enough for a more in-depth detail, we can share that knowledge as well.

If race matters, we are admitting that ignorance, not knowledge, matters. At the same time, we are admitting that fear, not courage, matters. None of these things matter, for as ignorance is aligned with fear, there is never a legitimate reason to remain ignorant or in fear. For people with phobias of spiders, blood, or of heights, it is the same thing. Exposure, for the purpose of conquering such fears, is also with the purpose of stepping outside the bounds of ignorance and avoidance, in order to see the truth. To see the truth, not the facts, since one has, through trust, been able to form a connection out of what is similar, not merely different as strangers may interpret each other. It is not the facts, for facts do not change, though people do. It is truth, because truth, unlike facts, are moldable, as are people. Through gaining their trust, we are trusted with details they would not share to anyone else. As in, they have grown to be comfortable with us, instead of being comfortable with being ignorant and avoidant.

Conquering one’s fear, finding out what is true and also similar to oneself, is the same as recognizing that oneself always has the possibility of being someone else’s fear. As someone else can be a stranger to us, we are a stranger to other people as well. Should betrayal incur, because there is no longer a perception of mutual sameness due to change, a person can become unrecognizable and be no different than something to fear. That fear is now upon being afraid of a repeat of that event of betrayal. However, that fear of being betrayed cannot turn that individual back towards the comfort of ignorance and avoidance.

With the idea of befriending someone else, we have been able to open a book, instead of believing we can know anything by its cover. If we still say that race matters, then we are admitting that a book cover, not its details within its pages, holds importance. A book cover will relate to race. That book’s pages in its details and stories will relate to the person, themselves. Are we ever willing to believe that our own stories aren’t terrifying enough to be labelled as a genre, like horror? It is to mean that we might believe, through some inward conceit, that we are incapable of becoming someone else’s fear. Should anyone be judgmental enough, upon a singular book, to steer clear of it only because of what’s illustrated on the front cover? If it’s romance, though romance doesn’t matter to one person, is romance all it is? In the same sense, if it’s a different race of an individual, while we are still believing that race matters, is that race any kind of representation of that person? We should not think so, when we have yet to compare that person’s story to our own to see similarities, enough for a connection or a friendship.

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