Arbitrarily-Drawn Boundaries

We exist on our own. I’m real and I don’t need someone else or another person’s perspective to determine my existence. We all experience discrimination and the best way to overcome bigotry is to discuss things from all perspectives.

The entire concept of race, is based on arbitrarily drawn boundaries, as we all have origins that trace back to African origins and there is little variety among humans. Pigmentation is a small factor in genetic makeup and we are all within 0.1%. “The DNA differences between individuals, and between populations, are relatively scant and do not provide a biological basis for any form of discrimination (The American Society of Human Genetics).”

We need to be honest with each other, that we all experience racism, because it is divisiveness that perpetuates it. I know that most people won’t understand how I face discrimination or won’t care because they have their own experiences to share, but I feel like it’s important to be forthright about this kind of thing. Things are never going to get better with the mentality that we’re all in warring boxes that don’t intersect.

I have never been a one-dimensional person and none of us are as human beings. Most of us don’t see ourselves as a single culture. I don’t like being stereotyped based on my generational cohort, so why would I enjoy being generalized by an even broader, arbitrarily-drawn boundary, melanin.

I believe that we all have strength and are capable of great things. Setting high standards for ourselves gives us incentive to learn and grow. However, when people set standards for others, it is often judgmental and ethnocentric. No one is perfect and the “good side” is just non-antagonists and other people that align with personal views. It is offensive to ever assume understanding of another person’s culture and it doesn’t matter who you are in the equation.

Everyone feels marginalized at some time or another, but that doesn’t mean that feeling has to do with a part of who we are. It is holding onto that negativity that increases our suffering and for a lot of us that negativity comes from others and sometimes we are cursing ourselves, whether that pain comes from our actions, or not. I know a lot of cursing is external too, I just say that because I have learned through personal experience that it can be our personal attachment to the negativity we receive. It is better for us to find ways to dismiss it, such as through exercise, meditation, yoga, etc., so that we are better prepared to face new challenges and can continue to be proactive in our day-to-day.

I don’t consider myself a singular person and I don’t like being labeled arbitrarily based on my appearance. I try not to associate with group methodology, as you become your best by focusing inward on personal development. On the contrary, by associating with a group, we also get things like mob mentality and the bystander effect, so it can be dangerous to follow any group, without independent thought.

We set our own personal standards.
When we don’t treat others like equals, we create more boundaries and more separation.
It hurts all of us when we stereotype and it is inherently counterproductive to a peaceful society. American, white men are just as diverse as everyone else; the US as a collective is extremely diverse, and we should be banding together, regardless of race, in order to get basic needs for our respective groups within society.

For instance, most of us want clean air, food and water. This has never been an issue of origin and it is a problem with elitism in the government allowing the populace to be abused for financial gain. Pointing the finger back and forth between political parties doesn’t solve our problems. We are better prepared to defeat this kind of thing with social media BUT it requires teamwork across arbitrarily defined boundaries. These are the kinds of things that we all have the right to and deserve as tax payers.

We would all have more human rights if we aligned, regardless of origin.
I don’t see boundaries between people’s basic wants and needs; we should be able to align our priorities when we all share so much DNA and the idea of race is totally arbitrary. There are race-specific issues but I can’t speak of them personally. I invite anyone that desires to shed light on these with social media and the power of the internet to share their views.

I also mention this as a few bad apples spoil the bunch. That includes bigotry in societal leadership and in general. It doesn’t get us anywhere to act like all people have anything in common. Definitely isn’t a good idea to do that based on bad apples, because that will spoil some good ones and prevents us from aligning on the things that really matter.

15034638_383212125349155_7230044433079599104_n(Photo by: Felippe Segrini)

I am not trying to represent anyone or a specific race. Many people, such as myself, don’t want to be treated based on how they look, because it doesn’t represent who we really are. I shouldn’t have to speak cyclically about everything I say, in order to describe all counterarguments. I have a life, kind of, I work a lot.

I’m just keeping it real.

Sage Suede doesn’t represent me or where I come from, it represents artistic musings and as an artist I am influenced by everything in my life, independent of a cultural lense. Since I have friends from all over the world, I may convey things they’ve shared with me, as filtered through my own thoughts and experiences. This isn’t cultural appropriation because it is a part of my life and I’m not trying to represent another’s culture as my own; I like to be creative and don’t make cheap rip offs. At the same time, I don’t like using the word cultural appropriation, as there is this incredible double standard that the culture of the USA is global and it isn’t considered appropriation that other countries are influenced by us.

I speak 5 languages to varying degrees and only one of them natively; different languages have different personalities and I sound like a different person in different languages. I’m still just me, but that’s just a difference in the structural personality of each language and my progression in learning. I like foreign languages and enjoy expressing things in other languages through my music.

The internet is an incredible resource and we aren’t as limited anymore. Something that I think should be implemented for equality, is a national online form of free education, so as to provide more opportunity. This is one thing that economists would have to agree on, even as they fight us on things like raising the minimum wage (it’s not the economists fault though, it’s the system). Better education and training grows an economy overall and increases wealth. If we want to be the most successful, we need to enable our people to be the best they can be.

I wrote a song to go with this post. The one I wrote originally wasn’t relevant enough to this topic and I ended up taking it down.

If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that people will make shallow definitions of you that are often discriminatory, unless you are acting in their interest. To others, it doesn’t matter how hard you work or what you accomplish, their singular frame of mind will ultimately determine how they define you.

It isn’t an accurate depiction of anyone as a human being to compare them to a brand or a story-line characterization, which is often what runs through people’s heads when they stereotype. We are all dynamically evolving at every stage in our life and the whole idea of stereotyping makes no sense from a non-linear perspective.

I don’t respond to people that treat me this way and neither should you. No one has the right to define you, but you. No one exists in a vacuum, but we all exist singularly, as an accumulation of our experiences; the idea of race is obsolete, when we take into account genetic makeup.

We really aren’t that different and we are all more powerful when we work together.

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