I wrote this after a friend told me the ‘white race’ was not a race. And despite acknowledging this, and even understanding the logic, I couldn’t help but take these words as a blow to my identity. It’s odd; I’m first a woman, second an American, third a heterosexual, fourth a Caucasian. And none of my labels comes with a sense of pride (except maybe the second one, albeit ironically). It’s who I am. It comes as natural as breathing. My race is part of that.
It is one thing to say that race is just a concept, and yada yada yada. It’s true that we created these terms. But it’s useless to try removing ‘race’. It is ingrained into our minds. You may tell a white person that race is ridiculous and they might shrug. But try telling that to a black person or an Asian. Try it. They will probably laugh in your face. Race is everywhere, as is racial prejudice and discrimination. From the moment you are born, you are assigned a gender and a color.
“Not Yet A Rainbow” is about struggling to reconcile these notions. It’s also an acknowledgement of the white guilt that permeates America and my life.