Conservative, liberal….liberal conservative? Conservative liberal? Radical? Centrist? What role does race play? All these labels, all these differences we’ve allowed to sow disharmony as we cling to our biological need to belong to a group within which we can feel comfort since often within groups, our opinions and biases are confirmed and confirmation makes life less scary. I think I’m beginning to understand how much I’d prefer to operate under the label “human” only, which leads me to look at the phrase “I don’t see color” as an ideal purported because reality is hard to see, let alone live in.  
 
This understanding, however elementary, comes after brooding on how I, much like everyone, perhaps, have spent years—most of my life, really—seeking inclusion within groups seemingly wholly married to their ideas. In these scenarios, I’ve been a commitment-phobe.  
 
In middle school, I wanted to be one with the goth/metal/misfit kids. In high school, I wanted to be scene. In college, I wanted to be indie, a hipster. After college, I wanted to be a black revolutionary (hello, Assata Shakur, whose autobiography changed my life for the better). I wanted to be an atheist. A vegetarian. A fitness nut. An existentialist. I wanted but could never say “I do”.

Each group was composed of humans with flaws denied for the sake of pumping the ego. No one, for the most part, wanted (or was even able) to vocalize the idea that everything they stood for could be wrong (who wants to operate on shaky ground when we already live on a blue dot surrounded by uncertainty?).  And children are the manifestation of their children. Do we live in a society that promotes healthy unknowing? Have we ever.
 
Perhaps the closest I’ve come to people who could admit the potential imperfections of their ideas was within the black conscious movement, which could very well be a result of insecurities stemming from years of forced propaganda purporting black inadequacy aka white supremacy aka antiblackness. I’m thinking specifically of Neely Fuller, Jr., author of The United-Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept, whose ideas influenced the likes of Gus T. Renegade and others who sloganized the phrase “I could be wrong” as a means to enhance just how right they think they are. These days, I spend a lot of time watching and listening to the Joe Rogan Experience; he, too, admits that what he thinks he knows could be wrong.  
 
And listen, I believe some things are undeniably true, like love (which right now, to me, means “acceptance”) conquers all and the very core of our being can be overturned by a single, miraculous, unexplainable and unrepeatable event.

And why wouldn’t we want to belong to a group, even if it means submitting to groupthink? What’s better: community at the expense of rationality or loneliness at the expense of stable camaraderie? But I could be wrong; is anything so black and white as that last question? Don’t people exist who are able to build community based on the fact that we are human and may share core values, damn the differences?  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s