Catch My Breath
or: Racism vs. Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Equality

Jul 16, 2015 · 6 min read
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Last year I opened up to share my philosophy of ethics in friendship and sexuality. I wrote one essay, Superpowers Against Patriarchy, subtitled, Feminism vs. Misogyny or: Narcissism, Perfectionism, and Capitalism vs. Vulnerability, Hedonism, and Sloth that was a great personal success to express these thoughts, many of which- full disclosure- developed through sharp, often painful observations of my own intimate relationships of various kinds, with lovers but also friends and family members of multiple genders.

Yet my head was far from clear of pressing thoughts struggling for expression. It is my ethos to continually impress the importance of communication. How? This is what I consider constantly as an artist and it’s what I practice especially with my writing.

But here is something critical I have thus far not included enough, if not left out. I have failed to point out the urgency of our situation, mine, not only as a woman, but as a human being, as a person of color, as a Black American. Related (by blood, you could say) to misogyny, ubiquitous and (for me, and most of the world’s people, at least) deeply personal, lies racism.

Racism, like misogyny– AKA sexism, patriarchy, rape culture, etc.– has many names. In Europe, where I live a semi-nomadic life, racism is more easily recognizable as xenophobia. Xenophobia from the Greek means fear of others, or fear of the other. That’s a great place to start my deconstruction, for that fear of what is “other” is the taproot, old twisted gnarled and dying of both racism AND sexism. That cis-male, white, able-bodied, hetereosexual, person in or with power or property (see “property is theft!”) fear of an/y other, one perceived or judged not like him and, therefore, according to his own thumb-up-his-ass logic (the logic of the Western world), inferior. This so-deemed beneath (eg global South) or less than (ie poor) populous, a multitude of various individuals and identities that purportedly lack the preferred labels, differing in any way from his identification(=value) system, includes women (of all ethnicities) and people of color (of all genders), prominently.

He– it is usually he– believes, erroneously, that due to his ownership– defended by threat of violence– and self-identification, the names he calls or gives himself — sir, master, white, doctor, judge, prosecutor, police, European, male, man, fit, endowed, graduated, awarded, Caucasian, Aryan, chosen, Christian, favored, well off … God ordained etc. — that he is better than any other without those same, identical titles. Labels. They, those “on top” (of our Earth which is a globe, a sphere, so that “on top” idea is a physical and mathematical inaccuracy and impossibility) only care about labels (superficial wasteful layers on top of actual goods)! Or, to be more precise, papers. Papers, paper, paper. Permission, permits, visa, cash, money, credit, currency… The list may go on, but you catch my drift, speaking of a current, that all those fools value is representation. They ain’t the real thing. By definition, their values are FAKE. Talk about superficial!!!!

Representation is the appearance of worth. Think about it. We live on Earth, but simultaneously in a social world, societies, based on all that bull crap! In truth our existence must be deeper (and occasionally higher or holier) than that; our true riches as human beings, as living beings alone, are far, far greater than whatever gets bought and sold in any market.

Guess what more; it’s true: we are all related!

UGH, you guys think I like to have to pretend to be some kind of expert scientist to prove a basic point that we, all human beings, yes of the exact same species (there’s only one and has been for like, a gazillion years– and all our ancestors were human beings, too, until we share the nonhuman ones in common). Do the damn research yourself (if you care to, but like me most of the time, you probably don’t care). We are 99.9% genetically the same. You wanna go to war over a 1/100th to the 10th or whatever of a percentile? No, no, of course not, you say now, to my face, but quite obviously to the contrary, people do. So,


Because it’s about power and dominance. Control! Contrary to popular media however it is not really about resources. That would be too substantive. And this– HAVE NO DOUBT!– is a superficial issue; an enormous problem, yes, but also a superficial issue. Racism, inequality, the prison industrial complex, apartheid, xenophobia, segregation, fascism, white-supremacism, neo-nazism, primitivism, exotification, exploitation, slavery, human trafficking and more (all related to the race and class systems sketched above, based on white hegemonic fear plus capitalist greed and patriarchal lust), of course, are real and serious crises that have killed “gazillions” of people. Over what? Appearances, languages, land, borders, customs, tradition, curiosity, lust, family, possession, thirst for power, greed, ambition, fame, guilt, deception, perversion, madness, sadism, secrets, blood-thirst, gods and devils. Above all, is the desire to control as much as possible, as often as possible. This problem– because complete control is neither necessary, possible, nor prudent, nor creative, nor healthy– is not in our hearts, neither our infinitely, beautifully diverse bodies, but it hides in our minds. The problem of racism, racial profiling or apartheid or xenophobia is social for sure, but it’s equally if not more so, psychological, a mental illness en masse.

Unfortunately, it is not a factual problem, racism. With some generous assistance from various academic communities, I can prove that human beings all have and are, embody and express, the full value of each of our singular lives. Lives, which is to say, our active and receptive living: how we choose to exchange and share and convert and conserve and spend and express energies with each other and alone, how we find or create solutions to our challenges, how we produce new things and ideas, engage our emotions and imagination, how we learn. With anthropology, with psychology, and physics, with biology, anatomy, chemistry, botany, with philosophy, through art, music, film, literature and linguistics, political science, sociology, women’s studies, ethnic studies, queer studies, the humanities, even with history, whore though it is to the (all too often white, cis-male) victors, I could prove that. All that I want to prove: that all human beings have an equal share of the collective value of life on Earth, why every resource–from food to travel to education to water to safe, consensual sex lives to forests and beaches– should be all of ours to share…! But proof– seductive as it is! Could you, really? It coos…– is neither the problem nor the solution in our (massive, collective) case.

No, the solution can be and is and forever (as long as we’re still human) will be reflective of the problem; in a word, psychological. Specifically, therapeutic. This therapy, like the myriad interlocking issues its seeking to untangle will come, comes from recognizing, accepting, dealing with ourselves, especially our feelings! Our feelings, unique, universal, undeniable, identifiable. Communicating and sharing these is essential to our health and wellbeing, and to conquering all traces of fear of the other, the first step of many to eradicating racism and misogyny.

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Friendship as much as blood makes brotherhood and sisterhood, and that’s one of infinite reasons why #BLACKLIVESMATTER. Black lives matter just as all lives matter because matter is energy just like feelings. In yoga we call this life force energy flowing through our bodies prana; it’s what we breathe and create as we breathe that vitalizes us. When innocent men, a teenage son, a working father, are killed publicly, unjustly, without legal consequence, due to this economic invention called race; when the words on the lips of the virally, violently murdered father speak clearly for an integrally US-American, but also internationally networked community, of black people, #ICAN’TBREATHE, know, whoever you consider yourself to be, now is time to put the universal Earth-right of our vital energy into our voices to exclaim, proclaim, cry out that yes, without a doubt, #BLACKLIVESMATTER!!!!!

Find out and you’ll see. We, humans of the Earth, must value black lives.When we value all color lives and the lives of all colors (girls and boys and inbetweens!)– just imagine the kind of freedom we all would enjoy!

Whitney Sparks

Originally published at

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