America is a Zebra

Zebras. Are they black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? That’s the timeless question. But why do we want to know this? Sure, there’s a certain level of mystique surrounding the stripes, but, more than that, we want to know the answer because we want to know how to label and describe them.

Our American society is the same way.

We want to know how to label people. Are they African-American? Biracial? Afro-Cuban? Latino? Canadian or the regular Caucasian American? Asian or Middle-Eastern? We want to know. In our current racially volatile society, we seek to be politically correct in how we label others.

We also want to know how to label America.

Are the majority of Americans white? If so, how much longer until the minorities are the majority? And if we’re at the point where we even have to ask that question, is white privilege still prevalent? (The answer to that last one is “yes” by the way.) What color is America?

The answer is actually rather simple. Like the zebra, America is neither black with white stripes nor white with black stripes. Neither is America predominantly yellow or orange.

Like the zebra, America is striped. We are a combination. We are black, white, yellow, brown, and orange. And that’s a good thing.

Just take a minute to think about if zebras were black with white stripes. Now take a minute to think about if zebras were white with black stripes. Compare and contrast, and you’ll discover that you looked at zebras in two different lights with that one slight change.

Prejudice reigns supreme in this country, and its rule is a direct result of the way people few each other. Black people will often favor other black people when given the opportunity (I know I do), just as white people will often favor other white people. Then both black and white see Latinos at a different spot on the totem pole, just as Latinos will mentally place Asians on a different tier.

The only way to end prejudice’s tyrannical rule is to view each other as equals: none better than the other, no one skin color more predominant than another’s. America isn’t black, white, or any other color. Rather, we are every color.

We blend with one another, converse with one another, sit beside each other, and work alongside each other. We are all, regardless of skin tone or background, equal strokes upon the same blank canvas. Not a white canvas or a black canvas. A blank canvas.

We are the colors that paint the picture of the America that is, and the America that will be. We aren’t any more of one color than another.

America is striped. America is a zebra.

– JP

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This post was originally published on July 25th, 2017, within “The Serious” blog post series on J.P. Pressley’s personal website.

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