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If you haven’t already seen it, this recent ad campaigns against bias and promotes embracing diversity. Love has no gender, race, disability, age nor religion. Love has no labels. It’s such a simple yet beautiful idea that really, we’re all the same on the inside and there’s no way you could tell us apart.
Even though I’m technically a second generation immigrant, I don’t think I’ve ever felt ‘different’. Born and raised in the country that I love. I had one close brush with racism when I was about 10 and that’s pretty much been it. My husband is English, which means when we get round to having a litter of our own our children will be 1/2 English, 1/4 Chinese, 1/8 Malay and 1/8 Indian. That’s hilarious. No really, it’s enough of a mouthful when I try and explain to people what I’m made of… sorry kids, have fun with that one! If in doubt, tick ALL the boxes!
The ‘rebel’ (read: I’m really not the rebellious type) likes to tick the ‘other’ box and then proceed to write my entire formula out. Sooner or later they’ll either have to expand on the current list or just abolish it altogether. I’m reminded of a photography article I saw on the National Geographic, The Changing Face of America where a little girl (middle row, 2nd from the left) ID’ed herself as ‘a little of everything’. Maybe we will get to a point where the pool has mixed so much that we really do become one people but I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.
In the quest for ethnic tolerance there is sometimes a fear that we will lose our cultural individualism if we ‘mix the waters’ too much. In places like London it’s especially evident where cultural and ethnic groups bind together in small communities. I know more than a few people who worry about being rejected not only by the outside world but also by their ‘own’ if they venture out too far. Because I tend to over think things, I’ve already taunted my brain by wondering if my future unborn children will face such bias in their lives and whether or not I’ll be able to protect them.
I worry a lot about my little brother as well. We adopted him from birth, he’s 1/2 black 1/2 white and has severe learning difficulties due to being born 14 weeks premature. He’ll be 10 this year and continues to amaze us all with how he copes with the world and enjoys every moment of his life. I don’t want him to lose that innocence but the reality of it is that at some point he might face prejudice against him when looking for a job or for love whether it be implicitly or not.
In a very round about way I guess all I’m trying to say is that labels may keep us neat and tidy and produce colourful statistics, but they create invisible barriers and don’t tell you who a person really is. You need to look past the label to find the real them. A living, breathing human skeleton with a beating heart capable of any amount of love if you give it the chance.