The Amazing Race
Is there a “race?”
I mean… are we really racing each other?
There was the Cold War in the 1960s(you should know this). An infamous technology race between the United states and Russia. We won that. We landed on the moon first. Or perhaps even before that, during the conquest era before World War I, the age of Empires. The Ottoman’s tried desperately to conquer most of what we know now as the Middle East(they succeeded for the most part until WWI).
Or Usain Bolt crushing the Olympics for something more visceral.
Humans always racing. Racing against the elements, racing against one another. Racing against time.
Time like space is inescapable BTW.
But—for all intents & purposes—what are you trying to win?
You and your parents have been unknowingly competing with friend and strangers for the means to achieve something.
This race, we’re all so desperately trying to win, has little to do with our feet.
But manages to keep its core concept: beating the other guy.
I never intended to write about Hidden Figures(I think we’re too far off topic in that case) but in the wake of such a film, was instantly reminded of the space we occupy as coloured humans. Which even writing this seems so inane that I may just end this here.
But, I can’t.
Hidden Figures was a very uplifting film. Seeing three, mathematicians strive against race and gender made anything we may complain about moot. I just remember feeling an incredible tension. A vast emptiness, constantly changing in and out of itself, designing new halls and rooms, trapping me inside this labyrinth of anger and discomfort. A mobius strip of trauma and hope.
I’m surely just as fast or smart as any other man on the planet. If not plain better.
But alas I’m not racing. Not for pleasures. Not to win. For anything.
Maybe that’s where it came from.
Maybe that’s what made me feel inadequate at times during the viewing.
What am I running toward? Are we running from something?
I know for why, and what, figuratively…
But, I’m not racing.
Just participating by proximity.
By the end, came to realize that even though I don’t like it, I Have to race. I am. We all are.
You surely cannot beat death in a race, nor can you contest your superiority over the other candidates purely because of your race or ability to compete in said game.
Each dividing line reminds us of race. Of human beings separated not by colour but by distance and time. Constantly being watched, cheered, and booed. And at this moment I’m not sure I can keep up.
The Master Race pic.twitter.com/tK1QiJHEkH
— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) February 14, 2017
I try my hardest not to exist in this space—in this game—seeing myself as not a black male writer, but purely a writer.
A human with human perspective. Emotions. Dreams. But, I feel that divide within. Between us. I became familiar with the place that anger and confusion was born from while viewing a movie about the first • black • female • mathematicians • division • and more division … working at then NACAs(later NASA) space task group.
Here, though, I see my mother—my sisters—enduring the hardships of the race. On worse levels than anyone else. I didn’t need a film to prove this. Neither should you.
It seems everyone needs these reminders though. In a time where one has no limits to their success since knowledge is but a handheld screen away, why does it feel even further than ever?
You might want to argue trump. Nah.
You may even say ISIS or something relatively misguided. Yeah, I’m calling you out.
To be honest, I’m not sure I even possess the brain power to find an answer. Just [forced] to endure the long race with everyone. Same to you. We should grab a drink together.
Truth is, I’m not even sure. there is a divide. Maybe it’s just a mirage. A fictional bar hanging over our heads, like any other thing, we allow to get between us.
Here, I am. In this race, hand-me-down running shoes, sub-par training. But a contender nonetheless. And you know, I haven’t felt better…
sad Solange deleted her apt Grammys criticism but here it is again: “create your own commitees… award yourself.” pic.twitter.com/Dqm3cu6D83
— Jill Krajewski (@JillKrajewski) February 13, 2017
Because as much as we are racing together, I choose not to compete to divide myself from you or any other group. Instead, acknowledging my position in the games. Self awareness and self consciousness hand in hand. And I hope to inspire you to do the same.
I never thought I would have a voice in this space. But, I do. So do you.
Anyway, just thanks for listening.
Do you ever feel these things?
or let me know below.