Grace A. Johnson
What If...I Don't Need a Disclaimer?
Before we start, I’m going to actually give you a disclaimer...this post isn’t about legal disclosures. Unfortunately, we really do need those.
But I recently (I say recently, but it’s been, like, two months ago now) wrote down my typical warnings for my reviews. You know, that part where I say it’s a long review, get some popcorn, and there may be spoiler. Well, for these two books I was reviewing, I tacked on my “additional warning reserved only for this review.”
One of those warnings looked like this (please note I haven’t actually posted my review for this book yet):
“I am a white Millennial. This book is centered upon the life of a young black woman in the 1930s. Therefore, I cannot and do not make any claims to understanding what African-Americans went through in that time, so please excuse any comments that may come off as offensive or racist or the like. (Not that I intend to make such comments, but y’all know how some people are.) Anything negative I say is not against blacks but simply the book itself and for reasons that have nothing to do with skin color, okay?”
I wrote that because I didn’t want to start an argument. I’m not racist, but the last thing I want to do is say something completely innocent, tick off a liberal, and cause this huge stink that makes me look racist.
So I added a disclaimer. And, in doing so, made myself look kind of...well, guilty for being white. Like it was my fault that my skin is lighter than the characters’ in the book. Like there was something wrong with how I look and when I was born.
But what if I don’t need that kind of disclaimer?
What if I don’t need to warn people about the color of my skin, my nationality, or my age? What if assuming that my skin color automatically separates me from other people is racism and the kind of ideology that critical race theory is pushing?
Now, I’m not at all guilty because I’m white. (Technically, I don’t really think you can classify a person as white, because at this point in time everyone is a little bit of everything...at least in America.) I’m proud of my skin tone. I’m proud of my ethnicity. I’m just as proud of my Sephardi Jewish, Portuguese, and Spanish ancestry as I am my Scottish, Irish, German, and Dutch ancestry. I’m particularly proud of the mysterious Negro and/or Native American blood that comes from my mulatto fifth great-grandmother. (We still have no proof of what exactly she was, but I have pictures that show my third great-grandfather looked just like an Indian chief. My money’s on Black Seminole.)
God made me this way. He painted my skin a shade that is right for me, then placed me in a family and heritage that would compliment it.
Just like He does with Africans, Native Americans, Asians, Arabs, and every other person on Earth.
Be proud of who you are, who God made you to be. But more importantly, be proud of who He’s making you to be, who you are in Him. Regardless of your skin color, the most important creation you are is a new creation in Christ Jesus.
No, I don’t need a disclaimer. You don’t need a disclaimer.
But just for future reference, there is no Jew, nor is there Greek. There is no white, nor is there black. God did not create us to be define by our earthly race. He created us to be defined by our Heavenly race. We are of a royal priesthood, an eternal Kingdom. We are children of God, and that’s above any other heritage, ancestry, nationality, or ethnicity.