Race does not equal character

In this cultural melting pot called America, it’s apparent that race differentiates us. But when race becomes a determinant of character, a line needs to be drawn.

I hate having to defend who I am on account of my nature. I am tired of being told that I “talk white”, my name is “white”, or that I don’t dress or sound “black” enough because I come from a place where there aren’t any black people – or so people assume.

Ignorant individuals may look at these attributes as pitfalls, but it’s nice to know that my race doesn’t precede me over the phone, on paper and in other ways that really matter in life.

What does all that mean, anyway – what is “black”? I guess black people hail from substandard urban conditions. If that term isn’t “black” enough for you, just look up what a “ghetto” really is in the dictionary before you throw that out there. I guess black people are supposed to eat watermelon, chicken and grits all day long, too – at least Nappy Roots says we do. Too bad I can’t stand watermelon. So if all that is “black”, count me out.

I’ll admit, people of different races may have certain styles or dispositions, but it’s not possible or fair to fit an entire race of people into one particular mold. Race is not a style of dress, a hobby, a favorite food, or an attitude. It’s not even a hometown. It’s what we come from that makes us who we are, and the human eye is blind to that.

So when you see me, I will speak proper English because I’m well educated and proud of it. My daddy named me Karen Elaine because he thought it had a nice ring to it. We may not all be rappers and MCs, but there are thousands of black people around Denver, Colo. (Shout-outs to all my “Mile-High” Rattlers)! And my clothes aren’t “black” or “white” – they’re comfortable.

My heritage and my skin are what make me black, and that’s all I need.

Karen E. Marsh is a senior business administration student from Denver. She is the deputy opinions editor for The Famuan. Contact her at KarenEMarsh303@hotmail.com.