I am arguing endlessly with my youngest brother on the topic of race and I want to give up. I want to say:
Dear C., While I know you are a mixed Creole, and I know you want everyone to recognize you as such, I also know that where you are living, most people do not know about mixed Creoles and will just see you as African-American. I cannot really fault them for that, nor can I blame African-Americans from around the country who may feel that your identity as a mixed Creole is a mere affectation or an effort to flee from Blackness. There are historical reasons for their reaction. Let them be. Love, Z.
That is a very simple message but of course it is not so simple. I think we are arguing about race because really we are arguing about something else but we do not know its name.
He also thinks that a national education system, as they have in parts of Europe, would cure American ignorance. I say that NCLB is the tenor of any national education system we could get, that the use of metrics for assessment and the proliferation of high stakes exit examinations is already increasing, and that if we got more of one it probably would not be allowed to teach the theory of evolution. I further say that it is not the education system which is the root problem, there are many roots, as in a Deleuzian rhizome, and they include capitalism, slavery and post-slavery, xenophobia, and the corporate media. I cannot say these things to him because I can argue better than he can, and it will become oppressive. So I am talking back here.