Unidentified Objects Were Not All Flying

I heard a discussion on race relations on public radio today.  I could not tell until the show’s end that one of the two women in the discussion was an African-American, who wrote for the Chicago Tribune.  She addressed briefly the issue of inter marriage in revealing the depth of prejudice with great insight. 

The concerns of inter marriage, if it reflected my own prejudice, if I was honest, was not so much about skin color as it was about identity.  What was your identity?  The religious tradition, if there was one, led to intimacy.  And men and women struggled, no matter what backgorund, with matters of intimacy.  The real issue of intermarriage in a secular nation called the question how deep you were intellectually, spiritually.  Everyone had a different dimension.  And family history influenced the formation of identity.   How well developed were these 2 young people?

The popular world, formed by media, was so surface oriented.  But one day people all suffered internal quakes.  What would be down below?  What would be shown as having been deep within all along but often unrecognized even by the the spouse you married.  What had history left her/him, whatever the color?  Without similar intellectual background, without a shared belief system, the chances of failure were increased.  It had nothing to do with skin color but everything that was located below the skin.  Though too often, the history of man’s inhumanity to man and woman, had been cruel beyond comprehension and had left a pressure below the surface, unidentified.  It was not the unidentified flying objects that was to be feared but those unidentified objects buried below the surface.  The earth was not just spinning each day but always moving.  My fear was of sinkholes and former toxic waste disposal left behind, internally unknown, through no fault of a spouse. 


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