There is a strange emptiness to life without myths.
I am African American — by which I mean, a descendant of slaves, rather than a descendant of immigrants who came here willingly and with lives more or less intact. My ancestors were the unwilling, unintact ones: children torn from parents, parents torn from elders, people torn from roots, stories torn from language. Past a certain point, my family’s history just… stops. As if there was nothing there.
I could do what others have done, and attempt to reconstruct this lost past. I could research genealogy and genetics, search for the traces of myself in moldering old sale documents and scanned images on microfiche. I could also do what members of other cultures lacking myths have done: steal. A little BS about Atlantis here, some appropriation of other cultures’ intellectual property there, and bam! Instant historically-justified superiority. Worked great for the Nazis, new and old. Even today, white people in my neck of the woods call themselves “Caucasian”, most of them little realizing that the term and its history are as constructed as anything sold in the fantasy section of a bookstore.
These are proven strategies, but I have no interest in them. They’ll tell me where I came from, but not what I really want to know: where I’m going. To figure that out, I make shit up.
Him: I don’t date black women. It’s just a preference.
Me: Based on what?
Him: Nothing, it’s just how I feel.
Me: Impossible, deliberate aversions come from somewhere.
Him: Its just a preference, that’s all.
Me: No, a preference is preferring broccoli to asparagus. You can say that because asparagus will always taste the same, even when prepared differently.
Me: And we’re not always the same at all. There are hundreds of millions of us and we’re each completely different from the next. If an employer said not hiring Black people was a preference would you agree?
Him: No, but that’s based on stereotypes.
Me: … And what is yours based on, facts?(via bodypartss)