Ted's Blog


I Don’t See Race; I Only See Grayish-Brown, Vaguely Humanoid Shapes

This article was written by Janice Ketchum and appears in the Onion website.

I don’t understand why everyone seems to be so angry lately. Everywhere you look, there are marches, protests, riots—and all of it over so-called racism in our great country. I just don’t get it. I really don’t. But maybe that’s because, when I look at my fellow Americans, I don’t see a particular race or color. In fact, all I see is just a series of muted, roughly person-shaped silhouettes.

And this world would be a much better place if everyone else did, too.

If we want to go forward as a country, we have to move beyond race once and for all. It’s 2014! Why is it so hard for people to look past each other’s race, like I do, and see everyone as vaporous, beige-ish forms with limbs? All those blurry, vaguely human-shaped troublemakers shouting in the streets and the translucent bleeding-heart blobs moralizing on TV may feel the need to categorize everyone they see by their skin color, but I don’t give it a second thought. I wouldn’t even know how!

Take, for example, the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, which sparked widespread outrage over “institutional racism.” These protesters are stuck in the past. They haven’t progressed enough to see that we’re all just grayish-brown smudges between approximately 4 and 6 and a half feet tall. They are part of the problem! Whereas they see “black” victims and “white” police, I just see amorphous clouds of the same basic hue, some of which have guns.

Like Martin Luther King Jr., who spoke for nondescript blotches everywhere, I judge a man not based on the color of his skin, but on the content of his character. And I’ll be the first to admit that the civil rights era was important. It made sure that everyone, no matter what fuzzy, neutral tint their ill-defined, human-like shape happens to be, could enjoy the same liberties as anyone else. But it’s not the 1960s anymore, and the very idea of race is ridiculous now. We have a fuzzy, neutral-tinted president, for crying out loud! Get over it.

I’m not saying this is an easy road to walk. In fact, in many respects, the way I see the world has made my life a living hell. I don’t know who anyone is. I have no way to tell where one person ends and another begins. I’ve been married for 13 years and I honestly do not know what race my husband is, let alone his gender. I assume he is alive, but there’s no actual proof of that. I have no clue what my children look like, or if I have children, or if they are dogs. The universe is a terrifying orchestra of matter and sound not tethered to any discernible reality. I am literally living in horror every moment of my life.

But you don’t see me rioting in the streets about it, do you?

People ask me all the time if I have any black friends, and my answer is, I have no idea. What is black? Are the globs who are good at basketball “black”? Or are the globs who are good at math “black”? Like I said, I don’t see race, because I am not capable of discerning any physical difference between the nebulous tangle of lifesmears that comprise all of humanity. People accuse me—me!—of being racist. I am the least racist person in the world! How can it be racism if all I can see are fleeting wisps of electromagnetic activity and a shimmering aura that represents each person’s individual essence?

If everyone saw things from my perspective, we could finally put this issue of race in the past. Then every hazy, indistinct mass in this country could live in harmony. Except for those awful Spanish-accented humanoid shapes who are taking all our jobs. They need to go.