We, Our Keepers

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A thought on Human Zoo Classification.

We, Our Keepers

By Christopher Michael Carter

 

The mere idea of and whole ideology of racism is funny and curious to me. Though we are all of different colors, different "makes", and different "breeds”, we are all part of the Human RACE. The idea of segregation amongst our singular race is very clinical, inhumane, and very much falls into the category of playing God. Segregating humans by what we've dubbed and labeled "race" is no different than separating animals in the zoo. In the Reptile House they're all kept separate according to "species". In the Primate House the same. Likewise with the Cat section.  I know what I'm saying is nothing new; it just strikes me odd that our history shows us treating our own race as different Houses in a big Zoo and sadly continue to do so. It's gotten so normal for us to classify one another that "Race" is on most forms and applications we sign daily. We continue to do so even if it's NOT for segregation purposes.  The main reason for segregation in any department is protection, classification, and control. I would state knowledge could be part of it but that would fall under classifying.  

But we continue to do it to ourselves and claim it in pride as part of our identity. I'm not saying don't be proud of your species or color or make, I'm simply pointing out that the originators of this constant separation, the zookeepers, have set the standard for the current world. There was a paradigm shift and the zoo has evolved. It's become so normal to place ourselves in spaces, categories, genres that even as adults in the "real world" we continue to play games taught in preschool: "those with blue eyes step over here, and those with brown eyes step over HERE." Whether or not the reason for the Human Zoo Classification has changed or remained the same, it had forever changed our lives. Our keepers, locks, and cages these days reside on clipboards as opposed to one with an iron fist. In the beginning it was a matter of control and organization and now it's standard practice with "Eye color, Race, Gender, Blood Type, etc." I'm not saying it's something to revolt against, get up in arms about, or even make a stink over; I'm just thinking that our segregation is wider than usually considered and runs deeper than the media would have us think.  We've kept ourselves categorized in boxes and merely took over our zookeepers' positions.

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