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  • Writer's pictureJG .

The Sum of its Parts

People are people. Human beings are human beings. We are all individuals. And our individuality far transcends the groups and sub-groups that society tries to cram us into, to divide us, to pit one against the other. I thought we learned this during the 1960’s. Isn’t that what the Civil Rights movement was all about, allowing minorities to be viewed and treated as individuals, and not by their race?

Increasingly these days more and more people want to be defined by the “group” to which they belong, as long as they get to create the definition. But we know that everyone has unique experiences and struggles even people within the same group or sub-group.

The “woke” have awakened from Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of people not being “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character", and have fallen into the nightmare of intersectionality, where people are judged by the sum total of the virtue gained through the history of their demographic victim-status. Intersectionality defines everything by race and gender and orientation, in a hierarchy of virtue based on victimhood. These are the most limiting and misrepresentative characteristics to define anyone by.

Judging people based on immutable characteristics, not by their individual character, or by who they are as individuals is wrong. In the past, we deplored employers who judged job applicants solely by the “line on the color bar”, today we are being judge by which of the demographic boxes we check. That is racism and bigotry. It was wrong when done in the segregated south. It is wrong when it is done in the caste system in India. It was wrong when it was done in Nazi Germany. And it is wrong now.

Within this new dynamic, the only way to alter your status is by how much you worship at the altar of intersectionality. But even then, there is only so high some people can rise. They are perpetually weighed down by their color or gender. This is extremely sinister because it is racism and bigotry disguise as “social justice”. Only evil will come from this.

We are not our race, our ethnicity, our gender, our lifestyle, our orientation. Those are just parts of who we are, but the sum of our parts does not equal the totality of who we are as individuals, as human beings. Aristotle said, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Our individuality is much greater, much more profound, far more nuanced than any combination of our parts. But as long as we allow ourselves to be put in these boxes, we will never be able to reach the full expression of our individuality, the full expanse of who we are as human beings.

At the center of every human being is a heart and a soul which is common to all but unique to each. We have so much in common yet we are so distinct in our individuality that the groups used to categorize us become so restrictive and misrepresentative that they become totally irrelevant.

Yet, we still allow others, and sometimes we do it to ourselves, to put us in these boxes, limit us to the parameters of each box, each definition of how someone else labels us. And it is so limiting and obscuring when that which unites us (our common humanity) and that which makes us unique (our distinct individuality) is not used to define us, or judge us.

This is not an attempt to deny anyone of their race or gender, but not to allow race and gender to define us so we can become the full expression of who we are. Not all blacks have the same life experience. Not all whites have the same life experience. Not all women. Not all men. Who we are as individuals is exponentially greater than the sum total of all the boxes we check. We are as distinct as we are alike.

We must shake free of that which constrains us, and embrace our kinship with the rest of humanity while at the same time acknowledging and expressing our absolute uniqueness. And it is only in that expression of who we are as humans will the groups and labels that confine, constrain and divide us fall away and dissolve into oblivion.

We are all part of one race, the human race. All of our blood is red. We breath in the same oxygen. We would like to get to a place where we are all united as humans but equally distinct as individual human beings.

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Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach and executive. He is a frequent contributer to the website Real Clear Politics, and has recently published his first novel, No Wind

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