Some Other Identifier?

I was just thinking, is there some other way for people to categorize themselves without using race or ethnicity? I understand that ethnicity, or skin color, is possibly the most obvious and therefore easiest way to differentiate people. And even as I write this, it occurs to me that this is likely where this whole ethnic identifier mess got started. Groups, or tribes, had to recognize who was not one of their own, and the quickest way to do that, was to notice how they looked. So I get that. But here we are, some thousands of years later, and we are still doing the same old thing. Even as we move to “bi-racial” and “multi-racial” tags, we are still in a sense buying into the main premise that visual ethnic identifiers must still be at the root of how we look at each other. This new, broader category is of course a move forward, but it is still not the detonation of the root problem that in the long run, we must rid ourselves of.

I suppose people will always look for the easiest way, and classifying people by hair color or height just doesn’t make sense either. And even more importantly, maybe I’m completely wrong to even think in terms of a new identifier that can replace race or ethnicity. Because isn’t the point, to get beyond any classifications or groups? Maybe. But then again, I think people will always find something to base their notion of “other” on. It is just a question of how insidious that basis will be and whether they can do so without placing judgement at the same time. Who knows. Just something to think about.


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