Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good White Person

This morning I rode my bike to the farmers market. As I rode down my street, I said hello to and sort of ended up riding with another kid on a bike. He told me I didn't need a helmet, and asked why I was wearing one.

I figured I would never talk to this kid again, so I told him a friend of mine was hit by a car on her bike and killed. This did happen, but she wasn't someone I knew personally.

I also told him about the deal with my mom (she pierces her nose, I wear my helmet). He asked me how old my mom was, and said that he thought that was pretty cool.

He told me his name is Rashad and asked me if I go to school, and guessed Russell Sage. I had to explain about Goddard and how I don't live in Vermont. "Oh, but you're from there?" No, I'm from this area. I grew up in Saratoga.

"That explains the accent."


"Yea, sort of country..."

Rashad goes to Hudson Valley. He grew up in Rochester. He is a year older than me, and is impressed that I'm where I'm at in my studies.

At one point he asked me if I had a boyfriend / why I didn't have a boyfriend. I started to explain that I'm looking for someone who loves Jesus and this isn't easy to find. At this point, his demeanor changed a little bit. A little more serious, a little less flirty. He asked me if I had ever looked into Jehovah's Witnesses.

I explained that I'm really opposed to this, because it is a "works" religion - being that you have to be on your toes at all times making sure you're doing everything right so that God will like you. I really believe that it should stem from faith, a love of God, a love of Jesus causes you to want to do things in a certain way. Like, I love my mom so I wear my helmet, because I wouldn't want to be dishonest to her. I don't wear the helmet because I think that not doing so will hurt my relationship with my mom, even if I believe that to be true, it isn't my motivation.

OK, Jehovah's Witness bashing and explanation over.

Rashad told me that he really wanted to be all religious (for the record, I never in my life set out to be 'all religious'), and that he questioned a lot of different religions. He asked me some questions, of which I explained my beliefs or explained why I thought the answers were irrelevant. Then he asked me two questions I found really interesting.

He asked me what I thought about a white, pointy nosed, blond haired, blue-eyed Jesus.

Jesus is from the Middle East, he wasn't from Western Europe. It is a pretty ridiculous notion that he was a white guy.

He asked me if I believed in Adam and Eve, and what I thought about them being white.

If we all came from Africa, and I believe that Adam and Eve started it all, then it follows that they were African.

"African? You believe that?"

Yea, I mean, it makes sense.

"You're a good white person."

I questioned him and he elaborated "There are bad white people and good white people, and there are bad black people and good black people."

This made me think of something John Green said today, about how we like crime shows because they make good and evil very simple and clear cut, when in reality it isn't so simple.

This conversation also is significant because I had spent the last packet discussing race relations.

Synchronicities abound.

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