Why is it so important to know a person's race? Society--people--are only comfortable with a person when they can categorize a person and put them in a box. If they can look at me and put me in the "middle aged middle class white lady & mother" then they think they know everything about me and how to approach me. Human nature stereotypes people. I don't like boxes and won't stay in one!
This past presidential election brought out the worst in people. It revealed those deep down racial attitudes that we are able to keep buried in polite social situations. But when squeezed, it all comes out. I believe we can only get beyond racial prejudices when race stops being a question--a divider. Our race should be a moot question...a non-issue. That includes "white power", "black power" pride. Celebrate our differences, our heritages, because that is what makes us interesting!
When I was a child, even back to my earliest memories, I thought my maternal grandmother was "black". No one said she was, but looking at her, I thought she was. It was a non-issue to me. I never thought anything about it beyond it being a fact. In later life, I got into genealogy research. The circumstantial evidence pointed to her heritage being Passamaquoddy Indian. It didn't change who she was to me, but it was interesting to learn that part of my background.
Let's strive to celebrate the individual and ALL they are. When we stop using race to divide us, maybe we can suffocate racism. In my lifetime, I want to see race become a non-issue... something that our parents and grandparents talked about. I want to see racism become an antiquated, old-fashioned idea! Right up there with the 8-track :)