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No One Is Born Black or White

 “Socialization is a lifelong process through which people learn the patterns of their culture, including behavioral expectations, values, and “truths.” This process is facilitated by a host of groups and institutions such as the family unit, the educational system, peer groups, and the mass media.”

No one is born “black” or “white,” or "other." These terms of art to describe humans  be-ing are cultural, political, social constructs “taught” to individuals by various agents of socialization within American society. A great reason by the way that the “Pro-life Movement” so-called is more aptly described by Joy Reid of The and MSNBC recently during the 2012 Presidential Campaign as the “Forced Birth Movement.” A fetus isn't a human be-ing in the sense that it cannot think for itself, act independently on its own being totally dependent upon its host. That fetus may have the potential to be a fully functioning human be-ing, but that’s all moot until that fetus becomes a child at birth. We know that medicine has evolved to the point where babies that would have otherwise died in a pre-mature state are now able to be saved. Science has found a way to intervene in the natural process of child birth. And women have always and will continue to abort a pregnancy. The question is who gets to choose, the individual or the state?

Those who would deny a woman the right to be free of government intervention in determining whether or not to carry a fetus to term are letting their religious beliefs be paramount, to say that in this instance the state must support their religious conviction or belief that human life(be-ing) begins at conception. By that reasoning whatever individual rights the mother-to-be has as an independent citizen-actor ceases to exist and the “rights” of a non-citizen-actor is paramount. The question must be asked to what extent is this view part and parcel of a socialization process by the religious right and conservatives in general.

Just as no one is born black or white and must become that designation so must one become a forced birth advocate through socialization. The obverse is also true of the folks adopting the “pro-choice” stance. Yet the latter cleaves to the notion that individual citizen-actors have certain rights to which the state shall not interfere. As the state shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion (belief), the concomitant position must also hold that the state shall not force the beliefs of one group upon the body politic as a whole.  We are not and cannot be a “Christian” nation. We are a nation of many beliefs, thus is the essence of a free people. E Pluribus Unum. 

There are competing dogmas about in the land. But there must be agreement on certain facts. Science is based upon observation and experimentation in which outcomes are predictable, based upon provable theorems. Equating science and religion is foolish. We must not raise children to be fools, but independent critical thinkers who will challenge orthodoxy.  We do them, ourselves and our society a disservice otherwise.

Walter Harris Gavin is the author of The Autobiography of Obsidian Dumar - a novel of identity, a journey through time, space and culture.