We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Everyone, on first meeting him, assumed as much. I did too when we had begun to play together a decade earlier, just after I had moved into the middle-class neighborhood called Park Manor where Woody’s family had been living for some time. There were a number of white families on our block when we first arrived; within a couple of years they had all been replaced by aspiring black families like our own. Yet, Woody’s parents never moved, which puzzled me. Then one day I overheard his mother declare to one of her new neighbors, “We just wouldn’t run from our own kind.” Somewhat later, while watching the film Imitation of Life on TV, my mother explained how someone could be “black,” even though they looked “white.” She told me about people like that in our own family—second cousins who lived in a fashionable suburb, and on whom one would never dare drop in unannounced because they were passing for white. This was my earliest glimpse of the truth that racial identity in America is inherently a social and cultural, not simply a biological, construct—that it necessarily involves an irreducible element of personal choice.
...to the extent that we blacks see ourselves primarily through a racial lens, we may end up sacrificing possibilities for the kind of personal development that would ultimately further our collective racial interests. We cannot be truly free men and women while laboring under a definition of self derived from the perceptual view of our oppressor, confined to the contingent facts of our oppression.
Read the whole thing. I certainly agree with his point that reducing the notion of identity to skin color is a darn thin reed to hold on to. Being white tells me nothing about myself.