Dreams were real

Anil Dash wrote:

This expectation of pop music’s conversation about race persisted for decades. By the end of the 80s, Janet was pushing forward the boundaries of pop music with Rhythm Nation 1814, with many of its songs explicitly articulating a vision of color-blindness. Even its title track, an all-time classic, opens with a spoken incantation:

We are a nation with no geographic boundaries
Bound together through our beliefs
We are like-minded individuals
Sharing a common vision
Pushing toward a world rid of color lines

Within two years after the release of Rhythm Nation, Michael Jackson would release his single "Black or White", whose chorus repeatedly insists that it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white. The same year, Prince would release his album Diamonds and Pearls, whose bridge enthusiastically promises, "u will be colorblind". The biggest stars of the MTV era had weighed in, and they had found consensus in their lyrics.

Imagine my black ass growing up in a white family, white world, listening to that pop culture, seeing Benetton ads all over Paris. Of course I believed, even with a doubt in my mind.

Imagine my peak color-blindness, not so long ago, with a left-handed black president, me married to a white/Asian woman and the world telling me in every single possible way, how much richer living is in this setting. Even with a doubt in my mind.

It’s 2019 and it feels like I need my black people around me, for well-being and healing purposes. Election polls and workforce statistics don’t lie. Black bodies in caskets don’t lie.

I grew up with a wall falling in Germany and now I’m aging with an idiot trying to build one in Mexico. For my generation, today’s world is really, really not going the way we wanted it to go. I don’t have a doubt in my mind this time.

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