The Drive for Camp and Our Dysfunctional Labels

No one I know is white. Nor are any of them black. And all of them are “people of color”.

How interesting that our culture is so content with labels that don’t really fit the reality.

We try to lump people into groups—because we’re more comfortable that way, apparently. Yet we seem quite uncomfortable to make it as simple as the fact that we are all humans. No, we REALLY want to narrow it down from there.

I can understand the need to discuss young people vs. old, or those who live here vs. there, or those who speak this language vs. that. And these distinctions seem generally more accurate and reliable. But what’s in it for us to group people together by skin color, under general labels that make little sense?

Is our bent for “camp” so strong that we just can’t help it? Is our drive to make a name for ourselves that strong? Must be belong to a special group at every opportunity? If so, then can I find a group for left-handed men over 50 who are writers and like Manhattan Transfer and fishing? Can I build an identity for myself out of that, and enjoy the support of a new camp of people like that?

I, for one, have no such need. I think I’m quite OK being just a human. It has worked for me so far.

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