When we look at each other and see only difference, we lose sight of the fact that we are all one race, the human race.In a precious memory of my dad, I see him bend to close his bicycle clips around his lower legs. He straightens up and with a wink and a smile pushes his bike off, swings his right leg over the saddle and rides out of sight down the road, a slightly built, balding man with a friendly chuckle and dark skin.I’m the product of a mixed race marriage; mum, a third generation New Zealander came from UK stock and Dad’s heritage was English and African. His mum’s grandfather came here as a Fencible, a retired English military man brought to Aotearoa to protect the settlers from Maori. His dad was black, descended from slaves.Our family is a melting pot, the flavours stirred and kids tipped out in varying shades of skin colour. My brother has Dad’s colouring, I have Mum’s and my two sisters are somewhere in between. But we still look like family. We all have the same features, the same curls, the same build, the same genetic make-up.So what makes us different? I don’t think of my brother as anything other than my brother. I know him beyond his skin, I’m colour blind. He’s not black and to him, I’m not white. I’m just his sister. His path through life should have been no less smooth than mine. Why would it be, he came from the same place, he had the same advantages, didn’t he?
Or did he?
What makes us different?
It’s the way others look at us.