According to Dictionary.com one definition of insane is “utterly senseless: an insane plan.” Insanity’s fourth definition is:
“A. extreme foolishness; folly; senselessness; foolhardiness:
Trying to drive through that traffic would be pure insanity.
B. a foolish or senseless action, policy, statement, etc.:
We’ve heard decades of insanities in our political discourse.”
The United States’ government entices people to choose which race they identify with. The divisions and choices are also adopted and used by states, cities, public agencies, and private organizations. Those living in the U.S. are quite used to selecting which race they identify with when completing countless forms. So common is this government driven identification process we actually believe we are a part of the racial group the government creates for us. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) government created categories and definitions “provide a common language to promote uniformity and comparability of data on race and ethnicity.” It is not uniform enough, in the government’s eyes, to classify citizens as part of the human race.
These choices and beliefs are born from a long history of division through the required census, taken every 10 years. It is not a new practice but one with ever increasing classifications and definitions. Numbers are gathered and classifications are set with one purpose being to divide government programs into categories groups of people identify with. People are told, per the numbers gathered, whether we are a majority race or a minority race. People are also told, depending on the ‘race’ we identify with, whether we are in need of additional government help or ‘eligible’ for special programs and benefits. Those identified as minorities are often told the majority has advantage over them but the government will help level the disadvantages.
Some self-identify with a specific category in an effort to take advantage of special programs available for one race while excluding others, like Elizabeth Warren did when identifying as Native American despite her having very small traces of Indian heritage. Special interest groups and politicians often use these divisions to solicit support and votes among the divided groups. Minority races form associations to take advantage of tax dollars set aside only for their identified sub-group or to lobby for more tax dollars invested in their specific racial division. Government sets up funding for programs specifically targeted to these classifications of race.
Racial division is also used as a leverage to stir certain people to action, such as the recent Black Lives Matter movement or the different chambers of commerce for Hispanic, Asian, Black, or Native Americans or legislative branch associations like the Congressional Black Caucus. If one group stands in opposition of another group’s special favors the group opposing is labeled to be racist against the group gaining favored status. Passionate emotions rise to the top and societal breakdown devolves into bitterness, race riots, and anger with each other.
These competing special interests are understandable when we realize the very definition of race centers on competition. Human nature embraces competition as well as teams or associations. It is, after all, how we initially came to form societies and divide those societies into warring tribes, countries, and empires.
The foolishness or senseless action that often result, the insanity that grips people, was portrayed in Gene Rodenberry’s 1969 Star Trek episode, ‘Let that be your last battlefield.’ It depicted the destruction of two warring races, one black/left, white/right; another white/left, black/right. The distinction between their pigmentation drove the races to senseless action, policies, and statements; insanity eventually leading to the ultimate destruction of the entire race despite both being human and not at all different below their pigmentation.
Our human race continues to allow governments to divide and classify us. We do not pause to consider that Africa is not a race, it is a continent. Cuba is not a different race, it is an island nation. People embrace this misclassification as normal yet it is insane, it does divide rather than unite and it allows bureaus to grow large and organizations to become rich under the guise of helping the poor minorities who need protection and special favors to survive against the majority. The definitions get extremely challenging for a people who have lived together long enough to breed with each other as humans and blur origins, defying classification definitions even as those definitions are stretched and changed by bureaucrats at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the direction of the Executive Branch.
If you identified as a White American on the 2000 Census official government definitions declare you have origins in North Africa, otherwise you were European American or Middle Eastern American. If you identified as Black or African American you are defined to have origins from the people of Sub-Saharan Africa, never mind if you cannot find a single ancestral thread linking you to that part of the African continent. Based on government definitions both White and Black Americans originated from Africa so why were not both African American? Or perhaps we will see the evolution of a White Black African American or a Black White African American. What impact will that have on movements designed to segregate black humans from white humans? Are there any humans you have seen that are truly black or truly white?
A 2014 announcement by the Census Bureau created and defined a new category definition for Middle Eastern Americans. Now the origins will be the Middle East, North Africa, or the Arab World because the bureaucrats and politicians say so. But wait, White American origins were North Africa per the 2010 definition. Will a White American now be able to self-describe as a Middle Eastern American? Is it possible to be a White Middle Eastern American and, if so, what if skin pigmentation drives a person to self-describe more as a Black Middle Eastern American? Will the rule makers and regulators add even more divisive categories by the 2030 census?
It only gets more convoluted when the definition of Native American is currently set to any origin in North, Central, or South America. People with origins in Central and South America also could ethnically identify as Hispanic or Latino. So is a Native American also a Latino or are all Latinos also Native American? Perhaps by 2020 the president, bureaucrats and politicians will create a category for Native Latino American, or should that be Latino Native American? Either way needs will arise for associations to lobby for special interest programs for these minorities long misclassified and ignored by society’s majority race.
Albert Einstein is credited with defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Results of government classifications of the human race have so far led to death, destruction, racial hatred, and political folly. Further divisions and deeper classification will undoubtedly lead to more of the same, our human history proves this. The long-term results can be viewed through the vision of Gene Rodenberry, destruction of humanity at the hands of fellow humans. If this is not insane then nothing is.
Let that be your last battlefield – Star Trek 1969: https://youtu.be/Oi97fXRkgss