We are not our labels. You and I are not White, Black, Indian, Asian or curly-haired. What we are is inside of us.
This is the message spoken-word artist and visionary filmmaker Prince Ea shares with this brilliant and impactful video.
He erases the judgments attached to race and skin color by using the power of images to its fullest potential.
How does he achieve this?
Throughout the video he uses only his own voice, but the images of people saying those words change continually. So, what he is saying is being said by the whole spectrum of the human race.
His intro is powerful. With the camera zooming in on him, he starts: “I am not black. That’s what the world calls me, but that’s not me. I didn’t come out of my mother’s womb saying: ‘Hey everybody, I’m black!’ No I was taught to be black. And you were not taught to call me that along with what you called yourself – it’s just a label.”
We then see two babies, one black and one white and a blond woman and others “use” his voice to explain that we are force-fed these labels until we accept them and never doubt them.
But there is one problem with this, and isn’t this the truth?
“Labels are not you and labels are not me. Who we are is not skin deep.”
These are profound words. Let them sink in: “Labels are not you and labels are not me. Who we are is not skin deep.”
Elsewhere he uses another powerful statement to make his point: “Human beings were not meant to be slapped with labels like groceries in supermarkets. DNA cannot be regulated by the FDA.”
The million dollar question.
Prince Ea poses a question worth thinking about: “Who would you be if the world never gave you a label? Never gave you a box to check.”
What would you write there, who would you be? Surely you wouldn’t define yourself in the first place as white, black, Mexican, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern or Indian.
No. We would be one. We would clearly see that we are human beings, not black people or white people. These labels forever blind us from seeing the person for who they are. These labels let us look at each other through the judgement and prejudicial filters of who we think they are.
If we allow artificial labels to define us, then we choose smallness over greatness and minimise ourselves and confine and hide from others.
And this is the core of the problem that leads to all the greatest of tragedies:
Where is division, there will be conflict and conflict starts wars.
“Therefore every war started over labels: it’s always us versus them. So the answer to racism, war, sexism and every other ism is so simple and every politician has missed it: it’s the labels. We must rip them off.”
This is so true. The labels we accept divide the human race in countless “them and us” groups with the underlying belief systems escalating over time until it all erupts in conflict.
As Ea says, no baby is born racist. Every baby cry when they hear the cry of another, proving that deep down we were meant to connect and care for each other.
He concludes: “We are meant to be free and only when we remove all these labels and stop thinking so small, will we be free to see ourselves and each other for who we truly are. We will have vision without distortion.”
Check out the video and let us know what you think.