I realize now far more than at the start of this semester that I was drastically underestimating race's impact on on people now, partially because I'm not getting the short end of the stick, and partially because I was operating on a "if I ignore it, it will go away" mantra. I never really saw race as biological, obviously people's skin is different colors, but that seems entirely separate from this concept of "race"... certainly no one is honestly upset about darkness and lightness of tone.
But what then is the problem? That is daunting, and I'm still torn between the idea of talking it to death and ignoring it. Neither seems to lead to any solutions... but I guess I've started to ponder what our other options are. For example, you can choose your friends, not other peoples, but yours. I don't mean we should deliberately seek out people that look different from us, because we're still making assumptions about people based on appearance in that case. Instead, get to know people around you. I was shocked to find out the diversity that existed in a physically congruent group like the one Pat and I interviewed in the Student Union. Our backgrounds are more diverse than we think, and that's something we have in common.
Another thing I've come to realize, and I think it logically follows when our focus becomes to get to know the other person, is to be aware that we all have different experiences that affect who we are, and some people desperately need the validation that comes from someone simply listening to them. You do not have to have experienced what they did to listen.
I know I've had some grand revelations about filmmaking, mostly that it is beyond difficult to get what is in your head out into reality. Left to my own devices, with my singularity of vision and a theoretical abundance of time, resources, and superpower-like skills, I'm not sure I could do something worthwhile. Add to that that group projects were never something I've relished, and this is by far the most extreme variation of the concept of collaboration. To call filmmaking "challenging" is laughable. Every movie I've every seen becomes a miracle simply in existing. Perhaps that is the magic of movies, you can feel all the energy of a zillion people pouring right out of the speakers and bouncing right off the silver screen.
I have to admit, I think I'm clinically insane. After all of this, I'm possibly more in love with movies.