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Posts Tagged ‘a new concept’

The illusion of race

In racism on March 3, 2010 at 12:42 am

The notion of race is a ridiculous one.

As a person with red hair, blue eyes and pale skin, It is impossible to be categorized as anything but white. Its taken hundreds, if not thousands, of nations and tribes to create the person I am. And yet my unique blend of European, Native American and possibly Jewish ancestry is all merged into one single, definitive category — white. A color of all things.

Race has less to do with actual differences and more to do with perceived differences, such as skin color. Its definition and boundaries are not absolute. There was a time in America when Italians and Jews werent considered white by the U.S. government as they now are — evidence that race is nothing more than an arbitrarily assigned category.

But the real question is why societies insist on grouping people by race rather than nationality, region or tribe. Why, when there exists a seemingly infinitive variety of skin tones, do they prefer to reference unyielding colors?

Because race divides us. It puts millions of genetically unique individuals into broad groups and positions them against one another. Black vs. white, yellow vs. brown, logic vs. illogic.

In actuality, there is such a thing as race. But it is singular, not plural. It is the race of all persons: the human race.

VIDEO: Time Wise, author of White Like Me, discusses the newness of the concept of race and how it has been used in America to divide and conquer. 

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