Growing Up with Racial Ignorance

by Austin Robson on September 13, 2016 - 8:59pm

You think you know what you're getting when you're taking a race and racism course. I mean it's right there in the title; race and racism. A class where you learn about differences between all the races in the world and delve into the prejudices that surround these races. That was from the case. Learning that the idea of race is essentially a myth and just an excuse to put us into social groups was quite awakening.  You're brought up to learn that you do differ from human beings based upon your pigmentation and physical traits, so to learn the opposite  in such a quick fashion can be a tad overwhelming although still refreshing in the sense all humans can be viewed as the same. What stood out to me in Diamond's article was that with our procedures for by Provider"> validating races we would actually group Greeks and Italians with Nigerians. (Diamond, 1994, Par 5) To know that our system for classifying races could be so skewed is quite alarming and this only clarifies the fact that separating us into races is the incorrect thing to do. Another topic brought up in the Diamond article that surprised me was that we weren't actually evolved from the process of natural selection. Our physical traits that vary from different places of the world were actually evolved by the means of sexual selection according to the article. (Diamond, 1994, Par 23 ) Although Diamond claims this is just one of the explanations for sexual selection, as Diamond then explains that there could be no function at all for our process of evolution stating the example of the differences between European and Aboriginal fingerprints as genetically determined. (Diamond, 1994,Par 26) Diamond goes to great anthropological lengths to show us that our ancestry is not so different after all and I feel he does a great job of doing so. Growing up with the idea of different races actually put's us at a social disadvantage because we see other humans as different just because of pigmentation. It is up to parents and educators to make the youth aware of the myth behind races. Being aware is half the battle.

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Diamond, J. (2016, Winter). Race Without Color. In A. Nouvet (Ed.), Anthropology 381-101-LA: The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism. Saint-Lambert, QC: Champlain.




Your statements here definitely gave me a different perspective of race as a whole! I do agree with you on most ideas here, especially the one that says dividing us into races is the wrong thing to do. I firmly believe in race equality and how we shouldn't act differently towards a person based on their pigmentation, but after reading this, and showing me that race isn't what I originally thought it was, my point is only proven further. I also appreciate the fact you added that it is the responsibility of the role models in communities to show the younger generations what is true and what is false, but unfortunately, these role models may also have the wrong idea and have the ability to corrupt the minds of youth. I think it is up to our generation to stop the focus on race and for us to ensure that we are all equal, no matter what color your skin may be.

The title, "Growing Up with Racial Ignorance" drew me to read your post. Upon reading, I found many points that I agree with, and some that my opinion differs from. My own parents can be somewhat racist sometimes, however I have entirely different views from my parents. I agree that it is important how parents go about explaining race to their children. Parents’ views can be very influential on a child, however sometimes the child does end up having an entirely different view on a particular subject than the parent. The second theory holds true for myself and my parents. I also agree that race comes across as a way to divide us. Society looks upon discussing a person's race in such a negative manner, and that is the real issue. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your race, because your race is a part of who you are. Race should be a way to express where you come from, what your culture is, and what you believe in. It should be something that each person is proud of, never should they feel embarrassed or less than another. Instead of trying to end the idea of race, we should be trying to redefine society’s definition of race. One should not be held above the other, instead, they should all by embraced and appreciated for their similarities and differences within each unique race.

The title and the way you word things as if it were an actual dialogue really drew me to the post. And honestly I agree, it's pretty crazy how media and just people in general can try to separate us by races for practically no purpose. Even things that like doing a study on poverty level percentages based on different races just continually create a divide among us humans. But part of my view may be due to attending one of the few if not only high school in my state where the majority of students wasn't white so we just got used to/grew up with everyone being different and being indifferent about it.

To start, I thought the title was very creative and it's what attracted me to wanting to read this post in the first place. As well, I thought the post was very well written; it was coherent and had a nice flow. The subject on race lead me to think of one of the terms discussed in my Gendered World Views class, intersectionality, which emphasizes how certain characteristics such as race, religion, sexuality, gender, and others overlap and reinforce each other leading to one potentially experiencing more inequality. I never really thought of the term, race as being a social construct, but now I am convinced that we are all part of one single human race. I liked the end where you suggested that we need to change the way we educate others on the definition of race rather than simply rejecting the social construct. This is where intersectionality would tie in well. For minority women, such as a black woman, additional to her potentially being oppressed because of her gender, she may also experience discrimination based on the colour of her skin. The importance of intersectionality for women is that rather than generalizing their suffering, we need to highlight their unique experiences of oppression as women of colour and acknowledge how it differs from white women. We need to caution ourselves to making generalities because it further silences minority women rather than supporting them thus, contributing to inequality. In relation to racism, I feel like this would be a crucial part of redefining the social construct to ensure that everyone is included. Therefore, I agree with your argument that by redefining race it would be beneficial to everyone, but I would strongly emphasize the fact that in doing so, we need to acknowledge each others’ differences.
Here is an article that may be of interest related to racism and intersectionality:

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