How Race is Really Perceive in Today's Society

by Emile David on September 13, 2016 - 9:45pm



In the class, the myth of race and the reality of racism we spent the firsts classes to focus on how race is perceive in our society, what really is race from a scientific point of view, what really define us as humans, why are we different from one to another, etc. But through all those classes we spent talking about that, one really got my attention. What really is “race”? How do we perceive it as individuals? For many reasons I always thought that we are a lot of races in the world and I think I’m not alone to think this, until I realize that we are actually one big race… The human race. There was one moment in my life where in my head I was convince that we were all different, that white were and will always be white and act as white peoples, same thing for black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. That exact moment was actually this summer, me and my friend went to Chicago, only us two and it was a very expensive trip and we were waiting for this moment since many months because we were actually going to Lollapalooza one of the biggest music festivals in North America. The problem is that we had an apart really near the south side of Chicago, and for those who don’t know, the south Chicago is one of the most dangerous neighborhood in USA. We were in a safe neighborhood but still we were the only white and it felt really weird, at this moment I really wasn’t comfortable with the situations mainly because of all the stereotypes about black people and the fact about 1 mile to the south it was the most dangerous neighborhood in Illinois. Taking the course made me realize that race is a social construct idea and that how a group of people are acting or there lifestyle in general is not based on their skin color or their differences, it is based on how they have been raised, the natural selection but also the environmental selection, because when you are raised in an environment like South Chicago you learn to fight to survive and to always check your back and things like that, even if you are  from any other “races”.  And realizing that there is one thing that I find sad is that even if we tell the entire world that “race” is socially constructed and that we should stop using the term and see us all equal, that wouldn’t work. Why? In this 500words essay I really tried hard to not mention the word “race” or to make reference to it but I failed because it is too deep in our society that completly stop using the terms is pretty much impossible but I still believe that one day we will make it.


What initially drew me to your post was that while I was reading through it I saw you started talking about the USA and Chicago in particular and so it was easy to connect to what you were saying because of the obvious familiarity I have with these locations from living in the United States and hearing about these places frequently. Also a more personal connection is that a few years back I went to Detroit right when the auto-industry was taking and Detroit had to file for bankruptcy and I remember coming from a more rural area in Rhode Island that when I was there not feeling very comfortable in the city, much like you described. Now that I'm older and can look back at it with more knowledge then I had at the time I realize I really wasn't in as much danger as I probably though at the time. I also thought it was unique that you tired not to use the word race in your post even though you ended up using it I thought it drove home your point about how deeply the word has been ingrained into our vocabulary.

I found your post interesting and really liked your personal aspect from living in a tough area. As someone who used to live on the south side of Providence, RI I can definitely relate. Gang violence occurs often and I always thought of it as a racial issue. However today I am able to look at it as more of a social issue. Having friends of all different races from all different backgrounds has made me realize that we all have the same needs and desires in life and the only difference is the color of our skin which today means nothing to me.

About the author