by Yiselperez on September 15, 2016 - 12:26pm
For centuries, race was believed to be a legit basis for the social classification of groups. Although it is scientifically proven that race does not exist in the human genome, people still choose to believe it is real. This is due to the fact that " what is defined as real its real in its consequences" according to the Thomas theorem. As stated in class, the dominant group imposes the concept of race because it benefits them. Because of this, people are negatively affected by this social concept.
In my personal experience, I have not been submitted to racism even though I belong to a minority group. I, however, have been a witness to racism. It was very disturbing because this kind of racism was taking place within a specific "race". At a hotel restaurant , it was possible to see how the waiters and waitresses (the majority had darker skin) did not offer the same kind of service to people of darker skin than they did to tourists that were "white". The importance devoted to the service for people of color was different. The victims felt the need to talk to the manager. I think it was racist because the waiting quality should be the same for everyone. Otherwise, they would be saying that the priority goes to white tourists. This shows how race is just an illusion and that it exist only for the people that believe in it because all of the people in the room had paid the same amount of money for the same quality of service.
Race itself is completely useless as classification of humans [only] "shapes our views of other people"(Diamond, 1994). In his article, Diamond says that in order to be separated into sub-species or "races",groups of individuals must not be able to interbreed with each other. I think that the act of racism that I witnessed proves Diamond's argument about how the division of the human beings according to a non-subjective and scientifically disproven method is just a way for the dominant group to maintain control. It is not real, but socially constructed. As he says, for some animals, such as birds, race makes sense because the groups created according to specific genetic traits would be the same no matter the trait. The result would be accurate, which is not the case for humans. Not to mention that apart from discrimination and other horrible consequences, racism leaves certain stereotypes about each race. In brief, race is a non objective procedure which cannot be applied to humans.
In conclusion, one can observe the reality of racism and its negative consequences on a daily basis. People feel the need to categorize themselves according to physical traits. For some animals it makes sense but, it is very disturbing to know that some people think that by doing so, they will establish what kind of human is more or less valuable than the other.
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.