Racism Assignment 1
by GianLeNinjaDeKonoha on September 11, 2016 - 4:07pm
Gian Franco Pietrantonio
The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism
September 12, 2016
Racism Seen by a Newly Arrived Immigrant
I was born and raised in Argentina until the age of five. There, I had all my family, culture and identity. Coming to a new country was a tough decision for my parents. I initially stayed in the city of Montreal where the cultural diversity is quite big. There, nobody looked at me like a stranger since it was habitual to see a different person. However, moving to the suburbs of Boucherville, I started seeing the different looks people threw at me and my family. These were not stares of hate but more of questioning and interest. For the first time I felt like I didn’t blend in. Before starting this class, I thought race was an actual “real thing”. I now realize how we classify people and put them in mental files filled with prejudiced. Color, height, hair and place of birth are all traits that cannot be used to class individuals in different races or sub-species. After reading the article by Jared Diamond, I now know that all of the traits that I presented before are used to classify humans. They became rapidly the only traits taken in consideration to quickly interpret a person and judge them. It’s a fact that racial classification did not come from science but from a human construct to differentiate attractive persons to non-attractive persons. Also, to differentiate friends form enemy (Diamond, 1994, para.40). This means that race is nothing more than a social construct and has no empirical or scientific proofs. From the class lectures and activities, the thing that has stood out to me the most is how ambiguous and difficult it is to class people into racial groups. There is so much categories, sub-categories, mixes and ethnicities that I it is quasi impossible to class everybody in the right race. During an activity in the class D-104, we had to classify different pictures of people in certain racial groups and many times, we couldn’t or we had the wrong answer. This shows how race is not real in the human species and deconstructs the classification of humans. To conclude, I think that race as no place in our society and that a person is way more than just his or her color or supposedly race. But how can we stop a several thousand year old way of thinking?
Word count: 388
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.