Racism at a Young Age

by Ycheng on September 14, 2016 - 2:51am

When people lay their eyes on me, they can clearly see I’m not Caucasian. When I was a kid, I didn’t realize people are curious about my ethnicity background, because during my middle school, half of the students were Asian. Therefore, I would rarely get the question “Where are you from?” since I was born in Canada, until I got to high school. We weren’t really “visibly” diverse, so each time I meet someone new they will ask the question, and I would give them a short and innocent answer “Here”. Later on, I would understand that my honest answer wasn’t to their satisfaction because they will follow up by a “No, but where are you really from?”. To this I will start to explain that my parents came from China but I was still born here, to show I wasn’t as different from them, in a subtle way. This went on for at least a month, I ended up just answering that I was from China because I got tired of explaining. This didn’t bother me as much as the upcoming question that hit me unexpectedly and that’s when I realize that from now on I will have to deal with racism and stereotypical slurs in the future from ignorant people. “How can you people eat dog and cat? You guys are inhumane.” This happened when people started to understand how to use the internet and that everything we read on there we should believe. Ever since high school I understood people will judge and treat you differently base on your skin colour.

From what I have learned in class, there’s only one race and it’s the human race. Race is just a social construct, of course we have different visible characteristic, however we shouldn’t classify people in different “races” because it creates discrimination in the society which is counterproductive (Diamond, 1994, para. 5). Diamond has said the only reason why we should separate in species in a biologist view, and we human is one specie (Diamond, 1994, para. 6). Furthermore, if we had to categorize from various traits, it wouldn’t work since human are mating with everyone so they will fit in more than a category like the Pacific island bird species. They have different trait from one to another but they breed between them, and the outcome of their offspring has a chance to look different from their parents. This bird species has too much variation that is impossible to separate them into categories like the humans (Diamond, 1994, para. 9). Why is it so easy to agree that this type of bird is one specie but we are having such a hard time to agree that this apply to human too? I understand that I am quite different from others, but everyone is also as different, it just not physically obvious. If I had knew this in high school I would had avoided so much unnecessary self-doubt where I belong. My skin colour, my physical trait and my ethnicity doesn’t mean I fit the norm that was created by social construct and neither does yours. 
Bibliography
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
 

Comments

signin is a pain

As someone who knows where you're coming from, with not really fitting in to the norm of an American and being seen as someone who doesn't really belong, I can relate. When you talk about how we shouldn't classify people in different "races" because it creates discrimination in society some people will not agree with that assumption because many believe that "race" is what makes us unique and we should be proud of where we come from. Like you, when I put myself out there and say to someone "I am American, I was born in the United States." but they look at me with a puzzled face and say, "but you have to be from somewhere else too..." and once I say that I am Colombian they automatically ask questions like, "Oh, so is there a lot of drug trafficking over there?" It gets me a little upset to see how people can just automatically assume after watching the series Narcos on Netflix that everyone is like that.
We shouldn't doubt from where we are from, or even where our ancestors are from because, like you said, there is only one race, and that is the "human race". Someone around us is bound to be from somewhere else because we live in a melting pot but if we start looking at them the way they want to be seen and respect where they come from, there will be more trust and openness. When you explained yourself about how after high school you knew that people will treat you differently because of your skin color, this example drew me into a new argument about how many many students receive some type of racism at a young age and many grow into not putting their full potential because they are scared in doing anything. I also see that racism is a chain reaction, if we don't stop the stereotypes, racism will still be in full effect.

When scrolling through the different articles posted under this class I was looking for ones that caught my eye. I did not have to relate to them, but I wanted to be interested in them. This article is another that I was truly interested in while reading. I grew up with mostly Asian friends (it just turned out that way, I am Caucasian), so I always thought I knew most of what they were feeling when going to a 95% Caucasian school. It was interesting to read what another person’s experiences were in school.
There is no one answer for why people ask questions the way they do, or why people have certain thoughts in general. It is interesting to think that people assume a person is from a certain place just because of what they look like. I feel as if now more than ever America, and other countries around the globe, have populations of a mixture of ethnicities. Especially with the modern desire for younger people to travel, there seem to be more instances of people from certain backgrounds immersing themselves in other cultures.
My point is, I think that it is very interesting how people have the same questions they always seem to have, like: Where are you from? but now people seem to have already decided where you are from due to the way you look, therefore you must be wrong when you answer differently than where they expected.

right now , people are afraid to make false assumption, so they rareky aske me about my orignine

I find this extremely interesting because this person is not Caucasian, so he can speak from experience about being treated differently for his race. This person talks about how when people meet them, people ask where they are from. This is definitely true that this happens a lot to minoities. Whenever someone is not white, they get asked many things. I can definitely see how this is very annoying, getting asked multiple times, even if they are born in the same country where they are currently living. I think this needs to change, and people need to stop worrying so much about origins of people and their races. They need to worry more about who they are as a person on the inside and not other factors.

I agree with you

I liked the fact that this post started off with a personal conflict.It dissected the problem the author was facing as a whole. Although the authors parents weren't from there he still was. The authors experience shows that no matter where a person is or born there will still be discrimination. Even if a person was born on the same place as everyone else they are still seen as different. A problem with our society is that we tend to put stereotypes on races and it is definitely seen in this post.Because of these stereotypes it make racism that much more real. This experience shows that everyone will at some point in their lives experience racism weather it is first or second hand

I hope that one day racism will be gone but im glad you enjoyed my blog

I totally understand how this issue would be close to you. I have a cousin who is like a brother to me. We share everything with each other and have been together since we were both adopted. We used to tell people we were twins when we were little and people would look confused or get angry (he is Asian and I am Caucasian). As a child I did not understand it because I didn’t see him as anything but my closest friend and cousin. However now even as I understand the confusion/anger I feel as though our bond makes us more like brothers rather than our skin color. When you talk about the birds being of the same specie but having different traits that is how I see us!

thanks for sharing your personal expericence with us :)

I chose to answer on this post because I have experienced it a lot of times, in my community and other places. I think when people are judging you basing on your color it’s not because they do not know that we are all human, I think that they are doing it because they want to discriminate you in the society. I think people should understand being different from others and not use it to discriminate others. At the end of the day we are all one. So like you mentioned about background and nationality I think that makes a difference between one to another till you practice the culture, languages of that group of people. We all different and unique outside. And of course the same inside (humanity).

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