The First Thing We Learn In School: Colors

by Fabri on September 14, 2016 - 5:06pm

For the past 18 years of my life, I have classify human beings into “races”. Why would I categorize people with skin color? In my opinion, it was just easier and obvious until one day I realized that human classification was a whole lot more complex than I thought. In the following text, we will see how many variables can make human classification injudicious.

Since Darwin's trip to the Galápagos Islands, scientists love to classify animals into species and sub-species. However, should we do the same classification process with humans? Jared Diamond, author of the “Race Without Color” article beliefs one should not classify humans into races even if it is possible because it has brought many difficulties within our society. He argues that it shapes our views of other people, makes us believe we are different from other “races”, and is used as a reason for political and socioeconomic discrimination (para. 5). This is a reality many of us can relate to. As a Latino, I've experienced many discriminatory comments regarding my mother supposedly working as a house cleaner, however she came to Canada as a professional project manager and afterwards graduated at McGill University with a BAC in business. With time, I got used to all these comments, but what scarred me the most is the fact that these dominant groups feel the need to discriminate others in order to feel superior and powerful. However, I am not here to judge because we are humans and we seek for a feeling of belonging to a certain ethnic group or culture. This has its advantages and disadvantages. Belonging to a certain group creates comfort and security. However, it can also create a separation with other racial groups.  These separations can be concretely seen with ethnic districts such as Chinatown in Montreal.

In conclusion, this idea of categorizing humans into “races” was created by our society and shouldn’t exist because it only feeds hate between human beings.

 

 

 

 

Reference

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

I completely agree with you. I have friends from all different ethnicities and backgrounds and I think thats what makes us mesh so well together. This post drew my attention because I love learning about different cultures and different peoples backgrounds. My experience with different people of different backgrounds is that I've learned way more about their cultures and experiences than I would have in a classroom. The idea of race, to me, spreads more hate than love. Just because somebody had different experiences, cultures, or views than you doesn't mean that they're wrong or deserve hate. All anybody wants in this world is to find the people that love them and can share experiences and not be judged by any means.

I can easily say that i agree with every point you make in your post. Society today has trained everyone into putting every race into a certain ethnic category. Weather its certain races with for example sports or jobs. It typical for black people to be stereo typed into being good at basket ball as well as how for Asians have a stereo type for being super smart. This post drew my attention because I do believe that racism is a big problem all around the world. I personally believe that everyone deserves to be loved and treated equally. It is not fair that some people get treated poorly due to their race. So I am here to tell you that I one hundred percent agree with you "race" has been categorized by society and should not exist because in the end all it is doing is hurting others.

I strongly agree with your statement. Coming from a town with nearly a 95% white population, people regularly fail to recognize the fact that there are other people that come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds thus making them feel the need to treat them differently. If everyone has the mindset that there is not necessarily any specific "race" then this world would be a lot more peaceful and people would be more open minded towards those who come from different backgrounds.

This is a extremely well written and well done post. The many layers to it and supporting evidence as well as personal experiences give good insight to your opinion. I strongly agree with what your saying and it truly a mind blowing feeling that racism was essential an invention of society to oppress certain populations and glorify another. When you get to the roots and the bottom of this issue humans are no different than any other mammal and classified the same way. It is troubling to hear your personal connection to this particular subject and it is sad that just about everyone can attest to seeing this issue play in their own lives. This ongoing issue continues to spread as media phenomenon and because of it divisions in society will continue until we as a human population stop it at the ground level.

What drew me to your post was what you meant by what we learn in schools is colors. It got to me because first, we should learn about actual colors instead of our race/background. I liked how you said that if we shouldn't classify human beings into "races" because it'll only feed hate between individuals. I find that true with a real life example of mine. When I say that I am half Colombian and half American some people don't believe that that can be true. It sometimes feels like they want me to take a side. But I identify as both. If we want this discrimination to go away we need to be teaching children to not look at someone one way. There shouldn't be separation.
Another perspective I can take on from this post is if we are afraid in saying the word race and ever use it then we can't exactly be unique and show who we are if we wanted to. It gets to the point where if we wanted to say to what background we belong to, we shouldn't be ashamed of it and people should know not to judge that person for wanting to inform.

This post drew me in, at first, because of the title. Color is in fact one of the first things that we learn about in school, but color is also how people are described. I agree with this post, that humans should not be classified as being certain colors. I come from a private high school, which did not have a lot of diversity. In my school, where there were not many different types of people, it is true that judgements were made. Judgements were made about certain types of people. Comments like these always bothered me, because I did not feel it was right. I also just wish that humans were not classified into different races. A lot of the hate and divide in this nation is ignited by race and race relations. Coming from a place where judgement happens, I just agree that classification should not happen. There should not be different races of humans in this country, or anywhere.

First off your title drew me into this post. I was curious where the article would go, and I really enjoyed it as I read. In particular your argument that race “feeds hatred between human beings” caught my interest. While never experiencing the type of racism you and your family have, your post inspired me to look back on my experiences with race. In reflecting, I realized how the idea of “race” impacted my interactions with different groups. I like how you pointed out the flaws of the race system, but also talked about the role that race plays into sense of belonging. Growing up the sense of knowing where I stood was always stressed, weather it was related to race or not. Sense of position within a racial structure can be compared to the sense of the role one plays in a classroom, at a job, or within a socioeconomic group. I think that there is a sense of comfort in knowing where you stand within a society, but by that same token, this sense of comfort is the driving force of discrimination. When individuals feel as if there “position” is being threatened, they feel the need to attack -- often leading to racist acts.

Going back to your title, when I looked at my own opinions about race I started to think about when I was first introduced to the idea of race and color. I quickly realized that in my life, as i’m sure in most people's, I made comments or actions based on skin color that seem harmless or minor. As I grew up though, I realized the impact these actions had. I appreciated and connected to the way you explained that using race to divide people seems “easy and obvious” because I know that I have been guilty of doing just that. Assumptions around color not only harm but drive the force behind racial hatred. I appreciated how this post made me question, if we didn't consider the divide of race would people feel the need to become discriminatory or offensive?

i can honesty say I have never thought about this before, but I agree. As humans we group our selves into these categories that have been socially developed and have no correlation to life now a days. Even on job applications, standardized testing, college applications ect.

Thinking of race being engrained in children at such a young age is never something that I thought about before. Colors and categorizing is one of the first things that children learn in school. It is very interesting to compare the recognition of colors with the concept of race and discrimination. Humans have an instinctive need to put things into boxes with names. I feel like I could especially relate to this post because I have always been a very logical person. Boxes and categories make sense in my somewhat straightforward mind. It is easier and it is a way to make sense of the confusing world. This categorization is natural and I understand that but this post brought up a very good point. Just because people make the boxes exist for their own understanding, prejudice against any box should not be present. However, I do disagree with the thought that these categories only inspire hate. I believe the categories themselves are not the problem. All cultures and races should be celebrated for their differences because without them, the world would be boring. The problem starts when the celebration of the differences becomes a riot.

Thinking of race being engrained in children at such a young age is never something that I thought about before. Colors and categorizing is one of the first things that children learn in school. It is very interesting to compare the recognition of colors with the concept of race and discrimination. Humans have an instinctive need to put things into boxes with names. I feel like I could especially relate to this post because I have always been a very logical person. Boxes and categories make sense in my somewhat straightforward mind. It is easier and it is a way to make sense of the confusing world. This categorization is natural and I understand that but this post brought up a very good point. Just because people make the boxes exist for their own understanding, prejudice against any box should not be present. However, I do disagree with the thought that these categories only inspire hate. I believe the categories themselves are not the problem. All cultures and races should be celebrated for their differences because without them, the world would be boring. The problem starts when the celebration of the differences becomes a riot.

Thinking of race being engrained in children at such a young age is never something that I thought about before. Colors and categorizing is one of the first things that children learn in school. It is very interesting to compare the recognition of colors with the concept of race and discrimination. Humans have an instinctive need to put things into boxes with names. I feel like I could especially relate to this post because I have always been a very logical person. Boxes and categories make sense in my somewhat straightforward mind. It is easier and it is a way to make sense of the confusing world. This categorization is natural and I understand that but this post brought up a very good point. Just because people make the boxes exist for their own understanding, prejudice against any box should not be present. However, I do disagree with the thought that these categories only inspire hate. I believe the categories themselves are not the problem. All cultures and races should be celebrated for their differences because without them, the world would be boring. The problem starts when the celebration of the differences becomes a riot.

I definitely agree with your argument, race is a man made creation, a social construct that people use to label and categorize other people. Racism is an extremely large problem in our society, as it is still dominant today and does not benefit anyone. But is race the only source of discrimination on a human? Most people do not only get discriminated against based on race, but also their gender, age, ethnicity, class and other social identifiers. This is where intersectionality comes, the overlapping of systems of oppressions. The overlapping of these systems is why each individual has a unique experience of discrimination. Lets take a black women versus black men, all other social identifiers are the same. As one can predict, the black men has more privilege and less discrimination than a black women. It gets more complicated when one has a Latino man versus a black women, how does one say who is more privileged? To conclude, I hundred percent agree that the idea of different races is only harmful to human begins and should not exist, but we also need to acknowledge all the factors for oppression and not believe the stereotypes as defined truths which are man made.

Here is a link to a video created by Buzzfeed performing an experiment based on how privileged one feels based on their social identifiers and context. It shows the relationship between intersectionality and privilege in one's life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ

The title of this article is very intriguing! Discrimination and human classification truly are very complex and go beyond racial stereotypes. In order to further your analysis, it would be effective to explore discrimination of women based on sex and key ideas such as the glass ceiling and the mommy track. The societal view in which women are constantly seen to be the ones who must take care of a couple’s domestic labour has a negative affect on our society. It limits the possibilities that women have in the professional world after they deliver a child, because women are expected to take care of their children and men are expected to be the breadwinner. These concepts refer to the mommy track, which, in the end, forces many women to decide between having a family and pursuing a career because the combination of both seems unrealistic. It’s factors like these that have led to our modern day gender wage gap and to the concept of the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling refers to an invisible barrier that doesn’t allow women (and visible minorities) to advance to the top of the corporate ladder despite their qualifications. Looking at these types of issues through a gendered lens shows that discrimination goes beyond race. In order to have a better understanding of what the glass ceiling is, refer to the link bellow.

http://www.feminist.org/research/business/ewb_glass.html

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