Why is it Still an Issue?
by Amélie Coupal on September 12, 2016 - 5:23pm
As a Caucasian girl who has blonde hair and blue eyes, I have never, in my eighteen years of life, experienced any form of racism. However, I have witnessed friends and coworkers being discriminated and not receiving the same treatment as me, just because their skin colour was darker than mine. I believe that, in a modern society like ours, skin tone should not be an issue anymore.
I already knew that “races” did not exist and that they were, in fact, a social construct. However, as said previously, I had witnessed few situations, but I had never realize how much of an issue it was on a daily basis for minority groups. When reading the article “Race Without Color”, I was surprised to learn that many other procedures would create completely different “races” than those we already know and, unfortunately, use on a daily basis (“blacks”, “whites”, “Asians”, “American-Indians” …).
Some traits play an important role in sexual selection. Considering that and also the fact that women and men from all around the world have different “tastes” in significant other, the traits vary from one region to another. These physical traits can go from hairiness to something as unusual as nipple color or breast shape (Diamond, 1994, para 23-24). Should we classify people according to the color of their nipples? Sounds weird. However, we do it every day by classifying people according to their skin color. Indeed, creating categories according to women’s breasts would be as arbitrary as creating categories according to people’s skin tone. Moreover, if we classified people according to their breasts, the categories would be completely different than the ones created by skin color, which proves that there is no logical explanation behind “races”. Indeed, I really wonder what is the point of “races” if the categories change depending on the trait examined. I also wonder why people chose skin color as the main way to classify people in the first place.
Jared Diamond’s article made me realize why it is so insensible and unnecessary to classify people. It changed my view of the world and of society in a way that it made me understand that most racist people may just be uniformed about the subject. We should educate people about racism and the social construct of “races”. However, is it possible to change people’s mind and completely eliminate racism, a concept that has been present in our society for ages?
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.