Race in Today’s World

Besides gender, race has been used as social construct, often to separate and identify one group of people to another. What is race? According to Clarence Gravlee, race was a “culturally structured, systematic way of looking at, perceiving, and interpreting reality”. He also noted that superficial traits were used to distinguish races more fundamental innate biological differences.

Growing up in a foreign country (Kuwait) and having the opportunity to visit numerous foreign nations (mostly European and Middle Eastern) and having attended an international school, whose students had various nationalities and races (North Americans, Europeans various Arab nationalities East Asians), it let me experience different races and cultures.

I will admit, as a child growing up, any negative experience I had towards with someone not in my race, I often held it against their entire race. As I moved back to the United States and as I grew older as a teenager and eventually experiencing College life (different races from all over the world)  my views on race have drastically changed (and for the better in my opinion) that what it was a decade ago. I’ve realized that it’s shouldn’t be race that tend to describe some of Dressler views (from that article) but the culture we grown up.

I hate admitting this but since this is a relatively “anonymous” blog, here it goes. I lived in Kuwait for close to a decade and between the treatment of migrant workers from South and South East Asia in that region and some of the negative experiences (I’m Asian American but in their eyes, I was Asian) I had encountered from the native populous of that region, I unfortunately disparaged them in the same way they did to me.

In my mid-teens, my family had moved back to Ohio and attending high school with few Arab Americans and being friends with couple of them, back in the mainland, has effectively eroded those views. I’ve realized that in the end, all human beings are empty slates, void of any disparity and the color of our skins is just an ocular allusion.

I’ve visited my parents’ native home of India few times over the years and besides the color of my skin, I feel no connection to their native home.

I feel like race is a wrong social construct to describe the innate biological differences that exist around the globe among human beings. It’s the culture and partially our nationality and how we are raised (environmental and biological surrounds) that often describe us and makes us who we are.

In Sweden, a new legislation passed that removes the use of race to identify its citizens. While I agree with the concept of the law, I also feel that you cannot eradicate race by suppressing the use of race in everyday language. Equal rights and opportunities of Swedish citizens are not achieved by completely banning the use of those social constructs to identify them, but it is achieved by properly educating people that all men are created equal.

Link to the Swedish legislation.

http://www.thelocal.se/20140731/race-to-be-scrapped-from-swedish-legislation

 

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2 Comments

  1. I find this idea of eliminating race as a whole really intriguing. I think the generations that exist right now will always see race as a real thing but if we look at younger and newer generations that would grow up in a society without races things would change. I think that in America this would positively impact many ethnicities. Let’s say for example, let us look at Latino’s. We view all Latino’s under one race but there are many ethnicities under that “race”. There is Mexican, Spanish, Columbian etc. By clumping all Latino’s under one “race” it hurts each individual ethnicity and culture.

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