Race Is A Social Construct
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Race Is A Social Construct

and here's why.

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Race Is A Social Construct

The concept of race is inherent and learned from various environments. Humans have a desire to identify themselves with similar groups. Whether that be through a similar upbringing, shared hobbies, or an activist organization. In this case, the most common way people identify themselves is through race.

The reason race is socially constructed is because racism is not inherent. People aren't born racist or even have the slightest idea about what race even is. Specifically, because of the history of genealogy and racial 'purity', black people are affected largely by race. The idea of wanting to identify with a past or a similar culture was taken away from them. It's difficult to relate to a past when the opportunity is not available.

Dr. Don Shaffer, a professor of African American Studies at Mississippi State University, asked the question, "If we remove skin color as a factor, what would we use to identify people?" Skin color is the main way people associate race, it's the most common form of identification. When that factor is removed, people are forced to see that the human race is very diverse but genetically very similar.

The world was built upon race. In our own backyard, the United States Government decides who's white and who's not. For example, Middle Easterns and Latinos have to check off their race as white, however, they do not get the privileges that come with it. This unfair disadvantage does not offer these ethnicities the same opportunities even though they are considered "white".

Social constructed racial meanings influence daily lives. An example of this can be found in American culture. America's Eurocentric ideology is centered around freedom, politics, and a can of Coke. For most, it's easy to form into the melting pot of America- "Assimilate into the culture and you'll fit in." However, minorities, specifically black Americans, experience two cultures. W.E.B. du Bois defines this as, 'Double Consciousness'. Black people experience this because Black American Culture is marginalized and carries a lot of stigma and stereotypes. America's White Culture has a history of oppressing and disvaluing black people and other minorities. Race itself does not relate much to genetic ancestry, it relates more to how people identify and who they identify with. In White American Culture, minorities are seen as the 'other'. This is why people have to separate themselves from their culture to assimilate into the 'default' American lifestyle. The social construct of race is something many ethnic Americans have to face every day. Because the foundation of race is based on skin tone, it's not something people can step away from. Race is used as a form of self-identification, however its complex and intertwined with history, ancestry, and culture. This is what makes race a social construct in our society

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