Race by Alex Hilliard

I just watched a bunch of videos on youtube which ultimately ended up discussing race. Here I am, to consider race. From my “Multiculturalism” class that I took with Vance Jackson at Green Mountain in the spring of 2010, I got certain ideas. First, I must say, that I came to think that race is a social construct. Yes, we all happen to look different. My mother is white, and my father is black, so I am some weird mix of tan in between. Are they different races? I don’t think so. I think race is just a term society has used to separate people, to make some people better than other. Is there such thing as race in animals? No… we call it “species”. Again, even with species, the term is used to classify, just as we classify race. Even in Charles Darwin’s, “The Descent of Man” he couldn’t classify whether or not humans were composed of more than one species. One problem with species is that we can’t really define it. What if we think of humans like dogs? Dogs are separated into “breeds” like chihuahas and pitbulls. The problem here is that as humans, we consciously decided which dogs we would mate in order to make animals look how we wanted them to look. Can we consider humans like this? Maybe. Still, the problem here, just as with pet dogs, is that they’re not really that different biologically, considering that they can still breed, they just look different, just as with humans. This is still something made by men. Biologically, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, what have you, all are biologically similar it just that their morphologies are different. Does morphology separate us? Morphology is just your phenotypes, the way you look and that way your body is arranged. There are even things called “morphs” in biology, where scientists may think that two different organisms are separate species because they look so different, but after classifying their genetic backgrounds, they realized they’re the same species! Are people of different races really just morphs of humans? Maybe, this sounds a little bit better but it’s still not a good enough answer. Really, this whole thing just makes me extremely uncomfortable. You’ve got some people saying that we are all equal, blah blah blah. What if you consider stereotypes, and let’s just hypothetically assume they are true just for now. I know you might be compelled to call me racist, but let’s just pretend for a second this is all true. Let’s say Asians tend to be better at math, African-Americans are better athletes, et c. Well then wouldn’t they really be different? Wouldn’t their enhanced capabilities really be a call for us to divide people? This isn’t true though, we have just happened to see some specific examples of people and have decided that all people are like this, just because it’s easier for humans to categorize things in order to save time in the future. We know that people’s ability highly correlates to their access to resources. That’s a whole other topic though… Back to race, and how it makes me uncomfortable. Like I said, on the one hand you’ve got people who say we’re all equal, and others who say that we’re all different. I might feel more inclined to say that we’re different, not that we’re different species though, but then there’s such negative connotations with such a division. Often people who are trying to say we are all different, are trying to categorize us in a way that makes some of us superior to others. This is just as a bad! By saying blacks are different than whites, you might assume that I’m saying blacks are better or vice versa, and then I am in an even worse position that I started with. I think this whole thing is ridiculous. Let’s not even talk about race realism, because people tend to think that those people who believe that are really just racist deep down. This whole thing makes my head hurt, but if you can give me a good answer, I’d love to hear it!

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