The first week of class was very interesting. The day that we covered the ten race myths was the most interesting in my opinion. The myth that stood out for me was "race matters". Many times we walk around as if racial classifications are of the past and that race no longer makes a difference. Although we are striving to have a society of equality, we have yet to accomplish that. Racial discrimination is so deeply embedded into our social structure that it is almost impossible to disregard its existence. Institutional embedded discrimination is a constant reminder that race is still a factor that makes a difference.
The other myth that I thought was very interesting was the absence of a genetic marker for racial difference. Although people attempted to scientifically justify racial difference , there was never a successful finding that differentiated one race from another. In fact, there is more genetic variation among people of the same race than of different races. This further proves that race is a social construction which we have made reality in our minds. We are socialized to see similarities within races and differences among different groups even if they do not realistically exist. Rather we admit it or not, we all stereotype people, places and things prior to knowing anything factual. While we sometime fail to acknowledge this, it is considered functional in our society. We use stereotypes to try to understand that which is unfamiliar to us.
According to Immanuel Kant, we all have four racial seeds but only one is active. This is a very profound statement because we are all mixed with other races, no one is of a pure race. Although we are all mixed, onephenotype is usually dominant. This discussion alone raised many questions in my mind: How many families actually feel the need to conserve the purity of their race ? (I know this could be something that people choose not to discuss) I also wondered how people felt about the term "reverse racism" ? Do you believe that it is possible to be racist if you are part of a marginalized group or is racism only possible when it is from the group of privilege ? I have had this discussions with many people of different races and there is a wide range of stances. Although being racist in a marginalized group is less likely to affect the group of privilege , it is still possible to possess racist attitudes and follow through with racist actions.
This then brings up the question : What is racism ? What do you consider to be racist ? There is a variation of this definition according to who you ask.