Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things Done Changed

I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, especially our class discussions. It was really eye opening to hear how differently we all think about race. While we might be quick to say that Rhodes is its own bubble etc. we still have different opinions and feelings about topics like race; we can’t all be grouped together as Rhodes students for any other reason than we go to the college. This relates back to the point that we reiterated throughout class that there is not a characteristic of a race that applies to every member of that race. Assuming that all Rhodes students feel the same about something is like assuming that all members of a race feel same, which we know is not true. Race is something that we don’t get the opportunity to talk about outside of close company and such so being able to hear perspectives from students we wouldn’t usually interact with.

At the beginning of this course I thought races were real things, but as the semester went on, I found myself straying more and more from that belief. I totally identify with Appiah in his assertion that nothing can do for us everything we ask the term race to do. Since race has been a force in our lives since we can remember we take it for granted that it is a real thing. My time in this course, however, showed me that race is something people have created and we don’t have to continue employing it. There is no “us” and “they” but rather we are all people together. We have our various similarities and differences but they are not the result of our supposed race. I don’t identify nor agree with every white person I meet; why wouldn’t it be the same for individuals from other races?

At this point I believe not only that race is not an objectively real thing, but we must eliminate it so as to save ourselves from the faults caused by that concept. I believe now the problem is not so much one of non-white disadvantage, but of white privilege. Whiteness has become the norm of society and anything else is a deviation. It is not enough to simply do away with race; instead we must restructure society so that race is no longer an essential component. While non-whites have struggled and put true effort into erasing racial injustice, whites have remained passive, denying racism yet not working towards its elimination. Its time for whites to become active in the effort to overcome racism so that we can all unite as humans to protect each other’s interests, thereby protecting our own.

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