Week 1 Reflection

After the week’s lectures, readings, and activities, I would explain what is means to say that race is “socially constructed” as it is not biologically inherent. I have always found this concept interesting. We are indeed all one, and it makes me wonder how as a society we came about deciding to classify individuals, and creating oppression to certain individuals based on their race. I think the idea suggests that people in power came together and constructed different races, so that they could place themselves in a position of power. I think the most convincing evidence that there is one single human race is that race has no genetic basis. Not one gene distinguishes all the members from a race to the members of another race. This is biological evidence of all humans being created and evolving the same, yet we socially design them to be different. I find this important because of all the injustice that has been done due to the fact that people believed that people of other races were built genetically different. Often time’s minorities were tortured because whites were fascinated by the differences in skin color. If those individuals had just looked at the facts, a lot of injustice would have been spared. There are still many things that I find confusing in discussing and distinguishing the concepts of race and human biological variation. One of the main confusions that I have is that if there is so much evidence on how race is inherently the same, then why was it socially constructed to be different in the first place? Some of the models of classification that I grew up hearing were always about how certain groups are inherently more dangerous than others. This was something that was just learned over time through what people would say, and often I would believe that there were differences in certain groups. I did not question why that might be or wonder if there really were differences, I would just accept this. However, as I got older and began to question this I allowed myself to learn from it and change my views. I think that this is what is crucial for change to occur. By continually educating others and ourselves is the only way to challenge our views and undo past damage regarding race.

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