Week One – Reflection Post

After reviewing the lectures, readings and activities I learned a lot of new things about race that I never even thought of or considered. I guess I have just kind of thought of all of us as people who are looking to work hard and make something for ourselves. Create opportunities whenever possible and work towards being better beings. Who came up with the word race and what was the process? I would say that race is something that is socially constructed.

In a lot of things to get the best understanding of something is to experience it not read about it. A lot of things that this world is based off of is reading instead of listening and experiencing. The activity “sorting people” really helped to put that into perspective. It seems that the government decided it was going to categorize people based off of the way they looked and people kind of went with it. Even though in 1970 citizens were able to choose their own identification, the damage had been done. I feel like a lot of times people are not willing to listen and often times making judgments automatically. “Race has no genetic basis. Not one characteristic, trait or even gene distinguishes all the members of one so-called race from all the members of another so-called race” (PBS).

Education to me is also a major factor in how race is socially constructed. A lot of times in the school systems race is just defined by the color of skin and they call it good. People spread that and it continues to grow. A lot of history classes discuss the fact that “the U.S was founded on the radical new principle that ‘all men are created equal.’ But our early economy was based largely on slavery” (PBS). People learn these things at a basic level instead of a deeper understanding. Stories from families carried down also play into how race is socially constructed. Stories from families are another form of education. Children listen to their families and then tell those stories to their friends. We need to “identify and remedy social policies and institutional practices that advantage some groups at the expense of others” (PBS).

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