Week 2 Reflection Post

One of the distinguishing features of racism is seeing someone as different and using that as the basis for considering them inferior. When someone is racialized they are identified by their outward appearance such as the color of their skin and then grouped with people who have similar looks. Racialization in and of itself, however, is not racism. It is when a race, or a collection of people who look the same, is considered to be inferior that racism occurs. Racism is not just limited to the color of one’s skin. People of a different ethnicity or religion can experience racism as well. Another distinguishing feature of racism is that the traits that these individuals are being judged for are heritable and therefore cannot be changed. One cannot change the color of their skin, natural hair, or eyes. Therefore, it is unjust to use these characteristics as a defining feature.

When reading the statement, “Modern biological science and the concept of race grew up hand-in-hand.” my first reaction is to disagree. The concept of race came well before the introduction of modern biological science, so how could they possible have grown up hand-in-hand. However, when I think about it more in depth I begin to realize how the two have influenced each other in great ways. The question that many biologists are trying to answer, and the basis of much of their research, is “what makes us who we are?” What makes a Caucasian a Caucasian? In this way race has intrigued many biologists to further research the topic. In doing so these same modern biologists have changed the concept of race with their findings. As modern biology continues to grow, so does the concept of race.

2 thoughts on “Week 2 Reflection Post

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post. We shared many of the same viewpoints such as racism not only being subject to the color of one’s skin, but also several other factors such as religion, ethnicity, and etc. Racism can be viewed and experienced in a plethora of capacities and I am glad that I am not the only one that thought this. I totally agree that it is unjust to use heritable characteristics to judge and make one group inferior when compared to another.

    I also agree that race was presented well before the idea of modern biology was introduced. Although I do not view them as growing hand in hand, I do see them as being related to one another. In fact, I believe race influenced the idea of modern biology. Both aim to place one group of individuals as being superior when compared to another group considered to be inferior. Both concepts coincide with one another and I am sure they will continue to develop, change, and shape society over time.

    Great post!

  2. I thought it was an interesting point to separate the idea of racialization and racism. As I understand it, racialization is the idea of classifying someone into a race in order to treat them a certain way. Racism is the act of treating a certain race poorly, a form of bigotry or xenophobia. My question is even if racialization is used in a non-negative way, isn’t that still racism? For example, if I see a tan skinned person walking down the street and racialize him, I might classify him as Indian or pan-Asian. Now, say I go up to him and ask him to help my with my computer problem. This is not overtly “racist” by your definition, as I am not saying he is inferior (in fact the opposite as I cannot fix my own computer). But is this not racist because I am stereotyping him as someone who can help me? Can racialization be racism too?

Leave a Reply