Let’s Get Real About Race
Let us get real about race.
The origins of the race concept
How could we define race? Well, it is a social construct meant to categorize people according to superficial elements such as the color of their skin. The term race first appeared in England in the 16th century, originating from the Italian word razza. During this period in North America, "Christian" Europeans questioned the humanity of Africans and Native Americans. They wondered if they had souls. Because they didn’t look, live exactly like them, they couldn’t be exactly like them. Ever since then, this word, concept and notion has remained and has served as a basis for the creation of social groups, particularly and shamelessly in the US.
Today, most Americans have no problem with the concept of race. It helps define groups still today, right? However, I am convinced that many Americans, particularly those who form part of a perceived minority group, have a problem with the concept of racism and its effect.
The thing is, racism being the logical follow-up, the wanted and cherished logical follow-up of the invention of races by men, one cannot be bothered by racism but yet entertained by so-called races.
For example, what is whiteness? The concept appeared in the 18th century in North America and has been, since then, a social construct. It was established to identify and upraise those (Europeans) who had zero African or Indian ancestors. In this light, one's "race" was and is still meant to be one's primary source of identification. You are either black, white, yellow, red, that is, being taken and thrown into a box of people who apparently look like you. It is this exact racist identification that keeps leading to stereotypes and prejudice.
Another example; Race has conceptualized what it defines as a black man, as a threat. Race has conceptualized what it identifies as a black woman, as an object.
These conceptions of what we call the "black race" are absolutely not new. The consequences of such categorizations have alwyas been observable, in America, worldwide.
The problem with the concept & term of race
How can such classifications be considered as objective while they are man-made?
As one of my professors said, the notion of race is a non-scientific highly problematic term generating perceived majority and minority groups. In other words, there is no such thing as race.
Think about this question: Who got to decide who is part of which race?
Race is nothing more than a false classification meant to determine power relations.
One is never just black or white. One is white and gets the full advantages of it, or one is black and has to deal with what comes with it… Race was invented to uplift one group and have it dominate the others, belittling and dehumanizing them. Race dehumanizes, dominates, discriminates, discredits, bounds, lies, kills.
Though it is a construction, though it is not the truth, it is our reality.
Race and all that comes with it exist because of the thirst for power and domination.
Race exists because the world was too big, too vague, too diverse, too surprising, too wonderful for some people.
Race exists because some people thought of themselves as God.
Race exists because some people wanted to have what God never gave them, everything.
Race exists because the human heart is genuinely not good.
Why can’t we just love? Because people do not want love, they want power.
At the end of the day, we will all try to live our own lives. We will try to make it.
I have made a decision; I will not serve the devil. I will not be a vessel for division.
I will be a woman who serves the Lord, with others regarding me as black. It won’t bother me a bit, because the blackness I know is not a matter of race. To us, now, blackness means history, community and culture. It will be tough, but I don’t think there is anything I should fear because God is on my side, for real.
We shouldn't talk about race, what could we say then to define people? Well, you don’t want to define people, you want to get to know them. Remember, they’re human, just like you.
Let's stop having preconceived notions, these kill.
Don't we still dream about this day when people "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character?" -Martin Luther King Jr.
Let us stop,
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