Life is a series of choices. Every step is a choice, an option, a decision. We try our best to make these choices based on what we know. What we pick may not be based on what is right and what is wrong, but what we believe in our minds and hearts. Whatever we do decide, we have to compromise. It is always one or the other.

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Racism: Erasing the social identities

Standing out Every time I look at someone, I pass judgement – quickly and swiftly, and most likely unconsciously as well. I can’t help but analyze what the person is wearing, doing, and even who he/she is with. I examine their surroundings and establish a basic stereotypical judgement. However because I have been taught better, I do not act alone based on these preconceptions. Instead, I slowly eliminate these identifiers that allowed me to think that way. Slowly, but surly I see in front of me, a man, or a woman just like any other person.

Still, whatever I decide to do with my preconceptions, does not change the truth and reality about a person, or situation. A person may be proud of themselves for being a certain color, or of a certain race – with or without arrogance. Would I truly be doing him/her justice by making them equal to everyone else? To better understand this, it would make sense to define equality.

Ms. Dorman, a 9th Grade American History teacher defines equality on her web site as:

The condition of possessing substantially the same rights, privileges and immunities, and being substantially responsible for the same duties as other members of society.

I can’t help but come to the conclusion, that we cannot all be equal, except with regards to the law, even then some laws might apply to some, and not to others.

We are still all very different. We take pride in who we are and where we come from. I don’t see racism as calling someone black, or white, or red, or yellow. I see racism as oppression of these attributes. If I belittle someone, regardless of color, gender, social status, then that is racism.

Now, I do not see people as the same anymore, or equal in every way. I see them as being different and unique, and recognize the pride they have in who they are, where they are from, and what they’re all about. Solving the issues of racism shouldn’t erase our social identities, but rather enforce our pride, without arrogance in who and what we are.

15 Responses to “Racism: Erasing the social identities”

  1. Sushi |

    Your post reminded me of a Taxonomy lecture I attended out of boredome, which later I realized was a mistake. But putting that aside, personally (and I dont claim everything I say is valid) I think racism started with the Greeks. Texo – meaning arrangements and hence “law”. You have great writers like Aristotle, Plato, Focault, Asma…etc..wrote for centuries on the importance of a cognetive mental organization of basically everything, be it biology, chemistry and most notably society.

    It’s human nature to do so. Instinctual habits such as these don’t necessarily have to be right or wrong but in terms of “our” society, you are born into your categorization whether you like it or not. Personally I believe the soul is free and devoid of all labels except in front of God but that’s not the reality of our lives. Some are born lucky and some aren’t.

  2. eshda3wa |

    stereotyping is one thing. everyone stereotypes, but acting on it! thats racism!
    It saddens me to see the amount of racism we have in Kuwait. Be it among kuwaities or directed towards expats.
    I dont get it, does it make people feel better about themselves when belittling someone else?

  3. Amethyst |

    Remember, racism has got to do with race. Belittling someone according to other things is mere prejudice. No?

  4. Laialy_q8 |

    maaan, this is going to at least need a read a couple of ties for me to conclude anything -_- my brain is very logical

  5. F. |

    Amethyst: Isn’t prejudice the general term which envelopes sub-parts like racial prejudices, sexual prejudices etc.
    So it’s just as bad…if not worse.

  6. KJ |

    Actually we are equal in a different perspective – we are all proud of who we are and our race religion color etc and we all judge based on that, and this is how we are equal

  7. Grey |

    Racism is about color of the skin ! I cant agree with your theory !

  8. Kaos |

    I find what eshda3wa said sums it up pretty much. It is acting on it that is racism, if u don’t employ someone coz of his color or his family is where u crossed the line. Categorizing people is convenient so u have a way to deal with a group rather than an individual. But its just wrong if you act in a bad way about it.

  9. Navy Girl |

    as much as we try not to be racist we cant .. even those lil thoughts counts .. we just try our best not to act upon it .. and see the we are all equal .. no matter what ..

  10. Shoush |

    Everyone is different and unique, true, and racism is when a person looks down at someone because they are different and unique. Because they are not like them.

  11. AlleyCat |

    N you think too much ;p been contemplating your existence lately? or where you fit in the world :P you never got over that awkward teenage stage eh ;p
    Ok here’s my two fils on it… Every race is different in its background, perhaps skincolor and so.. BUT i think its more about fairness… all individuals should be treated equally with respect unless proven otherwise.. I dont think its fair to categorize people and stereotype them. And i dont believe that one race is higher or deserves more respect and awe than another.. Lastly i dont think an individual should be categorized in terms of their race. Unless it was to look at their heritage or any other positive manner.

  12. Sushi |

    lol yeah he always writes deep things. I always tell him to take a chill pill =P jk

  13. ::: ShoSho ::: |

    I agree with Eshda3wa..

  14. Soul |

    There is no concept called equality.

    The more you know and understand the inequalities, eliminating assumptions and preconceptions, I guess you will come to a conclusion that there is no equality.

    The parameters are too many to be equalized.

    However, striving for a neutral path, will tend to lead to peace, personally and globally (global is relative)

    ~ Soul

  15. Soul |

    @ AlleyCat

    Categorization is one of the primary way we use to become intelligent beings, called humans.

    Categorization for what, depends on the intent of the individual/group who/which is categorizing.

    The intent matters.
    Dont dump the weight on categorization.

    ~ Soul

Reserved, going to add something here later.