Race As A Social Construction

Decent Essays

On January 26, class begun by Dr. Mullins asking the class to spend the first few minutes answering the question what is race? The term race is difficult to define as a result of the belief that it is “racist” to talk about race. Although how do we know what race is if we do not discuss it within society. After much thought I defined race as an individual’s background that may be used to describe their ancestor’s demographics as well as their religion. However, today people tend to put more emphasis on race being the color of an individual’s skin. As discussed in class society does not understand what race is, but for some reason it is important to us. Deep down race is a social construction that we make exist through our behavior. It is important to educate people about race to help break down these boundaries society has created. If we created it we can demolish it, and education is key.
In class we heard about the story of Oto Benga. Oto Benga was from Kongo, which is located in central Africa. In the early 1900s he was purchased and brought to America where he was put on display at the World’s Fair. After the World’s Fair he was then shipped to the Bronx Zoo where he was kept in a cage next to the chimpanzees. It is clear that society did not view Oto as a human, but instead as an animal. It is disturbing that instances like these occurred within society. With proper education I would hope that occurrences like these would never happen again. It is important that people

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