Unfortunately, in society racism is a plague that seems to be impossible to kill, no matter how many civil rights movements we have, or progressive ideas racism seem to continue being a reoccurring issue. People continue to show prejudice and hate towards other races, committing violence or shouting obscene language. Now back in less accepting times we can understand why that was the case but now with a more accepting society one that features interracial marriage, why is it still an issue? Robert Moore points out that in any culture language is an integral part of it, according to him language reflects societies thinking as well as shaping their thoughts. The reason language is such a big importance in understanding racism is because it not only exists outwardly in society it’s integrated in the culture by also being incorporated in language. The short version of this being that racism exists in the English Language.
“Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” - American philosopher Abraham J. Heschel. A world with no definition of race is a tough concept for some to grasp. Yet many centuries ago the world existed as so, long before the foundation of race. Race is not natural or innate, despite popular assumptions, it is a social construct created by people to separate mankind.
The n-word is considered one of the most vicious racial slurs in the English language today. True that the n-word is closely associated with slavery and the oppression of blacks. Even after the abolition of slavery the word still haunted African Americans, especially in more segregated areas; where blacks were viewed as inferior to whites. In recent years the n-word has become less of a malicious slur in parts of our country. Public figures who use the n-word run the risk of losing their jobs. However, since the 1960s African Americans have coined the term “nigga”, when addressing one another. The rise of hip hop culture also enhanced the use of the word-they felt as though they are using the word as a term of endearment. Critics of the
To many people across a variety of different nationalities and cultures, race has been proven to be a key factor for how society views you in the eyes of those who are prominently in charge. The term race has been brought up in recent years, to be considered a form of identification, as the word race is used to describe physical characteristics such as a person’s color of skin, hair, and eyes. When in reality, the correct term they should be using is Ethnicity. As a result, the term race is used to separate people into sub-categories based on the color of their skin. This type of classification, is a man-made creation used by society to classify certain groups of people into lower classes, while keeping the predominate group in charge at the top.
Humans define race by how they conceive and categorize different social realities. Thus, race is often referred to as a social construct. The differences in skin color and facial characteristics have led most of society to classify humans into groups instead of individuals. These constructs affect us all, and they often result in situations where majority racial groups cause undue suffering to those that are part of the minority. The understanding of race as a social construct is best illustrated by the examination of racial issues within our own culture, specifically those that have plagued the history of the United States.
But [she] didn’t ‘hear’ it until it was said by a small pair of lips that had already learned it could be a way to humiliate [her]” (Naylor, 411). This not only supports the fact that the boy had been taught or heard this word by someone older like a parent, but it is also sad that a nine-year-old had to be taught that such a nasty, ugly word was created to make her and people like her feel ashamed and embarrassed to be black, or that are worth less as human beings, which is absolutely false. That is why slurs are created though, to make groups of people feel less “human”. This essay explored the most infamous slur against the black community. The fact that slurs like this are prevalent in today's society is extremely upsetting and wrong. There are plenty of racial slurs that are so casually used today, it makes one's stomach ache in distress. Ableist slurs are even less reprimanded, a high school student walking through the hall will hear the r-word too many times to count during the course of a day. Just as commonly used are homophobic and anti-LGBT slurs. A high school student will hear the f-slur and the q-slur plenty of times, and even more will “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” be whipped from the mouth of students without a second thought. It’s disheartening.
What is race? Some people attach "race" to a biological meaning, yet others use "race" as a socially constructed concept. “Most biologists and anthropologists do not recognize race as a biologically valid classification, in part because there is more genetic variation within groups than between them” (. So, it is clear that even though race does not have a biological meaning, it does have a social meaning - usually detrimental to our social harmony. Race is neither an essence nor an illusion, but
When we hear the word "race" we're more than likely inclined to automatically think of the color of someone's skin. Though this isn't entirely inappropriate, there is so much more to race than that. Sociologists say that race is a social construction created in society, meaning it's basically a set of "stories" we tell ourselves and hear overtime to make sense of the world. Since we hear these stories over and over again, we act on them, ultimately making them true. This can be said of many aspects of culture and society, however, it seems to happen with race without our realization.
We have all heard the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” However, depending on how words are used, and the opinions associated with them, they can indeed be very hurtful. Gloria Naylor writes about this in her article “Mommy, What Does ‘Nigger’ Mean?” She states “words themselves are innocuous; it is the consensus that gives them true power” (Naylor 481). She explains that African Americans’ use of nigger does not in anyway invite Caucasians to use it. Naylor is accurate when she writes that the word ‘nigger’ would not be offensive had it not been for the thoughts, and sometimes, action others associate with it.
The concept of race dates back to recent human history. Race is an integral part of life for individuals residing in the United States. However, this concept of “race”, that many Americans believe to be true, has no biological backing; it is merely a social construct. Looking at genetics, and even evolution it becomes clear that race is not real. But, even though race is not real, it can have very real consequences (such as racism). So in this sense race becomes a very real thing, as it affects millions of people living today. Race, biologically is not a real thing, but due to its impact, socially and culturally, it has become real.
Think about how much race affects a person every day. Maybe today you disclosed your race on the SATs or were passed over for a job opportunity because your name is too “black”. Race exists in our culture, but racism should not. Everyone tries to get rid of it, but humans ultimately created it, because it is a construct of cultural. Every day we form judgements and fall into stereotypes. Our children watch this discrimination and let it carry into their own futures. Strangely, these judgements and stereotypes are not technically race, merely the creations of an ignorant culture. To begin avoiding this, people need to learn that technical race and our world view of race are very different, and that humans may be too unique for concrete groupings.
Race is defined in our textbook as a group of people who share a set of characteristics- typically these characteristics are described as physical ones, common bloodlines. We often think as race in relation to racism, which is a belief that members of a separate race possess different and unequal traits coupled with the power to restrict freedoms based on those differences. Racism is connected with three different keys in belief, that humans are in different groups in relation to bloodlines and physical types, that these
The words Negro, nigger, and nigga have always been a sensitive topic, yet it is a topic that needs to be addressed in light of the more common use of its vernacular. One word is used to describe a color, while the others are used to define a people. It’s very clear to many the negative connotation these words carry, but where did these words come from? Furthermore, is there a difference between the word nigger and nigga; and why is it that African-Americans now use the word nigga to degrade each other in today’s society? These words, in spite of their spelling, still holds the same degrading power as it did during the time of slavery, and they are still spoken out of cruelty and ignorance, but who is to blame? Can one still blame the
White people have been the superior race since the very beginning of America. Throughout history white people have owned and ruled almost everything about American culture. Although white people are still the majority and have most of the wealth in America, there is one thing they do not own, the n-word. This one word has caused controversy and conflicts between races in society. The essay “Why Do They Get to Use the N-word But I Can’t” talks about the issue of who can say this word and why are only certain races and social groups allowed to say it.
Certain words and phrases are often used by communities to collectively define the group of people they belong to. The n-word in particular has had a long history with a load of heavy baggage that has ties with slavery, oppression, and racial inequality. In the past century or so, African-Americans have been turning this word around to define represent them in a more positive manner, simply through accepting the term as their own. Gloria Naylor highlights the usage of the word by black people to represent a cultural identity. She explains how “they transformed ‘nigger’ to signify the varied and complex human