Essay about The House We Live

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The House We Live In As the narrator of The House We Live In said, “It is all around us. It is an illusion and yet profoundly real. What we perceive as race is one of the first things we notice about each other,” the social construct of race is abundantly perceived every day. When I walk around campus, my social conditioning of what certain physical markers of a race mean affect my preconceived notions. I may implicitly view a certain person or action as determined by these markers, even when I know the irrationality in my actions. Race as a biological determinism is easily proven untrue, but its social construction has implications that one can see in how the law interacts with certain cultures, in how some cultures are denied access to wealth-building ventures, and in how interpersonal interactions leave large swaths of cultures in this country excluded from its founding principles. Race—as a social construct—informs one’s actions regardless if it’s implicit or explicit. As a white, upper-class male, race benefits me. I am given a voice in society, from voting to recognition to employment. My skin color places me at the apex of the power structure. For example, I have made mistakes in my life. I did not apply myself in high school. I squeezed by. I had so much access to opportunity—I played basketball, I had disposable income, and I had food on my plate—I only had to worry about the present. I was then able to go and volunteer in the South Bronx, New York, for a year…

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