Race As A Social Construct

Race is something that is constantly shaped by individuals and is imprinted on American culture. It’s constantly apart of our everyday lives, especially being a person of color in America. The ideas about ones humanity, worth and value can and is graded by a single factor, race. This semester I have dug deep into topics such as whiteness, the attack on the black family, and the media and it has further helped my understandings on race relations in America and throughout its history. This class I have learned about the social constructs of race and who creating these ideals, also who holds the power when it comes to what we see and believe because of its divisive powers.
One topic that really struck me is the social construct of race and how
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Race is a socially constructed concept; this means that whiteness is constructed. Before this class, I knew that race was a social construct but I thought it was constructed way before it actually was and I thought it was a more natural conception without the implications of hierarchy embedded in race. I also didn’t really understand the extent to how whiteness was constructed. I thought that whiteness was just a consequence of creating the other races, just thinking that it’s through ideologies and not through institutions, like the other races are. In the text we go on to learn that a white judge can ultimately determine who was white and who was not. The author goes on to say that, “the fact that whiteness could be contested in court shows that whiteness makes it clear that whiteness is not a fixed category (47)”. Whiteness was developed to be excluded from people of color. It was not necessarily used as a prideful tactic of race, yet it used to separate one group of people from another. Through different cases it is proven that, “whiteness is what the judges say it is; that is, whiteness is a legal construct (47)”. Its crazy to think that judges have this …show more content…
Before I knew about cultural racism, but I never really knew about it. I never really understood racism as having different subsets, let alone cultural racism, but now having this knowledge I am able to place it on actual events and ideas. There were arguments by Moynihan saying “slavery and racism had detrimental consequence on the black family”. Which in some senses is true; during the time of slavery, parents who were slaves had no control over their family dynamics and it was also very much in the air about when or if your family would be split up. Moynihan also gendered the argument, blaming black poverty on the black women. This was because, “ too many single mothers black mothers were incapable of raising children (81)”. By gendering this critique and switching the blame, is a direct attack on the black women. He continues to say that the only way to fix this problem would to restore the patriarchy in these families and that will “fix” black people and their “problems”. But in all reality, this is not only sexist, but it just reaffirms the embedded colonialism of America and the weakness of the patriarchy. This sticks out to me because it is something I see all the time especially in the media. There are always news correspondents talking what black people need to do to help themselves or to fix their problems. This is just a scapegoat into not realizing the

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