Race as a Social Construct

Topics: White people, White American, Mexican American Pages: 4 (1628 words) Published: April 5, 2006
Racialization, to differentiate or categorize according to race, is still prominent in today's society. Race, a social construct, was created by society. There is no gene in the human body that defines what "race" you are, therefore, it is only an idea that individuals came up with. Yet, people in today's society still categorize individuals by their race and stereotype individuals by what race they most resemble. People grow into this society with the idea embedded into their heads that the whiter you are, the better off you will be in life. People who are lighter skinned are more socially acceptable, will be treated differently, and will be respected more than those who appear more Indian or are darker skinned. "The thought occurred to me, that here in the U.S. we operate under a caste system that is determined by the shade of your skin. We make immediate judgments about a person's place in the hierarchy based on the color of their skin. We determine the amount of respect we will give a person based on the color of their skin. In fact, we make innumerable decisions on how we will behave towards a person, based on the color of their skin, their features, even their manner of speaking. If that is not a caste system, what is?" [Annec] Although America is the most diverse country, it is still very discriminatory and stereotypical. For example, simply because I am light skinned, some of my fellow classmates believed I was white. I cannot explain why but I was offended by their conclusion. I immediately explained that I was Mexican and was further offended by the fact that they asked me if I could speak good Spanish or Spanish at all for that matter. According to them, an individual who looked white was white and if they so happened to be Mexican, for example, their whiteness automatically implied that they had assimilated so much into the white culture that they had been completely deprived of their own culture and language or had simply shunned it from their...
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