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The Game Of Race

What really is race and why are people racist?

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The Game Of Race

When people hear the word ‘Racism’, numerous thoughts come to mind. Most Americans think about the slave trade, the Black VS. White. Indians might think about the lighter skinned North Indians VS. the darker skinned South Indians. Different Asian groups might think about the rude comments that people say on how they “All look the same” and have “Yellow” skin. Although many people consider this as a form of racism, numerous people fail to believe that race is not a biological category, but an artificial classification. In other words, the correlation we make between races has no relation with physical or genetic characteristics. In fact, ‘Race’ was created by how people perceive ideas and faces we are not normally used to seeing. During the ancient times, when Greece was attempting to conquer the world, they came across many different races. Philosopher Protagoras saw how each race performed and came up with a theory that skin color, physical features and the motivation to work are dependent upon the temperature. For example, because Indians are closer to the sun, they are dark skinned. But because they are closer to the sun and receive the powerful sun’s rays, they are lazy and inefficient. Greece, where the temperature is perfect, and the people are ‘golden’, Greece had the brilliant, most attractive and efficient people in the entire world. Though we now know that Protagoras’s theory is INCORRECT, it proves to show how people create theories on concepts they are trying to seek the answer for - and Race being one. So where did this conception of race begin? Well, there are innumerable ideas on how racism began, though the truth lies in the history of mankind. Since the dawn of humanity, it is a human instinct to consider the ‘unknown stranger’ as the villain. Unknown = Enemy. As nomads, people feared things that were different and lacked the power to face those kinds of things. But as civilization grew, and individuals began to form groups the perception that “My tribe is better than the other tribes” grew. Take for example the tale of the Gilgamesh, the king of one of the humanity’s first civilizations. In a world filled with hunger and wild beasts, Uruk was a thriving civilization. The citizens were successful in farming, building houses and had all the luxuries to live a lavish lifestyle. But once the King met Munduruku, a human who lived like a savage, the King was happy to see his nation thrive when compared to the people like Munduruku. And from this, you can see how Racism begins. To feel good about thyself, one needs a person below him. Contemporary racism is said to have been derived from many places. Religion, the area you live and the most common, one’s upbringing. As a child, you are influenced by your parents. Most children don’t have the maturity to form their own concepts on what is right or wrong. They need the help of their parents, and this is often where the problem starts. If you were told that all Jews are penny pinchers or all Indians are smart or all Blacks are criminals, you can bet that they will grow up thinking that. “Upbringing is the largest cause of racism”-Anonymous. Apart from parental influence, media is a major source of how racism keeps itself active. Directors and writers use racial stereotypes to make a more complex story with more suspects. In Hollywood movies, a majority of the villains have distinct British accents. Oh, and if it is a terrorist movie, it is most likely a Muslim that is playing the part. Upbringing is a very strong factor of what influences people to become racist, or to have even slight racial views. So how does racism affect society?There are numerous ways on how racism affects society! The list is endless! Racism causes hatred within groups. It separates us from our neighbors. Instead of trying to better our lives we are spending more time fighting a constant battle. We become diverse and split ourselves apart, grouping together. Just a couple of years ago Racism affected a black man's life. His rights were limited, his educational background was weak because of the intolerance to his race. He was not able to vote, had to face segregation and so much more. Nowadays, The situation of Palestine and Israel is also very controversial. While Arabs and Jews technically do not belong to different races, their religious and cultural differences and the political history has caused tension. Racism had existed throughout human history and will continue to exist. It is in our nature. Recall when I said, to feel good about thyself, you need to have someone below you. Often what causes people to act racist is the fact that they have learned to hide fear with racism. Many people react with fear towards those who look different than them. Fear is what makes us uncomfortable, making us need to protect ourselves and defend. Instead of attempting to fix and deal with the differences, the wall between the two maintains; union and agreement are never attained. Though we can not stop racism, we can teach kids to accept people for who they are. We should teach students to treat all human beings EQUALLY and to care for one another. We are all human. We all have hearts that beat, blood in our veins and emotions. We need to teach people to open their eyes and see the beauty that is humanity and not subject ourselves to racism for as Confucius says “Everything has Beauty, but not everyone can see it”

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