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What does RACE really mean?
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In my honors English class, we read an essay titled "Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections", in which the author, Kwame Anthony Appaih says that there is no such thing as race. This is not to be misunderstood as a theory wanting to make us forget our cultural identity, because culture is not race. Culture is a set of habits, beliefs, and practices among other things that we shall try to preserve. Race is a rather inconclusive concept that proposes that there are enough genetic differences in humans to categorize ourselves into different races that have different capabilities. This has been proven both biologically and historically inaccurate, and of course dangerous.  But believers of the race concept have made race into a social construct because people have a tendency to think that race can determine our intellectual behaviors and what we are capable of doing in life. He argues that what we call "race" or any similar grouping of humans, does not, and should not determine what an individual human is capable of.

Then why, opponents of Appaih's theory might ask, do different races tend to perform at different levels in educational or career aspects? Psychology and generational gaps are two answers; but race is never a logical answer. For example, there is a stereotype that people of race X are bad spellers. A girl born to this race has this notion engrained in her mind, and has psychologically convinced herself that she can't really be a good speller, or that her racial stance does not fit that quality. And so she turns out to be a bad speller. Let's say this same race has only started to get equal opportunities a few decades ago. Her community will take generations to develop skills that they have been wrongly denied in the past.

For example, the female "race", if one can even call it that, was considered intellectually inferior for the longest time. We never hear of a a female entrepreneur from the 18th century. So that stereotype seemed true only because women never really showed what they had the potential to do. But as times changed, attitudes changed, we saw that women were capable of achieving just as much as men.

Now, many of us might not admit that "there is no race at all". But race and capability of individuals are two concepts that are definitely mixed even though they truly have nothing to do with each other.

Comments:
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  .   ursula hayes
I agree, race is a concept created to divide us. Culture is how we are raised, our background, history and family structure. We are all part of the human race. What should combine us is the common goal. In this country we should consider as all Americans. Unless we were born oversees. How ever our elected officials seem to see it profitable to divide us, by preaching to us we are different races and there fore one is either not as smart and can not achieve the same as one of a different race. I say it has been drilled into us for so long, that we are starting to believe. We think because some injustice was done in the past gives as an excuse for not succeeding. My parents taught me I can become anything as long as I work hard and set a goals. No money, no excuse. We had non, living conditions no excuse we lived in a project. Single parent, my father died when I was 12, my brother two. All four of us succeeded, because we were never told that because of our background we had an excuse not to. We were told work hard and you can become anything. Race was never the issue. It is a made up concept to give power to some.
 
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