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  • Writer's pictureEdward L Palmer

What is Race?

Race is a social construct used by some as an indicator of inferiority or superiority. Race as a social construct influences how individuals are perceived and treated by others and systems within society. Since as early as and even before the 1500s, the pseudoscientific idea that race defines who is less intelligent, less capable and of less value to humanity has been used to justify the violent, demeaning and harsh treatment of people on the bases of skin color.

What is Race? It is a social construct that manifest in the unequal treatment of certain people on the bases of skin color. It is the systematic discrimination or differential treatment of people of a certain skin color, we call this systemic racism. Race has become a reference point to groups of people who have similarities in biological traits and these traits are deemed by society to be significant (Frankenberg and Ruth 1993). If as a human community we are to rise above our history related to race and overcome present day discriminatory outcomes for minorities, we must come to the realization that there is nothing real or absolute about race. In fact the only thing real about race, are the consequences produced as a result of believing that race matters. Because the consequences are real, race will continue to matter until we debunk and deconstruct the idea of race and the systems that have used this ideology to discriminate and depress people of the perceived minority group.

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