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Race and Racial Identity Are Social Construct

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Tiara Gray



Race and Racial Identity Are Social Constructs

“Unlike race and racial identity, the social, political and economic meanings of race, or rather belonging to particular racial groups, have not been fluid.” Angela Onwuachi-Willig states in her article about Race and Identity, and racial controversy.

Today, racial issues period is a big problem in society. Whether there’s an offending comment made by someone known and famous, a little girl is sent home for wearing her natural hair because it’s a “distraction” to her peers, or a debate on who can say what, and who can wear what because of racial backgrounds. Willig believes that everywhere you go you will be placed in a racial background. Which is quite true. Everyone is placed in a certain group. Whether it’s a student that has to clarify if they’re white, black, Hispanic, or other. Or someone who is applying for a job and has to do the same.

The author believes that racial identity can be fluid. How someone identifies their racial identity could change with time. For example, someone is half Caucasian and half Native American. He/she could be taught by their parents to claim both, but when they’re older they only claim the Caucasian part of their culture. People basically evolve over time, like some believe Dominicans are black, but most don’t claim it.

Then, the writer moves on to another outlook. She explains how in her book “According to our hearts.” It brings up the point of view of people in an interracial black-white relationship. She believes that dating the opposite sex also changes ones outlook on their individual identity. It’s said usually being white means living life with special privileges. Yet when most whites get into a relationship with an African American they begin to experience racial discrimination. So really, the individual may change their outlook on their identity. Maybe they feel as if they don’t want to be white anymore.

Though racial Identity could be fluid, the social, political, and economic meanings of race are not, says Willig. The author believes that problems with race socially and politically is still a huge problem. Why is it? After so many years why does the color of the skin still matter? Where will the world be 20 years from now? Hopefully race will take a backseat, and equality will take the front.



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