Understanding Race Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 December 2016

Understanding Race

In the beginning of the documentary we were asked a couple of questions what is race and if race existed and before taking this class and watching the movie I would have said yes race does exist because growing up I believed race was what we were not who we are. A lot of people have suffered because of race especially black people because we have never and never will achieve the whiteness per say as everyone else who have come to this country. Overall I like the documentary because I think it has or will open up people eyes and make them realize that there is no validity behind the word race.

There were several parts I didn’t like and made me mad because I believe people from different ethnicities’ would not have been mistreated if the European people were not so afraid or felt that they were superior to everyone else.. The first thing I didn’t like about this film was the way the KKK and the authorities treated the Dahmer family because they were involved in the civil rights movement and allowed blacks to have a place to vote and because of this their home and store was burned and Mr. Dahmer was killed.

Even back then we are supposed to have been living in the land of the free but that to me really didn’t exist for black people and even today we still have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves. Mr. Dahmer states that race has a lot of connotations to it, some good and some bad and I agree but majority of it is bad, that’s just my opinion. Another thing I didn’t like was how the judicial system let these people go because of their ethnicity and it took over thirty years for the Dahmer family to get justice.

Another question asked was what makes people behave this way and Maya Angelo said it best, we use the differences because we don’t know any better really, we use the differences between ourselves in hopes that doing so our individual lives will be better. Race is a big bashing two by four and we whip each other with race not knowing that as we whip each other were only beating our own self with race. Race came about in the 18th century when the 1st European scientist described the 5 different races and from there he believed that the human race because of their different features had a subspecies just as an animal does.

Laneus was the first to describe the five differences which he was wrong, I think they wanted to say that there was a subspecies to make themselves feel like they were more superior to everyone else. We have come a long way as far as racism goes but there are a lot of people that hold the same views as Matt Hale and that’s why we still have a significant amount of racism still going on today, some people are not out there with it like they were in the earlier years, they have learned to hide it better.

The study the professors did with the college students to see how white and black people reacted to strangers of a different ethnicity proved what I already knew that white men not all but a big majority of them are afraid of black men even in this day and time. I really like what Tatum is doing with her graduate classes because I believe by having her students figure out how to dismantle racism in their lives it will probably help them in the future and hopefully they can share what they have learned with other people.

Every college and university should have a class on dismantling racism. What Daryl Davis did is exceptional some might even call him crazy, but he’s the only black man that has successfully befriended members of the Klu Klux Klan, been to their rallies and lived to write a book about it. Davis has accomplished something that no one probably thought would or could have ever happened. Since meeting Davis several of them have gotten out of the Klan and one of them made Davis their child’s godfather. This proves that some people can change if their willing.

Even though we might say race doesn’t exist, too many Americans it does still. Discussing race is difficult in our society, it’s like walking on eggshells. We have so much diversity in this country and yet we cannot live comfortable with each other. We are born without racist attitudes, values and beliefs. Though we are born into social contexts, we have no information about ourselves or others. It’s through the process of social interaction that we acquire sets of attitudes, values and beliefs that may contribute to racism.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 16 December 2016

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