Essay on Race Is A Social Construction

Essay on Race Is A Social Construction

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Race is a social construction made up by whites to help them justify slavery and capturing land. Throughout history, the definition of race changed. People used to believe that it was a biological, but now it is accepted as artificial. Many prejudgments are made based off of race and the stereotypes that are associated with each race.

It is common for people to confuse the term race with ethnicity. Ethnicity is a person’s country of origin, the traditions they celebrate and the language they speak. Race is simply the physical appearance of someone. Race is a social construction. Other countries do not look at race the same way that Americans do. During a lecture by Professor Nelson, it was stated that Brazilians believe that there are 123 different races. To Americans there are only three main races, white, black, and other. Race is only important because Americans make it important. It is believed that slavery has created this emphasis on race in America.

When Europeans were coming to the New World, they came up with the term race to set themselves apart from the natives. During this colonization, Christopher Columbus enslaved the natives to mine for silver and gold. Sadly, the Spanish brought many diseases with them from Europe and many of the natives died working for the Spanish. Because of a shortage of slave labor, the Spanish began the transatlantic slave trade. African leaders sold captured prisoners of war to the traders who would bring them to America to mine and plant crops. It is a widely held belief that Christopher Columbus discovered America. This is not true because there were already roughly fifty seven million people living in the Americas before he arrived. Americans should not celebrate the day that Columb...


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...e some of the injustices that these people had to go through. In the story, white police officers, bosses and night watchmen maimed and hurt innocent black people. Even though this was during the Jim Crow era, it is hard to see anyone being morally okay with hurting people in this way. It is believed that most white people thought that black people did not have souls and were not considered people.

Barbara J. Fields says, “Racism has been America’s tragic flaw” in her article “Ideology and Race in American History.” Racism has no positive effects. The only thing that racism can do is create hate towards others. During a lecture, Professor Nelson mentioned that she did not believe that America would not be the country it is today without slavery. She said that America would be a third world country were it not for slaves laboring to make good to trade with Europe.

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