Recently, I was in conversation with a group of "on-line
friends," and we were discussing the Texaco developments. As usual, the
question of "race" emerged as we talked further.
Being one who critiques this construct of race, I then proceeded
to ask the question, what "really" is Black and White? At that moment,
many replies came across my screen. Some stated that "White was not
Black, and Black was not White;" while some asserted that they are
Given these and other responses, I decided to offer my thoughts,
of which there are many, on this subject which seems to be like Jason and
Freddy - aren't properly dealt with, so in the end they do not DIE!
Firstly, race is nothing more than a social construct that very few,
if any, of us choose to examine closely. By construct, I mean racial
designations are a neat and compartmentalized way to place groups in
an antagonistic position; which, as can be clearly seen, causes one
to think in terms of "racial superiority."
More often than not, people will blindly follow "the norm,"
because that's "just the way it is." Being one of sound mind and body (at
least the last time I checked), I vehemently disagree with this
Secondly, given the ideologies of the opulent minority, who really
stands to benefit from the bickering and infighting that occur as a result
of this construct. Think on that for a moment.
As one who studies culture and human phenomenon from a different
world-view, I often challenge those with whom I come in contact to examine
the question of "race" a little closer. For instance, if you and others
neglect the fundamental question of "why are things this way?" you will
fall into the trap of thinking that you are either superior or inferior to
those in your midst. Thereby, causing adverse stimuli to be placed into
the sub-conscious mind; which in-turn manifests itself in the form of
marginalization of "lesser empowered" groups.
Recognizing that race is indeed a construct, I cannot, nor will
I, abdicate my responsibility in acknowledging the manifestations of this
heinous institution; of which there are many.
In response to the belief that the words "Black" and "White" are
"cultural designations," I ask one question; if they are indeed so, why
then will most people, in the same sentence, use the terms Chinese,
Japanese, Indians, and Native Americans to describe other groups? To do
so, at least to me, sounds like racial reasoning. Such a realization
should cause one to question the current state of affairs in this
When I think on the manifestations of racialization, I become
troubled; mostly for those who accept the ideology previously eluded to.
For by doing so, you empower those who, by virtue of a well documented
falsehood, assume a baseless and ill-deserved position of authority.
Just think for a moment, if this anti-intellectual construct has
its root in a faulty premise, then on what is the conclusion erected???
Column originally published in Signal (Georgia State University's student newspaper) 19 November 2006