Does Race Matter (Online Writings)

Does race matter? How does it impact your life?  How did it impact your life today, yesterday?  Think about institutions, self, community . . .

250-400 words; last day to participate January 25, 2013

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62 thoughts on “Does Race Matter (Online Writings)

  1. In my opinion, yes, race does matter. In a broad sense of the word, race is one part of our individual identities. People have different opinions on whether or not it is a major part of their own identities, but it does effectively distinguish one group of people from another. Nowadays, it seems like a person’s race is one of the first attributes that people use to identify someone, along with their gender (such as “You know Nick, the Asian dude?”). With this widely-used attribute to describe someone, it comes with both positive and negative consequences.

    Personally, people using my race to describe me do not bother me in the least. For one, I have much bigger and more important things to worry and stress about. Also, the fact that I’m Asian has opened up new opportunities in my life. Organizations and various employers are always looking to “diversify” their workforce, hence their increased hiring of “minority” groups. Me being born outside of the United States is also a great conversation topic.

    The negative consequences of my race is far and few between. It did have a negative consequence in high school, as most Asians there were viewed as computer nerds without any friends. However, it is not the case nowadays, since this school is notably more diverse than was my high school. Judging by this observation, race does not seem to matter as much as it did earlier in my life.

    My point is that race does matter to a degree, especially since it is a physical attribute that you cannot easily change. It is frequently used to describe people in both a positive and a negative light. Personally though, race has not affected my life too much, but that is just my personal experience.

    – Nicholas Cho

    • Nick,

      I like how you addressed the positive aspects of racial difference in your life, we are all often more easily described by our physical appearance because it is often the most simple way to do so. The quickest way to describe me would just be a white guy with glasses.

      I also like how you connected your race with positive experiences and unique knowledge you posses. Most people in America especially have very little experience with outside countries. However it seems that your unique background can also give you trouble at some points in your life. Would you say that as the racial diversification of an area increases the more comfortable you feel? Even if that diversification is not predominately Asian?

      -Kyle Morgan

      • Yes, I would be very comfortable with racial diversification, even if it is not predominately Asian. The whole point of race diversification is so that one race is not significantly predominant.

        I have yet to see any area where one race is predominant even in today’s society. As unrealistic as it may sound, one day, I hope that it’s just as easy to meet one race as another in any given area.

  2. To me race does matter and it has always mattered. You can look at things like the Trayvon Martin shooting and how the prejudged him to be a criminal because he was walking around at night with a hoody one. Also a couple years ago when the kid got shot at the West Oakland BART Station by a white police officer and the gave him man slaughter instead of murder. Another example is when Gabby Douglus won her gold medal and made history in gymnastics and all the could talk about is that little black girl’s hair, in my opinion if she was white they wouldn’t be worried about hair. Quite frankly I don’t think it will never end and that’s the sad part.

    I really don’t worry about race as much because to me I just feel like we are all human and I’m going look at people the way I want them to look at me. But there are certain situation where I feel race has played a role in my life, this is just a small example but like when I played basketball in the gym today we played against a team that had all white guys on the team and my team had a lot of black guys. So the players on my team decided to have the mindset that since white guys are not as athletic and skilled as blacks in basketball we will blow them out. Although we won it was still the basic assumption that proves that people of different races still put assumptions and stereotypes on other races.

    But the comment that gets to me the most is when kids back in high school use to throw shots at my mom because she talked so proper. “So why does your mom talk so white,” well how is an educated black women with two masters suppose to talk. Just goes to show you that since one person is black they have to speak a certain way and have a certain type of vocabulary. I wonder how the languages of the two even started, I mean since we’re all Americans right?

    -Brandon Dawson

    • That’s right, we are all Americans and it’s sad to see such discrimination, especially in the smallest of matters. Humans like to have reasons for their thoughts and feelings and the way things are in the world, so surface-level comments are made in order to get their point across. However, the reasons are likely much deeper, more personal issues that a person may be experiencing but not wanting to bring up and subjects like race are then brought up in order to cover the real feelings. Your mention of stereotypes and certain assumptions is also a good point. Sports especially are strongly tied into race and individual performance. Maybe an athlete is just talented because he/she puts in the hard work, time, and effort in order to reach that next level! Anyways, you made some insightful points regarding the matter of race today. Thanks for making me think more and develop my own opinions as well.

  3. Race is an integral part of our society whether it is as an identifier or a social equality issue, it will always be prevalent. An example of how prevalent it is on a daily basis can been seen when you watch the news. Every time they describe someone, they include color. Race doesn’t necessarily have negative connotations on its own, because it is merely an identifier, however it does have negative connotations when you discuss how it impacts the everyday lives of human beings. As a white male, I am sad to say that race doesn’t impact my life significantly. Honestly, I grew up as an upper-middle class white male with the only adversity I’ve ever faced being the divorce of my parents. So for me I find it difficult to conceive the adversity that minorities face on a daily basis. This affects my life on a daily because it makes it difficult to talk about race since I have no experience. That being said, I am a progressive thinker and will always strive for the equality of man. In order to achieve this, I will often discuss social issues with my friends as a form of friendly discourse. Race comes up very frequently and it is always a hard topic for several reasons. First it has to be established that despite everything we say minorities are treated lesser due to an institutionalized thought process in our society. But how can you change societal norms as one man? This is where I struggle on a daily basis. As one human being that has no interest in politics how can I help eradicate this horrifying social norm? The truth is there is really nothing that I can do on a significant scale. However on a daily basis you have to ask yourself, are you going to be the one to stand up when you hear something disgustingly racist? This is my goal every day, rather than trying to change society, I try to change people. None of us alone can make a significant change, however if every day we re-affirm our resolution to change the world one person at a time, it is my belief that we can eradicate this social inequality.

  4. To be completely honest, I took this class just as a Diversity credit so that I could get my GER’s completed. However, to my surprise, I think the course has opened my eyes as far as looking at how race and cultural diversity has impacted not only the world, but my life as well (and that is only in the first week). The reason why I admit the reason to taking this course is to bring up a point that I have been affected by race but not loudly. I am the kind of person that is faithful to his religion (not really devout, just faithful) and I think that everyone is made the way they are for a reason.
    I think about this all the time because I try my best to treat people with respect no matter who they are. I have come to the conclusion that talking about race is not disrespectful but judging a person based on their ethnicity is and I try my hardest not to do that but unfortunately I find myself doing it and I catch myself. People are who they are because of their character, not because of their genetic makeup. It bothers me, however, when people use their race as an excuse for things such as, “I cannot jump because I am white” or , “I can talk loud and be gangster because I am black.” My words to those people would be you cannot jump because you do not work at it and you talk loud because you are outgoing and you are gangster because you choose to be.
    I think racism is a big deal in our society and sometimes I think that people misuse the idea. Racism is discrimination, not an excuse. There are scholarships for different ethnicity and that gives different people different opportunities. Some people may saw that is racist. I do not think it is because no one seems to have problems with scholarships for just accounting majors or people only living in the state of Washington. How is that any different? The world is an emotional and fragile place and we have to respect that, however we do not need to avoid a subject as an emotional reaction. The more we talk about it, the more we own up to the fact that racism is real and it is not gone, but we can resolve it if we work through it.

    JT Cook

    • JT,

      I think that your post was incredibly insightful and brutally honest. One of the things that I agreed with you most was the fact that you and I have been affected by race but not loudly. I to took this class to complete a UCORE but have discovered that it has actually really changed my perspective. Now I find myself being much more aware of what is said and discussed involving race. I also like how you mentioned that although we talk about races, that does not make us racist. Instead it teaches us to be more aware and helps us to try to stop discrimination. Thanks for being so honest!

      -Barrett Porter

    • JT-

      I think you are spot on. I am sure many of us are taking this class as a requirement and I am also sure that many of us are pleasantly surprised to find out that it is actually very interesting and insightful. I agree that it is not wrong to talk about race but it is wrong to describe someone negatively because of their race. You made a great point about the different scholarships for different states and majors and I do agree that it is no different than having different scholarships for minority groups or different races. Everyone in this world needs to open their eyes to race and the facts about it because race will never go away. You did a great job!

      -Bailey Trainor

  5. I definitely think that race plays a large role in who gets what, when, and where. If you are white, you are most likely to get the job or education you want, when you want it, at the institution you desire. Race also plays a large role in where you live, the activities you have access to, and where you can go in relative safety. There are so many aspects of life that are affected by your race, I think it would be difficult to list them all, especially since I have not seen many of the aspects in my life. Being white, and having been raised in an affluent family, I know without a doubt that I have been privileged in ways that others have not.

    My being white has given my advantages in life that others do not have. I have had access to good schools, jobs, and many other desirable options in life. Also, being white has enabled me to be able to go through life with relative ease and comfort. I feel the advantages of being white on almost a daily basis. In recent days, I can say that my “whiteness” has had the greatest impact when coming into contact with law enforcement. I am not harassed by them when I do come in contact, and I do not have to worry about getting stopped for no reason.

    I typically don’t think about my race, it just isn’t something at the top of my mind. I have only ever been in one situation where I felt uncomfortable being white. I went to a night club in Georgia, and was the only white guy. At first I felt very uncomfortable being the only white guy as everyone watched me. I can only imagine them wondering why this white guy was in their club. I may be incorrect in saying this, but I think this is how many people of color feel when surrounded by whites. Being white in a predominantly white community, I usually do not feel this way, which is probably the biggest impact in my life on a daily basis.

    R.Park

  6. I believe that race is always present, and it always matters. This can be seen throughout history and within today’s society. Race is culture, and without culture every person would be exactly the same. This being said, race is a subject that is generally avoided because people fear they will be seen as insensitive or racist. There doesn’t have to be such a negative connotation with the subject of race. If people grew up talking about race from both positive and negative perspectives in mind, I believe society would run much smoother and be filled with far more open-minded individuals.

    I grew up in a city where the population was largely white. I never thought anything of it, but for the most part, race wasn’t really discussed throughout my childhood. Being in Pullman and especially in this class has opened my eyes to diversity in many different aspects. I have always tried my best to treat every person I meet with the upmost respect and avoid any prejudices myself or others may have. Regardless of this, I am aware there is still a great deal of racism and discrimination in the world today, but I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of it is slim. I think that race and negative stereotypes often go together, but I believe that a person should be judged on their individual character.

    Generally, in my everyday life, race is brought up only to describe someone or discuss a controversial news article. I don’t know if it’s because we as people are programmed to avoid conversations about race, or because it just doesn’t happen to come up, but that is something I’m curious to learn more about. Furthermore, I am aware that because of where I grew up, and my race, I was handed many more opportunities than others have. I hope that throughout this semester I will learn more about the positives and negatives of race from the perspectives of all races.

    – Sarah Farmer

  7. I think that race does matter although we pretend that it does not. Ultimately, people want to think that race is irrelevant however this is not the case. Workplaces, schools, and communities are constantly striving to obtain a “diverse” group of people. Many times, diverse refers to people of many races and ethnicities. Although individuals can try to not have race as their main way to be identified, often times it is a lost cause. In our society, we constantly identify someone based on his or her race. Such as, “Do you know Pricilla, the Hispanic in our Asian class?” However when trying to identify a white person, in a mainly white community, race plays no role in identification.

    I feel that race has only impacted my life slightly. The only time that I have felt as if I was minority was sitting in my IB English class. In a majority Asian class, I felt very much different being one of only 3 white students. Although there was no discrimination present, or mean things said to the three of us, it was interesting to see what it is like for minority students’ everyday. In that class, I felt that what I said was never of the same intelligence as what the other students. Although this wasn’t always the case, it was an unwanted feeling. The difference between my experience and those of minority students was that as soon as I left that class, I was again of the majority and surrounded by a majority white school.

    Yesterday, while watching the Golden Globe Awards, I noticed that there was a category for foreign film. Although I would not have ever noticed prior to enrolling in this class, it was interesting to see that there was a specific category for those who aren’t from America. Although a man from Austria won, and was white, there were many people of many different races in the category. Much like with awarding scholarships, only a small portion of the awards (money) was reserved for those of the minority group.

    I feel that race is present in my life each and everyday. However, now I am looking for it and seeking it out. This is good, as I have always been taught to put race aside. Seeking out race has proved to be very interesting.

    Barrett Porter

    • Barrett,
      I thought your discussion post was very insightful! I loved how you added your thoughts about watching the Golden Globes, it is extremely important for people to realize that race is everywhere and not just in the obvious places. Like you, I also never really noticed how much race is actually around us. After enrolling in this class I started to notice race all around me that I didn’t notice before. Your post was very thought out and I completely understand your thoughts and feelings about race.

    • Barrett,
      I also enjoyed reading your post! I thought you had great examples of how race has impacted your life (your class and the Golden Globes). I too watched the Golden Globes that night and after reading your post have reflected back on the foreign flim category. I believe people in our society don’t always take the time to appreciate all the different cultures and diversity that is present in our lives. Those foreign films that many people don’t hear about are just as greatly made as those from America. I greatly appreciated your post and life examples, nice work!

  8. I have been thinking about how we talked about the societal constructions of race in America, and the impact they have on different races. Being a White male I my day to day experience with race goes largely unnoticed by me. The America I live in is set up so that race is never a concern for me. I can go about my day to day life and rarely encounter any adversity or resistance due to my appearance. As a white male I feel that there are no doors barring my way, where as my friends of various ethnicity can run into issues left and right.

    The videos posted on this site (especially the CNN report on children), and the discussions we have had in class have forced me to address and inequality in society. In this inequality and biased structure we have, it remains far to simple for non-minority people to ignore race in America. There is a large problem with this for many obvious reasons. While I may be pro equality and wish for change, I feel like me and people like myself feel there is nothing that they can do in order to change it. We face a very large system and I do not have the faintest idea on how to being changing it on my own.

    So how did race impact me today and yesterday? It did but at the same time it did not. Race impacts me daily by not impacting me. I am allowed to completely ignore race and the complications it can bring others because of the color of my skin. Because of this factor, race matters a great deal in America. While opening many doors and pathways, it also dictates whether or not you are allowed to ignore race as a factor you must overcome in life. I mean come on how many movies do you see about a white person overcoming the adversity against him in America? Not many because we simply eliminated a great deal adversity just by looking a certain way.

    With the above in mind it would seem the only way to combat racism and inequality in America is to not allow it to continue being ignored. Only by confronting our problems can we solve them. Its not just up to minority groups to do this either, the only people who can spearhead the change are the people creating the inequality in the first place.

    -Kyle Morgan

  9. Hi,

    I can vividly remember the first time I actually realized consciously in my mind that I was a person of color. Not only did I realize I was a person of color, but also at that time I realized the color of my skin was often different than most. It was the summer before fourth grade at this time and I was probably 9 years old. My dad is African American and my mother is Caucasian. This being the case I was able to experience and observe a multitude of various cultural behaviors. Having insight from my point of view makes it clearly evident to me that race does matter in this day in age still. People are continually identified in sports, movies, the government, and other daily activities by their race whether it is positive, negative, or stereotypical relations. Race is not a precedent topic only due to the daily social interactions that one encounters, but also because no matter one’s sex, religion, or age everyone belongs to some race and therefore is relevant to everyone.

    Numerous times throughout my athletic experiences I have encountered racial discrimination and racial stereotyping. I can vividly remember times in which people have called me Scooby-doo, Puerto Rican (seeing that I am biracial, white/black), black boy, and other degrading and un-sportsmanlike terms while on the soccer field. Although, I was taught to ignore the bigotry and continue playing, should one allow such ignorance to continue to happen to them and around them? I could not continue ignoring the spiteful remarks thrown around on the pitch, which were completely unrelated to the skill of the person, and thus began to react more strongly towards such remarks. Sports are grounds meant for clean and hard competition, rather than grounds for the berating of other players and mean spiritedness. Though life is not a game nor meant to be taken competitively everyone plays and thus, it can be related to life in the case that no one should be judged by who they appear to be but by who they actually are and how they play.

    -Ian Cook

  10. I think that race is something that is very important in our community. It makes everyone very unique and individual because no matter what background a person comes from it will always will have unique characteristics that come from their culture. Personally, I did not really grow up with race having a huge impact on my life. Up until recently, I hardly even knew what race I actually was and have always considered myself to just be white. Even though race barely had an affect on me directly, I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood so I got the opportunity to see people of many different races every single day.

    I grew up with a best friend who was Filipino. She was born and raised in America but her dad and his whole family had grown up in the Philippines and moved over here just a few years before my friend was born. Having this friend really showed me how people of different races have their own ways of doing things just depending on their ethnic background. Even at about six years old I could easily tell the culture and race difference between my family and my friends family. For instance, I can remember eating rice for every single meal at my friend’s house, even for breakfast. At first I remember thinking how strange it was but now I realize that it something that is in her family’s culture and it is completely normal and even almost expected for them.

    I am so happy that I got the experience of growing up with my Filipino friend. I almost got to directly experience what it would be like to be a different race. I think that race is so important and that people of different races around America should continue to use the same customs that they would in their culture. It makes a very diverse society and I think that it something that everyone should have the opportunity of experiencing.

  11. When I think about the question “does race matter?” I never really know how to answer. I think that it’s important to realize what impacts race has had in the past and what it has done to create the world we live in now and how that can affect the future. However on the other hand, sometimes I think, well race shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter if someone is Black, Asian, Hispanic, White, Indian, or whatever race they are, we are all equal. What bugs me about this question is that then people start going off about how it’s rude to think that if someone says well race shouldn’t matter. Well, personally I’m not going to judge someone off their race, I’m going to judge someone off their personality. I’m not going to not accept someone as a friend, colleague, classmate, or acquaintance just because they are whatever race they are. So to me, no I don’t think it should matter.
    However there are people in the world that bring up racist type comments or used racist slang around me and then yes, race to me does matter and it has affected my life even though I am White. An example being, I used to work at Sports Authority before I came to school here, and when I started there I was a cashier. Over in the team sports department there were 3 people that covered that area, a Black man named Tim, a Black girl named Contessia, and a White man named Elliott. When checking people out we are required to scan in the person who helped them and everyone who wouldn’t remember Tim or Contessia’s name would hesitate to even say the African American guy/gal over there. Both Tim and Contessia would say “it’s fine, just tell them they can say the Black dude or girl over in team.” Contessia had even told me that it offends her when people call her African American just because she is black, she told me she is not African American, her ancestors did not come from there and would rather people just called her black and not African American. This example is another reason that no, I don’t think race should matter. The world today puts labels on people just on how they look, sound, or act and the ‘politically correct’ terms for certain race groups are not always used correctly.

    • I totally agree with you that personality is what matters and that race does not. It should not matter what race you are and everyone should be treated equally. I also like the example situation you used. It really showed the labels people use to identify someone of another race and that sometimes people don’t even like the politically correct term.

      -Audrey

  12. Although it seems that we all pretend race doesn’t matter and that everyone is treated equally, I do believe that race does matter. If everyone was treated equally, why is it that when Barak Obama became president it was a huge deal? If the president were white, it would have been just an ordinary election.

    I do agree that race has impacted my life in a couple of different ways but only slightly and not in a negative way by any means. In fact, I think it has helped me to be more understanding and compassionate as a human being. I grew up in a town where the population was largely Hispanic (although there were still more Caucasians) and it was widely known. In school, there would be an obvious divide in the groups or “cliques” that were made by students and even in the classes that attracted the two distinct races. Outside of school, there was also a very clear divide. The east side of the town was made up of a majority of Hispanics whereas Caucasian families made up the West side dominantly. In this small town, we see a bit of a separation in the community, it’s almost like there are two separate communities in the same town.

    Another way I have seen race impact the world and myself a little is in the workplace. Companies and organizations always seem to have a common goal, which is to obtain a vast array of individuals of all different races to comprise the ultimate business. Yet, studies have shown that even though many companies have advertised their greatly diverse organization, Caucasians often are still receiving things such as higher pay and are more likely to “move up” in the business than other people of other races in the same organization.

    I think it is very important to treat people who are different from you in the same manner that you would someone of the same race, but also, it is very hard and basically impossible to escape racial discrimination in the world we live in today.

  13. Sometimes in life people go on through life trying to act like race does not matter. But to me race does matter because encounter it every day without even knowing it. It also matters because sometimes America has to deal with other countries and America has to know to approach their race and how they deal with things. Race impacts my life a lot because I am Hispanic. Every time I go to a populated place where there are not a lot of people with the same color tone as me well I get stared at a lot more than usual. Also I have a cousin who is the same age as me and she is half black and half Hispanic but she looked blacker and because of that while growing up she was made fun of. In the town that I grew up in about ninety percent of the town or so was Hispanic or of Hispanic decent and the rest was mix. But in school you could tell if there was a new student because how small our school is. In our whole school there were about 400 to 500 students and that is including junior high. So every time someone new or different came to the school everyone would know. How race impacted my life yesterday was when I was caring a book for Spanish class someone looked and at me and asked me, ‘don’t you know Spanish?’ I said yes but the funny thing about the situation was that the person that asked me the question, before then I have never met here before in my life. I think how race impacts me today is that because I am Hispanic some people expect more things of me like some people think I should be able to read and write in Spanish better but I am not very good at it and that is what bugs me a lot.
    -Nohemi Meza

    • Nohemi

      Yeah, there are lots of misunderstanding between people who have different races. I, an Asian, also do not know about America or Hispanic so much. Sometimes it is hard to be misunderstood by someone from other countries, but I do same thing as them. However, it is also interesting to know differences or fix the misunderstanding for me. People just do not have many opportunities to talk and know about it.

  14. Race doesn’t matter in the sense that it doesn’t determine who you are in a stereotypical way. Race doesn’t matter in a sense of equality, because everyone is just as valuable as the next person. But race does matter because it’s not only something that individuals identify with, it is what makes our communities diverse and cultured, which is very important. It brings people together and helps people connect. People of the same race are usually the first to come together based off of similar appearance and assumption that they come from the same background, but that’s why a diverse community is important. Everyone needs to understand that people come from all different backgrounds, and that stereotypes aren’t always accurate. It helps us to understand how to communicate about race in an effective way. Race impacts my life every day. When I was younger I was raised in a mostly Caucasian neighborhood. My parents and school didn’t really teach me about culture, so when I hit high school (which was very cultured) I didn’t know how to talk about race. I wasn’t sure if I was being offensive by talking about it. Slowly though, I started to realize that it’s such a valuable trait to be able to talk about race openly. The majority of my friends are of different ethnicities so that also makes race a part of my daily life. Racial jokes, poking at one another, all in good fun but it helps us to understand one another more. Race definitely matters, because it’s all around us and there is no ignoring it- there’s no reason to!

  15. Does race matter… wow that is a difficult question. Well apparently it matters institutionally and in the job market because there are laws that protect a person’s race in the hiring process. It seems to matter in communities and schooling because races seem to be pretty segregated in the area that they live and attend school. I grew up in a very small town in northern Indiana where race really did matter. The town was probably 99% white and any time that someone was attending our high school who wasn’t white, it was almost always a foster child who was living with someone in town. No one in our school was exposed to latinos, blacks, mexicans, south americans, etc. Therefore, race did matter and it was such an uncommon thing that when there was someone of another color in our school, no one knew how to talk or communicate with that student. It was like they were an alien to us instead of just another human being. I can’t believe how much we notice and must protect race. How something that is simply a different color has become such a distinct and huge thing in our society. Race is something that is discussed by so many schools, communities, in classrooms, the government.. Even my parents who are very open minded people really haven’t been exposed to many other races and they will ask me or talk to me about very stereotypical things of other races. It is clear that the US really notices race. It is something that is obvious and that we have formed such an idea in our heads of what it means. I don’t even know how to say that it doesn’t matter, I don’t even know how to get rid of the idea of race, to eliminate any thought of it or to try to ignore it seems impossible.

  16. In my opinion, race does matter. The idea of race is different than it was many years ago, although it still does exist. It is seen on the news, in movies, sports and heard throughout society. People want to think that racism has subsided, but it’s not the truth. Identification is also often times based upon the color of one’s skin. Although racism is not as violent and prevalent, when people talk about white privilege, it does indeed prove that race does matter. Race plays a role in our everyday life whether white or black. It can be the deciding factor of many important life positions or goals.
    I grew up in a smaller city where the population was very dominated by white people. So I find it hard sometimes to relate to some of these topics. I have always been comfortable with my surroundings and have not encountered any racial conflict. Race was hardly brought up in school or my home life. I typically don’t think about my race because it has never impacted me in a negative way. On the other hand, I have been dating someone who is partially Japanese as well as have family friends who are too. Both of their families do not practice or live a very cultural life style. The only difference that has really stood out to me throughout the years is the various styles of cooking and food. Overall I grew up in an upper-middle class town so it is difficult to talk about race although, I think it is important especially growing up because it opens your mind to cultures around the world.
    I believe that race is very important throughout society. It creates diversity and individuality that enables us to learn different life styles and cultures. Living in a community where everyone feels, thinks, and acts the same would not only become boring, but would never grow. Race matters in so many aspects of life that many people fail to realize. The more comfortable it becomes to talk about it, the faster it can be resolved.

  17. I think race does matter. All people have their own identity and personality by race. Without race, all people have the same culture and the same color so there are no problems that happen because of differences. Although, I think that all people can have confidence about their own culture and color because of race. At the same time, however, the race that has differences of color of skin, eyes, and hair and language brings about conflicts or misunderstandings about politic and culture. This kind of problem is happened near to ourselves. And also, we have a possibility of having various conflicts by differences of dialect or tradition even the same race.

    I, as an Asian, have had an experience about race. I had a class that we introduced ourselves to some students randomly, but no one introduced him/herself to me (Asian). I felt that unless I introduced myself to them, they didn’t do that to Asian. Although I care about like that too much because I think that Americans have bad stereotype against Asians that they cannot speak English well so it might be happened.

    It is important to remove stereotype about race and behave. In my opinion, people capture the differences of color of skin, eyes, and hair and language as big differences. We can share our feelings if we have different parts and accept each other’s cultures. Everyone has felt desire to get what they don’t have, but it is necessary to have confidence about your own race and respect each other.

  18. Personally I think race should not matter because it is what is on the inside that should define us. Not what we look like. But it is clear that in society race does matters. I think culture and ethnicity are important but if race is only based on physical features and does not distinguish humans from one another genetically, then why does it matter? It has been shaped by cultural, political, ideological and legal functions in society. Like we have talked about in class, race is a social construct, not biological one. It has meaning only because the society gives it meaning. Once society advocates meaning, that meaning has impact and consequences.
    Throughout my life I have never really thought hard about race and how/if it impacts my life significantly. I am a white female and a few of my good friends are of different races. I treat everyone with respect and the way I would want to be treated. It did not really matter to me what race a person might be considered. I feel like I have not faced much adversity in life and that I have been very lucky, for which I am grateful. I am not exactly sure how race impacts me or it could be that I am just unaware of how it affects me personally sometimes. Although I feel race does not noticeably impact me in a personal way, the topic of race is one that finds its way into my daily conversations about politics and policies in the United States or through current news stories. I am hoping this class will open my eyes and make me more aware of race.

    -Audrey Nordness

  19. To answer the question: Does race matter? I would say yes and no. Yes, because this is a way that our world can explore all of the different cultures that we have and learn the differences and similarities of people of different races. I would also say no to this question because I do not believe that a person’s race defines them. Intelligence and personality should define you as a person. For example, in the job market I do not think it is fair for employers to judge a person based on where they come from or the color of their skin. Just because somebody is of a certain race does not mean that they will excel in a certain area or fail at another. In this case, race is completely irrelevant.
    I do believe I am judged by the color of my skin, even if a person does not realize they are social profiling, they are. Perhaps the color of my skin has been a benefit to me throughout my life but I have not realized it because it is the race I have always been. If I were to switch races with someone maybe I would be aware of how lucky my life has been. Maybe I have been privileged due to my skin color. I don’t know what it feels like to be of a different race, but maybe if I did I would understand how much of an impact my race has on me every single day.

    -Alyssa MacRae

  20. Race does matter. Race is just as important today in this country as it was when the country was founded, but now people are less obvious about it. Racism and prejudice has become ‘non-existent’ in many peoples minds because of the new focus on political correctness and the idea that ‘having a friend of a certain minority automatically means I am not a racist, and that I know everything about what it is like to be born of that race’. In my opinion, there is too large of a focus on defending yourself as a non-racist, that many people are missing the entire point, and aren’t realizing the negative implications that one small comment could have on someone. Even if there is no malicious intention behind someone’s words or actions, that doesn’t make it OK, and there are a lot of things I see in the media and in the world around me, whether intentional or unintentional, that are very degrading and can be hurtful to people simply based on their bloodline.

    I have always classified myself as white, but because of the way I look I have learned that to many people, I don’t ‘pass’. My mom is Finnish, blonde hair blue eyes and her grandmother (Shirley) was the first to immigrate here with her husband. My father’s ancestry is not as clear, my fathers his mom is of Swedish descent, and he has some Native American background, the descent of his father is unknown. My father was born with very dark skin, dark eyes, and dark thick hair, which is a lot different than his blonde hair blue eyed siblings. I have inherited his traits, but my brother has inherited the blonde hair and blue eyes in the family. So, in my mom’s side of the family I do not “fit in”. I remember being 6 or 7 years old and Shirley (my great grandma) would tell me that I am a “Smoked Swede” or that “I come from the mountains”, that my eyes were so dark as a baby she was afraid to hold me, that my eyes showed pure evil. As a six year old, I wished I looked more ‘white’, I didn’t want to have my ‘evil, from the mountains’ characteristics.

    As I grew older, my hair became even darker, and my looks were more defined, and after my awkward stage at 16 I was suddenly “exotically sexy”, whatever that means. Suddenly the second or third question people asked me after hearing my name and what I am studying in college was, “Wow you are so unique and exotic looking, where are you from?” -Washington…. With a second response of, “yeah, but where are you from?”. I have been guessed every ethnicity you could imagine, but somehow it is unbelievable when I tell someone I am Swedish and Finnish. Suddenly I should ask my family who cheated on who, so I know ‘what I am’.

    Now, I am so tired of this question, and the importance held to it when I do not have the right answer for people, that I even make up answers sometimes to avoid the questioning if I am sure that I am Swedish.

    To pay for college, I have done a lot of print modeling, but I have been turned down a few high paying jobs because they wanted an “all american look, and I am too exotic looking to pass”. My heritage matters in everyday life and even in making money on the side to pay for school.

    The feeling I had as a child, and even at times today that I don’t fit in with a ‘race’, or questioning my own identity because of it gives race an importance to me. There is always a descriptor of a person based on their appearance, explaining why the look, act, or excel in academics or athletics. I am tired of hearing and seeing the grouping people who look alike into categories.

    We are in an age of labels in this country, and yes race is an important factor in creating these labels. Creating these labels changes how we interact with each other, and even the conversations we have with others.

    I have now seen from this class that I should be more open to these questions people have for me, but at the same time we all should be getting to know each other as people, not based on how each other looks. However, we do need to recognize the ways each group is treated differently in society in terms of historical opportunities and treatment, current opportunities and respect towards each other based on looks.

    -N. Mortenson

  21. Race is indeed important in the personal identification of oneself, however, I don’t believe that it should be the basis for determinants and taking action. Culture is the one aspect regarding race that is and should be further researched and taught concerning all races. Doing so increases one’s knowledge of all the different cultures that exist in society, producing well-rounded human beings. Regarding the impact of race, it shows just what God is capable of—creating the universe and everything in it, including the differences in each and every one of us! Although race tends to create separate “groups” among us, it shouldn’t. Just as there are males and females, there are differences in the color of people’s skin and that’s just as it was planned by our Creator. Therefore, race matters because it shows His capabilities and intentions for us and the world around us. However, it shouldn’t impact the way people act towards or are treated.

    I have been watching men’s college basketball throughout the past few days. The color of the athletes’ skin is of no significance or issue to me or those around me watching the game. The most focused-on aspect of the game is the performance of the team and/or those individuals who are performing at a high level, those with the most energy and momentum.

    After taking this class for the past couple weeks, I have been more aware of those times where others classify or describe people by the color of their skin. It’s as if the race of the individual must be revealed in order to completely get the point of discussion across. In some instances, like when referring to athletes who are African American, it seems more logical and comprehendible to state one’s race because of current knowledge. According to a lot of studies, it’s known that there are physical differences in African Americans that make them better athletes in whatever way this may be. Therefore, race may not be spoken about but implied in the atmosphere of sports today.

    All in all, race is race. There shouldn’t be discrimination based on what we look like or our culture with which we live in because we are all made with a purpose—to glorify Him who created us!

    -Morgan Willson

  22. I think race matters in today’s society, although I do not necessarily think that it should. In an ideal society, people genuinely would not see any differences between races. But even when people are not being “racist” (the way I am using it, meaning discriminating against one based on their race), people still may unknowingly have preconceived notions about other races. For instance, following a common racial stereotype, upon meeting someone Asian, one might automatically assume that they are really smart without actually talking to them or even getting to know them. This ties into how race has impacted my life.

    I attended a high school where the racial makeup was roughly 55% White, 40% Asian, and 5% of other minority races. As far as I understand, generally in many traditional households of Asian descent, school and education are given high value. Many of these parents want their children to do well academically, as many other parents do, and may emphasize this aspect of life more than others. While going to school there, I heard many people talk about how all Asians were “grade-grubbers” or how it was annoying that “their class rank was skewed”. Consciously, I realized that these allegations were only stereotypes, and that they were not true of all Asians. In fact, I knew many other non-Asian students who better exemplified these statements. But after constantly hearing people complaining about it, I felt as though I started to become desensitized to these stereotypes. In my mind I knew they were not necessarily true, but after a while I realized I had stopped questioning them.

    Race has impacted my life because despite what I was taught about how to treat everyone equally, and not to judge people, I found myself doing so. I wasn’t knowingly discriminating, but I wasn’t giving everyone the fair chance that they deserved. Therefore, I still stand by the notion that race shouldn’t matter, but it does.

  23. Yes, race drastically matters in today’s society. You can clearly see that from a simple large event such as President Obama being relected. Granted I don’t think race should matter. However, in our society and how it works we make it carry a heavy meaning. People want to use race to their advantage or be able to gain something good for themselves by dealing with it. Similar to the video that talked about how when people have a conversation about race they want the benefit out of it for themselves. That clearly states to me that race still carries a high meaning in our society today.

    Personally, race did not affect me a whole lot growing up. Coming from a small farm town which felt like was 99.9% white for the most part I was not exactly exposed to massive racial diversity. Yet it still impacted me, through sports mainly. Playing prodominently black or other racial minorities teams. This threw me into situations of having to deal with racial clashes of racial slurs being thrown back and forth. Does that fall into the racism category or were those actions only spurred by the intensity of a sporting event? Now here at college, being a collegiate athlete I am on a prodominently black and other minorities team make up. Also, the diversity of a large university such as WSU does change the community feeling that I have grown up with. Yes, it does have the same small town feel but a greatly different population.

    Confidently, I can say it has helped me with racial awareness. Everyday I have to deal with race. Getting a random roommate has been a crucial factor. Random, having no idea who it could possibly be. I was paired with a fellow black teammate. This experience has helped open my racial awareness talking and developing a friendship over the course of the first semester. Race continues to impact me everyday and will continue too. In the end does race matter? To me personally, no. To society, yes.

  24. Yes I definitely do believe that race matters a great deal in the society that we live in today. Being a Caucasian female, I never always recognized how much race impacts individual people and the society in which they live. I grew up in a small town that is mainly composed of Caucasians and over the years the prominence of Hispanics has grown but there still is not much in terms of diversity. When I was a junior in high school, I enrolled in the running start program, where I then attended the community college in a nearby city that is extremely diverse. It wasn’t really until then that I had been exposed to such an incredible amount of diversity; it was such an amazing experience. I feel that this experience helped me to grow as a person and allow me to make friends and meet people not just from different parts of the state, but from different areas in the world. It was a great eye opener because I had gained so much knowledge and experience. What I love about this expansion of different people and cultures is that not only does it teach me to appreciate the lives of others, it also helps me to become more connected with myself and it broadens my thirst to know more. In my life, I know that race was the first step in becoming more accepting of the people around me, and not only have I plunged into the depths of racism, I have broadened my studies to educate myself more about sexism, and how to avoid the judgment of others. it is important whether or not it is based on race or any other type of attribute, because in the end nobody can help who they are but everyone should be able to love themselves for being it. I hope it is something that more people can appreciate by the end of this class.

    • I totally agree with you that race definitely matters and that it makes a big difference to be in some place where there is all American or all Mexicans or whatever it is. I too grew up in a small town but in that small town there was a lot of Mexicans. I grew up with people from the same race as me even though in class it was mentioned that Mexican/Latino is not a race I have always had it as a race in my mind. For many years I was around people that are from the same town in Mexico as my family is. Everyone knew everyone and I got so used to that. Like we all know being around people from your same race with the same cultures as us makes us feel comfortable but once it’s time to be around people from different races everything is so different. For me personally moving to Pullman was so different. I was so used to being around so many Mexicans and having Mexican stores in town and being able to find things I like close by. Now I have to drive 5 hrs. to get to my hometown to see family and have what I am used to or drive to Tri-Cities to buy foods that I am used to cooking. Everything is so different here in WSU. I have however being able to communicate with people from different races but it is much more difficult for someone like you and me to do so because were so used being around people from our race. I think that being here at WSU was the right choice because I am now getting the experience of being in a very diverse environment, which is one I wish I would have had a long time age.

  25. I think race is very important in our society, and also a important factor community. On the other hand, I do not think race will influence personal life. I came from China, there are also a lot of foreigner, specially Americans. I think everyone does not think they are different except language, they also have many friends and hang out together. However, it is totally different in society. For example, there are a lot of English language education in China now, and every student in China must learn English, just like Americans learn French in school. That’s why many schools just need native speaker, they think native speaker is the best English teacher, sometimes they even just need a native speaker sit in school and do nothing, because that native speaker do not know how to teach English. The most question that chinese interviewer asked is “Are you native speaker?”, if they are, they almost got this job.
    In American, everybody knows that white people have more chance to get a job than black people or yellow people. My rommie is a great black guy, he studies very hard evey day, I asked him why he works so hard evey night. He said he wants to be a doctor and change people’s mind that how to think black people. Believe it or not, the race does matter in our socity and it is deep-rooted in today’s socity.
    When I decided to come to America, my American teach told me do not go to middle of America, because a lot of people are racism, and they almost do not change their mind. Image this, if A’s parents are racism, and all his neighbour are racism, will he be a racism in the future(A just a example)? It is very possible. That’s why we can do nothing about race’s problem, and we can’t ignore race influence our socity.
    In conclusion, race affect our socity and many communities, but it’s not important for me or maybe many other people.

    • I really agree with your opinion about teachers of native English speakers. In Japan, same thing happens in every school. The important thing that the native speakers have to do is that just being in the school. They did not have to do special thing. Just joining English class together and Japanese English teacher teachs English even if native speakers are there.

  26. How can one argue if race matters or not? People of our generation have no idea what it was like forty to fifty years ago when discrimination was at an all time high in the United States, especially in the southern states. Blacks were given less rights than whites and could not do certain things whites could. For example, blacks drank from different water fountains than whites, blacks rode at the back of the bus while whites sat in the front. Luckily for America, our country has overcome discrimination against African Americans, for the most part. There is no telling where our country would be if the awful card of discrimination was still in play today.

    Race is still a very important issue that floats atop a list of controversial topics that are debated on year around. Our countries ability to overcome this issue shows a ton about what America is made of. Even though there is still much more work to do. Race has affected my life in multiple ways in the first short nineteen years of my life. I went to a middle school that was practically all white students except for a small group of African American boys. They all were related in some way whether they were brothers or cousins. Fortunately for me, i grew up playing sports with them and became close friends through high school. During Pop Warner football i remember opposing coaches yelling at their players to not let the “Colored” kids get behind them. From what i could see this just made them play harder. The opposing coaches made the game personal when it did not have to be. Unfortunately i do not think it helped them very much because we won the championship three out of four years.
    –Mitch Askins

  27. Growing up in a Seattle suburb that was predominantly white, I never thought race really mattered. I did not have to deal with it as a child so it did not exist. Once I got older and went to schools that were culturally divers in the city I began to realize how big of a role race plays in our everyday lives. Race matters, it’s ingrained in our subconscious as a society whether we admit it or not. I, as a white male get afforded the benefit of the doubt by police and law enforcement agencies when I am walking around late at night. Something my best friend who is African American most often does not. He will get stopped and questioned about what he is doing or where he is headed. In my experience cops do not even hardly give me a second glance. Race matters in major institutions as well. We currently have our first African American president and in the beginning of his term he had to deal with people claiming that he was a secret Muslim or saying that he was not an American. I believe this had all to do with his race, no other president has ever had to deal with questions of his place of birth or choice of religion. A white president before president Obama had sexual relations with a intern inside the white house, if he were any other race or ethnicity the country would have gone nuts but Clinton was able to continue in his elected office mainly due to him being a southern white male. As in my community, many of my friends are from different ethnicities and cultures. We all lightly tease each other about our socioeconomic or racial statuses, I feel that we do this because race in our community is a difficult issue to discuss but also a very real issue in the community. In my experience, when things are hard to talk about we make light of the issues or try to make them less real by turning them into jokes so as to make the issue seem less important, this is why and how we deal with race in my community of friends. Lastly, race how race affects me personally. I do not talk about race really because as a white male I worry about offending some or seeming insensitive. I feel guilty for getting privileges from my race and do not know how to defend it or really compare my experience with race with others.

  28. I believe race matters. Race matters because even though bigotry is less publicly displayed race still effects people. If race didn’t matter then there would be an equal number of call backs for white sounding, latino sounding and black sounding names when all other parts of a resume was the same. But because race still has effects like this, it matters, needs to addressed and not forgotten about. If we ignored race from this point forward it still wouldn’t be fair to minorities. That is because being white has given white people such an advantage and placed them way ahead in life.


    In this illustration the drawing of equality defined by conservatives is what would happen if we all suddenly became color blind. Instead if we acknowledge how race has benefitted whites and hurt minorities we can begin to bring everyone to the same level as in the drawing of equality defined by liberals.

    I’m not 100% sure it is solely because of me being white that I was able to grow up in a middle-class community and attend a quality high school but it certainly contributed to it. My parents are both hard workers but its possible and probably true that they were able to be more successful that equally qualified and hardworking minorities and because of that were able to raise me in the way that I was. White privilege is definitely something that I have benefited from in my life.

  29. Race does matter on a daily basis whether we recognize it or not. As a white, blonde, female student in a school that is mostly white, I don’t regularly recognize the differences between races but I imagine that minority students would. Whether we like it or not, race plays a role in our lives. It may not directly impact my life on a conscious level but when examined on a closer level, race plays a significant role in my life because of white privilege. I am able to walk around at night time and be seen as the victim, never the aggressor. Another way race impacts my life is the way I am able to find acceptance in mostly all everyday settings. For example, I can walk into any classroom on campus and be sure that the majority of the classroom will be the same race as me. I never have to worry about being singled out because of my race in a classroom setting or in the majority of the places that I visit on a daily basis. In the occasional settings where I did find myself the minority I found it odd, different and slightly uncomfortable. This is why it only fits that race does matter. If it didn’t I would never be in that occasional setting as a minority that I find myself uncomfortable of have the privilege of only being thought of as a victim when I am out at night. Although we would like to think that race doesn’t matter, it always will because there will always be minorities and stereotypes that society will fallow.

    • Sammie-

      I agree and support your thoughts and feelings concerning being subject to white privilege in this society. It’s easy to be blinded by this when we’re often in a majority setting. Although, we has humans can be the “minority” in ways other than those regarding race. This is where stereotypes and discrimination against others based on characteristics such as our hobbies, interests, and individual personalities, come into affect. However, this may be completely different for those who have experienced it. I have never really thought about your example of walking around at night and not being seen as a threat. This made me think…even though relief sets in, an equivalent amount of guilt and anger arise knowing that others are targeted as aggressors… It’s sad to see that the world judges so much by appearance, everything on the outside..

  30. I have always and will continue to think that race matters. Race has been an important topic for a long time. It has changed in many aspects but it is still here. There has always been racism. Like I mentioned there have been changes like the ones discussed in class, we don’t have to attend different school, use different drinking fountains or use different books than whites. Even though there has been many changes done in regards to racism there are still white people out there that don’t like Mexicans, Africans, or natives and vice versa. Racism is something that is always going to be important to many people in many different aspects. Personally I know how it feels to around people that don’t like you because of your race or that treat a certain way for that reason. It has not just happened to me but also to my parents. I come from a Mexican/Hispanic family and know what many other cultures think about Mexicans. Some people appreciate and see the good things about Mexicans and others can only see or think about all the bad and wrong things Mexicans do or cause. Like I mentioned already race is a very powerful word and is very important to me. I am proud of being what I am Mexican/Latino/Chicana whatever people now a day wants to call us.
    Race is still here and in my opinion will always be here. There can be many things that we don’t like about race but what we are living now is nothing compared to what people many years ago did. We are not suffering or having the life style that people in the past did because of their race, their skin color, and where they came from. Now we have many choices and are able to make many decisions. Many years ago people of color for example did not have choices, options, voice. They were treated a certain way and could not do nothing about it, and if they wanted to do something about it they were risking their life. I guess that even though sometimes we feel like we are not treated fairly, we should be thankful for the changes that have been made and the way we live and the opportunities we are given now.

    • Lupe-

      I enjoyed reading your post. And yes, thank the Lord that minorities do have equal opportunity today compared with how things were in the past. However, what happened in the past shouldn’t have occurred in the first place. We have all been uniquely and lovingly designed by our Creator. Our inner and outer differences are simply clear signs and evidence of his magnificent handiwork in each and every one of us! Regarding race, how has the transition to college been for you, if you don’t mind me asking.? Have you experienced personal growth..? Thank you for expressing your thoughts.

      -Morgan Willson

      • How does the study that found that those with “black sounding name” are 50% less likely to receive call back fit with equal opportunity? How does Rubin study fit here? The other question is how does the past impact the present so much so that the past is is the present?

  31. At present, more and more people begin to talk about the topic of race. Obviously, the racial topics become increasingly important and have a huge impact on society. I am a Chinese and I know I am the yellow race. When I was young, I knew people with different races all over the world. They are white people, black people and yellow people and so on.

    When I was in high school, I started to studying history systematically. In China, there are 56 ethnic groups. At first, I think the racial issues all over the world are like the national problems in China. However, they are different. From that time, I began to know the race and racism. When I came to the United States to study, I was become interested in the racial topics. Last semester, my friends took the course CES 101. They need to finish a paper about the race, so they often talked about the topic of race. From their discussion, I learned many things. For example, I knew what is race and how does it influence our life. Besides, I learned why people are like to talk about race and how to talk about it.

    In my opinion, people can talk about the race, but they should not be politicized this topic. I do not think the race had influenced my life a lot; I just want to say and think about this topic. In America, there is still more obvious racial discrimination. When I came to the United States, this feeling becomes more intense. At here, the status of white people is higher than other races. They have more chance to accept good education and get a satisfactory job when they graduated. Some of white do not like other races, especially the black people. However, the status of the people of all races is equal; different people should enjoy equal rights. This is just the difference between the complexions.

    I have come to America to study for two years. During this time, I make some foreign friends. I found that some black people are very friendly and they really do not mind the racism. Besides, some white people are like to talk with me and they are interested in China, however, I really do not know how to make real friends with them.

    Guoxiao Zhu

  32. In my opinion race does matter. As much as we try to call ourselves an equal country, we’re not. I want to study criminology and criminology is a great example of how we really treat race in our society. Many courts will go easier on someone who is white, whereas someone with a different race might have a much bigger consequence to the same action.

    Being aware of what people of different races have to go through on a daily basis, makes me feel guilty for being white. I live in a town where 1.5% of the population is Asian, 1.2% is Indian, .7% is black, and .3% is Pacific Islander. The rest of us are white. The people who aren’t white, are always called names not because people intend to hurt them, but simply because we are not used to seeing people that are different than us. Their skin tones are used to identify them. We had two kids with the same name in our school, and one was considered Brown Kyle, while the white Kyle just got to be known as ‘Kyle’. Looking back on this makes me regret that I used to call him Brown Kyle too.

    Even though we have only been in this class for a short time, it has already really opened my eyes. I now walk around campus and think about how people with different skin tones have probably had jokes made about them for being a minority. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be considered a minority, and I actually hope that one day I will be able to experience it just so I have the ability to understand what it feels like.

  33. I do think race matters because it establishes who you are and what your background is and what your family is and how they grew up to be. Race definitely impacts my life because my boyfriend happens to be black and being a part of that family is somewhat different then my family and how we do things in our house. I was always around white people and my mom actually is very racist and it is really off putting. Race impacts my life because I never really knew about other races and how they work and I still don’t. That’s why I’m taking this class to have a better understanding about racism and how we just judge someone by what race they are.
    I normally don’t think about race on a regular basis. SO this is really hard to talk about. I mean my boyfriend plays around and when I don’t agree with him on something he says things like, “oh you racist!” So I mean I get that from him but he knows I’m not. So it’s a weird concept to talk about just like the reading we had to read about how we don’t know how to talk about race because we never learned how to talk about it with other people, we just kept to ourselves. We should’ve learn how to be able to talk about that stuff with others instead of just letting it slide and having our parents views on other races.

    -Amanda

    • Amanda

      I really agree with you. We do not know how to talk about races. I have never learned about it before. Discussing about races must be difficukt because people want to insist on their own races. Not all of people can accept all the diferences between people who have different races.

  34. In my opinion, race is important for us because we have different identities. Race is familiar to us because we have different appearance. So I think race is a way that can describe people easily in our society. For example, when I am talking about yesterday’s happenings with my friend and I cannot remember a girl’s name who met yesterday, I will say “I think she is an Asian because she is like me (Japanese).” It is the easiest way to tell her appearance such as color of skin, eyes, and hair to my friend. From this point, race affects our life positively.
    On the other hand, there are racial problems such as discrimination and prejudice in the society. Some people have such thinking in their mind; other people take actions or say directly to people who they have a prejudice. Personally, I had an experience after I had come to America. When I was with my Japanese friend and her boyfriend in his car and we were waiting for turning blue, some American crosses a street and hit his car with their hands and said to us something bad. I think they have a kind of prejudice for Asian. From this point, race affects my life negatively.
    Although there are racial problems in our society, it is important to share the ideas and opinions because it is a big chance that can get rid of stereotype and prejudice. I think as we communicate and know about each other we can become familiar to racial problems.

    Natsumi Ino

  35. Race matters a lot. Race is something that defines people, it helps people understand who they are, where they come from, and how to look to the future. Race is something that diversifies humans and should strengthen humanity rather than weaken it. Race impacts everyone’s life some way and some how all the time whether they know it or not.
    I never really thought about how race impacted my life until we watched the video about race in class. I never really thought about how people viewed me in society and if they wonder what my actual race was. In the movie that we watched called “Race: Divisions Among People That Are Unchanging” there was a segment that talked about testing the colors of melanin in your skin to tell what race and ethnicity you are. The video talked about the the baseball player who was half african american and half italian, but was classified as black even though he was just as much Italian as he was African American. When I watched this part of the movie I realized that I was similar to this baseball player with my racial diversity. I have olive skin, dark hair and extremely dark eyes, with the last name Kruse (but every one thinks that it is spelled Cruz) and it throws everyone off. Most people automatically assume that I am all Hispanic or Native American, however, I am 50% Norwegian and no one ever believes me. My father was born and raised in Norway but my mother grew up in New Orleans with French, Italian and a little Spanish in her blood. Like the baseball player, many people only see the side of my heritage that is from the countries with darker skin and hair rather than Northern Europe because of the way I looked. Even though most of my ethnicity is Norwegian my coloring and features would tell you different. If race and ethnicity was to be based off of the way people looked and profiled the way the did back in the day, no one would guess correctly where anyone came from.
    I think that after watching the video about race, I became more aware of other races around me. I grew up in a household that saw everyone as equals, so I never really thought about race as anything but a color. In this CES class though, I am quickly coming to realize how much race is impacted through media and society. People of many different races all have different stories and histories that create them as a person and they shouldn’t be defined by the color of their skin.
    -Victoria Kruse

  36. Although I try not to focus on it, I do feel that in my life and my experiences, race does matter. It affects my view of others, as well as how I am treated being a white male. I took this

    I took this CES class solely because I needed a diversity credit. I have always felt that “all our races are equal, but its that race that is not furthering themselves,” and thats why I felt the white race was on top. Even through these few weeks in class, I have found myself thinking about this idea and how maybe the way I see it isn’t the way things actually are. Maybe my view is because of my white background.

    With this being said, my own race does matter to me. I am proud to be white; not in the KKK “White Power” sense, but proud in that is is who I am and what has shaped me. Although I can not deny that I have been the recipient of privilege being white, at the same time, its not easy. When in groups, especially associated with the university, it is almost made out to be a bad thing to be white. Because of this, I feel like I need to have more pride in my race and “represent it” in a better way.

    Even though i am also guilty of letting race affect my opinions and thoughts of other people, I do wish it wasn’t that way. It would be nice to live in a world in which race did’t have to be a topic of concern and something we didn’t need to learn about because our past ands present actions were such that were “acceptable” that is not the case. Maybe someday this will be the case, however, as of right now race does matter and does have an impact in my life.

  37. I believe that race does matter, in a sense that we may all be different culturally, but we are also all humans and are a lot more similar than we think. Too many people have the mindset that if we talk about race, then we may risk offending people. But if we don’t talk about race, then whenever it comes up we won’t know how to talk about it. I think it is important to know about race being that it is present in our lives and most likely forever will be. However we must understand the positive and respectful ways to talk about it without offending people or drawing into the stereotypes it can create.

    Racism has impacted my life because I have been constantly surrounded with people who have general stereotypes of other races, whether directed at me or directed at others. Also whether in a “funny” way or in a serious matter. Being most white, there are always different stereotypes. Also what some people don’t know is that I am also ¼ Korean, therefore when people make jokes about Asians, it actually does pertain to me. However being that I don’t obliviously look Asian, not everyone knows that I am. Although for me the negative stereotypes that people make don’t hurt me directly, I understand that for some people it might be very offensive to them.

      • I have always thought of culture and ethnicity to be similiar. One’s culture makes their ethnicity. For example with the Asian ethnicity, their culture may be the religion they believe in, how they act, their manners, how they dress, etc. Race is in a way part of culture because race is what you are, sometimes based on physical features, sometimes based on stereotypes and can be a positive or negative thing. Your culture could be your beliefs, understandings, and viewpoints on things, whereas your race could be another way of interpreting your ethnicity which is related to culture.

      • Kayla -Think of it this way – Race, is socially (legally constructed) – the fact that one can cross state lines, or go to another country and one’s racial classification would change would not tell us about anything about culture. Also, “Asian” or “White” as a racial construct does not tell us about culture, customs, language, etc. Does a 4th generation Japanese-American share similar customs, language, cultural practices as a first generation Korean-American? What about a 5th generation Italian-American compared to a recent immigrant from Ireland?

  38. Race matters only if the person views it that way. Depending on whom you talk to and how they act. Talking about race can be a pleasant conversation which enables you to find out about different people and their cultures. It impacts my life because I was criticized when I was younger just because I was a minority at the elementary school. Today, people are more mature and my friends and I know that people shouldn’t be judged for their race, but rather embrace all the ethnicities so that we may learn. It’s been that way yesterday and for the past years that I have been in Pullman. Another way I can think of race being abused (from experience) is if you were attacking the race of someone even when it was just the person you didn’t like. As for institutions and community, it really matters if they decided to label you as a certain race for the reason of just labeling you. I never really got labeled in school with the exceptions of the other kids and I was never a part of a community until I came to Pullman. I like to think that race is just part of someone and that you should be proud of your race. I don’t think its taboo to talk about race and I don’t think people should be afraid to find out about someone. The more they find out, the less society coins the term race as wrong.

  39. I am Japanese as exchange student. When I was in Japan, I did not care so much about races, because there are not so many people who have different races in Japan. Almost of all citizens are classified in yellow. I did not have chances to meet or talk with people from other countries. However, after starting to study English, I got chances to talk with English teachers from other county. At first, I was afraid to speak to them in English, but I noticed that talking and sharing our different culture with them is so interesting. Before that, I only knew about races from text books or social media. One of the reasons why I came to Washington State University to study is to meet and know about other races directly. As long as I stay in Japan, I cannot get so many opportunities to meet people from other countries. Japanese people are only familiar with Japanese people. When they see people from other countries who have different appearance from them in Japan, some of them look at people from other countries in strange eyes or point at them. On the other hand, people here are really familiar with different races. They do not look at me in strange eyes or point at me. I am really comfortable to stay here and know about a lot of differences. Japanese people who are hesitate or have no chance to talk with people from other countries just do not know that knowing different races are so much fun.

  40. does Race matter? Yes and No.
    I will explain, Let’s start off with No,
    Race does not matter in the sense that everyone has the chance to go to school, get rich, be successful, and do better with their life especially here in America. Everyone has the ability to express their education, skill, knowledge, intelligence, talents, and creativity without having to have race interfere or be the primary factor in their life. Many people (even minorities) have the opportunity to go to school or go to work to make money, many lazy people who don’t want to make their lives better, they may use the excuse they can’t do this or that because of “Their Race.” That is just all excuses.

    Ok now this is where Race does matter,
    Yes Race matters in the sense when it comes to dating, marrying, having kids, socializing, mixing with certain people/groups, making friends, and being actively involved in a certain communities. I have noticed that many times people will just marry,date, or have a kid with someone just because they are “White” despite the fact that many of these “Whites” are poor, lowclass, uneducated, living in poverty, and come from Broken families especially in the midwest. I have seen many people marry,sleep with, and have kids with poor trashy whites and would rather mix with them instead of rich,educated,skillful, successful blacks, mexicans, asians, or mixed races.
    For some reason, even if minorities are highly successful or educated they are still treated like dirt or looked at as inferior or as if they really don’t matter. I guesssince we live in a highly racist segregated society, race matters and it is more advantaged to be white and stupid, rather than colored and successful.

    Race does not always tell everything about a person or where they come from. Look at me for example, I’m a mixed race, Half white Half asian, Mother is White and dad is from India. Now according to Societies standards many may look at me with pity like I’m lowclass, poor, ghetto, uneducated, or not as smart as many others, but in reality, I come from an Upperclass rich successful and educated family, I myself am very educated with a bachelors in Physics, and masters in Sociology. I have face racism, I have been mistaken for an Arab, middle eastern, mexican, and some have even said i look half black half white. 99% of all the judgements, assumptions, or stereotypes thrown towards me are always Wrong, especially by many people who I went to school with, met,and encountered with. I do have certain privledges/advantages over many Whites as well (even though many individuals in society are unaware of this).
    Like for example, My white mother has family that lives/stays in Germany, and My father has family that live/stays in India, so anytime I want to go travel and stay in Germany/India for free, I’m more than welcomed. I always go to Germany/India at least 2-3X a year. Many White Americans don’t have this kind of privledges.

    But… where I have probably suffered the most is in terms of social acceptance, I have been left out of parties, gatherings, get togethers, meetings, and have always been the victim of gossip and when I said or did something about it.. I was looked at as the aggressor, this is where I had disadvantages. Many women did not want to date me or hang around me, many people didn’t want to make friends with me because of my physical looks/appearance, they always had wrong judgements about me and always thought negative. They just wanted to mix with whites only here in America/Midwest. I’m intelligent, I’m educated, I’m financially stable, I’m respectful and good tempered, but still I’m looked at as being inferior, aggressive, stupid, or different because of societies stereotypes, and system set up.

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