What is Race?

As someone who is racially ambiguous I always like to challenge peoples’ notions of “race.” I’m not talking about ethnicity, I’m talking about “race.”

See if you can figure out how the following people would be racially classified?

Did you get them all right? What indicators did you use to group people? Was this harder than you expected?

What is race? “Race” is a socially constructed visual classification system that is loaded with prejudice and assumptions. Whenever someone says to me “What are you? Like your race?” I usually make them guess. My answer to this questions is always “brown” because that’s all that the color of my skin, a.k.a. “race,” will tell you. It won’t tell you what countries my family originates from, the food I eat, the language I speak, my religion, my holidays, my intelligence, my hobbies, or my ability. No classification can tell you these things. Of course I realize that folks will always lose this game because no one would ever call me brown, but it’s still a fun game to play.

This is not to say that racism is not real. Racism is VERY real. But we have to realize that by continuing to categorize people based on “race” is racist in and of itself. Something to keep in mind!

Click here to challenge yourself to learn more about race!

  • Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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