Thursday, June 9, 2016

Homework: Monday by 7 am (1st name only; anon)

Explore~Note-Take~Connect to Sense Perception and/or Language Chapter~Post


Group One


Credits: www. museumofman.org


Group Two

Credits: www.illusions.org

39 comments:

  1. Sabeena

    I've always been told that race is biological, but after visiting the website, I am questioning my own views. Since I am able to tell two races apart through visualizing different physical characteristics, that is how I classified races. For example, I would characterize someone from far east Asia to have paler skin and smaller slanted eyes and people of African descent to have a darker complexion with a thicker hair texture. But after visiting the website, I learned that race has no genetic basis. There is no one characteristic, trait or gene that distinguishes one race from another. In fact race is actually a modern concept. Older societies didn't use physical characteristics to distinguish from one another. Instead, they used class, religion and even language. This shows how over time stereotypes have served as a set of clear and open biased beliefs that people consciously use as part of their thoughts, decisions and social actions. These same stereotypes have been used to differentiate groups of people. Over time, the concept of race has evolved and is used to justify social inequality. For example, race has been used to justify the extermination of Native Americans and to take over Mexican lands. In History of the Americas, we learned that in the WW2 the United States made it legal to send all Japanese citizens into internment camps just to make sure they don't betray the U.S. Some of these people have been citizens their entire life. However, because of their Japanese descent they we put into camps and accused of being something they were not. Other racial practices have been institutionalized within government, laws and society as well. Some people claim that just like animals, humans can be divided up into different subspecies, however biology disproves this claim as well. In IB Bio we learn that if species are isolated from each other for too long there becomes different subspecies. Unlike animals, the human species hasn't been around long enough in order to evolve into separate subspecies or races. We are actually among the most similar of all species. People in today's society use physical characteristics in order to determine what kind of person we are or what our abilities are. For example, since I am from South Asian descent people always expect me to be really good with technology because of the stereotype "All Indians work at tech support". However, this is just what society has grouped me as. In actuality, I am not very good with technology and can get confused very easily. Our physical characteristics have nothing to do with our abilities, skills, talents, etc. However, through language and sense perception, people use appearances as a means to sort people and communicate certain ideas about them that become the basis of stereotypes. After more research on the website I learned that race isn't actually biological, two people of the so called same "race" are just as genetically different from someone of a different race. There is no genetic sequence unique to blacks or whites or Asians. In fact, these categories don’t reflect biological groupings at all. What we call “race” are actually social categories. There is currently one biological race in our species: Homo sapiens sapiens. However, that does not mean that what we call “races” (our society’s way of dividing people up) don’t exist. Societies, like the USA, construct racial classifications, not as units of biology, but as ways to lump together groups of people with varying historical, linguistic, ethnic, religious, or other backgrounds. However, these categories change over time as societies grow and diversify and alter their social, political and historical make-ups.

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  2. Camiellalouisa Group 2 part 1,
    The website discuss race, its origins and its impact. One of the main themes is that race is not biological it is merely a social concept that started off in America during slavery. American slavery was not the first in existence as it was very much alive with the people of Greece and the roman empire; however what was different with that and America is that the people of Rome and Greece did not use skin color and other physical traits to determine who would be slaves, it was more cultural. However, in America being black entitled someone to be treated as a second class citizen. The idea of race first came into play in America, as a way to justify why certain people can get away with things and others can be refused things. Just people creating meaning out of things they cannot understand. In my eyes it was just a means to cover up people’s selfishness. There was a game where we had to match people’s country of origin according to their pictures since that's often how racism starts ( people being judged by their physical appearances). I found I looked for monolids or chinky eyes to classify the Asians, black or brown skin to classify the Blacks, Dark brown and long black hair for Native Americans etc. Yet most of my matches were wrong as those who looked white in appearance were actually black, some who I thought Asians were Latinos or Native Americans. I realized, I had fallen into the stereotypes. My perceptions were masked by the biases I held for each race which according to the results matched how most of society felt. Something that was started so long ago has stuck into the minds of everyone, even those that it offends and we accept it as truth. It is even in our language and how we think/ see ourselves. Things such as black eyes, black market are used to describe negative things while snow is thought of as majestic, gives a ‘winter wonderland’. The racial biases are evident everywhere. Another section of the website talked about a boy named Byron who was black and Max who was white: they grew up under the same circumstances except it is clear to see how Byron’s things were valued less and cost more like their house vs Max’s, even though they went through same schooling and have same job, Max makes more. Due to troubles of them selling their house at such an undervalued rate and other expenses, Byron’s family was put at a disadvantage where they could not save. However, Max had savings from his parents and a house due to the money they made selling their own house. Byron now has to provide for himself and his parents while Max just needs to worry about himself and making money for his children so they grow up like him. This is an event that repeats itself a lot. \My mom once told me that black people have to worry about the now so they don’t save up which causes their child grief because they have to take care of themselves and parents leaving the same cycle for their kids while white people do everything for the future of their kids. But my response to that is if we are already disadvantaged with getting low income jobs low societal standings how can we maintain sustainable growth?

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  3. Camiellalouisa Group 2 part 2
    One important saying from the website was how colorblindness will not save racism and indeed it’s true, we have to address it and solve it. Nowhere in our genetics are there differences that link to race, each trait can is varied amongst all races. Yet the social biases we have prevent us from moving past it. They’ve gone so deep that as a teen now looking into college, I am looking for colleges with people like me black, because I want an environment where I am comfortable and around people like me; but why can’t we just see past that. Why do we have to look for people like us, we are all humans, but then again the stereotypes set for each race whether or not it is consciously changes the way we act and interact, for example, how people say black people and latinas are loud, or all Asians are incredibly intelligent; this causes the world to shift how it looks at everyone. The whole ‘white superiority’ mentality has spread so far from America that in Africa well more specifically in Cameroon, white people are treated better by government and society than actual Cameroonian citizens. Something needs to change.
    Our perceptions need to change.

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  4. Aakilah
    After going through the interactive race website a lot of things stood out to me. Many of the countries described race differently. For Brazil they based race off of color as some of the options were white, black, and yellow. Determining race can cause many issues especially if race is considered to be a social and cultural concept. When you look at race as color it causes many people to not want to be identified with their correct race. Many people in Brazil don't believe that they are black because they don't feel that that physically describes them even though they are of African descent. This is probably because if the social implications that they associate with being black. As it was explained in the language chapter the connotations associated with as word can affect its meaning. On the census one of the races was pardo which in english most closely means mixed. But in Brazil this word isn't often used as it is considered to be offensive. So many Brazilians often wouldn't want to classify themselves as something that they wouldn't even use to describe themselves.
    Another thing I noticed was that some censuses used race and ethnicity interchangeably or focused on one more than the other. Here in the US our census is based mostly off of ancestry than color. However with using ancestry many people find that their ancestry does not represent them. In the US many black people don't feel that African American describes them as they have no linkage to African culture. While African black people feel that African American should not be used to describe people who technically aren't African. This shows why race and ethnicity shouldn’t be used interchangeably as Race focuses more on physical features while ethnicity is much more cultural. These two words shouldn’t be used interchangeably because they can change how people perceive you. If you are of African descent but born in France in the US you'll be treated racially as Asian which would probably be different than how you would be treated if you were just French. This is because there are different perceptions associated with different races and ethnicities.

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  5. yared,
    Countries around the world collect census in order to categorize people by race, ethnicity, national origin, and ancestry. As we discussed in TOK, language not only have the power to describe people, but also define them. I say define because when I was going through the census, I was looking for things that would either define or closely relate to me. I can describe myself by using words such as black but that wasn't an option in all of the census --Australia being one of them. That means I had to define myself as “other” because I couldn't find a word that described me. I have never been to Australia before, but looking at the census, I am assuming there is a small population of Blacks/Africans population because there isn't a section designated for that race. This assumption is coming from my experience in Math class. When we were completing our internal assessments, we placed our surveys into main sections and there was always something that said “other” to describe a small proportion that couldn't be part of the larger group. I could be wrong, considering I have never traveled to Austria, but I am trying to look at how I would feel if I had to define myself as “other” instead of having a place to show my identity.
    According to the website, most countries around the world collect their data based on race and or ethnicity. The two words are not necessarily the same thing, and they are used differently depending on the country. This is where language plays a role because our views influence how we understand words (language). In the U.S for example, race and ethnicity are used interchangeably because of the culture and the way of living. Hispanic is actually the only ethnic identity that is explicitly stated in the census. Perhaps this is because many people can be categorized into larger groups like black, white, or Asian. According to the sense perception chapter, this is very similar to the law of simplicity. This is the ability to place new shapes (in this case people) into their closest group even if they are not exactly the same. If I made half a circle, for example, I need to use the word circle in order to give an idea of what I'm talking about. This is the same with the race categories because people from Africa go under the bigger umbrella of African American because they are usually closer to that group. This would have been different in Brazil because the census is solely dependent on skin color.
    As the website stated, there are four main reasons for collecting census and two of them are to promote unity and combat discrimination. I see why having the same race could promote unity because it shows the similarity amongst people. First of all, race is dependent on physical features like skin color so persons from both East and West Africa can both become African American when they come to the United States. This makes them the same, in a sense, so they don't have to be racist to each other. This brings me to an interesting conversation I had in Tok about having “African” as a separate ethnic group, separated from both black and Negro. It was interesting to hear everyone’s perspectives but, personally, I think it makes no difference. If race is dependent on physical features and if we apply the law of simplicity to a person from Africa, they are going to become African American. If that (African American) was divided into two or even three parts, it could potentially start racism amongst people that were once part of the same race. I also have to understand the view of the people that want a separation among African and Black because they still have a right to find the best description for themselves. The census did say African American, Black, and Negro on the same line, and a person that wants to have the three separately might find themselves defined by language (instead of described). I still want to end my point by reminding people race is mainly dependent on physical features and not other factors like language.

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  6. Ethel
    While exploring the website understanding race, I had many noticings and discovered a lot about what comes with the term race. The meaning behind this word has changed so much over the years because people’s ideas about it have also changed. We are all unique and we celebrate our differences in our identity, country and language however these are the same things that cause discrimination in our society. This makes room for the question is “race” a good way to group people? In terms of human variation, we always seem to group one another yet how much are we exactly different from each other. When we try to classify people to certain groups we lose valuable information about them. Skin color is a great example where we categorize people from light to dark. In an activity I did on the website, Brazil’s census classified various races according to colors such as white, black, yellow, and brown. This is not an accurate way to gain information about individuals because if a group of Brazilians were compared with a group Americans, there would be a great deal of overlapping because of similar skin colors. When we classify people based on their colors or other physical features, we lose information about them and as a result skin color doesn’t tell us much about a person’s cultural or individual identity.This can be connected to the sense perception chapter “there's more to seeing than the eye meets” because we only see what we pay attention to and if something happens outside of what are attention is pointed towards then we usually fail to realize it. I remember reading an article that analyzed the job application process. They found out that many people’s applications whose names were considered black for example Smith were easily tossed in comparison to white names. For example one applicant changed his name from Jose to Joe and he received far more calls from employers than he did before. This demonstrates how classifying people according to their race can be at our disadvantage because we fail to get useful information that can be valuable. This made me wonder if ‘race’ is a good way to group people because of the stereotypes that can come with these groupings.

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  7. Ethel
    Race provides an inaccurate explanation of human variation because it suggest that each group is different in their own way. In the website, I learned that genetic variations in populations from Europe and Asia are actually variations from populations in Africa. This just showed me how much populations are actually related to each other and grouping people according to their race was inaccurate in itself. A diagram on the website depicted how genetic variation slowly decreased as people began to migrate from Africa into Europe and Asia. This made me think of the language chapter and the different articles we were assigned. My article talked about how many languages die because when people move from one place to another they adapt to superior languages such as English. This reduces the variations in languages just like genetic variations and we lose information that can provide new ways of thinking about things. For example in IB biology we recently learned about the Amish who intermarry causing the appearance of new genetic diseases that become frequent in their community which shows the backsides to not having variation in our society.The website also mentions how the idea of race began in the United and it explains how new ideas in science, the government and culture influenced the concept of race in our society. The question of who is white and who isn’t has changed overtime which was visible in the immigration of eastern europeans to the United States. This challenged the ideas of race because it became harder to judge who was white and who wasn’t as they were not easy to distinguish unlike previous immigrants such as Russians and Scandinavians. This just added to idea that race is very inaccurate in terms of grouping people. When we group people, we tend to belittle others and this sent me to the conclusion that race is the least important aspect when it comes to determining character, yet it can be the most important factor in how we are perceived by others. This just makes me question the accuracy of a census and its usefulness if it only brings up multiple racial issues.

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  8. Priscilla
    Group 2

    This activity was really interesting, I didn’t think I would learn this much. Going through this website reminded me of this section in the sense perception chapter: There’s more to seeing than meets the eye but this issue has nothing to do with change blindness or inattentional blindness. I made this conclusion as I finished looking through this website; what you see is definitely not what you get at least not with race. This conclusion was based on different activities on the website but mostly the activity of sorting trait which I completely failed. There were five groups; American Indian, Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, white and there 20 people, I am to sort out what racial group they belong to and I am disappointed to say that I sorted 5 out of 20 correctly; one in each group. Out of these 20 people, 1 American Indian, 2 Blacks, 1 Hispanic and 2 Whites are considered light skin. I know that this “random sampling” as we say in biology, doesn’t really represent the general populations of said groups but it really explained a lot to me. This showed me that race is not biological as I thought, race is more of a “social idea”, and how people are classified isn’t based on nature but our own ideas of conformity. According to the same activity, 2 American Indians, 1 Asian, 1 Black, 1 Hispanic and 2 Whites have a type O blood, this evidence shows that race is not biological, even genes are inherited independently (Mendel’s law on Independent assortment). While looking through this website, I saw this question: Which came first slavery or race? The answer that came up for this question was slavery and as I kept reading I realized that race might be a social idea, but it’s new/ recent social idea because people were enslaved but not for reasons of today. In the ancient times, language, religion class and status were the main factors used when classifying people into groups, physical appearance had nothing to with it. So at this point I’m asking; how did the concept of race come about? Apparently in this country, it started with Thomas Jefferson when he suggested that Africans are “innately inferior” to whites in aspects of the body and mind and because of this, people were able to rationalize slavery. This shows the effect of language on a group of people, even though the 14th Amendment guarantees equal rights, I don’t think blacks or African Americans will ever escape Jefferson’s words. This can be supported by a story from this website, “A tale of two families”, in this story there are two men Bryon and Max; Bryon is Black and Max is White. In this story, they are the same age, work for the same company, have the same income and live in the same neighborhood but when their net worth is compared, Max has twice as much wealth as Bryon and it’s because back then, the law wasn’t in favor of Blacks (Bryon’s family).

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  9. Our idea of race is totally different from how it actually is, someone from Europe is to have a light skin, and someone from Asia is to have medium while someone from Africa is to have dark skin but people forget the probability of someone being a descendant of a Swede and Senegalese or the probability of skin colour correlation to our environment; whether it’s warm or cold in a specific environment. A map showed that people in Spain, Algeria and China have similar skin tone and yet we classify them as being different. If this is the case then people are contradicting themselves because you can’t “pick and choose”, one can’t base race on skin colour but then group people who basically have the same skin colour as different races. This comes back to race not being biological because having one trait doesn’t really give an assurance that you’ll have another trait. All these differences in genes cannot be based on race but it can definitely be based on ancestry because not everyone who looks alike or live in the same area have the same ancestry. There is one thing that stuck with me when I was reading through the website, it suggested that if we want to solve the issue that is racism or understanding race, we need to first understand that race is not biological but socially constructed and unless that happens, we might never give anyone a fair chance.

    Priscilla (part 2 )

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  10. Alexander Part 1
    In the film Taxi Driver, the protagonist Travis Bickle goes into a down whirl spiral and decides to “clear scum” of the streets after seeing many events unfold in his late night Taxi drives. Although not obvious, the camera shots in the movie show Travis as being intimidated by minorities and possibly focusing his vigilantism on racial motives. The implications of the film is that crime is seen to have a correlation with race, sense perception wise. According to the Sense Perception chapter, humans have a tendency to create categories to describe what they perceive. Categories can be based on the Gestalt Principle, where people tend to see what they believe to be correct. Therefore, if sense perception plays a role in race, then parallels can be draw to why the categories are as they are, and even how language can be influenced by presupposed scientific beliefs and sense perception.

    The multimedia website, RACE, mentions that race is nonexistence, and that it has been used by whites to create laws and categorize people as inferior. The website mentions that the foundation of the term race has changed in definition as biologists began to seriously study it. Anthropologist Blumenbach applied comparative anatomy to humans. Therefore, people began to define race as a biological issue, due to the new biological studies. To what extent can evidence based on sense perception effect validity in the science? If race were defined by experiments, then surely it was biological. In the document provided to us in class, the scientist, Dr. Gill proclaims that he can look at bones and almost 80% of the time he was right. However, just because bones can be seen, it does not mean they create the illusion of race.

    In the movie Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a slave owner who justifies his slave holding by showing the audience a skull of a slave, versus the skull of his ancestor. He mentions that the slave skull has 3 dimples on the back, meaning that they are made to take orders and unable to think like a white man. This is called Phrenology, which was popular in the 1800’s, a predecessor to modern medicine. However, Phrenology failed by attributing objective categories such as ‘hard working’ to how large or how a brain is formed. Here it is showed that sense perception is not enough in the sciences. Not only did sense perception led to misinformation, but it created a bias that would persist to this day. Causation does not equal correlation, and therefore the answer to the race question lies in genetics. We used to believe that body worked certain ways just by looking at it, but further investigation showed that we were wrong. Therefore, sense perception can gravely affect the validity in the sciences, in this case negatively. The Phrenologist were people who were catering to the unknown questions of the day, by ‘confirming’ the suspicions many had about blacks and indulging into a field of medicine that not many knew about.

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  11. Alexander Part 2

    The categories we saw in the 2010 Census seemed to based off of color. For example, white and black. As the website told us, the U.S categorized Mexicans as white because they needed labor to supplement the war effort. However, after the war, they were categorized as Hispanic. Therefore, here we see race being bend to the will of convenience. In history we learned that the Japanese were cruel to Asians from other countries, since the Japanese believed to be superior. Even to this day, the Chinese and Koreans dislike the Japanese. Not only can racial categories work for people of different colors, but of different cultures as well. Therefore, it may be the reason there Asian categorized into countries instead of the color of their skin. The stereotype is that Asians are yellow in tone. However, this is again the law of simplicity. Asians can be many colors, and if they appear to be a mix of white and a jaundice tone, then surely they must yellow. Here sense perception causes to attribute people to colors due to what they appear to seem to be. Why aren’t some Hispanics called brown? I believe it is a two-way street, as the categories in the census should be labelled white or black, in fact it should be what Dr. Loring Brace calls a label of geography. However, race will still an inherent issue within America, and I can see why. If you see a man robbing a store, and the police ask you to describe him, how would you? You can label him by color and say he is Black. Or maybe you are trained in racial profiling and he seemed like a dark Hispanic. Meanwhile the police look for either a black man or a Hispanic man, while the actual culprit is actually a man of middle eastern decent. Perhaps language itself is not enough to describe people due to how powerful racial terms are when it comes to social and political issues. Sure a man can be caught on tape, but what race is he actually, and does it matter. Perhaps the answer is that when we look for a suspect, we focus on his color, which people believe to be synonymous with race.

    How, if at all, does language affect the enforcement of ethics? Law in a way is the application of ethics, and how people perceive to be socially acceptable and ethically correct. While, both are subject to change, the website mentions race being a prime motivator in the laws of the past. For example, in 1680 the word ‘white’ starts to appear instead of referring to people based on their religious preference or country of origin. Therefore, it seems that language forms an umbrella for people. It separates them into categories even if the differences are not understood very well. In law, words can be interpreted many ways, and sometimes the enforcer’s perception of language can cause bias to show up in enforcing them. An odd example is Nix v. Hedden, in which the supreme court recognized tomatoes as fruit instead as vegetables. The reasoning is that Nix sold produce and a law stated that taxes must be place on vegetables but not fruits. Therefore, Nix claimed that taxes cannot be taxed because technically they are fruits. However, the Supreme Court decided that since most people think tomatoes are vegetable in the 1880’s, therefore tomatoes can be taxed due to the public perception and use of them as a vegetable. This shows us that language can affect how laws are applied, and in terms of race, it can seriously affect those that it applies to.

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  12. Alexander Part 3

    In Biology we learned that genetic diseases that were commonly believed to belong to those of African descent, such as Sickle Cell Anemia, was also found in people of other decent, and it shows how the environment can affect the way we perceive races and genetics. Perhaps however, the gene had a starting point with a particular people, it spread along with trade and offspring. Therefore, since genes are passed down, race can be a social construct while the physical variations are due to the adaptations of humans to their environment. However, the stigma of the word race remains. Therefore, only through a massive education shift could there perhaps be a change in the way we see, feel and talk about ‘race.’

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  13. Hannah

    The main ideas of the group 2 article revolved around the contradiction that “There’s less - and more - to race than meets the eye.” This means that there are some things humans stereotype or create biases about, and some things humans are blind to, in reference to race. Many of the points within the article reminded me of the concepts learned from the sense perception chapter. One of the main senses used, in references to perception, was the visual sense. The beginning section goes into the thought that appearances can be deceiving. It is explained how often we categorize one’s race based by their physical appearance, which is not an accurate way to determine one’s race at all. It is stated “If you know one thing about someone, it doesn't necessarily tell you anything else about them, so it doesn't make sense to talk about group race characteristics.” This connects to the findings of Gestalt in the perception chapter; which say that humans tend to see things the way that our minds think they should, rather than how they actually are. When we see the physical characteristics of someone, our mind automatically connects it to our past knowledge and familiarities as we then categorize what we see with what we know. We often stereotype what races usually look like, however, we fail to realize this is not always the case. The website had an activity where it asked us to try and categorize pictures of people into what we believe their race would be. Although I tried my best not to have a stereotypical mindset, I couldn’t help but use my familiarities of what people in these specific races look like in my mind. I have a strong experience with this idea as many people refuse to believe me when I tell them my parents are African. Many people correlate Africans with having darker skin and less defined hair, so as a light skinned person with very defined hair texture, I am often categorized as a completely different race, such as Hispanic. Although my mother has Lebanese descent within her, she was born and raised in Sierra Leone with my father; therefore categorizing herself as African. This correlates with another point that is made in the article which states “The visual differences we are attuned to don't tell us anything about what's beneath the skin.” People see visual differences of my characteristics from another African’s characteristics and assume that they do not correlate; when in reality these differences do not confirm anything about where my family is from. Something mentioned on the site that is often forgotten, due to the knowledge our mind gains from what we visually perceive, includes the fact that we are all descended from African ancestors. Since our species spread across the world and became so diverse, our mind is fed the idea that we are all different and should be categorized as such; when in reality we all come from one place. This justifies the idea that “There’s less - and more - to race than meets the eye.”

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  14. Mariatu
    These censuses show how race and ethnicity are represented globally. What most believe is that ethnicities are interchangeable categories but there is a difference between race and ethnicities. Race is associated with biology while ethnicity is associated with culture. In the Australian census, they reflect on the European and indigenous people. Their census is way different than the USA census because we focus on races and ethnicities such as black, Indian, African, white, Caribbean, Spanish, German, etc. With the Brazilian census, they just have the color of the race such as black, yellow, white, etc. There are many barriers when it comes to just calling races but their colors. When someone says they are yellow, in Brazil they know that the race yellow is just because of the color of their skin. If you are in the United States and your skin is yellow you could be from any decent such as Black, Latino, Asian, etc. In the language chapter, they talk about how one thing in one country can have/be perceived as something else in another area or aspect. This is an example of that. Race categories also have an impact on lives because they are used to discriminate. For example, when Mr.Vogeley told us about moments where the Jews were discriminated against by the Germans. The Germans would hold them hostage, take away their property, vandalize their stores and made them wear stars to distinguish themselves from the other people. It is often explained how race in one country might mean ethnicity in another. You either are or not a member of a race but since ethnicity is based on culture, you could learn a language, custom, etc and belong to a group. When I took the SAT I had to fill in my race/ethnicity. I always wondered why they put our race and ethnicity under the same category because I knew it wasn't the same thing. I would always have to fill in "Black/African American". It should be separate but to some people it is the same thing. Different countries define race and ethnicity differently but going through this activity made me realize how much they actually differ from each other. Race resembles the biological/physical appearance while ethnicities are associated with your culture.

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  15. Jody-Ann
    I truly believed that I knew everything there was to know about race, I even thought I was an expert, however, after exploring my assigned pbs website I realized how wrong I was. According to the website, humans cannot be subdivided into races and there isn't a trait or gene that can be used to identify all members of one race from all members of another race. This is because all humans emerged from Africa about 150,000 - 200,000 years ago but started migrating to other locations about 70, 000 years ago. So then how and why are we so different from each other? According to the website, our visual characteristics such as our skin colors seemed to have evolved after the migration from Africa began but our intelligence, musical ability and physical aptitude are much older and common to all populations. This then stemmed the question, why are they so many different languages and since it isn't a visual characteristic shouldn't it be common to all populations? Well, according to the language chapter, there is an ongoing controversy as to whether the human language is inherited or learned. Based on the fact that the ‘Nu Shu’ which is China's secret female language was created and learned within that culture by the females (language chapter) pushes me to think that language might have been learned since an evolution took place after the migration from Africa. As a result of the revolution, different cultures came into play and so did the languages which is most likely why there are so many different languages present today. For example, within different cultures are different languages, within the French culture, the main language spoken is French and within the Egyptian culture the main language spoken in Arabic.
    Additionally, even though our eyes tell us that people look different “racial profiling is as inaccurate on the genetic level as it is on the New Jersey Turnpike.” I remember when I had just migrated to the United States and on the first day of school I had seen so many different kids when in Jamaica the visual differences weren't so much. After a while I had gotten use to the diverse population and it didn't feel as strange as it first did. In a way this is similar to what Supreme Court Justice Blackmun wrote which stated that “To get beyond racism we must first take account of race. There is no other way.” We must also remember that our skin color only goes as far as our skin and what we see isn't always what should be believed. “Beneath the skin, we are one of the most similar of all species”. In my Biology class, while on the topic of inheritance, I learnt that a majority of our genes are inherited independently of one another. For example, the inheritance of our skin color gene has nothing to do with with the inheritance of our blood type. This is why we are so different as humans since overtime as our genes are inherited, our differences build up.
    KQ: What role, if any, does language play within racial/human evolution ?

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  16. Jody-Ann
    I truly believed that I knew everything there was to know about race, I even thought I was an expert, however, after exploring my assigned pbs website I realized how wrong I was. According to the website, humans cannot be subdivided into races and there isn't a trait or gene that can be used to identify all members of one race from all members of another race. This is because all humans emerged from Africa about 150,000 - 200,000 years ago but started migrating to other locations about 70, 000 years ago. So then how and why are we so different from each other? According to the website, our visual characteristics such as our skin colors seemed to have evolved after the migration from Africa began but our intelligence, musical ability and physical aptitude are much older and common to all populations. This then stemmed the question, why are they so many different languages and since it isn't a visual characteristic shouldn't it be common to all populations? Well, according to the language chapter, there is an ongoing controversy as to whether the human language is inherited or learned. Based on the fact that the ‘Nu Shu’ which is China's secret female language was created and learned within that culture by the females (language chapter) pushes me to think that language might have been learned since an evolution took place after the migration from Africa. As a result of the revolution, different cultures came into play and so did the languages which is most likely why there are so many different languages present today. For example, within different cultures are different languages, within the French culture, the main language spoken is French and within the Egyptian culture the main language spoken in Arabic.
    Additionally, even though our eyes tell us that people look different “racial profiling is as inaccurate on the genetic level as it is on the New Jersey Turnpike.” I remember when I had just migrated to the United States and on the first day of school I had seen so many different kids when in Jamaica the visual differences weren't so much. After a while I had gotten use to the diverse population and it didn't feel as strange as it first did. In a way this is similar to what Supreme Court Justice Blackmun wrote which stated that “To get beyond racism we must first take account of race. There is no other way.” We must also remember that our skin color only goes as far as our skin and what we see isn't always what should be believed. “Beneath the skin, we are one of the most similar of all species”. In my Biology class, while on the topic of inheritance, I learnt that a majority of our genes are inherited independently of one another. For example, the inheritance of our skin color gene has nothing to do with with the inheritance of our blood type. This is why we are so different as humans since overtime as our genes are inherited, our differences build up.
    KQ: What role, if any, does language play within racial/human evolution ?

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  17. Agyekum
    The issue pertaining to racial perceptions has been a worldwide problem for decades and the biggest contributor to this issue has to be the nationwide census conducted every 10 years. The census counts tend to pose as an impediment because it restricts people from truly identifying themselves. As “Robin D.G Kelley once said “Racism is not about how you look, it is about how people assign meaning to how you look.” Due to the lack of diversity in the racial classifications on the census counts some people are obstructed to choose a race that is closest to their race not the actual race that they identify themselves by. The census counts tend to pose a series of contradictions with the biggest one being the lack of distinction between Black or African American and white. The former, according to the census website consist of a person having origins in any “Black” racial groups of Africa and the term white refers to a person having origins in any original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or “North Africa.” There pose the biggest mishap in the census count, white South Africans for example can’t make a choice because they can’t identify themselves as white nor Black or African American. The term Black or African American itself is also far stretched. As someone who recently migrated to the United States, recent racial questions such as the ones on the SAT ask me to choose a race without considering the fact that Black, African American and negro can’t be categorized as the same because most Africans from my experiences do not recognize themselves as Black nor African American due to the historical differences. Black or African Americans consist of people of African ancestry while Africans are normally recent immigrants stretching back to their parents or grandparents. The whole issue pertaining to race and its wrongful classification is a prime example of the Gestalt Principle which states that we tend to see things not only as they are but as our minds perceive them to be. In terms of race we label people based on the information our sensors provide but in this instance our ways of labelling has been widely criticized. Race is so fixated in American society that there isn’t any room for considerations, race goes deeper than skin color with different aspects such as language playing a factor. For example when referring to Brazilians, most Brazilians when filling their census forms put “other” because there isn’t a choice available to them. Hispanic’s consist of those normally of Spanish decent while Latinos is the broader term meaning Latin America. There lies the problem, some Caribbean’s, Central and South Americans don’t like being labeled as Hispanic and as we know Brazilians who do not speak Spanish are called Latinos, those who share the Iberian Peninsula with Spain do not like to referred to as Latino or Hispanic. Language plays a big factor because some people don’t like to be classified as neither and should be allowed to choose “Portuguese” or “Brazilian,” In terms Biology scientists have concluded that labeling an individual or a population is based on their skin color and to some extent cultural backgrounds because there is no scientific research that backs up race and we use our cultural differences to adapt to environments rather than physical characteristics meaning race is just something we’ve made up without any biological factors.

    KQ: What role does language play in terms of physical attributes of biology and differentiating between races?


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  18. Bintou

    Robert D.G. Kelly once said, "Racism is not about how you look, it is about how people assign meaning to how you look." Racism is how we discriminate people of different races. Our world is full of diverse cultures and races, and sometimes there are conflicts when two different races interact. How does sense perception affect what we perceive about races? According to chapter 4, we perceive in order to find meaning from stimuli, and that perception depends on context and our culture. In this case, the sight of a person with a recognizable ethnicity can affect how we act upon said person, usually in a negative way. For example, in the video "A Girl Like Me", the filmmaker did an experiment with Black children to see which kind of doll they wanted to play with: a black doll or a white doll. Out of the 21 people, 15 preferred the white doll. According to this result, we African Americans prefer more of the White lifestyles and have started to drift away from our own. Sense perception plays here by perceiving that African Americans are considered to be inferior to the Whites and have been trying to live like the Whites in order to be perceived as powerful as them.
    The use of language is another way we assign meaning to how we look, by identifying races as names or symbols. How does the use of language differ in countries when comparing between races? For example, in the activity "Global Census", censuses from around the world usually collect data by race or ethnicity, and each country have their own way of classifying their ethnic diversity. For example, in the US census we made a distinction with the Hispanic ethnic identity as well as listing together the rest of the races in a separate section. The reason for this is that many of the US population are Hispanic. Also in the listing are alternate names for many of the groups for many of the races, like "Black, African American or Negro". This is to help distinguish between the races while using common names for the races.

    My opinion on racism is that we have been thinking negatively about people of different races because of what we know and think about them. But in fact, we are actually closer than we think. In the video “Exploring Our Molecular Selves”, we learn that everyone regardless of race are made of similar DNA that contribute to how we look on the outside. In the article “Only Skin Deep”, we learn that the difference in skin color is due to adaptations for life under the sun, with native people living under the Equator having blacker skin than others. A classic example on racism due to difference in skin color is about African Americans and slavery. During the colonial times of America, the Whites treated the Blacks with disrespect, treating them like they were animals. This continued with the segregation of Blacks in the Jim Crow laws. Since the late 1960s this racism have been going down but people are still thinking badly on them. How can we change our ways for perceiving negatively on other races? We can always learn about other people in order to experience what they do and what they feel about others about their race.

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  19. Through exploration of the website I learned how strong language is in our perception of ideas and the world. The website although its main purpose was to discuss Race and its implications also opened up the door of further conversation about culture and how that relates to how we perceive language.


    The opening activity that I completed was the comparison of census questions from different countries. One thing that I noticed was the use of the terms, race, ethnicity and ancestry. In general it seems as though these words were being used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. But in actually from my understanding they are very different. It was interesting to me how multicultural nations like the United States and Canada used the same type of descriptors like black, white and asian yet used two different terms to describe them. (US-Race, Canada-Ethnic group) Form the language chapter we learned that language is influenced in a lot of ways by culture and that language is something that varies from person to person. The idea that language is affected by culture makes me question the cultural differences of people in Canada and in the US. Is it a bad thing that the United States identifies people by race? In some circumstances there is a connotation to the term race probably because of words like racism and racist. I found it interesting how one race in one country could mean ethnicity or nationality in another.

    Brazil identifies race by color which I saw as very surprising. In the United States we do tend to categorize people by color but only to a certain extent like black or white. However in Brazil they have multiple colors that I would guess be by the color of your skin, black white, brown, yellow. I see this as very confusing and difficult to find a category for one to fit in. it makes me question what a race really is and how that can be defined as a color. This also makes me wonder even more about how race can be determined by color. An article I read awhile back brought up an interesting idea that everyone originated in Africa and was originally dark skinned because of the sun. This did not change until people began to explore and migrate to cooler areas to which their skin color got gradually lighter. If this is the case it completely blurbs the idea or all identifiers like race or ancestry considering everyone would be from the same place.

    Jasmine (1/2)

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  20. In many of the censuses I noticed the a lot of the time people of African descent were clumped together simply to the term of black. This is where language can have a great effect because it creates different variations of the word black. For some people black means anyone who is from and African descent. In other cases people consider black as people who have African ancestry but no direct cultural ties to the country. By seeing just one term to categorize all people on the census it is limiting people's ability to identify themselves correctly. It is putting an entire group in one generalize box that does not fairly represent everyone. The fact that many people have a different meaning or understanding of black but are then forced to ignore that meaning or disregard it creates a lost in language itself.


    Another part of the website was a section entitled A girl Like Me. This section was about the problems African American girls face in a society where they are in some ways not accepted. The video discussed the issues that black girls more often than not face with hair and the color of their skin. There are certain stereotypes that one has to deal with and other external issues that our hard to control. Many girls straighten their hair because their natural hair is seen as unprofessional or, “too african”. Relating back to the sense perception chapter our sight is not something that it independent of itself. It is something that is influenced by emotion and what we know; that is why there is such stigma when it comes to black girls hair. More often than not African American girls hair is associated with being thick or untamable, a lot like the alleged personality of black girls. Our perception of hair is not only shaped by our emotion but also by the society we live in. Growing up in a white dominated society where you are used to to seeing straight pretty hair your sight perception automatically perceives kinky hair has bad or undesirable.

    Jasmine (2/2)

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  21. Remi (1/2)

    When first looking at the website it gives an introduction of the global census. Something that stuck out to me in the introduction what that the census categorized people by race, ethnicity, national origin, or ancestry. This stuck out to me because I’m curious to know what the census definition means of race, ethnicity, national origin, or ancestry. From looking at the United States census, they confuse the two terms race and ethnicity. They have the ethnicities being categorized as race. Another thing that stuck out to me was the word categorized. This stuck out to me because the census is categorizing us into groups which sometimes limits our way of thinking. Continuing on to the next page it is the census for Australia. I’m not sure if it’s the all of Australia’s census but it’s fairly short. The word that stuck out to me was aboriginal. When I look up the word it means the same as native. Now I don’t know if they used aboriginal to be fancy and use a bigger word but I would take offense to that. Why can’t they use the word native instead? Both hold the same meaning and same concept.

    Brazil’s Census was very interesting to look at since it only had one question and it’s race or ethnicity is based on colors. The census itself is unique, they didn’t even ask for gender, they just wanted the race. And it confused me for a second because I was trying to figure out if the language was Spanish because white in Spanish is blanco but the one on the Brazil census says branca. So the terms were close enough for me to understand it but I then knew that the language isn’t Spanish but Portuguese. This shows that although Brazil isn’t a Spanish speaking country their language is similar to Portuguese. Also it seems as though their definition of race is color of your skin. However, when people fill this out does their skin color have to actually be yellow or brown or similar. And if it’s not similar what makes it right for them to have to fill out undeclared. It’s not like the people don’t know their color of the skin, it’s just not there on the census. I saw that the native, aboriginal was apart of the options for the question. I’m confused on how this option correlates with the colors.

    The Bulgarian Census was another interesting one too. The fact that it only gave four options is mind-blowing. How can you categorize someone with technically only three options? One of those options being from a different country and the other option being a gypsy. Looking at Bulgaria’s language I can see that their definition of ethnic is broad. The next page was Canada’s Census. Canada’s Census was a bit difficult to read. It was more of the fact that this different ethnicity was something that I’ve never seen before. The ethnicity was called Metis. When I looked up the word, it meant a person mixed with American Indian and Euro-American ancestry. When looking at Canada Census, I realized how much Indian related ancestry and ethnicity happens there. And they are really specific to what Indian group that they affiliated themselves to.

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  22. Remi (2/2)

    The next page was England’s Census. I saw that the question asked for ethnic group however races such as white and black was mixed in. I also noticed that it says White but says Black or Black British and Asian or Asian British. What distinguishes the difference to adding the British part and why didn’t they add it to ‘White’ to make it ‘White British’? When analyzing the England Census some more, the ‘ethnic’ groups on there are Asian, White, and Black. This is very limited and limits us from thinking there are any other types of people living in England. I next viewed South Africa’s Census. It gave the options Black African and Coloured. These two stuck out to me the most because Black African are a race and an ethnicity group shoved together to make a ‘population group’ and Coloured are for the people who don’t associate themselves with Black African but still have color on their skin.

    Looking at the United States Census always brings questions. They separate Hispanics to make it seem like it’s not a race. When they ask for your race the option for Latino isn’t on there. Why is that? Why is that Latino isn’t on there but different types of Asian countries can be on there? And it’s not that these are races, they are ethnicities. This can be very confusing to those who don’t think these would be considered races. And how they put together Black, African American, and Negro but not for the Asians. The word Negro doesn’t need to be a option there since Negro means the same as black. By looking at the United States Census, I can see that their definition of race is mixed in with ethnicity.

    After looking at the global census I started to play around on the website. The first thing I did was “Who is White.” When playing this game, I started to realize that I’m choosing countries on who I think is white not necessarily the people but saying that this country is white. It was interesting playing because I was playing the countries by the color of the people’s skin and also their ethnicities something that some of the Census were doing. The next I did was play another game called “Game of Life Experience.” This game showed the discrimination that certain races have when it comes to getting a loan or on the highway or even in the court. The race that was being discriminated the most was blacks. It was very sad to see how the personality of someone is based on their race instead of how they act. By looking at some of these census, it seems as though they were determined by what fit and described their country best; whether that be a race or an ethnicity. Looking at these census also made me realize that language is important. Some things will come off offensive but that may be normal to the people living in that country. However, it seems as though some of these census were made to be offensive since they discriminate people and categorize them into groups in which some don’t belong or have no other choice putting.

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  23. Shania
    Website Link #2
    When looking at the website , One thing I notice was that they focused a lot on the standard ideology that we all believe about race, Which is that race is a powerful concept that gives people different access to opportunities and that race is a modern idea that we use to separate those who have freedom based on physical differences. An interesting key point that I picked up on while going through the website interactively is that we like to tie a lot of things into race without knowing it , for instance when going through the section "Sorting People (Sorting/Explore Traits)", we were able to see how Skin Color, Blood type, and Fingerprints tie into race. Come to find out that when it comes to race not one blood type or even skin color is designated entirely over the so-called "race".This made me pull a connection on a comment my IB Biology teacher once said when we were studying cystic fibrosis and genetic mutations in Amish communities. I remember she had commented that "You should marry outside of your race so that you can have a better chance dodging some of these horrible genetic mutations and birth defects. However , now viewing the website and especially that section it seems as though race has nothing to do with it really, regardless of whether you are Black or Asian there is still a chance that a recessive gene of blood type O can be established in your race. In terms of sense perception after going through the website I began to understand what it meant by " Race - The power of an Illusion", on the front page because , when I was participating in an interactive activity on the website I was asked to sort a group of people into a race based on their appearance. After getting the results that I only got 3 people out of approximately 20 people, made me think about how reliable our sight is when we classify people. Race is the power of an illusion because one can appear to be black and ultimately be European. This then establishes the fact that sight can no longer truly determine race. An illusion , when optical is when the eye is seeing something that is not really there , the mind begins to play tricks with you and when it comes to race your vision does the same thing within the first 30 seconds of taking in someone's appearance you can guess their race and be completely wrong because , our modern ideology of race itself allows us to have a set stereotype of key things that each race has ,but like stated in the website " The genes for skin color have nothing to do with genes for hair texture, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, or athletic ability", all of which we use in determining race which evidently nowadays you can't be sure because Race is the power of an illusion.

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  24. Through this interactive census article, what stuck with me the most was the quote at the end stating “Racism is not actually how you look, it is about how people assign meaning to how you look”. I truly believe that this is the case; people often base the race of others on their physical characteristics and nothing else. Connecting this to the Does Race Exist? article we read last class, it indicated the idea that society puts meaning behind words. They do this through their visual perception by relying on what they physically see on an individual to determine their “race”. Often times, people tend to classify things that have slight similarities amongst one another into the same category and form it in a way that makes the most sense to them. This census article brought to my attention how classification terms vary by country with meaning and connotation . With Brazil, I noticed that they categorize and determine their race through color (black white, yellow, brown), but in on the other hand, Bulgaria and Australia focused more on nationality and individual's ethnic group. This also caused me be question my knowledge of the difference between race and ethnicity, or if there even is a difference. However, what I found interesting was the fact that the U.S. was the only country that said mark the race that “you consider yourself to be” when it came to identifying one's race. What an individual sees their self as could be different than what others see him or her as. This also brings me back to the idea that people search for meaning that are familiar to them. The idea of race can be perceived as something in one country and another thing in a different region across the world, and people base their meaning behind it through the set image or idea that is in their head, gained from what they have seen and taken into consideration about. I had a friend who was from the Dominican Republic, but when ever she told people that she was from, they would normally not believe her and said she was black because she was darker in complexion. To those who did not believe her, it meant that since she did not fit the image of what they see people from the DR as. They considered her as being black and did not categorize her by what she truly was, only by what they saw her as. This goes back to the quote above that briefly claimed race is the meaning people give off based on an individual’s appearance.

    -Mabel

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  25. Beltine
    Americans constantly say “equality for all!” Is it really? The American system and government is built to serve the whites more than minorities. I say this because this reading has sharpened my knowledge of what we call a democratic nation. Most know of how America became what it is today, after throwing the Native American out of their land and shipping Africans into this land, turning them into slaves. As this country grew, so did the variety of people, which is how the definition of race came to life. A term which is used to describe ones ethnicity, origin, and skin color.
    Before the reading when I thought of race, I automatically thought of how one identifies themselves whether it be white, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. After the reading I still think of race as self-identity, but I also associate it with racial inequality and racism. Racism has always been a major problem in the US, it just that now at days it being “hidden”. I know now that one’s skin color in the US can take you far or keep you behind. The American government has this idea that depending on your skin color you can be “superior” than others. If you’re white, you’re “better”. As I’ve learned in biology, it’s not true as a matter of facts geneticist say we are pretty much equal, we are more alike than different. Data shows that humans are 99.9% identical genetically. If that’s the case, it makes no sense for skin color to dictate success, but yet it does in the US.
    Some Whites want to spread the idea that race means nothing in the American government, and that the American system is “colorblind”. I learned in the sense perception chapter that people tend to be color blind to colors such as; red, green, yellow, and blue. Nowhere does it say people can be blind to all shades of brown. Those that use the term colorblind when dealing with race are looking for a way to avoid having to categorize someone. According to the reading, some whites believe that noticing race, mentioning race, calling attention to race is a bad thing. I believe the reason they say so is because they haven’t experienced being discrimated against, maltreated, and tortured for being a skin color other than white. The idea of skin color has helped explain to people why some could be denied rights and freedoms that others take for granted. For instance being judged on what you can bring to the table rather than skin color. As many know, white are more privileged in the work fields than minorities, Shane Swift has a greater chance of getting job than Paul Jenkins, Akinjide Chukwuemeka, Hong Ling , or Jorge Reyes.
    As said based on once name can determine not only your name but your success. Shane swift a common name in America and mainly Caucasians possess that name so it’s familiar in its system and so the person is automatically looked at on a different scale. Jenkins, a typical black name, fields with a particular stereotype as many other black names which is lazy and violent. Akinjide Chukwemeka, automatically categorized as a foreigner, another group. As taught in the language chapter of TOK and class lessons, depending on where you come from, words mean different things and can be interpreted differently. In the example of names Jenkins and Akinjide Chukwuemeka, someone used their sense of sight to automatically disqualify these people from a job. Their lack of knowledge of these names led them to make that decision. Originated from a Nigerian language Yoruba, where names are powerful phrases, Akinjide Chukwuemeka carries meaning “strong one and god fearing”. Because this person was unfamiliar with the language they quickly dismissed the name. People tend to be attracted to familiar words because if gives them comfort.



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  26. Emonee
    What is Race? Race is just an idea or sense of classification of people today. Race can be seen as a way to distinguish people in order to be a part of society. The connection between race and language is the way they both construct our knowledge and identities. On the pbs website, you can explore the timeline of the evolution of the definitions and idea of race over time. It shows how words that described people have changed based on historical influences and societies expectations. In the late 1600s and mid 1900s, the meanings of “white” and “black” began to shift based off of political standpoints. The website stated facts about race such as “race justified social inequalities as natural” and “race is not biological but racism is still real”. In society, race has been used as a language to describe and classify people based off of personal characteristics. This reminds me of IB Biology when we started learning ecology. Science characterizes different organisms by how they produce their own food and where they get their energy from. They are considered to be an autotroph, heterotroph, detritivore, or saprotroph. We live in a world where everything is put under a category that is acceptable to society. But races are evolving rapidly as generations go by that categories become bias. Language that is used to describe people as a specific race can influence our knowledge of how we view the world and how the world views us. Our identities are shaped around not only our names but our race. When somebody says “black” or “african american” or any other race, stereotypes come into play. The definition of “black” and “african american” have created controversy based off of the historical context of the word itself. Some people find be called “black” offensive then being called “african american” but both are accepted over being called “negro”. When it comes to doing paperwork for school, you have to include your race, gender, age and other general information. But I wouldn’t have trouble filling out the race portion of the form because I see myself as a black person. But I didn't understand why other races had more categories than black individuals. It can be challenging labelling yourself as just one specific name that society sees you as. The language of society and historical context affects our views of how words can be used to describe ourselves as individuals.

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  27. Claire

    Throughout this website, it focused around the idea that “[Racism] is not about how you look, it is about how people assign meaning to how you look”, as well as “Race is the least important aspect in determining character, yet it is often the most significant factor in how we are perceived.” Race has a huge influence on our everyday life. Race can affect and or determine what school you go to, your chances of finding a job, how likely it is for you to be stopped by police and what perceptions people have of you, whether it be good or bad. In English, we are constantly reading very intriguing novels or plays that cause one to really feel the emotions of the characters. In all the novels and plays that we read, we try and understand the language being communicated in order to understand how and why the character may think the way they think. We recently started reading Othello and throughout the acts of the play, you see the racial divide between Othello and all the characters of the play. In Act I, Iago tells Brabantio that ‘an old black ram is tupping your white ewe’, when trying to describe Othello. This alone shows how Iago and many other characters in the play associate not only Othello but being black with indecency or in other words, carnality. When I first read all the ways in which others described Othello I only thought discrimination, however, there was more. I realized that even in other acts of the play Shakespeare developed it in such a way that the viewer sees how a person of another race is classified and how Othello let these classifications drastically affect his actions. Racial classifications go beyond affecting ones actions and into affecting social aspects, as well as being a reflection of the ever changing world around us. When thinking about the racial and ethnic compositions of different countries, one can take into consideration the different types of census surveys from all over the world. Canada’s census allows an individual to select multiple ethnicities, however, similar to the US they mix ethnicities with races. As for Britain, I noticed that in their census they have a category for people of mixed race, they somewhat specify which black origin and they have a section for Caribbean or African people. My first response to this was why America doesn’t incorporate maybe a few aspects of Britain’s. In the US census they sort of pick and choose which races to specify with the different ethnicities. They would have Black as on big category but specify if someone was Filipino, Japanese or Hispanic. Then when it came to the black category it was “Black, African American, or Negro”, my first thought was how this whole census was probably confusing to some people. Even being in class and having to go over what some of these things meant showed how confusing it was. I didn’t understand why at the most inconvenient places they would only list a race and then right next to it list an ethnicity. Every single day I encounter people who tell me that they never know what to fill on the surveys, especially people from an African country. My freshman year of high school when we took the PSAT almost all my African friends told me that they didn’t know whether to check other or check Black. At first I didn’t know where the confusion derived from because I consider myself to be Black, but then I realized how the word Black is communicated in America. Some people consider Black as someone who is more formally known as African American, others consider Black anyone with the slightest bit of African ancestry, and others consider anyone who has been through similar struggles and or discrimination's as Black.

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  28. This made me think, does a lot of the separation between Africans and African Americans have to do with the confusion in racial and ethnic classification? Apart from the confusion in the census, I realized you could say that with language comes barriers, stereotypes and classification of who is superior or inferior. In Russian, they don’t have a word that just means blue. Something can either be синий or голубой, which is dark or light blue. I never really thought anything of it and never knew why, but I felt like that alone can translate to how people are treated in real-life. Ultimately, this shows how through language we have created two categories for something that may be considered as one to another culture. As we have created a culture we also make one superior to the other. Thus bringing in the everyday debate of colorism in the Black community. Although we are all supposed to be one unified Black community, different skin tones are considered better or more attractive than the other. This all brought me back to the quote, “[Racism] is not about how you look, it is about how people assign meaning to how you look”. All these meanings that people have assigned to different things and different groups of people, as well as the racism that can develop can also be a reflection of what they fear and do not know or understand. In an attempt to deal with the uncomfortableness of fear people tend to build walls or barriers that do nothing but create a bigger divide between people of different races or ethnicities.

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  29. Jenifer

    Group 1,

    Within the website it was clear that the definition of "race" and "ethnicity" was not just mixed up within the US but rather throughout many parts of the world. It is also clear that the way we label ourselves is varied when going to another country as not everyone uses the census we use within the US.
    In the website there was an activity that asked us to do census from throughout the world. By doing this activity it allowed me to see the different ways each country labels their people which I was not aware of. Something that was evident in majority of the census was that race and ethnicity were mixed in with one another as there seems to not be a clear definition for the two. Within the Census in Brazil I found it unique that they chose their race based off of the color of their skin rather than where past family have lived which most countries did. This was a bit odd because the color of one's skin does not necessarily determine what race someone is for example in the US there are “light-skinned” and “dark-skinned” but in general both are black as they both have African descent. I personally throughout my life have always been assumed to be white when people meet me for the first time I am assuming due to the color of my skin since I am not as dark as a typical hispanic with native descent. Due to the color of my skin people create a false assumption since our color cannot always be accurate when determining our ethnicity. Even though I am lighter than a Guatemalan who would have Mayan ancestry I am still Latina none the less. We tend to forget that there are people who do not fit the labels in which we create for a race and that there are plenty exceptions as there is such a variety of things that can happen with gene pool since no two people are the same.
    The way we view one another and the way acquired information is obtained from one race can shape the way we view one entire group of people. Doing this can lead to false assumptions creating stereotypes. In the website there was an activity that would ask us to choose true or false in regards to stereotypes within sports. This activity explained that race doesn't necessarily have anything to do with who is better at sports rather the environment someone lives in that causes them to be more skilled. For example runners from Kenya are more likely going to be good at mid and long distance races not because of their race but because of their environment, high altitudes resulting in higher air pressure. Gaining false information can cause assumptions to be made resulting in an entire race to fall into a category in which not everyone is apart of. Within history class we learned that in WWII because of conflicts with US and Japan all Japanese in the US were labeled as enemies even though they have been living in the US for generations. Due to subjecting an entire ethnicity sending the Japanese into camps because of false assumptions that these individuals would rise up together and revolt.

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  30. Lindsay
    In class we discussed whether race was biological or socially constructed. The web page supports the argument of race being socially constructed. It discusses how the race concept came about because it justified the extermination of Native Americans, taking of Mexican lands and explained why certain people could be denied their rights. The word race is just used to describe people that should be treated differently. It's similar to in the Sense Perception chapter, it said that we look for meaning. In this situation people created a new idea in order to give a reason to why things were the way that they were.
    The web page says that skin color is only skin deep and that it doesn't affect hair texture, blood type, musical talent or athletic ability. In my life I have heard the stereotype that people of color are naturally more athletic than other people and i always believed it because the majority of professional athletes are a person of color.
    The idea of race has been passed down in the American culture, causing it to be a common way to describe another person. But, we cannot always determine a person's race, our eyes deceive us once again. On the page, there was an activity that allowed us to make guesses about what race each person was, and I was pretty sure about my choices but I only had 6/20 correct. There are no specific characteristics that mean a person must be apart of one race or another, they're are only dominant traits among groups of people, but that doesn't mean that if you don't don't have those traits that you aren't apart of a race/group of people. For example, my little brother would be classified as black, but he has blonde hair, blue eyes and light skin, so people always assume he is white.

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  31. Aniyah:
    Race is a modern idea, ancient societies didn't split up their people based on phyiscal attributes, but based on religion, status, class and even language. / Has no genetic basis, meaning that there's no single characteristic, trait, or gene that is distinguishs a race from another race. / Is predated by slavery. Throughput history societies have enslaved individuals, usual after a conquest or war, but this was not due to the people's physical traits or a belief in natural inferiority. There was a unique case of circumstances that led to America enslaving groups of people who looked similar. / Was born together with freedom. Then idea of equality was a new concept when the US was founded, but our economy heavily depended on slavery. The idea of race helped in making excuses for why some people were denied their rights and freedoms. / Justified social inequalities. As the concept of race evolved, it justified the extermination of Native Americans, exclusion of Asian immigrants, and stealing of Mexican lands. Eventually, racial practices were institutionalized withing governments, laws, and society.

    Human subspecies don't exist because modern humans have not lived long enough nor have populations been isolated enough to evolve into separate human subspecies or races. / Skin color is only skin deep, traits are inherited independently of one another this means that genes for skin color have nothing to do with genes for hair texture, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, or athletic ability.
    / Most variations are internal and not between races, two random Koreans are as likely to be genetically different like a Korean and an Italian. / Although race is biological racism is very real, race is still a very social idea that affects a persons access to opportunities and resources. Our society and government has created a life where you are giving privileges for being white. / Pretending to not see color is not the same as making equality and race is not just stereotypes and individual prejudices.

    While exploring the page I noticed that they had a game of sorts where you would have twenty pictures of people to match up in race categories when I had finally finishing organizing everyone under a race I checked my answers and was shocked to see I only got 2/4 or less right for each category of race, I truly thought that I had got at least eighty percent of it right. This made me recall what I read in the sense perception chapter about the selectively of our perception and how our beliefs or ideas will narrow in on certain things. I had categorized each person under what I believed their race would be by narrowing down on their phyiscal attributes, but this showed me that rather than someones race being objective is it a highly subjective process, making me realize that appearances alone cannot reveal a person's ancestry or self identity and that it hard to correctly make an assumption based solely off of appearance.

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  32. Efi
    The image for group one is a photo mosaic of 6 different people’s faces, merged as one face. Each of the 6 images seem to feature a person of a different background. When I look at it, I immediately think the left eye belongs to a person of East or Southeast asian origin. The two images that make up the top half of the hair puzzle me. When I look at it, I think the person on the left is of African descent because the hair is in braids and the texture of the hair looks course. Then I look at the image to the left of it and I begin to wonder what the person’s background is. If this was a different situation, my first thoughts when seeing this image would be that the two images at the very top were both of “black” women. Though the one on the left is in grey,their skin still looks darker than the other grey image. The hair though, is what removes any doubt that this person is “black”. Both people have braids in their hair, but I cannot see the actual hair texture of the person on the right, causing me to wonder if the person is actually black. Because the image is from a museum postcard about race, I have to assume that everybody has a different background in this image, or it’s meant to challenge our ideas on what we think race is. Pushing away from the fact that “everybody originates from Africa”, I have to remember that there’s people who have darker skin tones in various parts of the world, and seemingly “African features”; such as the indigenous people in Asia, Latin America, Australia and those of the Solomon Islands. This leads me to think about the global censuses. If these people were filling out the census for the U.S, they might not categorize themselves as “African American”, since the countries they originate from aren’t in Africa. However, I think if they were taking the U.S census, most would categorize themselves as black, or at least others would identify them as. I guess this is why the U.S has says “black, African American, or Negro”, in case a person doesn’t see themselves as one, they can still select the option because there’s 3 choices. This also shows that in the U.S, these people are looked at as one, and therefore, they’re grouped together in the census. It doesn’t provide much room for diversity, but it does try with the use of multiple words to categorize people. I’m going to assume though, that the image on the top left is of an African and the one on the top right is of an “African American, black, or Negro”; or that the one on the top right is of an “African American, black, or Negro” (if using the U.S census) and the on on the top right is of an “other” (in the U.S census). Because the concepts of race, nationality and ethnicity can be very complex, how a person from a specific region might view the person on the right as, that person wouldn’t view themselves the same way. They might call themselves “Brazilian” or some other nationality/ethnicity, while those in say the U.S, might just see them as black.

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  33. Efi
    Moving back to the global census, it looks like each census is designed in a way that best fits the demographics of their country. The census for Australia is fairly short, with only two questions. It asks whether the person filling out the form is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. This specific question is asked first because the country is in Oceania has many Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. The next question asks about ancestry and lists a couple of ethnicities. Most of the ethnicities are from European countries, and then there’’s one Asian country, China. They list these ethnicities because they were probably the most prominent in Australia at the time (2001). What confuses me though, is that there’s a category for Australian. I don’t know much about Australian history, but from looking at other charts of ethnicities in Australia, they have Australian, other Ethnicities and Aboriginals. I would think the aboriginals would fall under Australian, but it seems that’s not so. So I wonder if there are people who consider themselves solely Australian and cannot have their ancestry traced back further than Austria. The way they categorize ethnicity seems strange to me. Their final option is “other”, which I would fall under, since there’s not a significant number of people in Australia that fit my background. Brazil’s census only lists colors, ative/aboriginal, and undeclared. Because Brazil is such a diverse country and has been largely impacted by Slavery, they just go by color, but consider all the races as Brazilian. Unlike Australia, Brazil’s census doesn’t list the country as an ethnicity or race. Race to them is mainly a few colors, but there’s still room for those who haven’t decided what race to identify as. Every country’s census is shaped and phrased a certain way to fit their specific demographics in that area and their history. So there’s no surprise that for the census of the Island Guam, they’d have many Polynesian or Melanesian ethnic groups, then a few Asian. The questions about both ethnicity or race. I see many ethnicities, then there’s “black” and white”, which are the races. England is the only country that featured a mix category. The question asks about ethnicity, but under the mixed categories, there’s “White and Black Caribbean”, “White and Black African”, or White and Asian”. I find it interesting that though their question is about ethnicity, they include what would be labeled as race in the choices (black/white/Asian). It seems that the distinction between Caribbeans and Africans is important in the UK, unlike in the U.S where they are grouped as one. I guess this is so because there are so many caribbean and African people that have immigrated to England. I cannot really name any “black” person that I know is from England, but does not have a background closely tied to Africa or the Caribbean; so I could see why in England, they have more options for what a person considers themselves. It’s also interesting how they list the colors black and white, but then they have Asian, which isn’t a color; unlike Brazil whose’ census’ primarily lists colors.

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  34. Efi
    The differences in language is clear. If they were to list black and white, then I’d assume that for Asian, they’d write “yellow”, since that’s what I’ve heard Asians are called. This would make sense in brazil’s case because their culture is very diverse, and since they all see themselves as Brazilian, they choose to group each other based on what they see, color. Going more into sense perception and the concept of race, I’m forced to wonder how exactly each country views race. If going by Brazil, would a person of African origin chose brown because they’re skin is brown? Or would a person of hispanic background (other countries, not Brazil), choose yellow since their skin might be closer to yellow than it is to brown? These are probably not common problems though, because it is understood by the inhabitants that that’s how each people group of people in that country is grouped, despite what their skin might actually be. Based on the census, it looks like Brazil perceives race as color, but that’s necessarily true since their physical features are probably taken into account. If race is solely viewed as a person’s physical characteristics, then I wonder what some Khoisan people would be considered, since to me, many possess “Mongoloid” features. Their skin is not much different from a lot of those in Asia, but they do look different in a way. There’s a quote on the website challenge why race is the most significant factor in how we are perceived, if it’s the least important in determining our character. I cannot answer this, but I’m thinking along the lines of that it’s because of how the different groups of people in each country interact with one another and what they’ve heard about each other that, that causes them to determine their character. The census of Bulgaria reminds me of something we discussed in history class earlier in the year. Their census only has Bulgarian, Turkish, Gypsy and other. This shows that there are a lot of those other people in Bulgaria/ I’m not sure if the Bulgarian people are closely related to the Turkish, but it reminds me of how the teacher said Austrians were actually German and people of other places were also something else.

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  35. Tamara

    I believed that there were meaningful, natural divisions between groups of people when it came to race. The website, Race- The Power of Illusion, addresses the idea that race is not biological. People can see that individuals are different due to the use of sight, but appearances can be deceiving. There is less and more to race than meets the eye. In connection to the “Sense Perception” chapter, it explains that perception attention dependent. As humans we only see that in which we attend. We fail to notice changes even if it is perfectly visible because perception is selective and ‘gist-dependent’. We can't draw any conclusions about groups of people beyond what we used to sort people in the first place. Classifying humans into groups is a subjective process, influenced by cultural ideas and political priorities. Categories are socially constructed, so there are inconsistencies in the way different groups are defined. Racial classification has changed over time and it varies from one place to another. In the sense perception chapter, due to optical illusions and paradoxical perceptions they exemplify the fact that sometimes the “same perceptual input can lead to very different representations”. Sensory perception is an interpreted representation of the world and our eyes can deceive us. Brazil, for example, has many more racial categories than the U.S., and in Haiti, you're white if you have any amount of European ancestry. The website focuses on questions pertaining to race such as, “What do those differences mean? Are they biological? Has race always been with us? How does race affect people today?” An important fact about race that I learned is that race has no genetic basis. There is not one gene, trait, or characteristic that distinguishes all members of one race from all members of another. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. It is important to note that the genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or forms of intelligence. Most variation is within, not between races. I was surprised to learn that of the small amount of total human variation, "85% exists within any local population,such as Italians, Kurds, Koreans or Cherokees". About 94% can be found within any continent. That means two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian. Race is sometimes not be recognized as biologically valid classification because there is more genetic variation within groups than between them. I explored the “Race Timeline” section of the website and it explained that throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved others, often as a result of conquest or war, even debt. I believe that physical characteristics or a belief in natural inferiority played a big role in why Africans were enslaved. I did not know that in ancient times, however, language, religion, status, and class distinctions were more important than physical appearance. An important idea expressed in the website is that race is a modern idea. In America, a set of specific historical circumstances led to the world's first race-based slave system. By exploring the website I have more information on the different aspects of race.

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  36. Tamara

    I believed that there were meaningful, natural divisions between groups of people when it came to race. The website, Race- The Power of Illusion, addresses the idea that race is not biological. People can see that individuals are different due to the use of sight, but appearances can be deceiving. There is less and more to race than meets the eye. In connection to the “Sense Perception” chapter, it explains that perception attention dependent. As humans we only see that in which we attend. We fail to notice changes even if it is perfectly visible because perception is selective and ‘gist-dependent’. We can't draw any conclusions about groups of people beyond what we used to sort people in the first place. Classifying humans into groups is a subjective process, influenced by cultural ideas and political priorities. Categories are socially constructed, so there are inconsistencies in the way different groups are defined. Racial classification has changed over time and it varies from one place to another. In the sense perception chapter, due to optical illusions and paradoxical perceptions they exemplify the fact that sometimes the “same perceptual input can lead to very different representations”. Sensory perception is an interpreted representation of the world and our eyes can deceive us. Brazil, for example, has many more racial categories than the U.S., and in Haiti, you're white if you have any amount of European ancestry. The website focuses on questions pertaining to race such as, “What do those differences mean? Are they biological? Has race always been with us? How does race affect people today?” An important fact about race that I learned is that race has no genetic basis. There is not one gene, trait, or characteristic that distinguishes all members of one race from all members of another. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. It is important to note that the genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or forms of intelligence. Most variation is within, not between races. I was surprised to learn that of the small amount of total human variation, "85% exists within any local population,such as Italians, Kurds, Koreans or Cherokees". About 94% can be found within any continent. That means two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian. Race is sometimes not be recognized as biologically valid classification because there is more genetic variation within groups than between them. I explored the “Race Timeline” section of the website and it explained that throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved others, often as a result of conquest or war, even debt. I believe that physical characteristics or a belief in natural inferiority played a big role in why Africans were enslaved. I did not know that in ancient times, however, language, religion, status, and class distinctions were more important than physical appearance. An important idea expressed in the website is that race is a modern idea. In America, a set of specific historical circumstances led to the world's first race-based slave system. By exploring the website I have more information on the different aspects of race.

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  37. Race is a modern idea. In the past, categories were made in language, religion, class, and status to determine where a person fit into their society. While race is a modern practice, slavery has been present in human history for centuries. In the past, it was determined not by race, but by other social factors. When questioning how race became a significant part of American society, one must consider the history behind it. In sense perception, we learned that the five senses are used to enhance, identify, and understand our surroundings. In the race chapter, we understand that race in American society ties into how we identify race, and the idea that we can guess someone's race by looking at them. The exercise on the website proves that this tactic is not only false, but that genetics and ancestry is how people should be identified. We find more genetic differences in race than in different ethnic groups around the world. Sense perception proves that seeing is not always what you believe, but rather how your prejudice views what you look at. Technically, American society has set up a bias in order to maintain race as a way to establish a class system of races. Historically, American society has used the economy and government to support industry within whites as other groups were not given the same advantages. Overall, race should not be determined as a way to ignore racism, but to perceive people differently than what their skin features show.

    Brea

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Thanks for posting!!

Swift