Reading Reflection #3- Race Conversation

Race: the idea that the human species is divided into distinct groups on the basis of inherited physical and behavioral differences.

Looking back to my past classes at school, I guess “race” is one of the most selected but controversial topic for discussion or any group activities in class, especially in the United States. I clearly remembered my professor emphasized a lot on “race” in Cultural Anthropology class last year and he said this term is culturally generated not biologically, which means, based on race, there is no either superiority or inferiority to one another.

I recently read a book titled “Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum. Upon looking at this title, I came up with very similar scenes from my previous college in Duluth, MN. I have no idea how other cities are but Duluth is definitely a Whites-dominant city so there are very few black students which makes them more recognizable. In cafeteria at school, it was difficult to find a mixed table with black and white students, instead, a table of a group of black students easily found.

Even if this kind of racial issue have been brought about from ‘black and white’ issue historically, it is more than that. I mean that is not just all about black and white problem but also includes all of the races like Asians, Hispanics, etc. In Tatums’s book, I found a part which is exactly same as what I have been thinking about race- “White people have color, too” (Tatum 15) Well, this might sound silly, but seriously I once wondered why [almost] all people became to fall into a category of ‘people of color’.

Honestly, I have never thought about race that much when I lived in Korea. Of course, extremely high rate of common ethnicity- 99 percent of population in Korea same- has contributed to this kind of idea of mine. When I applied to University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, it was first time in my memory that I realized I would belong to ‘people of color’ category in the United States. Likewise, many people refer to descents of Asian Americans, Latin Americans, and African Americans collectively as non-Whites. (Tatum 15)

Children have been already exposed to overwhelming sources of information such as media and movies, which might influence on founding their prejudices. Looking back on it now, I found myself, very seldom, to see and judge a person based on race especially when it comes to black person. I believe this happened largely due to media and movies things like that that I was exposed to in the past.

Race conversation is what we can’t avoid and also consider as a taboo. We all have responsibilities to come out and talk about this before any tragic accident occurred like in the past. If there is a problem using specific terms or language in terms of race, we should talk together to figure it out; if a problem with media and commercial, we should talk together how to regulate them and create new ones. Living in a society regardless of the race should be pursued ultimatley for peace for everyone.


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