Why it is Difficult to talk about the Race


Before we discuss our question, “why it is difficult to talk about the race?” we need to understand what the race is. One definition that Beverly D. Tatum, the author of a book called “Why all Black kids are sitting in the Cafeteria Together”, uses for race is that the race is a system of advantage.  But I would prefer another definition, because I would like to use this term when I am talking about the negative effect of the race.

My definition of race is a complex identity in which you accumulate through your history.  Why did I choose this definition?  In my opinion, the race is not what we choose to be and belong to a race is not a problem.   But the problem arises what we use the race as system of advantage. A system that gives advantage (decent jobs, housing, education and so on) to a person and denies these benefits for another person based on his / her race and this is where the Beverly’s definition of race came into play.  

Do we need to talk about the race? Yes we do indeed, because our community has problems that arose from the race (racism) whether some is aware or not. Why do we have these problems?  The US is more international than any country in the world and when these different communities with deferent cultures and different values meet, some culture clashes, misunderstanding and stereotypes arise. Then, the combination of the above factors plus the power became the basis of racism which is also referred as system of advantage.

  I would define  racism in  way to discriminate among community based of their race and deny the advantages that some would get in his/her community such education, jobs, housing and so on and  another one gets all those advantage because of his/ her race.  Since some people are discriminated according to their race, then discussion about the race became difficult.

 Another factor that also made the race discussion difficult is that a most of people don’t have the same opinion when it comes to the race and racism.  Some people are also unaware the existent of the racism as the Beverly stated in her book, “when I ask about the race and racism, most people were saying is there racism”. Thus, the people in the community have different level of understanding and awareness of what race and racism mean. For example, the person that grew up in diverse community is more aware the race than the person who grew up in a community that contain only one race. The victim of racism (disadvantage one) is more aware the existence of racism than the advantage one.

 The question is how, when can we discuss the race and what is our goal of this discussion?         I think these are the most difficult questions about race discussion. In my opinion, I would say let us star awareness of the negative effect of the race, before we go into a deeper discussion about the race. Let us show that some human beings are suffering because of this.    Then discuss the race and its effect wherever you are suitable.  Our goal has to be understanding, discussion and problem solving in order to increase the intercultural communication.

Reference:

Beverly D. Tatum. “Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting together in the Cafeteria.” 1997.

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