After thoroughly reading “Race, Higher Education, and American Society,” I felt genuinely enlightened. As cliche as that sounds, the article left me with a better understanding of what causes our society to function like it does. But on a deeper level I felt somewhat ashamed of the extreme close-mindedness that seems to run rampant throughout our nation. The argument that stood out the most, and was the most interesting to me was “The conclusion of most of us is that “race” does not exist as a biological phenomenon. ut rather that it is socially and culturally constructed” (pg, 216).
I wholeheartedly agree and support this argument, it’s not that society finds the different pigment of one’s skin taboo, but more the various stereotypes one is in a sense “branded” with by society. The author later explains that for the most part this form of discrimination is somewhat subliminal, in that no one would deliberately admit to it. Moses goes into deeper analysis by saying that stereotypes are based upon people associating certain “innate characteristics” to specific groups of people.
Furthermore I share the feeling of the author of how sad it is that we live in a society that is so “preconditioned” to the idea of fixed racial categories. I’ve noticed a pattern in history that makes up our country, it is riddled with persecution, but despite this it seems we’ve learned nothing. I find it embarrassing that we could once be so ignorant to think that fellow human beings could be inferior based solely on the color of their skin and the location in which they reside.
Although this was not mentioned in the article nor have I read it anywhere else, my hypothesis would be that darker skin pigments are a dominant evolutionary trait. For those that live close to and around the equator the darker skin is a defense to constant exposure to a sun that is in a sense “closer” than it is in the northern hemisphere. The best evidence in support of the above mentioned argument provided within in the article is early and extremely conventional belief that “some people cannot learn”.
What this is saying essentially is certain minorities have inferior brain capacity and therefore can’t be taught. This concept itself was most easily seen in our own Constitution, being that people of color, poor white men, and women were not considered to be citizens. Even close to two hundred years later, there was still virtually no educational and social mobility for minorities. Its that sad cliche of “the rich get richer while the poor remain poor”. The author also explains how certain elements perpetuate the homogenization of elite universities, such as “grades and test scores constitute merit” (pg. 17).
This in addition to the endless cycle that makes up inner-city education: the schools lack resources and the desire to prepare these children, giving them a disadvantage when taking standardized tests and more specifically when trying to be admitted into a institution of higher learning. In conclusion, it is evident from the information within this article that stereotypes and racism are still found in America, and those who perpetuate them by encouraging homo-geniousness are merely trying to keep the rich… rich.
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