I think race is most definitely a social construct. Race is something we decided was relevant. Even in Omi and Winant’s piece, having her birth certificate say that she was black when she felt that she was more Caucasian than black; race shouldn’t have been a big issue. She was concerned that the certificate was wrong but the fact that she became so aggressive about it and the fact that they would not change the information is because of what WE have made race to be. In Equiano’s story, the initial mention of race is a way to group the two groups together. This is where the separation comes from. Race began with him as a way to say those men are white and we people are black. He understood that he was captive of the men on the boat but it wasn’t initially that the WHITE men were in control. They just all so happened to be white and it was easy to group them together that way. Race is not something that should be discussed. I think that of course, it’s still prevalent but talking about it doesn’t make it less of an issue. I’m pretty sure Morgan Freeman said that to change the social prevalence of race, we should just stop talking about it. I will admit that I’m not well versed in the idea of race because its not something I’ve ever been super exposed to. Like I am very aware of the issues and stereotypes involved in race but its not something that I’m passionate about nor an advocate for.
I think the most relevant social construct that I can compare it too is gender roles in our society. It’s talked about constantly and when mixed with race, you get the most oppressed group which is women of color. Women are so easily the lesser people in our society. We are weak, stupid, desperate, dependant, and incapable of knowing the difference in different types of gas (see recent commercial for the new Jetta that takes diesel fuel and all the men are screaming at the stupid woman who doesn’t know that diesel is for trucks). It’s all things that we’ve made up.
Again, I’d like to repeat that I have nothing really to add to the issue of race. I just honestly know next to nothing about it. I wish I did and I wish I could understand but I simply don’t.