Race isn’t a subject or thing that one can escape from. Your race is an aspect of yourself that will simply follow you for the rest of your life. Whether you let this become a negative or a positive thing is up to you however. On another hand, people are always going to place people into groups based things we can’t help. In most people, they have something instilled in them that makes them feel the need to put down one another to bring themselves up. In Omi and Winant’s book, Racial Formation, they go into detail of how one of the first things we notice about a person besides their gender is their race and we use this information to categorize who a person is. Every racial prejudice we have immediately comes to mind before this person even opens their mouth. We do this because instilled in us is a reason of superiority of our own race and ethnic group.
A huge example of this prejudice is of course the battle of slavery in previous years. A very moving instance of this comes from the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. In Equiono’s autobiography we see his perspective of being snatched from his home in Africa as a young boy of 11 and forced into slavery. The single upmost reason that he was forced into slavery was from the color of his skin. The one thing he had absolutely no control or say in was the only thing that separated him from freedom.
Personally, I believe that race should be something that is acknowledged because we should be proud of where we came from. We should be proud of our skin color because that means we survived. We are beings simply because someone fought to stay alive and carry on our generation. Skin color should not be something that should carry a negative connotation but instead as something to be revered and respected. If you are going to judge someone for something at least let it be something they consciously made a decision about. Us as humans should let the color of ones own skin be something that connects us, but not something that separates us.
One quote that stuck out to me from the section we read from the Equino piece was, “O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you — Learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends, to toil for your luxury and lust of gain?” Basically he is calling his captors hypocrites for claiming to follow a loving and compassionate God and yet treating another human being like cattle simply so their own lives can prosper. Racism has been evident long before this but you would think that it would progress over time, not continue to be in existence. It is simply inhumane to treat another human being like they are less of a person then you are.