I always ask myself why does race matter so much? I think it is a very confusing and mind boggling question. In this class, we have read so many pieces and watched many videos and although the word “race” brings a lot of discrimination and separation I think it also reveals strength and resistance within a people. The “Coolie” reading was especially interesting to me. A word that was used to tear down a group of people and belittle them, can be reclaimed and used to empower them. I feel like usually we try to forget words and names that belittle us. By this author taking the word and reclaiming it, I think that she has also taken back some of the power that the oppressor held. She is honoring the people that came before her and acknowledging what they went through and also making sure that it doesn’t happen again. I think it is important to know the history of terms like these to be able to understand the history before us.
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I also find the idea of reclaiming a word so powerful, as many discriminated groups have done this to accept their history, combat stereotypes, and try to advance as a people.
Race and ethnicity definitely separates people and terms like the word “coolie” is what causes discrimination between these groups of people. Personally, I do not identify with any race, but when it comes to identifying with a term, I do use Latina or Mexican. My use of the terms is to not intentionally cause a division, it is more of a self representation to always remember the values and culture that have shaped me into the person I am today.