Blog Post #1: Reading Race

Blog Post #1 Due: Fri 2/1, 5pm  //  Comment #1 Due: Mon 2/3, 9am

Cover of Ali Rattansi's book, Multiculturalism: A Very Short IntroductionIn this first blog post, I’d like you to summarize and analyze 2 specific ideas about race/multiculturalism that emerge from 2 different secondary sources that were assigned between 1/24-1/31. You can choose any combination of the following: Ali Rattansi’s Multiculturalism: A Very Short Introduction, Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race, Michael Omi & Howard Winant’s Racial Formation, and the Seeing White episodes.

Introduce each source with key publication information – the full name of author/hosts, chapter/book/episode titles, and year of publication. Summarize one key idea from each source, using a combination of direct quotations and paraphrasing. Then, reflect on and analyze these two ideas by (a) describing what you find useful, compelling, or revealing about each idea and (b) explaining how you see these two ideas connecting, contrasting, paralleling, or diverging from one another. In other words, trace linkages of different kinds between the two ideas to illuminate how/why you they are so compelling.

Remember to follow the structure and format requirements as detailed in the Blog Post Assignment Sheet. I’d also encourage you to check out this example of a thoughtful and effective blog post by a student in one of my previous courses.

One thought on “Blog Post #1: Reading Race

  1. What Was The Need For Race?

    The idea of race is a very puzzling idea for multiple people. Often there is a questioning of why such an concept was created in the first place. Who would want to be held responsible for separating humanity rather than bringing us closer together?

    The answer of why race was created and why it’s such an influential word are discussed in the book So You Want to Talk About Race a collection of short essays by writer, speaker, and internet yeller Ijeoma Oluo. The book describes how to have conversations relating to race, how not to offend people when discussing such a sensitive topic, while giving readers a close look into Oluo’s encounters with issues relating to race throughout her life. The book states “The ultimate goal of racism was the profit and comfort of the white race,specifically, of rich white men. The oppression of people of color was an easy way to get this wealth and power, and racism was a good way to justify it.”(Oluo 32). This statement explains how race was an ideal created specifically for the enhancement of eurocentric people’s lives rather than the lives of everyone; for selfish reasons.

    Oluo’s statement lacks historical background, but the historical information presented in the podcast How Race Was Made by journalist, reporter, and documentary-maker John Biewen proves Olulo’s statement. The podcast describes the actions of a man named Zurara, who was given the task of documenting and writing a bibliography on Prince Henry’s process of retrieving natives from Sub Saharan Africa in order to enslave them in the year 1444. The podcast describes Zurara’s actions by saying “he had to basically combine all of the different ethnic groups that Prince Henry was enslaving into one people, and then describing that people as inferior” (Biewen). This statement is an early historical demonstration of people who looked the same being categorized as inferior, while making another group of people look superior.

    Through understanding both of these quotes from Oluo’s book and Beiwen’s podcast, it is revealed that race was established only for the mere beneficiary of eurocentric people in society. It is hard to believe a false concept created so long ago that separates our world is still so influential. But ultimately race was created in order to justifiably oppress black and brown people for the benefit of eurocentric people in society.

    Works Cited
    Oluo, Ijeoma. So you want to talk about race. Seal Press, 2018, New York, NY.
    “Seeing White, Part 2”. How Race Was Made. Scene On Radio. from Scene on Radio, 1 March 2017, http://www.sceneonradio.org/episode-32-how-race-was-made-seeing-white-part-2/
    (g.g. B1)

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