The Honking Goose

something to honk about

why race doesn’t exist, but racism does


Race is a mental construct. It is not real. People originating from different locations on the globe look different. They have different physical characteristics. That is real. However, there are no geographic or genetic delineations between “races” of people.

five people with different physical characteristics

Furthermore, those physical characteristics do not in any way determine our behaviors or our mental-emotional characteristics. Behaviors and non-physical characteristics are a result of the culture in which we are raised.

Historically, there were stronger associations between geographically related physical characteristics and the culture in which someone was raised. So it was common for those two separate ideas to be lumped together in human perception of a person either similar to us or different from us.

In modern times, there is much greater movement of people in between geographic locations. As we continue to evolve (always ongoing) this breaks down the differences in geographically related physical characteristics as well as differences in cultural upbringing.

Humans are great at putting ideas and observations into categories. This is a practical skill, great for survival. We don’t need to eliminate our habit of putting things in categories. I don’t think we could if we wanted to. We are plenty smart enough, us humans, to have self awareness of categorization and we can choose to exert more self-control over the habit.

Racism stems from the misappropriation of using a person’s physical characteristics to draw conclusions about their cultural behaviors. These are going to blatantly false assumptions because there is no factual or physical link between the two. Which is exactly why racism is both Wrong and Offensive.

Racism still exists. Very much so. But it does not serve the greater good of humanity. It is based on false assumptions and false conclusions.

kids with different physical characteristics playing together under a globe

Excellent transportation of people and ideas is breaking down the barriers that caused racism. But there is no reason for us to wait for it to go away on it’s own as a factor of our evolution. We can combat racism and intentionally eliminate it with education and understanding.

We should do exactly that, because not only is racism wrong and offensive, it is counter to our essential human nature of Togetherness and Unity.

I feel very positive that combating racism is the right thing to do. But how? What are some respectful and constructive ways we can combat racism in our country and in our communities?

Advertisements

41 comments on “why race doesn’t exist, but racism does

  1. tumaini2017
    June 18, 2017

    Reminds me of an extract I read and I quote “We’d rather live happily together as brothers and sisters or fight and perish together as fools “

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mylifeliverpool
    April 13, 2017

    Very good article. I grew up around very violent racists in Liverpool, UK. Having lived in several countries I would say it is the most racist place on earth. Times have changed as now people are aware it is an offence to “hate” but unfortunately you cannot bring out laws on what people are thinking and in reality people will always have it on their mind. When someone gets angry the first thing they do is find something (negative to them) about the appearance of the person they are angry with, be it overweight, black, ginger hair, trans, etc etc and they will then abuse that person on the way they look. I have witnessed highly educated people being very racist- one a solicitor. So it is definitely not a case of lack of education.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ganjachronicles
    January 18, 2017

    this is a kick-ass post. absolutely race is a social construct that no longer has a place in society. I loved reading this and I hope you enjoy my most recent blog post Six of infinite reasons black lives don’t matter to me.
    Look forward to reading more from you, Nat xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. michelle213norton
    December 10, 2016

    I have a black guy at work (I only mention cause it pertains to the discussion,) that insists that we have differences that can’t be denied (oh and by the way he’s been married 2xs to white women;) I insist that our differences are only skin deep and that we are more alike than different. I really don’t think skin color matters. Our differences are cultural and can be unlearned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • latskojerry
      December 10, 2016

      Yes of course blacks and whites and other colors are more alike than not. However, it has to be recognized that centuries of oppression and slavery and discrimination have formed a difference in perspective that cannot be denied. I may be able to imagine how it feels to be black, for instance, but I cannot pretend to really feel it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • michelle213norton
        December 10, 2016

        It’s true that there is still a fair amount of discrimination (have you heard some of the questions they get from law enforcement?) On the other hand, they do not have to let themselves play the part of victim and allow that to limit them. I am a minority and while it can be frustrating, I hold out hope that it is and will continue to get better and better. My limitations come from within (and some would point out that I don’t have many for that matter!)

        Like

  5. Alone In The Universe
    November 30, 2016

    I wrote a post on the topic of multiculturality, inspired by your post… If you wanna read it, it’s here: https://thinkingtheworldblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/multiculturality-multikulturalnost/

    Thought you might like it. 🙂

    Like

  6. annj49
    November 28, 2016

    Great piece…
    Reading this reminds me of one of my favourite bible verses, one I always apply to this topic when it comes up. Some people may not like this reference to bible or God, but it does help me to know we are all the same inside in that we all meant to need and find God through our differences and in that commonality.

    “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”
    ‭‭ACTS‬ ‭17:26-27‬ ‭AMP‬‬

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eugenia
    November 28, 2016

    You addressed the topic quite well. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joey
    November 27, 2016

    I dunno. I think there’s a definite advantage to living in a place where you school, shop, work, eat, and play with people of different everything. Person is another color or another religion and it doesn’t matter, because person. Some of us just grew up like that and don’t think anything of it, think a lot more about how other people make it a big deal.
    I often think it’s getting better only to get disappointed again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      Naturally, we want it to be substantially better in our lifetime. Hopefully, our efforts will at least make it better for our children and grandchildren.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Elyse
    November 27, 2016

    A lot can be done by mixing. It should begin in schools, and carry over.

    I’m incredibly lucky; I work in a small office of racially diverse people. We share more than we don’t, explain different traditions and customs, and have the most amazing pot luck feasts you can imagine!

    I also think encouraging travel would help significantly. As does moving. I read somewhere, and this article was mirrored up in the comments, that people who stayed where they grew up voted Trump overwhelmingly. I moved to a community like that — in CT! Everybody was friends with the folks they went to kindergarten with, and had no interest in “others” of any race or culture. It’s when we step out of the familiar that we grow and change.

    Liked by 6 people

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      Agreed, traveling helps too. Baby steps.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Joyce Belfort
      April 28, 2017

      Travel will only help if people don’t take their bubbles with them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Elyse
        June 1, 2017

        I think it even helps people who do take their bubbles (albeit not as much). But the folks who need it most rarely go anywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thehonkinggoose
          June 1, 2017

          I agree, Elyse! On the bright side, travel is getting easier and more accessible to people all the time. It helps. Bit by bit.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Elyse
            June 1, 2017

            Unless you want to bring your laptop. 😦

            Like

  10. zombieapocalypse6
    November 27, 2016

    I think modern racism has been inappropriately labeled. It was first nationalism when people who looked exactly the same hated each other because of where they were from.

    Then it was racism when explorers found people living in Africa or South America and thought they were a missing link in evolution because they looked different.

    Now it’s accepted that all humans are the same species but what we have now is culturalism. People who live in the same country and are all human hate each other because we still live in different cultures but are all right up next to each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      Yes, you are right. It is all very complex. And meanwhile the world is getting ever more crowded as well as closer through technologies of travel and communication.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zombieapocalypse6
        November 27, 2016

        Bingo! I hate to even suggest this but, there is something to be said for segregation. The problem was, when things were segregated they were not equal. The government can’t force people to live together and work together but no one can force change into people’s hearts.

        Like

  11. Godless Cranium
    November 27, 2016

    You’re so right about race and how it shouldn’t matter. I think we have made great strides towards stamping out racism, but I doubt it will ever disappear altogether. Maybe I’m a cynic.

    Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Susan Irene Fox
    November 27, 2016

    Excellent post, and your question is the crux of of it. But how? How do we combat it? And to take your tongue-in-cheek suggestion one step further, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could shift our entire population, and place all our uni-cultural, alt-r(w)ight folks up in Maine, allow them to secede, and work to unify and appreciate the rest of our diverse and beautiful nation?

    Liked by 2 people

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      You know, I’m not mad at them for their beliefs. They haven’t had the same opportunities and education that I, and others, have been so fortunate to have.

      Like

  13. latskojerry
    November 27, 2016

    It’s an old story, but divide and conquer still works for the masters whether the context is a nation, a city, or a work place. So the differences get emphasized. Our culture was reaching a point of actual blending and uniting in the late 60s and early 70s as the common goal of ending the Vietnam war brought people together. You could see it in the music and the movies of the time. Now we have been scattered apart again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      Interesting perspective. I was born in 1980, so what I know about that era is learned, not through experience. When I was a young adult, I felt let down that my parents and their friends weren’t able to keep going the new paradigm they had started to create. But my experience since then has given me a wider view and a better grip on reality. Nothing is ever that simple. People that tried to create new communities and new lifestyles didn’t just give up willingly, in many cases they were forced by external circumstances and pressures. And so the movement continues today, in new manifestations…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Alone In The Universe
    November 27, 2016

    I agree with what you say, and I know these facts already. But there is one thing you might have missed, there’s a new type of ‘racism’, the one based on somebody’s culture. Perceptions the westerners now how about muslims are a great example for that, they will put all muslims in the world in the box of fanaticism and terrorism because of their religion. Maybe we should find a new name for this phenomenon, cause it’s not about race, but in fact culture, but for a start, we should be aware of it. Also, in Europe now it is quite popular to perceive our western culture as superior to other cultures.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      Hmm, very good point. Perhaps it is culturalism. Although that sounds too much like multiculturalism, which is a good thing. Then there could be religionism, which is too awkward to say. But I agree with you, that is a separate, but similar issue.

      Like

      • Alone In The Universe
        November 27, 2016

        That is the modern face of racism. Yeah, all the terms you could use for it sound wrong. Maybe you could say culture-supremacism, or something like that. Whatever we call it, it is an issue we face today.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. TheOriginalPhoenix
    November 27, 2016

    You hit it right on the head with this post. Your facts are straight and you’re very correct that fighting racism is the right thing to do. In terms of what we can do, I’d say we need to work on breaking down stereotypes about different races. Yes, stereotyping is a human survival instinct but, in today’s day and age, survival instincts are becoming more out of place as is. Also, stereotyping is just a logical fallacy. They can be broken down if we work to expose ourselves to ethnic minorities and listen to what they have to say. Of course, this may not be as easy for folks who live in areas with little diversity.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 27, 2016

      Right. I was under the assumption that those folks were at least getting diversity in some form on television. But then it was pointed out to me that television networks play different commercials in different regions. So here in California, I’m seeing all these ethnically diverse commercials, while in Kansas they are actually seeing different commercials, as well as potentially choosing less ethnically diverse shows and movies to watch.

      That is why I think it would be really helpful if everyone in New York City and Los Angeles would *simply* agree to move to various locations in the midwest and south of our nation. Thereby confronting those insular communities with diversity head on. Also, we could agree to let in more immigrants on the condition that they live in the midwest or south.

      I’m tongue-in-cheek saying that of course, but I think it’s pretty clear that diverse coastal communities are statistically less racist.

      Liked by 4 people

      • TheOriginalPhoenix
        November 27, 2016

        Okay I wasn’t aware of the commercials being different in these states as well, that’s crazy! Your proposal is a very interesting idea, I haven’t heard it before, but I think it would be quite beneficial if implemented correctly. And, yes, immigrants are key to ending racism. The more diverse voices we have, the better.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Alone In The Universe
        November 27, 2016

        Some also say that multicultural communities are more conflictive. I think both things are true, surely people from a multicultural and, lets say ‘multiracial’ communities are less racist, but also, those who still are racist are more likely to get into a conflict. I agree that immigration is a key issue to solve racism and nationalism in general, but we should also be aware of the possible and probable conflicts that will occur while it happens. I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a multiethnic and multireligious country that was known for its multiculturalism, but also recently, for the war we had. So, it’s not that simple. Most people will be more or less tolerant of others while they still make a majority in their countries, but I think it would be quite different in today’s Europe for example, if, lets say, ethnic Germans in Germany would start to take enough immigrants to make, lets say, 30 or 40 percent of the population (and not to say over 50%). That wouldn’t go easily, especially if the issues of official language and possible languages and the state law would be touched.

        Liked by 2 people

        • thehonkinggoose
          November 27, 2016

          “Some also say that multicultural communities are more conflictive” – very interesting and I can definitely see that is another aspect of multiculturalism. And certainly it is not as simple as the ideas I have laid out above. Very complicated, indeed.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Alone In The Universe
            November 27, 2016

            It is more complex, although, I still agree with your point in your post. I wanna see a world where more cultures are mixed, and I would like to see more people from different places on this planet move to another place, and more places going multicultural. But it is complicated, and in a lot of cases, you have lots of tensions between different groups. It is a conflictive issue. Guess we are not mature enough yet to have a real multiculturalism, but whatever we think of it, the world is going in that direction as we speak. Globalisation brings us all closer together, and it is up to us how to deal with it.

            Liked by 1 person

Honk at me:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on November 27, 2016 by in Culture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: