Identity, Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Racism

1. How does race shape the way we see ourselves and others?

I think that race shapes the way we see ourselves and others as what we look like. Race varies in different definitions depending on different people and their views but the way I see things, race is something that we first see in a person. If you look at an Asian person in the US you may not know were this person is from or what language they speak but you are curious. Of course people may have a guess to where about they think this person is from, but they don’t really know them, not even their race. Race isn’t the thing that defines people, race is made up; race is an ideology. Nationality is a characteristic of where people truly feel where they belong, where they are from. When someone asks, “Where are you from?” for me that question is hard to answer and what I say may be something the person I am telling gets blindsided by. When someone looks at me they can tell I am probably from the US because of my accent but no one knows until I tell them. Even though my ancestors may have come from Czechoslovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Native America, and more, that is not where I identify myself to be from. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and that is where I feel home is to me. Even though I carry an Australian passport and have an American accent, I am from Hong Kong; my nationality however is different. People classify themselves in different ways however they feel comfortable. Race is just the first thing you see when you look at someone regardless of where you are in the world and based on race is how people create things like stereotypes and be prejudice. before you get to know someone, based on how people may think they’re going to act is the way they might get treated by you because that is all you know about them; you haven’t taken the time to uncover who they are, truly. Race may shapes what we see in people but that is just because we have nothing else to base assumptions about who we think these people are.

 

2. To what extent do our ideas about race influence the choices we make?

I feel like our ideas about race influence the choices we make by making us become prejudice based on stereotypes even though someone may not know someone else’s identity. When people take a look at someone they’ve never seen before they immediately, based on stereotypes, will be prejudice towards someone.  For example, a stereotypes against Chinese people is that they are loud eaters, who are rude towards other people they haven’t met before, they don’t speak very good english and they are bad drivers. These things don’t apply to all Chinese people but some other people when looking at someone on the street may think they do these things. Some people who don’t know aspects about race might consider it more than people who know more about it would. What I mean by this is that without being educated about race and how its an ideology might help people to took past it rather than to be focused on it because people shouldn’t be defined by their race.