Is race a social construct?

During a recent 1A episode, they were talking about Kamala’s experience at the majority black Howard University. What are your thoughts on schools that are predominantly black or predominately white?

Certainly de jure segregation (segregation that is enforced by law) is wrong. However, de facto segregation (segregation that occurs without laws but because of other factors) is only wrong in some circumstances.

Even if all schools are equally and adequately funded, there are still reasons that our public school policies should encourage diversity. And by public school policies, I mean the public funding of education.

One value of diversity is that stereotypes are broken down when we interact with people that are different from us. Or at least that’s the hypothesis. Another value in diversity is that more perspectives are brought to light.

If neighborhoods aren’t integrated then it’s difficult for the neighborhood schools to be integrated. Magnet schools were created (at least in Jacksonville, Florida) to stop the court ordered forced busing. The idea was that people would voluntarily bus themselves to attend the magnet school in a de facto segregated neighborhood. In my view, magnet, charter, and voucher funded private schools should all be required to be at least 20% black and at least 20% white.

 

How do we achieve diversity and not use skin color to deprive people of benefits that others receive? Why does something like skin color have any meaning at all? And if we make laws based on the color of someone’s skin, are we perpetuating the myth of race? If we aren’t pro-active in reducing racism, will it continue? Or are we making it worse by continually talking about it?

How do we achieve diversity and not use skin color to deprive people of benefits that others receive? Why does something like skin color have any meaning at all? And if we make laws based on the color of someone’s skin, are we perpetuating the myth of race? If we aren’t pro-active in reducing racism, will it continue? Or are we making it worse by continually talking about it?

I’d like to learn more about the concepts of assimilation vs pluralism. Pluralism is represented by the ideal of the United States as a “salad bowl”: a great mixture of different cultures where each culture retains its own identity and yet adds to the flavor of the whole. Assimilation describes the process by which a minority individual or group gives up its own identity by taking on the characteristics of the dominant culture.  But can’t there be a little of both?
 

References:

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/what-we-mean-when-we-say-race-is-a-social-construct/275872/
  2. https://opentextbc.ca/introsociology2eopenstax/chapter/intergroup-relationships/

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