What Your Race Says About You?
Isis Anchalee

This is [becoming] a personal struggle for me. Race is a convenient, if not lazy, construct as it strips people of necessary humanity, or individuality. I immigrated to the US from Nigeria. And I was honestly taken by being labeled “black.” Coming from a place where you are ‘segregated’ only by the tribe [aka native language group] you’re from, I found this quite odd that I had become one of many and I speak for them and vice versa.

Where I am in the journey is that race is a socioeconomic construct designed only to make the labeller feel better about him/herself. I have a unique opportunity to be living in Taiwan for a number of years. The boundaries are are solely cultural and not racial, which allows for more exploration, and ultimately better understanding.

For a place like the US, where there were centuries of slavery, which was driven at its core, by economics and abject systemic racism (a way to preserve the economic gains), it is going to take a long long time to break down these systems and achieve something approaching parity along human lines. In short, the old guard, literally, has to die out. To put it in perspective, the US civil rights act was enacted in 1964. So, we are less than 2 generations removed from that milestone. It is no surprise now that it is still struggling with the vestiges of race as a socioeconomic construct.

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