The Race Question


| September 5, 2001


The Race Question

Race is a construct based on the outdated notion that the color of a person's skin is biologically tied to their intellectual and physical capabilities. Journalist Silja J.A. Talvi, writing for LiP Magazine asks, 'Isn't it time to give up on the four-letter word?'

Talvi explores the history of race, noting that 18th and 19th century North American and European intellectuals tried to prove that each person could be categorized as belonging to one racial group. And though the idea of a single racial identity has been debunked, as is evident in the 2000 Census, it remains entrenched in our culture.

Journalists have done little to clarify the issue, routinely using race and its stereotypic connotations to describe people in the news, Talvi writes. She quotes a typical New York Times article that referred to Charles A. James as a black, not a black person. The point was not to physically describe James, she writes, 'The point was to deliver to the reader an identification of the subject's race--an announcement of the racial subdivision to which Mr. James has been assigned from the time of his birth.'

It's time that we become more conscious about how we use language to describe people, Talvi argues, and stop using race as the defining characteristic.
--Sara V. Buckwitz
Go there:

Related:
Let's Rid Ourselves of Those Silly Race Boxes, by Ward Connerly, The Abolitionist Quarterly














Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265