What Your Race Says About You?

Almost nothing.

After being inadvertently thrust into the spotlight as a voice in the conversation about diversity, I have been consciously perceptive of and exposed to many different perspectives. The comments from this controversially-named, yet painfully-accurate article by Megan Rose Dicky inspired me to write this piece, as race is a social construct and some people seem to be blatantly confused about what it actually means.

Biologically, our differences are significantly insignificant. In terms of DNA sequence, all humans are 99.5% genetically similar to one another. In fact, we humans share 96% of the same genetic sequence as chimpanzees.

So what about “race”? Where did that come from?

“If a Papua New Guinean hooks up with a Swedish person all you get is a human. There’s no new thing you’re going to get. You just get a human. Japanese woman jumping the African guy, all you get is a human. They’re all humans. So this is a lesson to be learned. There really is, for humankind there’s really no such thing as race. There’s different tribes but not different races. We’re all one species.” — Bill Nye

Race exists because we created it. We’re all humans. We eat, sleep, poop, feel, have whatever biological functions, and we all have egos. We are imperfect, we all have opinions, feelings, and we are not always right. We only have the context from our own experiences so it’s literally impossible to actually be right when making blanket generalizations about the mental composition/intentions of every single human from a certain ethnic/cultural subgroup.

Racism, sexism and [homo|trans]phobia are real.

I believe that because we were born with infinite opportunities, that we have a responsibility to give back to the world around us.

I challenge you to transform your judgements into curiosity. Get to know the actual soul inside their meat-shell before assuming that you have all the answers.

Stop assuming that race/gender/sexual orientation and capability are mutually-exclusive. See: Improving Diversity Does Not Mean Lowering the Bar.

Biases exist. We all have them. I challenge you to step outside of your immediate comfort zone to empathize with another human who’s story you may not immediately understand.

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing(and if you don’t you’re an asshole): to be treated with respect, and free to pursue our desired opportunities. When you need compassion, isn’t it better when other people show you compassion? We need to practice treating people how we want to be treated. It is easy to unconsciously lose control of our egos, we can consciously control them. Anger can be cathartic[and justifiable], but it is not conducive to helping solve the problem. Progress will be made by practicing communication, compassion, love and empathy. We can change ourselves, and be an example for those around us. When we influence our communities and create a propagating wave of positivity, we are making the world a better place for everyone in it.

P.S This does not address the socioeconomic disparity that exists within our country. Nor am I saying we should ignore our cultural identities. This article is meant to be intentionally focussed on the superficiality of race and how it doesn’t exist from a scientific perspective.

@isisAnchalee | isis@ilooklikeanengineer.com

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