what is the difference: black vs white

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Why is there racial discrimination in the world? As children, we are taught to solely differentiate people by skin color. The society puts cultural values on what is desirable and what is not. For example, the United States culture puts more importance on Caucasians than they do for people of color. The society teaches its members how to label individuals and assign them to a hierarchical group based on their appearance. Race is not biological but rather socially constructed. Scientific institutions have lent authority to the cultural belief in biological race. Social constructions are ideas that people have created to help a society understand the world, for example race and social hierarchies. They first begin as ideas, and gradually take on a life of their own. Once the idea is accepted by a large group of people, it is very difficult to change. Race is a socially constructed concept. It is defined by the appearance of one’s skin color. When an individual hears the word “Black,” he/she might think of a rapper or a basketball player. When they hear “White,” occupations, such as lawyers and doctors, come to mind. The United States society puts cultural values on certain words (Johnson, 1997, p. 45). We are not born with this mindset, but we are taught to have this mentality through influences from family, peers and the media. Growing up, one learns that the Caucasian race is superior and the African American race is inferior. Consequently, scientists have tried to prove that race superiority is biological. Scientific findings of race are manipulated by sociopolitical factors (Marshall, 1993, p.118). Through numerous experiments and studies, scientists make facts to help people understand the world. The facts must be in accordance to the popular belief and be accepted by a large number of people; otherwise they will be regarded as controversial and phony.

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