In another class of mine, we started to discuss the idea of race and if identifying one’s race was important when naming an accomplishment of an individual (i.e. “He was a black Nobel Prize winner). One girl in my class automatically said that she felt that it was 100% necessary and I was a little shocked to hear this. I felt that one’s race shouldn’t be considered because everyone is equally intellectually capable of performing the same feats. I honestly believed that creating a title for someone that included their race was disrespectful and an effort to overshadow their accomplishments. However, after hearing her reasoning, I started to contradict my initial thoughts.
When one’s race is not included when speaking about an accomplishment, you take away the extra element of pain and hardships that they may have suffered. You take away the fact that they have worked twice as hard, and jumped over twice as many obstacles as the privileged white male has had to. That element is important; it proves that their triumph was that much more spectacular and amazing than that of someone who has not lived their entire life as an oppressed individual. And that is an accomplishment in itself.
After thinking about this critically for a while after class and making comparisons to some of the literature that we have read, I started to believe in what she had said that much more. Race is not really a concept that can be ignored, it’s so deeply embedded into our minds that we can’t really leave it to be unacknowledged. However, acknowledging it for the right reasons is important and can make a huge impact.
But I ask this, does anyone have an argument for an opinion that differs from mine? I would love to be able to hear another perspective’s full and complete argument as they have read the same works as I have.