An Argument Against Categorization of People by Race or Skin Color

Race appears very “natural” because it is normal to want to classify certain people into different groups to make it easier for us to understand. However, our skin color was the reason that protected us from the environment. So basically, we are all the same and we should not be put into certain categories of race just because we all came from different climates which affected our skin color. Our bodies just had to adapt to the sun’s rays so therefore it is not natural to have different races. For example, most individuals are not white or black but brown There is no racial category for being brown which is quite ironic if most people are brown. When you fill out an application you check off Hispanic, African American, or Caucasian. There is no mixed category on that application like African American and Caucasian.

Furthermore, “brown skinned ancestors may haave been shared by modern day blacks and whites as recently as 10,000 years ago. Human skin owes its color to the presence to the particles known as melanin. The primary function of melanin is to protect the upper levels of the skin from being damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays” (Gallagher 7). So therefore, it is not like there is some genetic biological difference between all of us. Rather our many differences are due to melanin and environmental factors. Having a lot of melanin in your skin is good because it seems to protect from the damages of the sun which causes cancer. The melanin served as a defense mechanism against cancer. White Europeans did not need a lot of melanin in their skin because the sun was not as strong where they lived. However, in Africa and parts of the Middle East the sun is very strong so the people that lived there needed a lot of protection from the rays.

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Race is socially constructed usually by upper class groups and they do this to make sense of the differences between members of the human race. For example, “in the United States, the black/white color line has historically been rigidly defined and enforced. White is seen as a ‘pure’ category. Any racial intermixture makes one nonwhite” (Gallagher 11). As recent as 1982, Susie Guillory Phipps tried to sue the Louisiana Bureau of Vital Records to change her racial status from black to white. It was very discerning because the court ruled that she would be designated as black because she was part African American. This historical sample really shows just how fixated our society is on race.

The Lists article mentions how there is this existence of “white privilege” in our society and how it seems to dominate and operate. White privilege means that “a fictive identity of ‘whiteness’ appeared in law as an abstraction, and it became actualized in everyday life in many ways” (Gallagher 139). In our society, if one was white they gained many more benefits than an African American because the law seemed to work in the white person’s favor. At the same time, these same laws seem to hinder African Americans from advancing in our society. African Americans had to follow the rules of our society however, they did not receive the same rights and privileges. This fact alone created a lot of racism and reverse racism in our society which made life even more difficult for African Americans.

Moreover, not only was there white privilege in the judicial system, there also was white privilege in our culture as well. For example, “American economic and political life gave different racial groups unequal access to citizenship and property, while cultural practices including Wild West shows, minstrel shows, racist images in advertising, and Hollywood films institutionalized racism by uniting ethnically diverse European American audiences into an imagined community-one called into being through inscribed appeals to the solidarity of white supremacy” (Gallagher 139). These different shows united many of the white groups together which made things even worse for the African American. Even though many of these groups, such as white immigrants, had experienced forms of racism, they still identified with the other whites. Society made life very tough for African Americans and it was a constant struggle for them to be successful. Affirmative Action made things much easier for African Americans to have more equal rights. Affirmative Action put them on the same playing field as whites. There has been many arguments today that Affirmative Action is not needed as much anymore, however, I think that racism against African Americans still does go on and there should be privileges for them being that whites had the privilege long before they did so it just makes things fair.

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An Argument Against Categorization of People by Race or Skin Color. (2022, Sep 13). Retrieved from