“Construct.” Sure– easy, if you’re white.

West Grove, PA

It’s easy for white people to say that racism is a construct. But not being white (or at least not looking white), and having grown up in America it’s hard for me to believe racism is a “construct.

Comments and Discussion

  • Zak Forde

    To me, saying something is a construct (especially a SOCIAL construct) does not take away from its significance or pervasiveness. Perhaps others mean something different, something trivializing or dismissive, when using the term construct in this sense. I say we should never dismiss the power of constructs!

  • http://twitter.com/LibrarianAngie Angela Pashia

    Race is a social construct. As far as biologists are concerned, there is only one race of homo sapiens. Religion is a social construct. Marriage is a social construct. Language is a social construct. Being a social construct doesn’t make it any less real in our daily experiences. 

    We could talk about racism as a social construct, but I always insist on framing it in the context of race itself as a social construct — because that makes racism worse. From a historical perspective, this construct stuff is important, because a lot of old dead white guys spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove biological differences between the different “races” — trying to prove that their own race is smarter, more ethical, more deserving of benefits than other “inferior” races. BUT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!!! There is no biological justification for racism. There is no valid, rational justification for treating people differently based on the color of their skin or where their ancestors were born. There is nothing but your own fear of what is different.


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