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How Does Race Affect My Identity?

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The two identities that I have decided to evaluate are my race (white) and my gender (female). These two identities make up a huge portion of who I am. For that reason, I feel that it is important for me to delve into these identities to better understand myself. In regards to my race I have never felt very impacted. I grew up in a predominantly white town, my teachers (with the exception of my 7th grade Spanish teacher) and my classmates being white. Race was barley discussed in my classrooms or at home. I feel as though instead of being taught about race, I was taught that it didn’t exist. When I interacted with people of color I always tried hard not to see race. In my mind, I was the same as a black person, had the same rights and opportunities as a Spanish person. This was the…show more content…
However, I now know that that was naïve of me. Race does exist and ones race greatly impact their identity. By making everyone the same I was in essence putting everyone in my racial category and expecting everyone to see the world through my eyes. Was my behavior a result of my culture’s way of avoiding the problem of racism? I would say yes. Peggy McIntosh puts my young dilemma best when she says, “I was taught to see racism only individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance of my group.” I now realize that as a white person, I carry what McIntosh refers to as an “Invisible Knapsack.” Reading her article on white privilege was a huge eye opener. It was true that I have never been asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. It was true that if I get pulled over I can be sure the that have not been singled out by my race. It was true
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