Saturday, April 13, 2013

Race: the Power of an Illusion - summary

The video “Race: the Power of an Illusion” further confirmed a belief which I hold, that basically all people are of equal, if yet untapped, potential. I use the word potential in a broad, what some would say idealistic way. I literally believe the sky is the limit. This is not to say I believe people ought to (or ought not) push the limits of their own potential, but that the choice to do so is available, and available to any individual who is driven that way. Some individuals may have more challenges than others, but it is my belief that literally any impediment can be smashed with enough drive.
This film gave a clear confirmation that race is a social construct, created and continued by humans in society alone. This research has some really exciting implications for me, especially because I plan on doing work with diverse populations. Surely people are theoretically unhappy for many different reasons, but through my limited experience, most of the time it seems the people I've worked with have interpreted events when they were young in ways which seriously harm their global self-efficacy. More than any other factor I think, what people believe about themselves drastically influences life happiness and success (success understood relative to each person's goals). To allow even a handful of people to reinvent their lives with the information this movie provided would be worth the price of my tuition. Now that I have some a clear cut understanding of race as a social structure, I can use this information as ammunition in the battle to uplift any racially degraded people I come across while doing social work. I think I'll have many opportunities to apply this research. My work will be focused within the chemically dependent population, but after establishing myself I plan on doing work with other groups in different types of community projects.
Even after three classes, this course has me feeling more closely connected to everybody I come in contact with. It's powerful to be uncovering truths and myths about culture, and really makes me anxious to graduate and start applying what I've been learning. Knowing more about the way things work better equips me to open closed minds.
Besides the film, I particularly liked part of the assigned reading on the speech by Terry L. Cross. In the introductory words, the author talked about being “in the company of people who care.” As I kept reading, I couldn't help but want to be a part of that group, the group that increases the quality of life for suffering populations. It keeps reaffirming why I am in college, and why I've got these majors, and how I want to grow to be.

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