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David Semitekol

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Media polls that identify us based on our skin color are forms of racism and segregation.

The media consistently displays percentage polls of what people think on several different topics and segregate our races into categories: Caucasian, African American, Latino and so forth. This categorization of people is a form of racism and segregation. Racism is the general classification of people based on their race and not on their individual self. When we categorize people based on the color of their skin we will continue to focus more on race than on individualism which means that we will never take the next evolutionary step of equality in our country.

Now is the time to tell the media, the world and each other that we will no longer be categorized based on the color of our skin. Percentage polls categorizing race should no longer be used. Together we are one and together we are individual persons and how we think and what we believe belong to ourselves and not to a group of people who just happen to have the same skin color as we do.

I don’t want people to look at a poll and think that a Caucasian or an African American thinks this way or that. It creates an “us” versus “them” mentality and says that we are different because our skin colors are different and we should point that out in a poll. The person standing next to me is a person, and while I care what he thinks, I don’t care what color he is and don’t want to say that he thinks that way because of his color since the last poll says that people of that color think that way.

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    Jul 22 2012: Yes, I agree it is a way to categorize data, but do we need to? The main concern of course is the upcoming election, and how people focus so much on what a race will do in the country.

    I agree that for most purposes, categorization is important. However, when the only difference is skin color, then we must ask if it is necessary.

    The color of our skin should not change who we are and I think that at this point, it should simply be overlooked. The problem with looking at a skin color is that it generalizes us and our skin color does not determine anything about us. It fits us into groups, and when people are placed into general groups they tend to not feel like they are part of the larger group, America.
    • Jul 22 2012: I think there still is a need to categorize based on race. My reason is simple, these polls show different opinions. If a particular race has a particular stance on an issue, it should be noted. I actually think it would be worse if we didn't acknowledge that different groups had different opinions. I really think that these are still viable simply because they bring a new piece of information. If races did believe the same about an issue, the polls would all be the same. There would be no need for these polls, but that is not the case today. Different races still had different views on different issues. Why is bad that we simply poll it?

      The color of a person's skin shouldn't influence a person's view. Nobody implied that at all. It should be noted that these polls do provide valuable information. It does help pollsters and politicians create their policies to attract a certain group. This is no different than a politician appealing to a certain religious group that is common in their district. I don't necessarily believe that placing people into groups separates them from larger groups either. I am a college-age student. Like many other college students, I have a rather socially liberal stance. This is a trait that is common in college-age students and should be polled.

      The main thing to remember is that these are polls. They simply ask people what they think. Not everyone in a group believe a certain way. These polls do not imply that every person in a certain demographic must have a certain view. They simply say "x percent of this groups believes this." These don't say anything about the validity of these views or suggest that a person must have this view to be part of a demographic. It is simply asking what people think. If different races do think differently, a poll that categorizes based on race seems valid.

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