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Joshua Lee

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Is the language we use perpetuating the racial divide?

When I started working at the University I was asked, "Who do you relate to?" I answered unawares of their intention, "My wife." To which there was a pause... an irritated pause... ,"No, What race do you identify with?" Response, "The human race."

This only provides a small example into the plethora of ways that language contributes to how we perceive ourselves and others. This example illustrates how language shapes identity or at least perceived identity and its association with our race. It gives clues to how society contributes to a divide that no longer should exist. I believe that we can move beyond defining ourselves through race. We can rebuild ourselves through language and allow growth to truly take place.

Perhaps then a lack of opportunities wouldn't be presented as a racial issue but an economic issue, perhaps stereotypes would disappear and we would be able to characterize each other based on work ethic not racial stigmas, Perhaps we would be able to address the social issues from a less jaded perspective. Maybe now is the time that we stop making up for our ancestors mistakes and start working together as true equals.

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    Jun 28 2013: Language is, in my opinion, only a tool -a good one, of course, but only a tool-; which couts are minds, attitudes, characters of persons, good or bad feelings. Language is only the vehicle for transmitting good or bad ideas, love or hate; even obviously, it helps for bad or for good.
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      Jun 29 2013: I wholeheartedly agree Sean.......language is a tool which we can choose to use in many different ways.

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