Race or Culture?

The American Anthropological Association has a new website entitled, Race – Are We So Different? Interesting way of looking at the way race is constructed historically and personally. The underlying argument seems to be that race is more about how we look than how we act. Here’s a paragraph from the About page, “Looking through the eyes of history, science and lived experience, the RACE Project explains differences among people and reveals the reality – and unreality – of race. The story of race is complex and may challenge how we think about race and human variation, about the differences and similarities among people.”

Then, this morning, after I uploaded some video to YouTube, I did a little surfing. (I am, to be honest, procrastinating writing a paper.) I found the video below…an Asian American rapper. I don’t listen to rap on a regular basis, but I am fascinated by the whole phenomenon. And now here is a young Asian man seeming to step completely out of the stereotype. Jin’s video is completely self-conscious; he is looking at his life and his place in the world and moving through them to create something new. This video is called “I Quit” and was supposedly his swan song in rap. Evidently, however, he has reemerged as The Emcee. If I was really procrastinaing, it would be fun to ponder what that means…did he kill off a character only to bring a new one to life? A new “points of viewing” as Goldman-Segall would call it. But now that evoked her name, I need to get back to the paper in which I am using some of her ideas.

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