The issues of culture, national belonging and race have always been in the focus of human intercultural relations throughout the period of time, when people began to construct these concepts. People are different and even diverse in such a great number of different ways. We differ by gender, the color of our hair, by our height, by the shape of our ears, and by countless of other things, which could have been transformed into the categories, which then served as a base for making judgments. And each of these categories could work as good, as race or ethnic background actually work. In fact, all these categories are artificially constructed, and this construction take place quite randomly. We pick certain feature, and make an obsession out of it. It is easier to live in a categorized world, in the world of “ifs” and “thens”. We know, that if a person is female, there is a strict set of things, which we expect of her and they have nothing to do with her sex, instead, they influence her intellectual category of gender. The trick is, that such a woman very quickly, influenced by public opinion, and begins to believe these things herself. It is known, that a woman thinks in an emotional, rather than rational manner, that she is impulsive, that core values for her are family, children and cooking. And we know of a male individual, before he opens his mouth or before he reveals his nature in any other way, that he is more aggressive, than a woman, that he minds his work and drinking. We force little boys to follow this pattern by purchasing the toys, which correspond to their sex, as we believe, same also goes for little boys. Very few get to think where this belief derives from. Very few questions the existence of any sort of solid base under all these believe, but let us not forget, that we now live in a progressive era, when we are believed and ourselves believe to think freely, without any prejudice or stereotype in mind. This is yet another categorization, another simplification. We have constructed a category of us, modern people, who are tolerant and free of prejudices, incapable of discrimination and so on. At the same time this seeming simplification makes things much more complicated. We fail to actually realize the existing world order, we fail to recognize our motives, since we strongly believe, that , we, modern people, are free of all this, we live in a happy new world, where things, like race and gender, do not shape our vision of an individual. In fact, this is what DuBois spoke about in his work (2016).Order now
DuBois referred to his experience of getting reasonable education, the experience of earning his education through hard work, and he finds this experience very helpful. It allowed him to understand the value of education and to independently decide, whether this value is worthwhile investing so much effort into. He explains, how he came to a decision to give up the little he had and risk everything, including his life, for a chance of something that was considered nearly impossible at the times, when he lived. This he did despite the socially pressed upon his vision of himself as, first of all, a black man, who is not quite a man, or, at least, a man of quite different nature, the man who cannot and should not count on the privileges of higher education. Yet another prejudgement, against which he stood up. The education was considered and still is considered as a privilege, and not as an opportunity. In fact, we all claim, that education is an opportunity, but instead, despite all these talks, we feel inside, that it is a privilege, something, that gives us additional rights, increases our self-esteem, and has nothing to do with our responsibility before our own selves for earning high quality education. DuBois starts his publication with a memory of his childhood, during which he lived in inhumane conditions, but still he wanted education so badly, that traveling far for the sake of earning it was not even questioned. He had to work physically hard, he had to sleep in the street. None of that was seen as a sacrifice. Instead, it was a fair price, which was accepted with no question. Simply because education was worth it. DuBois makes a claim, stating that if everybody were to work that hard for their education, the quality of education would be higher, the quality of knowledge obtained would benefit as well. Instead, he claims, people use fine clothes in order to express themselves, to show that they are something they are actually not.
Posnock also discusses similar issues in “After Identity”. Posnock discusses the idea of belonging to a nation as it is most frequently seen, something, that we inherit, and not earn or realize (Posnock, 2000). It is something that comes to us in one kit with the chromosomes we inherit from our parents, and, in some instances, the money or the social status, which we also inherit instead of earning. But what is important in DuBois’s account, is the proof, that in fact, despite all these artificial categories, pressed upon us by the society, we still can go beyond the artificial boundaries and avoid participating in creating them ourselves. We can opt to either follow the mainstream course or through our own example over and over ratify the claims, based on no branching evidence. Unfortunately, the disadvantage of a humans being social animals is that we believe things, which are being said by authorities and then repeated by a large enough number of people. And not only have we believed things about others, we also believe things about ourselves. There is racist ideology, those, who share it strongly believe that those who are of different race possess a certain set of features. They are in-born and there is nothing we can or should do about it. During the times of slavery people used to believe that black people are more like animals. They are good for work, since they are strong and they have no human feelings. They should be exploited, and providing them with education is very similar to attempts to educate animals. There was no way and no need for them to be educated. Interestingly, being told so for a great number of times, the black people began to believe it themselves. They imply did not doubt what these strong and powerful white people were saying. Who they were to judge? They have inherited their race, but they have not inherited the nationality of the country they lived in.
Over a hundred year have gone by, but have we changed much? Yes, we seem to all hare the belief in the importance of equity and equal right. We all believe ourselves not to be racists. But are we far from racist ideology? The answer is still negative. We still believe things about people based upon their skin color. We still take decisions based on gender, age, color of skin. Nowadays, we face much a phenomenon, as positive discrimination. We still do not think of a person beyond the color of their skin. It’s just the nature of decisions we are making regarding people, still based upon color of their skin, have drastically changed. Thus there is still enough space for change, for education, which we need to earn, not receive.