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Who Created Race?
In the late 15th century, Europeans would expand and exercise their influence into the Western hemisphere. Europe's spirit of adventure ravaged unknown territory by triggering mass episodes of genocide on indigenous populations – this was known as Colonialism. European Colonialism would also traffic and enslave black bodies from the old world, planting seeds of a permanent coloured class in North, Central and South America. Colonial expansion generated an exorbitant amount of generational wealth for Europe (and the newly established United States).
But it also produced a permanent caste system that would racialize not only the new world but the entire globe. Yes, race was created! Today, race is so central to the human species. Skin color dictates how we think, view, and engage with humanity. What if race was never created? In other words, how would the absence of race alter human interaction today? Throughout the month of February, use this question to have a robust and courageous conversation about colourism and difference.
Recommended reading: Race: Are We So Different
Paul Vaughn is a Social Studies educator in both American secondary and post secondary schools in Michigan, US.
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