Race is a complex issue in our society. Most individuals state they are “colorblind,” but race is a part of our everyday life. We use race in our descriptions of people every day, but there is a line between identifying race and being a racist. Race is more than color, however. When you change your treatment of someone based on race, you have fallen into racism.


Race is a group of individuals who share common physical characteristics, history, nationality and geographic location. Race characterizes individuals based on physical appearance, and infers stereotyped differences between individuals. Ethnicity overlaps race, and represents cultural and historical differences. The University of Dayton states that the biological aspect of race, where genes determine skin color and physical characteristics, are inherited. On the other side of the debate, there are no universal characteristics among all or even most individuals of the same race or characteristics that one race has that another does not have.



Racism is acting or making decisions or changing your attitude toward a person based on his race. Treating someone of a different race as inferior to another race, another person or you constitutes racism. Unearned privileged based on race that subordinates a person of a different race is racial discrimination. The key is the value you place on someone because of his race. You can think about race or a person being another race, but if you devalue someone because of race or value someone else more for being a different race than another person, that is racism.