Monday, January 19, 2009

How Does It Feel to be a Problem?

I enjoyed some of the readings from this week. Many things caught my attention that I did not know before or was unaware of. For instance, I thought the Tuskegee experiment was the key to Black people not trusting White medicine or treatments. But then I read about how medical racism goes back at least 100 more years before Tuskegee.

I read in horror how three Black women were operated on over 30 times without anesthesia. I read about how Black men were buried up to their shoulders to test the affect of prolonged exposure to sun, and how the Tuskegee experiment should be called the U.S Public Health Syphilis Study.

It is depressing to see how the politics of cultural identity use race and ethnicity to the advantage of the White people. Education about such issues sounds more like assimilation than aculturation. "In the United States, race allows us to define the problem within a historical context, whereas ethnicity provides us with the cultural identity framework for affirming meaning of psotive health and generating solutions to health problems" (Airhihenbuwa, 2007, p. 57).

Throughout history, specifically Black history, violence has been constructed as a Black experience. Race and ethnicity both have roles to play in understanding experiences and history, but such roles have been ignored by Eurocentric idealism. Race has been considered as a source of problem, but never as an identity marker where "understanding of race is critical to contextualizing the many variants of racism that manifest in the United States today" (p. 60).

It is this understanding that I want to embark upon. It is this understanding that I want to be the corner stone of my academic journey. I want to re-look into issues taken for granted, from the viewpoint of the underprivileged and I want to try to assist them in getting a voice. After Eurocentric ideas, we now have started to see Afrocentric ones. What about Asiacentric views? That is what I want to get involved with.

I am eager to find new truths and see how culture acts as my lens for finding it.

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