November 25, 2012

"Irreducible Difference"

I feel a large portion of Gates' argument is centered around the conception of race as a divisive factor, "a trope of ultimate, irreducible difference, between cultures, linguistic groups, or adherents of specific belief systems" (5). Predisposition, when applied to race, lends itself to exaggeration and distortion. Physical racial differences are clear (skin color, hair, facial features, etc.), yet to assume those physical characteristics imply an ulterior distinction between races is fallacious. Furthermore, to imbue our system of language with features that support this distinction ultimately does create differences between us. Gates' best describes this dilemma on page five, "we carelessly use language in such a way as to will this sense of natural difference into our formulations."

I feel the argument is: Language creates more of a racial distinction than a supposed predisposition of race. In effect, it is not the physical differences that divide us racially, but the language associated with these differences and the effects it implies that makes a true difference.

Is my assessment accurate?

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