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Looking At Yourself Through A Different Machine

November 10, 2010 by Eaglecorps911

By Allison McKenzie
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be a different race? So many times in life, we often wish that we could live life as someone else. However, not many of us have the opportunity to do so. Instead we are left wondering, “If I could just be someone else then I would…”
Well, now through Nov. 12, students can have that experience at the Martin Luther King Jr. Lounge in the Student Life Center by participating in the Human Race Machine.
The Machine takes a photo of the student and when the photo is processed, they can view themselves in a variety of races.
Will Alston, a film major from Matawan said, “No it [the Race Machine] did not change my perception of race. Everybody is who they are.”
Similarly, Chenelle Jenkins, a fine arts major from Eatontown, and Michelle Castner, a culinary arts major also from Eatontown, said that the Machine did not change their perceptions of race.
“There is only one human race. It doesn’t make sense to be racist towards humans when you are one,” Castner
However, the most important point that the Machine made to students was that race, in fact, is not something that is passed down from generations. Surprisingly, the characteristic we know to be race have been altered to accommodate society’s standards.
According to the Machine, race is a modern idea that has no genetic basis. Another important fact about race is that the appearances we see in people from day to day are only “skin deep” and are not representations of a human sub species.
Although modern science tells us that there is no DNA test to indicate race, the struggles of the oppressed cannot be forgotten. When asked if they could imagine themselves living different lives as other races, Alston said, “I’d be interested in living a different life.”
“It would be easier than being black. It’s not easy being an African-American,” Jenkins said.
Yet, the greatest challenge that the Machine project tries to establish is the fact that, “Racism isn’t biological, but racism is real.”
As race and freedom evolved together in history, the words black, and white and yellow began to have more of an impact on how each person viewed one another in society.
As rights were granted and protests were made, invisible lines were drawn to separate people into groups. The war against racism has not come to an end, and it will not cease by being colorblind.

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