by Sarah Nove ‘20
In the social media generation, there are certainly new patterns of thinking that have lead to the creation of some out-there ideas. Not all of these ideas are bad, but the idea of being “trans-racial”–that is a bad idea.
The idea of being trans-racial is similar to being transgender, except instead of identifying as a different gender, one identifies as a different race. However, the argument behind transgenderism can’t be applied to race without being blatantly racist. It’s not sexist to claim that women and men have a different mental make-up; that’s a fact. But to claim that one’s brain is different because of their race? That only supports the claim that race significantly impacts a person’s brain chemistry and personality, which has been used to justify racist behaviors for generations.
In the younger years of America, many segregationists claimed that African-Americans were more likely to be violent based on their genetics, presenting this as ‘evidence’ to support their argument against civil rights. They falsely argued that the genetic makeup of African-Americans made them inferior to other races.
To call oneself “trans-racial” undermines the very movement that the label spurred from. Not only does it minimize the difficult realities of being transgender, it perpetuates the idea that skin color affects a person’s mind.
Though individuals who identify as “trans-racial” likely have good intentions, the baselessness and culturally insensitive nature of the trans-racial movement as whole oversteps the boundaries of ‘progressiveness’ into the territory of misappropriation.