The concept of identity is a complex and ambiguous one to say the least. What is it about society that makes us feel the need to add the footnote: Jewish, Black, Muslim, etc., to our existence? This self-imposed segregation of our own species thus far, has only served to assist discrimination and hysteria. The blight this casts on society according to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainer Bill Cosby, and writer Tony Judt, is caused by ourselves, creating these race and religious identities in order to feel safer, blame others for own problems, and an attempt to make a perfectly imperfect world uniform.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, Americas view on Muslim ...view middle of the document...
If society was not the one who made identification of whether someone was Muslim important, then why would Mayor Bloomberg call upon the people or society in this case, with regards to the issue of the mosque, instead of a law or governing body? Simply, because the people, are who made identifying something or someone as Muslim important, and no one else.
Recently Bill Cosby addressed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP) for the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. In his address Bill Cosby says
“Ladies and gentlemen, these people set -- they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have 50% drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband. No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child.” (Bill 1)
thus, rebutting the acceptability of the modern lower class African American image. Cosby in this speech is calling upon African American society to change the image of what is acceptable in their social circle. If he believed the government, or genetics determined how people classified themselves or behaved, Mr. Cosby would have called for a cure or legislation, not a change in how people view things. The image or qualities society creates or assigns to various religious or
ethnic groups is what cause people to fall into the types of roles Mr. Cosby mentioned. Those same constructs are also what divide us, and cause people who associate themselves with one identity to blame those that associate themselves with another, and as with most problems, society who has started it, is also the only one who can end it.
In his final years writer Tony Judt published his memoirs one of which was Edge People in it Judt talks about the identity he feels most comfortable associating himself with “Edge People” which he describes as “ The edge: the place where...