Being an excessive coffee-drinker myself, there is nothing I love more than sitting in a niche cafe with a coffee-to-go (just simpler to hold and less chance of spilling) whilst watching the wide variety of customers rushing about their daily business but still making that extra bit of time with friends or family to sit in and get a hot drink. Spotting the locals is something I, myself would class as a talent however; it does spark many questions as to why people decide to partake in such rituals, some almost religiously.
After a lecture I attended on Tuesday, I was made aware of the fact that there is so much more behind coffee-drinking than meets the eye. Coffee drinking can associate with many things such as, globalisation; friendship; a ritual and even the much-loved catch-up. It sparks conversations into debate as to why caffeine is such an acceptable drug and remains legal whereas some countries are unhappy with this use of caffeine and will be quite happy to permit the use of Marijuana. The activities we take part in whilst drinking coffee are also very important, the various discussions we have, some life-changing whilst others remain dour catch-ups with Great Aunt Margaret that won’t move on past the topic of weather after assuring her that I have had enough to eat at least 4 times before she has finally swallowed the last drop of her double shot skinny latte.
I know what’s running through your head… ‘What a waste of my time, clicking on an article about racism and now I just want a coffee’ Worry not, there is method behind my relatable nonsense.
What I was doing was dusting off your sociological imagination and encouraging those of you reading this that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the structure and functioning of human society. The particular topic I am wanting to discuss is on, as the title suggests, racism. It is a subject that we talk about without much weight… something that we may even joke about when with our friends, no harm intended, but actually thinking about racism being a dangerous, restricting and life-threatening topic sends shivers down my spine as I have been fortunate to grow up in a family and a society that hasn’t had any such issue with race in the short, 19 years I have been alive. Just seeing cases such as Emmett Tills is enough to make my stomach turn.
Thanks to Joseph Arthur Gobineau, we were all split into three groups; white, black and yellow. The White were seen to have ‘superior intelligence, morality’ and ‘willpower’ whilst the Black were seen as being ‘less capable, lack of morality and emotional instability’ Not long after this, the second world war inspired the idea of ‘Race Science’ but this wasn’t continued as it was discredited when the war ended (part of this was because the Nazi’s were incapable of providing reason for their racial theories in their discriminatory policies. Nowadays, social scientists believe that, ‘Race is nothing more than an ideological construct.’ which then begs the question of whether or not sociologists should abandon race as being a useful concept altogether. Race is seen now as more of a set of Social Relationships in which groups and individuals can be located. While I have been researching this topic, it has become all the more confusing to me as to why people would even have a desire to think upon someone as being lower-class merely based upon what ‘race’ they assume they fit into… the kind of people who will be screaming for equality and claim that everyone should have equal rights whilst clutching their handbag closer to them as an African-american male steps into the elevator. It’s 2018, and it is magnificent to see how the world has changed in the last century, but we still have so far to go as this is something i believe we shouldn’t have had to combat in the first place.
perhaps i will rewrite this blog as a teacher, teaching kids from all backgrounds and nationalities without a second thought and the famous speech of Martin Luther King will sound true as I finish with the last verse of his forever-memorable speech;
When we allow freedom to ring-when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, we are
free at last.
(Copyright 1963, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.)