Geography Paper on Geographies of Difference

Geographies of Difference

In the current world, it is virtually impossible to isolate the differences that exist among individuals and groups. These are seen through the neighborhoods we keep, spatial experiences, and units we hold in the society, however, these could come out in a very negative way, leading to the phenomenon of othering. The process is manifested by keeping racial or ethnic neighborhoods, existence of gendered space, resistance, and even to some extent sexual identities both at home and at work. To obtain deeper meaning of this phenomenon, the paper considers the analysis of a piece that hit the New York times headlines ‘The year we obsessed over identity’ in June 2015 (Morris, 2015).

The story of Mrs. Racheal Dolezal, a transracial, as named by some people, left lingering questions in the minds of individuals about the nature of identity. Racism is a key aspect reflected in this article. Being married to an African American husband and raising two colored kids, she found herself darkening her skin tone. Careful analysis shows that she could have wanted to blend in the neighborhood she found herself in. On the same note, her biological white parents did not agree on her changing the color and tried to defend their daughter’s white aspect by all means. Her main aim, however, was to make the history of Caucasian race domination vanish, and instead bring a sense of coexistence in the whole United States (Morris,  2015).

All individuals have to fight for their place in the society they live in.  Racheal, earned her position as the local N.A.A.C.P. chapter’s president in Spokane, Washington. This aspect is stressed due to her African American affiliation and also the fact that she is a woman. Needless to say that the African American community faces police brutality, combined with the fact that law enforcement officers, together with other civilians, continue killing those of African descent without proper reasons. All that, along with other matters, served as a basis for her decision to change the color. The issue of women being in power is also debatable in this case (Morris,  2015).

Her actions were seen as threats to straight white prime status, including her being a female boss and also an African American president, at least through her appearances. The process of othering, where the white people are considered superior to the rest ‘colored’ races, is a notion that she tried to oppose strongly. In her argument, the Caucasians are not the perfect population and it should not be the race against which others are criticized upon. Instead, the diversity should be acknowledged and embraced as a tool to positively impact every nation.

To show the difference between the wrong and the right ideas it’s appropriate to consider the figure of Barack Obama. He represented all the US racial groups, though he did not have neither white, nor colored identity. His contributions resulted in reduced threats to those of African descent, attributed to the fact that though he was colored, he gave every person an equal chance in almost all matters. The circumstance that interracial marriages were not allowed in the recent past and that a transracial person had been elected to the highest office was seen as a positive result of integration (Morris, 2015).

In conclusion, race, ethnicity, and sexuality are not factors that should matter in the competitive world. Actually, it is very disrespectful to judge people basing on their color. It is important for individuals to embrace their geographical differences and use them for total well-being of the human race than another reason for criticism.



Morris, W. (2015). The Year We Obsessed Over Identity. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from: