Character race does more than establish bonuses and detriments. It sets the stage for attitudes and prejudice, defines potential regions of residence, it narrows the scope of what goals (from the millions of options) the character might set out to achieve. In addition to these things, the race of your character will color the view others have of the character on sight.
If a dark elf is covered from head to foot to obscure their race, the already spark suspicion and mistrust in others. Monstrous races often conflict with the perceived civilized ones, on sight with no provocation but presence. Sea Elves may be met with wonderment or hatred. Halflings may be seen as jovial traveling companions or potential thieves. Right or wrong, race can (and should) play a huge part in the life of your character both before and after submission.