“Race” Is Not Real

Today rather than reading my thoughts on this issue I’ll just share with you information from other, more learned, perspectives on how useless and outdated all this focus on race is. It really speaks for itself.

From The American Heritage Dictionary:

USAGE NOTE The notion of race is nearly as problematic from a scientific point of view as it is from a social one. European physical anthropologists of the 17th and 18th centuries proposed various systems of racial classifications based on such observable characteristics as skin color, hair type, body proportions, and skull measurements, essentially codifying the perceived differences among broad geographic populations of humans. The traditional terms for these populations—Caucasoid (or Caucasian), Mongoloid, Negroid, and in some systems Australoid—are now controversial in both technical and nontechnical usage, and in some cases they may well be considered offensive. ..The biological aspect of race is described today not in observable physical features but rather in such genetic characteristics as blood groups and metabolic processes, and the groupings indicated by these factors seldom coincide very neatly with those put forward by earlier physical anthropologists. Citing this and other points—such as the fact that a person who is considered black in one society might be nonblack in another—many cultural anthropologists now consider race to be more a social or mental construct than an objective biological fact.

From The Encyclopedia of Public Health:

Race and Ethnicity
Within public health, there is disagreement about the meaning and use of the term “race.” Often, public health scientists and the general public alike mistakenly base their notions of race on the idea that the human species can be separated into distinct human races identifiable through differences in physical traits (e.g., skin color, hair texture, facial features). Furthermore these ideas frequently carry with them the notion that these physical or other distinguishing traits have a basis in a homogeneous set of genes that differentiate races from one another. These ideas originated in the fifteenth century when the ability to support such ideas using sound scientific methods was not possible. Now, scientists from many disciplines (e.g., genetics, anthropology, sociology, biology) agree that there are no distinct human races as was previously claimed…

Starting in the 1970s, scientific evidence began to accumulate to support the idea that races, as distinct biologically or genetically homogeneous groups of humans, do not exist. Geneticists have shown that only a very small proportion (6% or less) of human genetic variability occurs between so-called races. Furthermore scientists within other disciplines, such as biology and anthropology, have discarded such definitions of race based upon notions of biologic or genetic homogeneity. Rather, scientists recognize that the concept of race has been socially constructed—initially in the sixteenth century to justify economic exploitation and political domination of certain populations distinguishable by physical features such as skin color—and that race is a set of economic, political, and cultural relations that result in health and social inequalities.

In the face of all that, somehow people still cling to these ridiculous notions and will even fight over them. How very stupid and sad.


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