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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Race is a social construct

The only reason humans look different from one another is because of climate and geographical location. I'm against interracial dating because I believe we should only date people from the human race. The truth is there are no separate races, only different ethnicities and nationalities. The concept of race was invented by humans in order to divide each other and create social hierarchies, much like the concept of class. It has allowed some to instigate prejudice over one ‘race’ of humans over another. Examples of this include Hitler’s holocaust of the Jews, or the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Genetically, humans have all evolved from the same ancestors, but because of the natural need for classification we try and put labels on things. These include plants, animals, topics and the like. We could say that there are three different physical types of human; Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid, and that all humans possess physical features pertaining to one of these ‘classifications.’ But realistically it shouldn’t matter. Racism will end when we all view each other as simply one human to the next. We need not divide each other using social constructions.

3 comments:

  1. The concept of race was not invented by humans in order to divide each other and create social hierarchies. Yes, it has allowed some people to instigate prejudice over one ‘race’ of humans over another but that was a side effect, not the original source/intent.

    Humans' natural need for classification and labels comes from our intelligence, curiosity and ability to have knowledge. We want to communicate and we want to understand more about the world around us. Language gives us the ability to do this and the words are the results of the things we learn.

    Dividing things by race has negative connotations today because of the politicization of it all. Academically and scientifically, however, when it comes to anthropology, psychology and biology, we do see differences in race. Personally, I think we should be able to have a balance. Acknowledge that we are all of the human race but that within humanity, we are unique and diverse and certain areas did develop certain traits throughout evolution that are unique to those geographical areas and climates. We shouldn't have to deny truths that result (such as Africans handling hot weather better than cold weather and Europeans handling cold weather better than hot weather) but we also should be mature and not use those differences to treat each other less than human.

    I think racism will end, not by denying races exist, but by denying that race alone defines us. Certain races do tend to have certain tendencies and knowledge of these things can often be enlightening and helpful. We have all heard of "culture shock" when someone experiences a completely different world; This is especially true when races encounter each other for the first time (as opposed to ethnicities/sub-races).

    If we can embrace all races and stop looking at it as "us vs. them" (as a whole in society) then soon we will all become the same 1 race, as we continue to mix. As it is, the world has far more mixed children today than ever before.

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    Replies
    1. What I mean by the notion of race being socially constructed is that there is no distinct gene that differs black people from white people, and that race as we know it is not a biological thing: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/race-is-a-social-construct-scientists-argue/

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    2. Human genetic diversity is as small as it is because it is relative to other evolutionary relatives, such as the chimpanzee (which we are 98% genetically similar to, whereas with other humans we are 99% similar). This is because we are all of the same overall human race and we have all evolved since we started in Africa. As different groups spread out to different areas, they started picking up different genetic mutations (or markers) which were part of the evolution of their race (or sub-race, however you'd like to term it).

      There are distinct genes that differ from black and white people, they are called "genetic markers" and that's how they can tell your race when you take a DNA test.

      "Analysis of genomes from around the world establishes that there is a biological basis for race, despite the official statements to the contrary of leading social science organizations. An illustration of the point is the fact that with mixed race populations, such as African Americans, geneticists can now track along an individual’s genome, and assign each segment to an African or European ancestor, an exercise that would be impossible if race did not have some basis in biological reality. Racism and discrimination are wrong as a matter of principle, not of science." (http://time.com/91081/what-science-says-about-race-and-genetics/)

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