Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

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Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

Beliefs about race and ethnicity influence our cultures, politics, and relationships.  What is race?  What is ethnicity?  This group explores those concepts.

Location: Global
Members: 230
Latest Activity: yesterday

Welcome!

Racism and the effects of ethnocentrism are alive and well in the 21st century.  Racism and humanism are incompatible by definition. 

 File:BlueMarble-2001-2002.jpg

The most human, and humane, thing that we can do is acknowledge and support the humanity of people who are different from ourselves.  Curiosity about what makes us human, by necessity, includes curiosity about our human ethnic heritage.

 

We are incredibly enriched by immersing ourselves in a diverse world.  We are intellectually and emotionally impoverished when we exclude others who are not our mirror image.

 

This discussion group includes many topics about race and ethnicity.  Feel free to comment to new threads, or resurrect old threads, if any spark your interest.

 

My 2 cents. Sentient Biped.

 

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Discussion Forum

Evidence of a 13,000 year old race war

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by Luara yesterday. 1 Reply

Charles Koch racist with facade

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 9. 0 Replies

White Cultural Pathologies

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Dean Smith Apr 23. 1 Reply

Review of Carl Hart's book "High Price"

Started by Luara. Last reply by Richard Goscicki Dec 27, 2013. 4 Replies

Buried alive - Kalief Browder

Started by Luara. Last reply by Luara Dec 10, 2013. 4 Replies

The Guardian / World / Race Issues

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Comment by Joshua on June 29, 2009 at 3:58pm
I have two questions/comments... First, why are we all afraid of the topic of race, and why is it bad to explore a historic knowledge of the races and how/why they came to be?

I know that all humans are nearly homologous genetically; however, most of our genome codes for incredibly complex structures that must be conserved. The part of our genome that codes for eye, hair, skin color, texture and other physical characteristics is far less than 1% as far as I know, so there isn't much variation genetically to be had. Phenotypically; however, there are obvious differences. Why is it necessary for us to eliminate the idea of race altogather? They exist don't they??? I personally find it interesting to note how many different varieties humankind has developed and how we have all stayed interrelated enough to continue on as the same species. I think our diversity and individuality is something to celebrate, not overlook. Personally I would like to know how did the races form and manage to stay inter-bred enough to share genetic traits. Why did they form? Was it truly geographical isolation, or did tribes gain some benefit from looking very different from other tribes? All over the planet there are cases of birds, salamanders, fish which have a singular diverse species which will form "races." Especially where two or more cohabitate. It seems as if being able to share genes through this long complex process is a benefit, but being able to be somewhat segregated is a benefit too. I personally think it is fascinating...3

Also, as a personal observation, alot of the research on race that I have seen is pretty much junk science. I saw this blood type distribution report trying to prove that the very idea of races was a fallacy, showing that ABO blood types were distributed regardless of race. I laughed until it hurt at A). how stupid it was and B). how the academic bodies of this nation have become such cowards that they would allow junk science like that to get published in the first place. Does no one realize that humans and chimps have the same blood type? No one? Ok, let me explain this. They tried to use blood type to disprove the existence of race, which has nothing to do with one another. Race is about physical obvious characteristics which help with sexual selection, blood type is about surface carbohydrates on a blood cell. How is a member of a species supposed to detect that??? Of course it isn't going to be subject to sexual selection. Secondly in attempting to disprove race via bloodtype, he may as well have been trying to disprove speciesism via bloodtype. Hell, we share like 98% of our genes with chimps and they have the same blood typing as us, so we MUST be the same species!!!

Why is it wrong to know about humankind. We have subtypes just like every other species on this planet. When they interbreed, they form hybrids just like any other species on this planet. Those hybrids survive, bluring the lines between groups, just like any other species on this planet, and the groups are only noticeable when two extremes are placed side by side just like any other species on this planet. I just don't see why people are trying to deny the existance of races. Humankind has races, get over it.

Now the big issue is, how to we get the races, which exist, to get along. I don't think lying to them and using junk science is the answer. Maybe, just maybe if we could explore our shared history in an open and honest way, interest in one another just might bind us together... We are still the same species after all, which is only possible if we maintain gene flow (ie breed with one another to some degree) that is a sure sign of hope, isn't it???
Comment by Jo Jerome on June 27, 2009 at 10:48am
Just joined, (and dead tired so it will be a while before I can start being actively active).

Very cool concept for a group. I sometimes lurk on places like black freethought atheists or gaytheists to gain insight and perspective. It sounds sappy and almost arrogant, but I really was raised by parents who did all in their power to keep the -isms of the world from me and I think they largely did a great job.

One of the big moments was as an adult living on my own, I went to an open AA meeting to support a friend. Being somewhat familiar with the AA crowd, this meeting of 50 or so strangers-to-me was as expected. Little judging of the new person, lots of acceptance, no problem with the new person coming not because I'm an alcoholic but to support a friend who is. In all the feel-good fest it took me a good hour or so before I realized I was the lone white girl in a room of all African-Americans.

Went right home and called Mom and Dad to thank them. None of us can truly be color-blind, especially in the society where we live. But it was thanks to their upbringing that I was raised to be so comfortable in such a setting I don't even notice at first that I'm the only soda cracker in the room. ;-)
Comment by Sentient Biped on May 26, 2009 at 2:06pm
Dallas,
Thanks for posting this inspirational story. For those without access to the video, here is a wikipedia bio of this amazing scientist.

This is a man who has touched millions of lives, and most people don't know his name. His research was key in making modern birth control possible. The wikipedia bio may have more chemical terms than some people are comfortable with - I would just gloss over those sections. According to the bio, Dr. Julien transcended prejudice, discrimination, and poverty, to become one of the great scientists of his time.

Thank you for sharing this information. I can add a humble suggestion, creating discussions with postings such as this would help people locate and comment on it specifically.
Comment by A Former Member on May 26, 2009 at 10:51am
Actually, I got it almost all wrong. It is Percy Julian, not Julian Perry. That's my bit of dyslexia for ya!
Comment by Ralph Dumain on May 26, 2009 at 10:10am
The documentary on Julien Perry (or is it Perry Julien?) was on PBS a year or two ago. It was excellent.
Comment by A Former Member on May 26, 2009 at 9:29am


NOVA presents: Forgotten Genius: Against all odds, African American chemist Julian Perry became one of the great scientists of the 20th century.

Tuesday, June 2nd at 8 PM on PBS.
Comment by A Former Member on May 20, 2009 at 11:04am
Actor Sidney Poitier: Striving For A Life Of Excellence

When Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier was born, he was not expected to live. He was premature and so tiny, he could fit into his father's hand.

Listen here.
Comment by Ralph Dumain on April 10, 2009 at 8:50am
I think all topics should be moved to a discussion forum, instead of crowding the comment wall. There will be several topics to pursue-ethnicity, race, and the peculiar cases in which they merge. As for religion, the relation between religion and ethnicity is also a topic; for example, so many people do not recognize that Jews comprise an ethnic group and not just a religion, an ignorance of which leads to a lot of foolish and prejudicial judgments.
Comment by Sentient Biped on April 10, 2009 at 8:42am
Ralph,
Thanks for your comments. Do you think this would be a good topic to move to a discussion forum?
Comment by Ralph Dumain on April 10, 2009 at 12:48am
People can change their attitudes and valuations under certain circumstances, and it is the case that not everyone internalizes all the values and perceptions common in one's society, but it is decidedly false that people can choose not to perceive the significance of color in their society and not tailor their behavior in some way accordingly. One's ability to navigate and survive in one's society involves having some working idea of what's going on in one's environment and the consequences of behaving in one way rather than another, of how to react to a given situation or environment. First of all, minorities don't have the luxury of being oblivious to how others may deal with them. And when others maintain they are color-blind they are only blind to what is really going on in their society. In actuality, we are all forced in some way to respond to situations in a way different than our conscience might otherwise dictate: for example, how we react to people on the street when there is a potential safety issue. In fact, the internalization of expectations is so insidious, that even when we are wary of giving into them, we cannot help but under certain circumstances to do so. And even more insidious is the way that minorities develop the same expectations toward one another as the majority does towards them. For example, you will find where I live, and probably anywhere, that a black cab driver will avoid picking up black passengers, a black security guard will keep his eye on black customers in a store, a black woman encountering a black male on the street at night will cross the street to avoid passing him by, etc.

The only way to achieve actual freedom is to first give up the illusion that you are free.

Secondly, I should not be labelled as a "skeptic" based on my interventions here. I have a pretty realistic idea of how things go in American society, and I'm not about to pretend that what's real is not and what is not real is.
 

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