Africans/Indians on the bottom. ● “All men are created equal” in the Constitution was written by a slave owner…
○ Africans and Indians were viewed as less than human, unworthy of basic rights.
■ Anyone not white was viewed as “biologically inferior”
■ This led to legalized segregation, concentration camps for the
Japanese, etc. ● Thankfully, today, we know that all humans share a common ancestry; new patterns and thoughts about race are emerging.
○ However, the legacy of race continues to affect us in a variety of ways. Gaps in wealth, housing, education, employment…all privileges people have been granted or denied because of their skin color. Human Biological Diversity and the Race Concept
● Racial classification – an attempt to assign humans to discrete categories based on ancestry and appearance
● Race, in the west, is taken for granted in terms of phenotypic differences AAA Statement on “Race”
● According to the AAA, in the U.S., both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species.
● However, evidence from genetics indicates that most (94%) of physical variation lies within a racial population. Within, for example, white persons; there is a 94% racial differentiation. ● This means that there is a greater variation within racial groups than between them
● Whenever different groups have come into contact, they inbreed. What historical research has shown that the very idea of race has carried more meanings than typical phenotypical differences; it often expresses hierarchies.
● Race was invented in the 18th century to classify populations brought to the Americas
Aristotle – “Great Chain of Being”
● Aristotle, in 800 B.C., says that some people are naturally slaves and others are naturally masters – from his book “Politics”
● “There is no difficulty in this question…for that some should rule and others should be ruled is necessary; some are marked for subjection.”
● Talks about barbarians, primitives, and the like. Suggests that there should be no distinction between women and slaves
● This idea permeates to questions of culture today; flows through the idea of the “great chain of being”, that there are some dominant organisms on the planet de la Casas vs. Sepulveda
● Debate in the catholic church over what to do with the indigenous populations of the
● When Columbus discovered the New World, he reported that the inhabitants, although intelligent, had no weapons; therefore, they could be easily conquered and enslaved.
The labor was needed to search for gold
● Arguing that the indigenous people of the Americas are human and that they can be saved (de la Casas). Sepulveda believes that they cannot be saved Evolutionary Anthropology
● 18th and 19th centuries. What really drives the idea of race/racism is the idea of progress. In a social universe that saw massive growth, the history of a common life began to be understood as stepbystep stages, and that some populations on the globe were living in the past (suggested by the United States and Europe)
● From the reading, life was looked at through a series of stages, from very primitive to very complex. Taking hold the idea that some populations on the globe are of “the living past,” in a previous stage in development.
● Idea still persists today and links up with the idea of slavery, which was increasingly being rationalized in recourse the idea of this “lesser humanity” of certain cultures
● Are they descendants of Adam and Eve or not?