Race Relations by Delmar Jones Essay

Submitted By fvckmars
Words: 2024
Pages: 9

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………………...2
What Is Race?...............................................................................................................................................3
How and Why Do We Differentiate Races?.....................................................................................5
Effects of Differentiating Races……………………………………………………………………………..6
Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………...9
INTRODUCTION
What is race? Race is defined as an arbitrary classification of modern humans based on any or a combination of various physical characteristics such as skin color, facial form, or eye shape and more frequently based on such genetic markers as blood groups. Since race is defined based on physical features, a person’s perception of another, the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses, is most likely effected by either A) Prior interactions with said race or B) Stories of prior interactions with said race. Due to this, the idea of race introduces prejudices between many different people ultimately associating this with different actions with different races in turn effecting interactions between different races.

WHAT IS RACE?

In “Race: The Power of an Illusion” Cole Springs Harbor lab teacher Scott Bronson examines DNA from every race in order to prove that race does not in fact house any biological evidence like many have been led to believe. In this section of the video students from all different races are asked to submit DNA samples (including blood and salvia) in order to test Bronson’s theory that there is in fact little to no biological variation from one race to another. The study found that only one out of every thousand of our nucleotides that make up our genetic code is different. Compared to humans penguins have almost twice the genetic difference between one another than humans do, ten times as much of a difference when compared to fruit flies. Biological anthropologist Alan Goodman states, “…race is not based on biology but race is rather an idea that we inscribe to biology.” These findings suggest that race is merely a social construct rather than a biological construct. Alland suggest that the only way on which race would exist on a biological level would be if “the genetic distance between a set of populations is lower than the amount of genetic variation between that set and other such sets of populations.” (Alland 45-46) So where does race come from? Many conclude race to be merely a social construct based on human interactions and perceptions in the pass. Many scientists in the early 19th century and early 20th century used the manipulation of data in order to subject non-white Americans as inferior. Things like face shape/angle were used to blend the lines between African-Americans and the primitive or things like skull size were used to prove ones intelligence. A historian of science, Evelynn Hammonds suggest the blame for these false conclusions belong to the scientists who “made these discoveries.” “Scientists are apart of their social context,” she says, “…there ideas about what race is are not simply scientific ones, are not simply driven by the data that they are working with. They are informed by the societies in which they live.” This explains why scientist in these times sought out several reasons to get the public to believe that non-whites were genetically inferior, subjecting different races to different traits and/or capabilities. So how did prior scientists like Frederick L. Hoffman, author of “Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro”, find evidence to support it’s data suggesting that African-Americans were biologically inferior to their white counter parts? Along with the manipulation of data many scientists did not take into account the conditions in which non-white lived in. Many African-Americans were subject to inequality under the Jim Crow laws,…