Our eyes tell us that people look different. No one has trouble distinguishing a Czech from a Chinese. But what do those differences mean? Are they biological? Has race always been with us? How does race affect people today?
There’s less - and more - to race than meets the eye:
1. Race is a modern idea. Ancient societies, like the Greeks, did not divide people according to physical distinctions, but according to religion, status, class, even language. The English language didn’t even have the word ‘race’ until it turns up in 1508 in a poem by William Dunbar referring to a line of kings.
2. Race has no genetic basis. Not one characteristic, trait or even gene distinguishes all the members of one so-called race from all the members of another so-called race.
3. Human subspecies don’t exist. Unlike many animals, modern humans simply haven’t been around long enough or isolated enough to evolve into separate subspecies or races. Despite surface appearances, we are one of the most similar of all species.
4. Skin color really is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. The genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or forms of intelligence. Knowing someone’s skin color doesn’t necessarily tell you anything else about him or her.
5. Most variation is within, not between, “races.” Of the small amount of total human variation, 85% exists within any local population, be they Italians, Kurds, Koreans or Cherokees. About 94% can be found within any continent. That means two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian.
6. Slavery predates race. Throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved others, often as a result of conquest or war, even debt, but not because of physical characteristics or a belief in natural inferiority. Due to a unique set of historical circumstances, ours was the first slave system where all the slaves shared similar physical characteristics.
7. Race and freedom evolved together. The U.S. was founded on the radical new principle that “All men are created equal.” But our early economy was based largely on slavery. How could this anomaly be rationalized? The new idea of race helped explain why some people could be denied the rights and freedoms that others took for granted.
8. Race justified social inequalities as natural. As the race idea evolved, white superiority became “common sense” in America. It justified not only slavery but also the extermination of Indians, exclusion of Asian immigrants, and the taking of Mexican lands by a nation that professed a belief in democracy. Racial practices were institutionalized within American government, laws, and society.
9. Race isn’t biological, but racism is still real. Race is a powerful social idea that gives people different access to opportunities and resources. Our government and social institutions have created advantages that disproportionately channel wealth, power, and resources to white people. This affects everyone, whether we are aware of it or not.
10. Colorblindness will not end racism. Pretending race doesn’t exist is not the same as creating equality. Race is more than stereotypes and individual prejudice. To combat racism, we need to identify and remedy social policies and institutional practices that advantage some groups at the expense of others.
RACE - The Power of an Illusion was produced by California Newsreel in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Major funding provided by the Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Diversity Fund.
This is why I fucks with you Yvette. (x)
For extra win, here’s her response to random disgruntled white woman #52:
“It’s 2014, not 1960 get over it already.” -#52
“What horrible price are white people currently paying Melissa Hammersley? Are their wages or chance of career advancement affected? Do their children lack opportunities? Is it impossible for them to get a fair trial or equal jail time for the same crime? What has been SO hard for white people since Slavery times that black folks should allow them the right to use the N-word freely? I’m baffled.
I’m sorry you, in particular, are struggling so hard with the idea that its use is NEVER acceptable by caucasians in particular but I have now completely tired of your contributions on this topic on MY page. Feel free to continue raging against the unjust treatment of blacks towards whites and the “get over it-ness” of it all on YOUR page. God bless.” - Yvette
What isn’t cultural appropration:
• Trying/eating/making a culture’s food
• Listening to that culture’s music
• Watching that culture’s movies
• Reading that culture’s books
• Appreciating that culture’s art
• Wearing that culture’s clothing IF in a setting…
When I say “boys are dumb” what I really mean is “boys have been raised in a patriarchal society that forces them into an incorrect and problematic view of masculinity that not only forces them to strip away valuable virtues from themselves, like patience and gentleness, but also forces them them to view and treat women in unhealthy ways that devalues women as people and makes them into objects purely for a man’s benefit”
but it’s a lot faster to say “boys are dumb”
The leader of westboro baptist church died. He’s going to get up to the pearly gates and feel proud of all the hate he spread and God is going to sit him down and be like “listen here you little shit let me explain you a thing”
I was curious what the gender neutral equivalent of niece and nephew is so I googled it
that’s literally the most adorable word I’ve ever heard in my entire life
Feminist: a person who supports feminism.
Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
This is an enormous chain and I’m sorry, but I need to say this:
The laws in the Old Testament were set forth by god as the rules the Hebrews needed to follow in order to be righteous, to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve and to be able to get into Heaven. That is also why they were required to make sacrifices, because it was part of the appeasement for Original Sin.
According to Christian theology, when Jesus came from Heaven, it was for the express purpose of sacrificing himself on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. His sacrifice was supposed to be the ultimate act that would free us from the former laws and regulations and allow us to enter Heaven by acting in his image. That is why he said “it is finished” when he died on the cross. That is why Christians don’t have to circumcise their sons (god’s covenant with Jacob), that is why they don’t have to perform animal sacrifice, or grow out their forelocks, or follow any of the other laws of Leviticus.
When you quote Leviticus as god’s law and say they are rules we must follow because they are what god or Jesus wants us to do, what you are really saying, as a Christian, is that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was invalid. He died in vain because you believe we are still beholden to the old laws. That is what you, a self-professed good Christian, are saying to your god and his son, that their plan for your salvation wasn’t good enough for you.
So maybe actually read the thing before you start quoting it, because the implications of your actions go a lot deeper than you think.
I WAS IN MY SHOWER WHILE SPOTIFY WAS PLAYING AND AFTER LIKE 15 SECONDS OF SILENCE I HEAR THE AD GUY SCREAMING “HELLO THERE SPOTIFY LISTENER” AND I THOUGHT IT WAS SOMEONE IN MY BATHROOM AND I NEARLY FELL OVER