“What Race are you?-I am in a Race?”: Food for Thought

Does Race exist?  Is it valuable to continue discussions of racism?  If Franz Boas (One of the fathers of Anthropology) defined much of these issues 100 years ago, why are we redefining them now?

Race exists in the sense of inherit cultural ideas of races rather than a biological fact.  “Race without Color” article by Jared Diamond focuses on the fact that race is nothing more then a cultural concept and hold little to no true aspect for how particular groups of people value the word “race”. 

I would say depending on the view of race, it exists or it does not.  The current concept of race in many human cultures, particular the highly developed and civilized, would say and yes, race– the visual differences, skills and characterizes value by humanity for success or failure for advancement is real and is important for human classification or grouping.  Other more naturalist and primitive less technological grouped humans would possibly view race– the custom, belief practice, and culture that differs from other groups geographically that make them harder to under motivation of actions when cross-race relations try to communicate.  This example shows that the understanding of race varies and many definitions do not really understand the other groups interpretation of what race means. 

Race might simply be a word that humans use to replace the word unusual, different,  peculiar, unfamiliar, foreign, strange, bizarre, weird, abnormal, incorrect etc. I would say that race exists in the mind and eye of the beholder, but biological and scientific facts have no value or true bases for existences for humans to uphold.

Since racism is in our cultural, political and daily life, it would cause the need for continued discussion on this topic.  This topic has been implanted and maintained, as Peggy Mclntosh article “White Privilege” indicates, into the system of the life we led.  Not discussing it will not make it magically disappear from our culture or our beliefs of the value and meaning of racism.  Action and expression is necessary for change and a better comprehensive understanding to take place.

 Franz Boas pioneered the use of scientific approach to anthropology, demonstrating the necessity of studying a culture in all its aspects, meaning religion, art, history, language, and physical characteristics.  Boas also addressed the importance that “no truly pure race exists, and that no race is innately superior to any other” (Boas).   

People over a century later continue discussing this issue of race, purity, and superiority over other people that have been categorized into “labels”.  These cultures need of proving, documenting, and maintaining historical evidences of that particular human groupings  success, failure, and longevity by the same group showing the why’s and how’s to justify their existences.   

Race is being redefined still due to the world’s globalization of interaction, interfacing, and economic market causing to world and her people to become increasingly connected on a global scale.  The power is growing, the groups are multiplying, and the world is engaging within this close network to reveal motives and exploitation.  Race is redefined to allow for expanding comfort of those in power, trying to maintain power and continue the hierarchy of control through solace manipulation of the massively growing multicultural and racial audience of the world lulling them into compliance of their inferiority. 

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  • Merrily McCarthy  On February 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Education creates awareness and as we move forward through time and intellectual processes and anaylisis we bring forward a refined sense of over evaluated minutia. As we can observe we live in the digital age and by definition, this indicates, that small and mircrobiology and nano technology are the in ultimate reality. So since we are over examining everything we went from big dinosaurs, to blundering cave dwellers to chinese silk embroidery work and American computer technology…all in the spit of time!

    The examining of various peoples through the “eyes of race” just seems part and parcel of this continuous process of examination, evaluation and continuous change and adjustment. The word has its appeal for being “a tool” merely describing a process and representative of another “turn of the wheel.”

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