The answer to why all this talk about race



Race needs to be understood in different ways, the way that ice, water, and steam are different but still all forms of water.

The  lens of society

Society racializes us. A race label is applied to us regardless of our true ethnic heritage.

The lens of sociology

Race is the label used on birth certificates, the census, and school applications. These forms require us to self identify  in order to track discrimination, a requirement since the 1964 civil rights act. Race (phenotype) is based on our outward appearance, whereas race (haplotype) takes into account our whole physical identity – inside and out.

The lens of medical science

Most anthropologists describe race (phenotype) as a social construct, often used to discriminate and segregate. Whereas most medical scientists, curing diseases, describe race (haplotype) as real. Medical institutions collect data on self identified race (phenotype). As dangerous as the slippery slope of race-base medicine is, there has been success in finding bone marrow donors through race based donation drives for groups who find it challenging to find a bone marrow match for example. Bone marrow is more difficult to match than say blood. With blood there are four main types (A, B, AB, O). With bone marrow there may be as many types as there are haplogroups on the earth. The bone marrow donor database is in highest need for people of mixed heritage.

The lens of hate

Humans are tribal by nature. Wired into us is a fear of the new that we do not understand and therefore we have a fear of the other. The word for this fear of the foreign is xenophobia. There is a quick slippery slope from xenophobia to racism. Racism can quickly grow out of unchecked fears. Racism is further compounded for people who live in societies that normalize the doctrine of white supremacy. To abolish xenophobia we can start with abolishing the doctrine of white supremacy.

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