AM I BLACK OR WHITE? REALLY, HELP ME OUT HERE
Race (classification of human beings)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of characteristics and beliefs about common ancestry. The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits (especially skin color, facial features and hair texture), and self-identification.
Conceptions of race, as well as specific ways of grouping races, vary by culture and over time, and are often controversial for scientific as well as social and political reasons. The controversy ultimately revolves around whether or not races are natural types or socially constructed, and the degree to which observed differences in ability and achievement, categorized on the basis of race, are a product of inherited (i.e. genetic) traits or environmental, social and cultural factors.
Some argue that although “race” is a valid taxonomic concept in other species, it cannot be applied to humans. Many scientists have argued that race definitions are imprecise, arbitrary, derived from custom, have many exceptions, have many gradations, and that the numbers of races delineated vary according to the culture making the racial distinctions; thus they reject the notion that any definition of race pertaining to humans can have taxonomic rigour and validity. Today most scientists study human genotypic and phenotypic variation using concepts such as “population” and “clinal gradation“. Many contend that while racial categorizations may be marked by phenotypic traits, the idea of race itself, and actual divisions of persons into races, are social constructs.
So let me get this right, top of the list for categorizing people are visible traits, and at the top of that list is skin color. And this is how your government classifies you for everything. Dr. King is so ringing in my ears right now. I’m thinking about getting some T-shirts printed up, to give away at my lectures…two simple words, starting what could go down as one of the most powerful civil rights demonstrations since the 60’s…