There are no races, and sadly, we know but ignore it. We ignore it at our own expense.
Reporting by David Stone
As a journalist, founding editor and publisher of The Roosevelt Island Daily, I trust science. Science tells us how things work. Science sorts truth from untruth by analyzing what’s predictive, figuring out what’s not.
But nothing irritates me more than the mainstream media‘s scientifically illiterate use of “race.” You see it so often, you probably don’t realize it’s completely false. And it’s embedded in everything our governments do.
But it’s poison.
Way back in 1950, UNESCO told the world there’s no biological basis for racial categories. But we see race everywhere in our news media, in our neighborhoods, in our culture. Why?
There are no races
“I never should have made it through twelve years of schooling before entering a university, without ever hearing the important news that most anthropologists reject the concept of biological races”Guy Harrison in Newsweek
There Is No Such Thing As Race.
“There are no specific racial genes, Augustin Fuentes wrote.
He concluded, “There is no neurological patterning that distinguishes races from one another, nor are there patterns in muscle development and structure, digestive tracts, hand-eye coordination, or any other such measures,” in Psychology Today.
And in American Scientist, John Shea wrote, “An anthropologist who proposed using race as a serious way of describing human variability would be laughed out of the profession.”
There are no races
You might think that distinguished, informed opinions like these would demolish the nonsense of race.
Ashley Montagu imagined he did with Man’s Most Dangerous Myth. But he was wrong.
Look at any newspaper. Read entertainment options. Walk through any major city… People are thrown into categories based on phony racial characteristics.
The truth is, we all came out of Africa, all of us, no exceptions. All skin color tells us is how close to the Equator our ancestors lived.
Still, we have “black comedians” and “white voters” and all kinds of other human descriptions. They all start with color, which we know or should know means next to nothing.
We’ve built into our cultures categories into which we wedge blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics. But many “whites” are darker than many “blacks,” and Hispanics are so all over the place.
Racism is endemic
Our government embraces racism just as our mass media does. Census question have racial identity baked in.
Racism is endemic. It’s the American way. It always has been.
And culturally, whenever we use the terms “black” and “white,” we’re damn well aware that one implies good, the other bad.
So, let’s just cut it out.
Wisdom, insight and learning haven’t broken down the walls of ignorance. And the reasons are obvious.
Separating communities by race is a strategy of power. A “them and us” separation serves the powerful, blocking unity.
No matter how fair-minded you think you are, you cannot escape the stigmas of skin color. It’s rooted deep in America.
Promise to readers
This news source is a tiny slice of the media universe, but change must start somewhere. Except in opinion pieces such as this one, we will not use racial concepts.
It serves no one to use destructive myths.
Barack Obama will no longer be a “black president,” a category used in some circles to diminish the office and in others to uplift it.
And we are going to have athletes, entertainers and movies without racial prefixes, hyphenated or otherwise.
We will do our small part in clearing air polluted with bad ideas and hope others join in.