I. Cerroni – Week 2 – Systems of Difference

After watching videos and lectures and reading the articles for this week it is very evident that there is has been such a large misconception about race in the world. The general understanding is that the reason that races have been divided in such extreme manners has to do with genetic basis. As said in lectures, culture in Europe was to look up to the God as the power and then a man a step down. Being that the European culture took on a particular race with particular skin color and anatomical look, the races that did not fit founded their own way of life and culture. In America, we socially and physically segregated the races based on look right off the bat and created a line of power that was hard to push past.

This was the most interesting since we, as a social society, think so much in terms of looks as the basis of brains, athletic ability, functional ability, etc., when really this has zero conclusion with science and genetic study between races. With America being the place where people came to immigrate and be “free,” the white male found a way to utilize different looking people from completely different geographic and environmental parts of the world…Genetically, as talked about in the PBS video “Race: The Power of An Illusion” humans are genetically the same and have little to no differences human-to-human. Humans similarities were then compared to the dissonance between flies and penguins and how they vary in difference up to 100x.

Through all the readings and videos, I have definitely come to agree that race is indeed assumed to be based off of biology, when really it is such a social construct. The comparison used in the PBS video “Race: The Power of An Illusion” that race needs to be accepted as a social order instead of a genetic basis with the world being round and not flat relates very well. It is like learning a whole new way of thinking…and I’m very surprised that the world doesn’t know this “common” misconception to be what it is, a misconception. Race has been defined by those who want to define it all based on their experiences and basis which have nothing to do reality, being that race is nothing but a look and evolutionary differing. I think that the taboo subject of African Americans being better athletes and having “more muscle fibers” is still a thought in the back of people’s minds today! There is talk that biology and evolution required them to be faster because they lived in Africa and needed to outrun animals, but I think that people have resorted to believing that African Americans are faster simply because that is what they have experienced. When looking at the Olympics, as mentioned in video, the top guys are African American.

There are more variables than genetics, though, not surprisingly. Different places in the world have elevations that are higher, temperatures that effect efficiency, and ultimately their ability to perform and that, in turn, will effect people’s perceptions on genetic make-up of the people who simply train in different environments. I believe that this social belief will affect the performance of everyone, including African Americans! If they think they are genetically better, they will win; just like if a white runner thinks he is genetically inferior, he will lose.

Do you think that the majority of people in the world still somewhat believe that race is at the basis of genetics?
Do you think that this will be a long-standing belief for some people (especially those who do not get good education), or do you think that it can become common and ordinary that race is simply a look and different in each society and culture?

One thought on “I. Cerroni – Week 2 – Systems of Difference

  1. Considering the world, we live in today I would have to say yes, I do think the majority of people will continue to believe that race is genetic. But these biological groups that we (people) are grouped in entitled “race,” is a complete myth and research proves it. As long as we live in this socially constructed society, race will exist. I believe that there are indeed patterns of racial differences like, income inequalities, and a variety of different academic achievements, but as far as the biological basis of race goes, I don’t believe in it. As long as this world continues to believe influences and assumptions about race, we will will never grow out of discrimination and hate for those different than ourselves. Race is word, and like many other words it has a variety of meanings. And biology is not apart of one of them however race is real and it impacts us all.

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