Blog Three- Jinke Sun

Race has always been my concern for the past few years. I started studying abroad when I was 15(now I’m 20), and I came to America from a heavy mono-ethnicity country, China. Coming from a place where everyone has the exactly same skin color, hair color, eye color and many physical appearances, I was shocked by how diverse America are. I never even thought of race or ethnicity before I came to America. As I begun to understand more about ethnicity, race and physical appearance, I understood that there are a lot of cultural and historical reasons behind that. A part of the AAA’s professional race report helped me to understand the reasons behind further.

Race, and people classifying, was employed under the purpose of better control the slaves by our ancestors. In AAA’s report, they mentioned that “In the latter part of the 19th century it was employed by Europeans to rank one another and to justify social, economic, and political inequalities among their peoples.” Later in the history, Nazis under Adolf Hitler expanded the idea of race and people classification, and made it an excuse for war and genocide towards the “inferior races”. Today, we can still see a lot of debate going on about “race”, and much of those debates are really from the conflicts of left over historical issues.

Biologically, there are no such thing as “race”. The third position posts of AAPA, demonstrated the fact that there isn’t any evidence, ever, to show the existence of race. However, this AAPA post brought up the fact that we are not only physically, but also genetically diverse. There were more explanation in the video of why our appearances are different- environment, mutation and genetic drift were a part of the factor. If I were going to explaining to someone who with no biological background why there aren’t any biological boundaries, I will probably explain that our genetic variation with our DNA isn’t enough to biologically distinguish race between human beings. The reason why Asians have dark hair color, Caucasians have green eyes, Africans have dark skins, is because the environment shaped our physically features during the long history of evolution. I would bring up Allen’s Rule as an example, where bunnies in the dessert have longer ears and tails to help radiating the extra heat, and bunnies in higher latitude tend to have shorter limbs. They may still be the same species and successfully reproduce an offspring with a mixture features, biologically we may still say that there isn’t a biological race boundary between them because they share a common descent. As human beings, just like what AAPA stated in the race statement, we all belong to a single species, homo-sapiens, and we share a same descent.

Honestly, I think this week’s lecture made me more confident about our ethnicity and race conflicts. Globalization speeds up with the development of technology, mating choice will be more globalized instead of “local only”. As a result, our offspring are eventually going to share those special “environmental feature” left over from ancestors (such as Africans have darker skin as a protection from exceeded sunshine near equator). As our appearance gets closer in the future, I hope human can reduce all the conflicts between races and create a more peaceful world!

5 thoughts on “Blog Three- Jinke Sun

  1. I completely agree with your thoughts on genetic variation. I spend most of my time traveling around the world, its one thing to be white, black, brown, or yellow but there is not many gingers (redheads) out there. Being a red head, freckled, and green-eyed, I stand out just about every where i travel, especially in mono-ethnic countries. The stares, the looks, the touching of the hair, and again even more stares from the people. Most of my family are red heads and fair complected, so I just thought everyone was like when I was younger, until I started traveling. Sometimes, a genetic variation can be very annoying when traveling, I would probably standout traveling to places like China, South America, and the Middle East. But, in areas farther away from the equator most people carry the same phenotype of lighter skin as I have, just maybe not the red hair.

  2. Interesting post! I am sure you have a very unique point of view coming from a very mono-ethnicity culture to a more diverse. I like how you detailed the history of racism and how the term race has come to be used heavily now, echoing the AAA statement. I also like how you brought up that the differences in physical traits of “races” stem a lot from just the simple fact of evolution which has made people adapt to their surroundings. In my post I also addressed how as interactions in the world continue there definitely needs to be more acceptance of people of different groups!

  3. HI!
    I loved your super unique viewpoint when it came to this week’s blog post! Being an international student and living in a country you are not native to gives you a great viewpoint on the controversial topic on race. It was really uplifting to read your post, as you have seen so many different races and cultures in your lifetime. I really enjoyed your explanation to someone who does not know the topic too well. While there are different genetic traits which different people from different nationalistic can possess, this is not even close enough for human beings to be completely different races. Your last bit about global and ethnic conflict also really struck a chord with me. When you look at things from an anthropological level, conflicts over ethnicity and such seem so trivial and pointless. Hopefully as more gets discovered, people will become more aware of how similar each and every one of us are. Great work!

  4. I completely agree with you about how this weeks lecture made me feel better about our ethnicity even though in todays world it is a very evident fact that racism is still around. Yet, some people still genuinely don’t know that race has nothing to do with science. There is no such thing as race and it is completely unscientific (I think you may have said this too). As we have learned, there is genetic variation in humans. Throughout the years we have adapted to environments and gotten a few adaptations over time. I love how you mentioned the point about how The Europeans were the first people to classify the order of race. This goes back to last weeks lecture where it was stated that human nature is to put things into order and classify them.

  5. Like you, I did not think of race or ethnicity until I was about 15. I live in an all white community and we have almost no diversity within our schools and surrounding communities. As I started to get older I was exposed to more areas and cultures and starting paying attention to the news. This really opened my eyes to the idea of race. I also noticed the reference in the AAA’s report of how in the 19th century race was employed by Europeans to justify their rank between one another. We definitely still see a lot of debate about race, especially in the United States, and I agree that they all descend from conflicts from the past. I talked about this in my post, but I don’t believe the debates and conflicts we have now will ever stop and if they do it won’t be in our lifetime. People are just not willing to change their beliefs when it comes to race.

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