Racialization is the act of grouping people into races in order to guide one as to how to treat them based on their group membership. This can be as simple as seeing a darker-skinned man walking down the street, classifying him as African-American, and becoming tense or assuming he may cause a crime because of how he looks. In reality, that man has a distinct personality, dreams, wants, and behaviors that may or may not fit into a closed minded definition. One of the most blatant examples of racialization was the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. A white man saw a dark-skinned man in a hoodie and immediately racialized him as a threat as an African-American. He then proceeded to shoot him without provocation because of this racialization, and the opinions he had of that race, in his mind.
The Gould/Morton controversy is a fascinating one. In the mid 19th century, Samuel Morton, an American anthropologist, published skull measurements of various people from various races. He then proceeded to conclude that Caucasians has the largest skulls and, therefore, had the largest brains and were the smartest. Stephen Jay Gould published a book in 1981 called The Mismeasure of Man, claiming that Morton had misrepresented his data based on his own racial biases and his data was, therefore incorrect. In 2011, scientists evaluated Gould’s claims and concluded his claims were overstated and incorrect. I think that Gould’s inaccuracies do not necessarily lend credibility to Morton’s claims, rather they call for a need for further investigation. Gould clearly overstated and fudged the data, but that does not necessarily mean Morton’s data was without bias. I would like to see another skull measurement study done to see how far off, if at all, Morton’s findings were.