Week 2 Reflection Post

Racism is the process of one group discriminating against another group solely based on a few characteristics, notably religion or skin color. Racism usually begins when one group who, by circumstance, has a higher position in the social hierarchy starts acting discriminatory against another group for a variety of reasons. It could be out of unwarranted fear based in xenophobia. It could also be used as a scapegoat to problems by shifting the blame to another group. Or it could be a tactic to elevate oneself above others in an attempt to secure or gain new power. Whatever the motivation may be, racism always stems from ignorance or maliciousness.

The idea that modern biological science and the concept of race grew up hand-in-hand is partially true, but a very misleading statement. The statement suggests that biological science has helped prove that separate races exist. While research in both categories has been ongoing simultaneously throughout history, and do often crossover, biological science has in no way proved that there are biologically separate human races. Many researches with racial biases have tried using biology to prove that these separate races exist, such as with Morton’s skull measuring, but none such research has proven anything of the sorts. In fact, it could be argued that as more research is done, specifically in the fields of genetics and genomics, it is becoming more and more apparent just how similar all human beings are. All humans share 99.5% of their DNA with all other humans. It’s difficult to argue that human beings can be separated into races or subspecies when all humans are so evidently similar.

3 thoughts on “Week 2 Reflection Post

  1. I completely agree with your opinion that the statement “Race and biological science grew up hand-in-hand,” is misleading. Just as you mentioned, they were studied simultaneously and while big names in each field had what they would consider to be successes, there is no actual correlation between biological science and race. Race is a social construct that individuals tried to legitimize through science, but there is no real evidence that such a thing exists based on scientific fact. I like what was mentioned in one of the lectures about cats and dogs having more genetic variation than humans do. When we do look at the differences between humans, most of them can be explained through adaption in response to environmental factors and there’s no real difference otherwise. For example, those who live closer to the equator have darker skin due to increased melanin production to protect themselves from the sun; those who live in places with little sun have lighter skin so they can soak up as much vitamin D as they can with their limited exposure to sunlight.

  2. Hi,

    I completely agree with your perspective on racism. I think that as you said racism is notably discrimination against a group based on a few characteristics. However, I think one interesting thing is about racism is identifying to what degree is establishing a higher position labeled racism. To me racism does not have to be a hateful act. I think we all tend to have racial tendencies if not at least thoughts throughout our day. When we label someone as different for not being able to do something or even for even being able to do something I believe we are acting in with racism. An example is when we expect black males to be good athletes. This is not saying they are necessarily better or worse than you in any way, but we are labeling them based on a perceived notion that we have witnessed in other black people. However, I do not think my views are exactly correct, this is just how I distinguish racism. Overall, I think that it is important to treat everyone the same and not make judgments based on color or perceive something that on generalizations.

  3. I agree with your definition of racism and totally agree that it’s extremely ignorant. Racism is something that is learned. Rather its from your parents, peers, or society period. It’s so sad that people are taught to hate others solely off the color of their skin or religion, without even knowing anything about that person. I also liked how you explained that “Racism usually begins when one group who, by circumstance, has a higher position in the social hierarchy starts acting discriminatory against another group”. I believe thats the main reason racism has ever begun and they taught their children the same thing generation after generation.

    I also agree that biological science has in no way proved that separate races exist. If anything, I believe biological science has proved that their is only one race and that’s just the human race. You mentioned that humans share 99.5% of the same DNA, so that’s proof that there is only one human race.

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