W1: There is only one Race


A.) Color, a factor that many people think describes race, actually has nothing to do with race. There is only one race and that is the human race, as described in lecture.

Socially race has varied, people with different histories have a very different understanding of race.  Initially race was thought to be explained by the status of freedom a person had. For example, not only were Africans slaves but so were the Irish. The Irish were looked down upon by the English, who enslaved people of Irish decent. Currently, people falsely define race as the color a human being is. Unfortunately although Race does not exist, racism does. As it is said in the second activity, colorblindness will not end racism. I find this to be a very true statement considering how different race is defined now than it was back when racism was described by different status of freedom.

Biologically there is absolutely no evidence backing “different races”. We truly are one race, and that is human. If we look back in time we find that we are actually all descendants of Africa. Many people, including medical doctors, still use color to describe reasons for different diseases. One example of this is would be Sickle Cell Anemia. Many people consider this a “black” disease. Although this appears to be true, it is not because of the color of the people themselves. Sickle Cell Anemia occurs in people of color because of the environment their ancestors grew up in. People of tropical areas where there were a lot of mosquitos became more immune to malaria. The environment actually has everything to do with disease, while color has nothing to do with it.

B.) Ethnicity is a word used to describe human groups that have cultural differences between them. Ethnicity, not race, is what really affects your health. Ethnicity consists of many different lifestyle choices that can have a lasting affect on health. These lifestyle choices include whether or not someone may smoke, or the eating habits of certain groups of people. “Black, Hispanic, and Asian-Pacific immigrants have lower mortality rates and lower rates of chronic disease than their US-born counterparts, which most likely is due to better health habits,” according to Patricia Lockyear. People in the US face much greater threats of heart disease and lung cancer, two things that we can do much to prevent. Better diet and greater exercise can help to prevent heart disease. While, less tobacco use can help to prevent lung cancer.

Lockyear, Patricia L. B. “Impact of Ethnicity on Health and Dietary Habits.” Medscape. June 18, 2004. Accessed July 8, 2016. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/479849_3.

4 thoughts on “W1: There is only one Race

  1. I agree with sentiment completely. A biological case for the basis of race is virtually invalid. I would also add that most of the modern ideas of race that most people have come from racist extrapolating studies that occurred in the twentieth and nineteenth centuries, which over emphasized the surface differences people have. The differences between people in different parts of the world are due to different allele frequencies of certain traits. However, these are not as significant as some people have them out to be.
    Also to expand on your point with sickle cell anemia. Thalassemias is also a similar condition in that it is a blood disorder that provides protection against malaria. This expands on the notion that race or color has nothing to do with these disorders, rather it is almost completely in response to the environment.
    I would argue that the differences in health that stems from ethnicity are only sociological reasons. You have already elaborated a strong case for how culture influences health. But another large reason for health disparities in many countries is possible explicit and implicit institutional discrimination against certain ethnicities. This can also result in health care disparities and it’s important to not overlook it.

  2. Even though many people in the world still classify a person’s “race” based on the color of their skin it seems like people would realize that all humans are virtually same. All humans have bones, organs, blood, and DNA. Differences in skin color is a result of a difference in genes. Because of this I find it surprising that people feel they can classify different skin colors basically as superior or inferior. In the sense of ethnicity affecting health, I can see how that can take place. If a minority has trouble getting a well-paying job because of the color of their skin that can affect the type of health care hey can afford. Also the amount of money a person makes in turn affects the types of foods they eat, where they live, and much more. Discrimination and racism tend to play a large role in many minorities lives and that is how it correlates with their health and well-being, when they are denied money and opportunities. I like how you stated in the beginning how you define color as what many people use to define race which is in fact wrong because all colors and shades of people belong to the same race which is the human race.

  3. Hi, Taylor! You did a great job on your post. You talked about how the Irish were slaves in the past. That was something that I remember from the lectures and it was something new that I learned. Don’t you think it is crazy how racism exists but race is not even a think? It is true that there is absolutely no biological evidence leading to separate races. I cannot remember where but I read that human DNA cannot determine race. Everyone’s DNA is designed the exact same way. I wonder if people knew what we know now about DNA and genes, would race still be socially constructed? It’s insane how people connect race with so many medical diagnoses. I wonder how long it took medics to figure out that ethnicity was the link between certain diseases and humans. Ethnicity is the way you eat, move, and do certain every day activities. It is your culture. These are things that affect your everyday health, not your race. I noticed something that you mentioned that can be argued. Sickle Cell Anemia does not occur in all colored people. Colored people can have ancestors from all over the world, but colored people who have ancestors mostly from Africa are the ones who are more likely to get Sickle Cell Anemia.

  4. Hey Taylor! I was pleased to see that you were able to point out the fact that status has defined race for a long time. This was so interesting for me to learn in lecture, and the facts about the Irish once being slaves were new information to me. It makes a lot of sense that “race” is tied to social status. And I believe the same can be said today, since many minorities (e.g. African American, Latino, and Muslim communities) face so much discrimination and have a hard time finding a job that pays well enough to live comfortably. The very notion of “race” is racist!
    And didn’t you find the fact that most people don’t know that race is just a social construct and has no biological backing shocking? I feel as though the lack of education perpetuates this cycle of classifying things. I liked your definition of ethnicity as culture, however I feel as though race does affect your health since it’s the (racist) social construct we live in and it creates the barriers to well-paying jobs or adequate health care. Though your points that a cultures eating or smoking habits may have an effect on their health, I almost feel the racism experienced by these communities due to the ignorance surrounding ethnicity and “race” are also a big factor in quality of health.

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