Sunday, August 23, 2009

On the Concept of Racism

The term "racism" is properly defined as the belief that "race" is the primary determinant of human traits and that those traits produce inherent superiorities between "races".

There is another term "racialism," defined as a theory that race determines human traits and capacities.

While contemplating the term races in a purely scientific matter, I have come to the conclusion that factually, "race" exists. The proper term "races" stands for the different sets of genetic variants that accumulate within a population. Neo-Darwinism can be defined as changes in gene frequencies within a gene pool.

It is not hard to come up with an example of differences between races. The most obvious difference being skin color, but an even more appropriate physical feature showing a physical advantage or disadvantage depending on a particular environment would be to compare pygmies average height with that of any other "race" (The average male height of pygmies being 150 cm and the average height of American males being 176cm.) But of course even skin color can defer an advantage or disadvantage in rates of tolerance towards sun exposure. Other genetic differences between races include Lactose tolerance, HIV resistance, Malaria Resistance, and a number of other genetic differences that have been shown to occur at different rates between the supposed races.

Now, back to the term racism. Racial differences exist, we as scientists should be honest with ourselves and stop fooling ourselves into thinking that they don't. Too many people forget that it is one thing to say that racial differences exist and it is a whole other matter when someone says that a particular race is superior to another therefore the other race should be discriminated against. But again the situation gets even more complicated, because couldn't a person make a case for the discrimination of pygmies within the NBA (National Basketball Association,) obviously, yes. Would an airport hire a blind air-traffic controller? But, this brings up a new problem, in that, are not all short people discriminated against in the NBA? I would like to call this concept justified discrimination as opposed to unjustified discrimination. An example of unjustified discrimination would be the practices of organizations which perpetuate inherent differences between races, not based upon any type of pragmatic concern, but would otherwise lay claim to and actively discriminate against others solely based upon birthrights (I'm sure the reader can think of one.)

Luckily if things continue the way they are, in a few hundred years the human race will be a semi-perfect mix of all the current races. I look forward to that future of a homogeneous society where only one race exists and justified racial discrimination can and will no longer exist on logical grounds. The only discrimination will be that of the luck of the genetic draw and the subsequent environmental effects that change a persons phenotypes.

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