Overcoming Racism's Biological Illusion
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
- The United States Constitution
For the last several centuries, many individuals have tried to prove that some nationalities are biologically superior to others – claiming that certain people have evolved further than others. This form of thinking is very common, even today, and many people will make statements about black people being athletic, Asians being smart, etc. So the question is presented – are there actually biological differences between people of different “races”?
Throughout history, and even to an extent today, people have tried to biologically prove the superiority of one race over another. Sadly, it has typically been Caucasians claiming that they are superior to individuals of African decent. Because of Darwin and his ideas on evolution, there has been plenty of room for scientists to make claims that one race has evolved to a greater degree than another.
For the longest time many white people considered themselves far more biologically advanced than other races, particularly black people. Thus, when Jesse Owens won the 1938 Olympics, it created confusion for those, especially Germans, who saw white people as superior. This confusion was quickly settled however, when someone made the assumption that black people were stronger because they were less evolved and closer to the “original man” who had to survive in the wild.
In reality, there are no significant biological differences that have been found between people with different colors of skin. There is more diversity between the genes of people of the same ethnicity than there are between people of different ethnic backgrounds. There has been no evidence found to suggest that people of one race are more advanced physically, mentally, or in any other aspect. The main causes affecting wealth, physical abilities, and IQ have much more to do with an individual’s background, and society’s expectations, than the color of someone’s skin or the design of his face.
All of humanity was created equal and is still equal in God’s sight. The only thing keeping us from all being on the same level is humanity itself. We serve a God who loves variety and knew that life would be boring with only one personality type, gender, or color of skin. Thus, once we can reach the point where we realize that our differences are only to make the world more beautiful, and we are all equally made, equally loved, and equally children of God, we will be able to become all that we were intended to be. Once we can live and love like Jesus Christ, prejudices based on color, gender, and nationality, will all disappear.
As Black History Month comes to an end, I hope that you can take a moment to appreciate the powerful and dynamic people who had to fight, overcome prejudice, and even die to help our country live up to its declaration of equality for all. I then hope that you can ponder the wonderful world of diversity that we are a part of.
Will racism ever end? Probably not. Can it end in our lives? Yes. As we develop the selfless love that Christ requests of us, racism in our individual lives can disappear.