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Race: The Social Fiction

Updated on May 29, 2012

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A Fallacy Untamed

I keep hear people say the word race in conversation. It is so common in use that hardly anyone realizes that it is being misused. When referencing someone of different ethnicity, geographical origin or skin ton the word race is thrown out like it means something. This is a huge issue and I want to clear it up.

Race is a social construct. It means nothing in the context in which is it used.
Race is a social construct. It means nothing in the context in which is it used.

Race Defined

Race is something we all have in common, but not in the way it is commonly used. The context of the word is the Human Race. There is no European, African, Native American or Asian race. Those are subsets within the race of man, not races in and of themselves. There is also the dog race, the gorilla race, the deer race and the horse race. The fact is that homo-sapiens are not separated out into different races. That's it. That's all she wrote. No more divide. No more separation.

The Confusion

This confusion comes from social theories, not true science. If humans were separated out into different races then there could not be children from the marriage of a African man and a European woman or any other combination. Or perhaps there could be, but the resulting child could not have children itself (this is called sterility) like in the case of the crossing of a horse and a donkey.

As for skin tone and facial features, these mean almost nothing in the genetic scheme of things. In fact, someone from Asia could have more genetic structure in common with an individual in Africa. This is called genetic drift and accounts for the unique ways which we adapt to our environments. In reality, skin tone, body and facial structure have about as much meaning in the grand scheme of things as the wearing of Converse Allstars has to your great, great, great, great grandchildren. Absolutely nothing.

There is research that suggests that SOME groups have evolved a talent for one skill over another, but nothing as narrow as "black people are good at sports." That is yet another social fallacy. For now, the jury is out on where there is anything that makes one particular sub-group of humanity better than another. One thing that is for sure though, we have a common heritage and we all should have a common goal. A color blind world with peace as the center of its organization. I don't think peace can truly be had until governments stop enforcing this fiction of race. So what if your great, great granddaddy was a slave or killed by European settlers. That is the past. If we keep dwelling on it, we will relive it. After all, if those things were relevant then the Italians should be paying reparations to me for enslaving and killing my Germanic and British ancestors. The Swedish and Norwegian's should also join in since their ancestor, the Vikings, raped and pillaged much of Europe. So, it is time to focus on the future, not the past. So when ever I fill out any form for employment or for governmental things, I always either refuse to check the race and ethnicity box, or if I have to, I check all of them. Because I am the race of Human and there really isn't any other option.


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    • ibbarkingmad profile image

      Brian 6 years ago from Utah

      @gmwilliams, thank you for pointing out the biological reason for skin tone. That is important only as a survival trait and nothing more. Isn't it awesome how humanity adapts? I just wish we could socially adapt the understanding that Race is meaningless except as it pertains to our entire human race and that anything less is a Red Herring.

    • ibbarkingmad profile image

      Brian 6 years ago from Utah

      @cheaptrick, I would also have to pay you repairations because of the Germanic sacking of Rome if we were to get right down to it. My point still stands, let's get over this race bull craps and focus on living happy productive lives.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      An intelligent and excellent hub. Different skin colors are just a technicality. Variations in skin colr was developed as a survival mechanism to particular environments such as lighter skin tones were evolved to survive in cloudy, frigid climates while darker skin tones were evolved to survive in hot, tropical environments.

      The concept of "race" is such an articial one. It was develop in order for one civilization can separate and differentiate itself from the other. Furthermore, the concept of "race" was further used for one "race" to declare itself superior and to oppress another that is deemed inferior. It is time that we stop using the word race as a dividing mechanism and to finally realize that there is only ONE race- THE HUMAN RACE!

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      "The Italians should be paying reparations to me"Ah Ha!I'm Italian and I feel Big time,what did you have in mind?Hmmm,on second thought,I completely Agree with your Thinking and withdraw my

      Nice hub,voted up