Volume 2, Number 14 - April 11 2012

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Michael Pelaez

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Race Cartoon

The Illusion Of Race

By Michael Pelaez

The concept of “race” has absolutely no genetic basis. We need to understand that what we call race is socially determined, with no scientific basis; it is discriminatory and unfair.

There is not one trait or gene that distinguishes all members of one so-called race from members of another so-called race. A Kenyan and an Italian can be more genetically similar than two random Kenyans.

There is no blood test that can differentiate between “races.” Skin color is really only skin deep, making race a meaningless and irrelevant classification.

Ignorance toward the bogus idea of race unconsciously turns into racism; an emailed cartoon, a funny text, a comment on Facebook, or a friendly lunchtime conversation with your family or coworkers can be unknowingly racist.

Anytime a quality or trait such as intelligence, athletic ability, attitude, etc. is attributed to a specific race, the attribution is false. Athletic ability, intelligence, talent, and so on may have a lot to do with genes, but the genes that influence those traits are independent of the genes that affect skin color.

Your likes and dislikes (food, music, clothing) are greatly influenced by your culture and upbringing, not by the color of your skin, and certainly not by the so-called race you didn’t choose to be classified and labeled with.

Although race is a fabricated classification, racism and its byproduct of inequality is unfortunately real, and much work is left to do to eradicate discrimination. I’m not advocating taking a colorblind approach to the issue.

I’m asking you to look at the color of your skin and understand its irrelevance. Understand that if you choose to identify with your upbringing or culture, that it has nothing to do with the “race” you are told you belong to.

You are not biologically inferior or superior to a color different than yours.

Reject the made-up concept of race.

Stop deluding yourself into thinking that there is any genetic difference between your so-called race and another so-called race, and most importantly, do your part to stop racism whenever you see, read or hear a stereotypical comment that divides fellow humans by the color of our skin.

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