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Department of Energy Says Black Race Doesn’t Exist

Race is a disproved hypothesis

 

[UPDATE:]  Addressing Pam's question about “sociological race”, please see at the end of this article a proposed new vocabulary, to replace the anachronistic and biologically misleading vocabulary and terms that contain and are based upon the discredited biological hypothesis of “race”. 

Much to the dismay of those of us who have been born and raised on usage of the word “race” for various purposes, we now discover that we must excise from our vocabulary all words and terms derived from “race” because recent human genomic discoveries have deprived “race” of the insulting biological premise upon which they were first conceived –  the false biological premise  that there are subspecies of the human “race”, which disproved hypothesis is reinforced by all use of the word “race” to describe a skin-color group or sociological ethnicity groups, inter-group interactions and intra-group interactions. 

We find that the most common and the most historically longstanding use of the term “race” is toxic to our public discourse; the word is inherently controversial regardless of what is being said, if only because the word “race” is hopelessly ambiguous, having as it does both invalid biological denotations and valid sociological denotations that are etymologically based based on the discredited biological denotations. 

In addition we find that the word “race” has infinite negative (and positive) but indistinguishable connotations that others  understand or misunderstand when the word race is used in any form or context.  This makes the word 'race' a perfect code-word for conveying meanings which would be socially unacceptable and deplorable if they were stated in unambiguous language.  For ezample, when people refer to “racial differences”, are they referring to inherent inferiority based on 'race', or are they referring to differences in susceptibility to particular medical diseases, or to the results of opinion polls, or to all or none of the above.  The word “race” is so polymorphic that it is really impossible to know, and that is why the word leads to so many arguments that could be avoided (or intensified) with less ambiguous  langauage that makes the speaker's intention clear.

We now realize that the word “race” is hopelessly radioactive, communicatively ambiguous, and we desperately need alternatives. Fortunately, there is highly descriptive, equally compelling, and more precise and descriptive vocabulary to express ourselves that is immediately available for our adoption and assimilation.  It is a vocabulary based on functional descriptions of our observable biological and sociological world rather than relying on vague “know-it-when-you-see-it” generalizations.”   Please see this alternative terminology at the end of this article.

 

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The US Department of Energy Human Genome Project says that the Black race doesn't exist.  It also says that the white race doesn't exist and that there in no basis in the human genome for the belief that race ever existed. This is going to be a huge political debate as the 2010 Census approaches, and Republicans are already targeting Obama about it.

I think this is important, so I've made a widget that directs readers toward this new Human Genome Project discovery that, as a matter of biology, there is no evidence for the existence of “race” and considerable evidence that “race” is arbitrary and misleading.

I've made a widget for bloggers that leads people to this DOE page because I think the announcement that biological “race” doesn't exist is at least as newsworthy as an announcement that there are two moons circling around the Earth.  You only have to Google the words “race” and “moon” to see that the word “race” is about ten times more important politically, culturally and socially to Americans than “moon,” judged by the relative frequency with which we use the word “race” in our print media.  

Whether biological “race” exists or not is no mere semantic question, according to the journal “Nature Genetics.”  Nature Genetics states in the article entitled “Race and the Human Genome,”

With very rare exceptions, all of us in the US are immigrants. We bring with us a subset of genes from our homelands, and for many Americans, often first-generation but more commonly second-generation, the plural noun 'homelands' is appropriate. From this perspective, the most immediately obvious characteristic of 'race' is that describing most of us as Caucasian, Asian or African is far too simple. Despite attempts by the US Census Bureau to expand its definitions, the term 'race' does not describe most of us with the subtlety and complexity required to capture and appreciate our genetic diversity. Unfortunately, this oversimplification has had many tragic effects. Therefore, we need to start with the science . . .

If a person with one Black parent is able to “pass for white”, does that mean they aren't susceptible to sickle cell anemia? The “one drop rule” would say that they definitely are just as susceptible as everyone in the “black race”, but science is progressing beyond the cultural notions of Americans that are vestiges from American apartheid. 

We simply cannot just guess anymore about science based on our biased culture; we are now able and compelled to discover and know based upon empirical science.

Race is a disproved hypothesis

I'm asking bloggers to adopt the widget above, if only because:

1). The 2010 US Census is coming up and there will be debates about “racial” census categories, particularly since this is the first US census since the existence of biological “race” was definitively disproved;

2). The use of terms like “bi-racial” may well be attacked now that genetic science can demonstrate that most people have genetic heritage from various geographic regions across the face of the earth;

3). Based on the new genomic evidence, the US Supreme Court could accept a case requesting a restraining order against Census categories, arguing that there is no “rational basis” for dividing Americans into arbitrary “races” that have no basis in science and the Court could order the Government to use the term “skin color” instead. And so the “racial categories” certainly couldn't withstand the “strict scrutiny” analysis that is required in cases involving the division of Americans based on “race”.

4).  Although many Black people would prefer to ignore the evidence that biological “race” doesn't exist, the journal Nature Genetics has recently stated that the acknowledgement of that our biology is far more complicated than “white vs. Black” is essential to medical care for individuals based on their individual biology rather than based on lumping people into enormous and arbitrary color groups that ignore their individual patients.  In an article entitled “Race and the Human Genome,”

With very rare exceptions, all of us in the US are immigrants. We bring with us a subset of genes from our homelands, and for many Americans, often first-generation but more commonly second-generation, the plural noun 'homelands' is appropriate. From this perspective, the most immediately obvious characteristic of 'race' is that describing most of us as Caucasian, Asian or African is far too simple. Despite attempts by the US Census Bureau to expand its definitions, the term 'race' does not describe most of us with the subtlety and complexity required to capture and appreciate our genetic diversity. Unfortunately, this oversimplification has had many tragic effects. Therefore, we need to start with the science . . .

 

Even if you find the proposition that “race” doesn't exist troubling, I urge bloggers to adopt the button leading to the Human Genome Project page. It's essential to our health and the advance of medical science. It is likewise essential to becoming adults whose concepts of culture are based on science rather than having concepts of science that are tortuously twisted to fit anachronistic vestiges of color-aroused culture.

[UPDATE:]  Many people, including Pam Spaulding, are justifiable deeply concerned that if we don't use words like “race” and “racism” and “racist”, then we won't be able to discuss our experiences in the USA and elsewhere. 

Here is a proposed new language to continue to express and discuss our experiences and say what we used to say, but say it more precisely and without relying on an underlying premise and linguistic term (“race) that has been disproved and debunked, and that was always insulting to those who were considered part of a subspecies and not fully human:

Addressing Pam's question of how to abandon the ambiguous term “sociological race” that all-to-often is shortened into “race” and becomes indistinguishable and insusceptible to disambiguation, we can still discuss “skin color”, “skin color groups”, “skin color and sociological ethnicity groups” and “skin color-aroused discrimination, persecution and marginalization” without using words like “race”, “racist”, “racism” and “racial”.  Here's a cheat sheet:

“Race” = “Skin Color Group (SCG)” or “Sociological Ethnicity Group (SEG)” 

(GBLT's have no difficulty working with acronyms.)

“Racist” = Color-Aroused Antagonist (CAA) or Color-Aroused Persecuter, Discriminator and/or Marginalizer (CAP) (CAD) CAM).  (Architects work with a program called CAD CAM all the time and have no trouble assimilating the acronyms.)

“Racism” = Color/Ethnicity-Aroused Discrimination, Marginalization and Persecution (CEAD), (pronounced “seed”)

“Racial” = “Skin-Color or Sociological Ethnicity Associated” (SCSEA), pronounced “sexy” (?)  (or pronounced some other way or referred to by the acronym.)

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