US blacks, whites, others lose in politically and falsely defining race

We are a nation of simpletons, not cowards, when it comes to race.

Racial issues continue to dominate politics in the United States, and no sector pushes the issues more than the left. The left often also claims the crown of science, negatively labeling those who disagree with consensus theories. Yet we know consensus can often rest on politically driven assumptions,  and nothing illustrates this more than government exploitation of the term ‘race’.

Government, in fact, should not use the term ‘race’ at all. It should be deleted from every federal document. 

Greek slave statue

Photograph of a sculpture by Hiram Powers in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. circa 1900. The sculpture depicts a Greek slave in antiquity. (US Library of Congress)

Legislation, customs, and stereotypes are based on race. Research shows there is no biological foundation at present for determining race. It is a cultural and/or political construct. Within that research are some real eye poppers.

In a paper published at the US Library of Medicine, Alan R. Templeton explains that among humans, there is “much genetic diversity.” It’s not what we think of as racial, though. “[T]he vast majority of this diversity reflects individual uniqueness and not race.” As a matter of fact, “The word ‘race’ is not commonly used in the non-human biological literature.”

The whole concept of race is subjective.

In his book [print] Rice and Slaves, Daniel C. Littlefield looked at populations of slaves brought to what became the US from Africa. At present, just as with whites, the US government always addresses those who have brown or black skin as ‘black people,’ or ‘African-American.’ But within populations of those whose skin color is darker, there are wide variations that can connect populations you normally don’t consider the same race.

The need for research and debate comprises more than cultural goals, however. Medical protocols in the US are often geared to a concept that doesn’t exist. If you look at lab tests for bloodwork to determine need, for instance, for diabetes treatment, standards will be different for whites than for blacks. Yet within those groups, populations of some whites and blacks may be more genetically similar than within groups with black or white skin.

Templeton wrote:

“[O]ne of the alleles underlying malarial resistance, the sickle-cell allele, has its highest frequency in certain populations on the Arabian Peninsula and in India despite frequently being regarded as a disease of “blacks”.

Another example has to do with a disease we think of popularly as tropical. Templeton noted:

“Another adaptive trait in humans is resistance to malaria, which is widespread in African populations. However, malaria is also common in some areas outside of Africa, and malarial resistance is found in many European and Asian populations as well.”

The broad group we call ‘black’ in the US and the group we call ‘white’ are far more diverse than we may realize. Littlefield explained the diversity within slave populations in the pre-Civil War era:

“If one looks at North America…46 percent came from regions containing Sudanese—that is, the Gold Coast, the Windward Coast, Senegambia and Sierra Leone, and 54 percent came from the Niger Delta and the Congo-Angola-Mozambique region, containing Bantu-speaking peoples.”

Littlefield said the terms are admittedly “general ones and are inadequate.” His book also implies colonial Americans were far more aware of ethnic differences among African populations than we are today.

When it comes to whites, the government standard used by the US Census is similar to how blacks are viewed.

The US Census defines whites as:

“A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as ‘White’ or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan, or Caucasian.”

Blacks are defined as:

“A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as “Black, African Am., or Negro”; or report entries such as African American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian.”

Note the use of the term ‘race’ here is a government or cultural construct, not a biological standard because there is none.

There is also an interesting note about the group politically labeled ‘hispanic’:

“The concept of race is separate from the concept of Hispanic origin. Percentages for the various race categories add to 100 percent, and should not be combined with the percent Hispanic.”

How hilarious can all this get? You personally could have more genetic similarities to someone outside those categories than to others within them. Templeton makes a point about this, writing:

“[M]any Brazilian ‘whites’ have more African ancestry than some U.S. ‘blacks’.

Journalist Mark Schoofs, writing about race, wrote:

“Japan was populated by ancient Koreans and, earlier, by a mysterious people called the Jomon, known only by their pottery and other archaeological remains. Where did they come from? To figure that out, geneticist Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona looked at the Y chromosome. Surprisingly, the closest match to the Jomon variant lies in Tibet. How could an isolated mountain tribe thousands of miles from the sea be related to the first Japanese?”

The more we know, it seems, the less we admit we know.

So why does the government, on every form issued and in key legislation, establish a paradigm based purely on the false standard of skin color? Why does the government choose to categorize us in this manner? There’s only one answer, politics.

In Rice and Slaves, Littlefield commented on one influence on ideas about racial superiority, but it has naught to do with race. It has to do with country of origin:

“Many have argued, in fact, that English culture had a peculiar predisposition towards a negative reaction to black people…”

But Littlefield pointed out the English mindset “permitted the English to assume superiority in face of practically everybody they met, and Africans were certainly no exception to this rule.”

For that matter, nor were the Irish.

The idea of superiority and practices enabled by that assumption wasn’t confined to country of origin Consider the enslavement of more than one million white Christians in Islamic ruled lands before the US was founded. That phenomenon and the burying of it by historians are explored in the book Christian slaves, Muslim Masters by Robert Davis. That slave trade spanned 250 years, from 1530 to 1780. That practice was based on faith, not race, because Islam contained many different types of people and cultures.

The US Government Census page is a mishmash of gobbledygook that serves not the US people, but politicians seeking to build coalitions based on various factors including race.

Why, if science is the god of the left, would science be so completely discarded by the same? Why have politicians past and present exploited the concept of race as a means to power and votes?

Ironically, the Christian Bible, often derided by leftist scholars, expresses a conclusion our own government has yet to admit. In Genesis I, verse 27, the creation story is told:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.”

Dr. Martin Luther King understood the concept before technology and DNA were sophisticated as they are today:

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I don’t think Dr. King just aimed that statement at people with dark skin.

Sounds like a great starting point for a conversation the left and some on the right aren’t even smart enough to hold.

Featured image: US flag (US Veterans’ Administration)

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 19, 2016)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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6 Responses to US blacks, whites, others lose in politically and falsely defining race

  1. kbdjax1 says:

    Apparently the university removed the link to the book ‘Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters,’ in keeping with academia’s refusal to bury the long history of enslavement of people of all complexions before the US was founded.

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