‘All the great civilizations of the past became decadent because the originally creative race died out, as a result of contamination of the blood. ‘ [Hitler 1939]. This from a man who so firmly believed in the ideal of the Aryan (Supreme) race that Germany’s 700,000 Jews were tortured and tormented under his reign as Fuhrer from 1933 to 1945.
Why this discrimination against this particular race of people? Is he right that people from other races are to be viewed differently? What is race? ‘Geneticists believe that anthropologists have decided what a race is.Ethnologists assume that their classifications embody principles which genetic science has proved to be correct. Politicians believe their prejudices have the sanction of genetic laws and the findings of physical anthropology to sustain them. ‘ [Kevles 1986, p. 90]. The human population is largely categorized into 3 main races: Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid (white, Asian and black).
There are some who further subdivide the above groups into as many as 60 different races. But is it right to perpetuate on our views that we, Homo sapiens can be divided so distinctly by skin colour when there’s seemingly no basis to do so?Anthropologist, Nina Jablonski discovered in 1978 a distinct correlation between the skin colour of indigenous people across the globe and the amounts of ultra-violet light different regions receive, ‘People in the tropics have developed dark skin to block out the sun and protect their body’s folate reserves. People far from the equator have developed fair skin to drink in the sun and produce adequate amounts of vitamin D during the long winter months. ‘ [Kirchweger 2001] This shows that there is no distinct genetic link in having a different skin colour; it is just our adaptation to our own environment.
Assuming all things being equal, the human race would all be of the same colour. Would people then be viewed as classified into different races, or would there no longer be such a distinction because we all have the same skin colour? ‘Geneticists have shown that 85 per cent of all genetic variation is between individuals within the same local population. A further 8 per cent is between local populations or groups within what is considered a major race. Just 7 per cent of genetic variation is between major races. ‘ [Blumenbach, 1865, p. 8]What this means is that the difference between individuals amongst the same racial group and between two individuals from different racial groups may be essentially the same. Conclusions derived by Otto Klineberg on his Experimental Study of Speed and Other Factors in Racial Differences have shown ‘that the superiority of White over Indian and Negro children in performance tests is largely, if not entirely, a superiority in scores for time. There is no superiority, and in some cases an inferiority, in the scores for accuracy of performance.
And that it is evident that the difference is more probable to be determined by environmental than by racial differences. ‘ [Klineberg 1928, p. 107] From the evidence above, it is shown that there are no significant differences between the races which can be attributed to genes of the particular ‘racial’ group, rather the environment and education level plays a much greater role in the differences and such factors are usually self-perpetuating.
‘Race isn’t the reason the poor kid from the city needs a boost – class is.A white or Asian kid from the inner city is just as disadvantaged as a black one. But he doesn’t get extra consideration. The implication is that being poor is not a disadvantage, but being black is. ‘ [Balko 2002] So what it means is that black children should never be given a chance to prove their capabilities, they should just continue dwelling in their poverty stricken state and just stay that way? Wouldn’t that just sound so mildly wrong? If skin colour is a determining factor in our skills and capabilities, shouldn’t eye and hair colour thus be included as one of the factors?Take for example; because you are blond are you necessarily dumb and incapable of accomplishing anything? Race, eye or skin colour shouldn’t be used to differentiate between the capabilities of an individual, one should be judged totally on the basis of merit. When did this differentiation between the races come about? The American Anthropological Association maintain in their Statement on Race, Today scholars in many fields argue that race was a social mechanism invented during the 18th century to refer to those populations brought together in colonial America.That [it] was a mode of classification linked specifically to peoples in the colonial situation. It subsumed a growing ideology of inequality devised to rationalize European attitudes and treatment of the conquered and enslaved peoples.
The ideology magnified the differences among Europeans, Africans, and Indians, established a rigid hierarchy of socially exclusive categories underscored and bolstered unequal rank and status differences, and provided the rationalization that the inequality was natural or God-given.As they were constructing US society, leaders among European-Americans fabricated the cultural [or] behavioral characteristics associated with each race, linking superior traits with Europeans and negative and inferior ones to blacks and Indians. Numerous arbitrary and fictitious beliefs about the different peoples were institutionalized and [thus] deeply embedded in American thought. [Smedley 1998] A search online at Google. com shows that there are a total of 282 racial supremacy and separatism websites of different racial groups namely Asian, Black, Hispanic and White.
This prevalence is worrying as racial tensions have caused deaths and other incidents in many countries and with such websites possibly deepening the rift between the races, racial oriented attacks could thus increase in frequency. ‘Racial profiling occurs when the police target someone for investigation on the basis of that person’s race, national origin, or ethnicity. ‘ [ACLU 2002] With the heavy crack-down on racism, the actual course of criminal investigation may be affected as investigating officers may direct their attentions away from a specific race just so that it would seem that he’s not racist.
Jack Dunphy depicted such a scenario on his article for the National Review Online, two officers whom spotted their suspects refrained from arresting them because ‘If we proceed along this course, we will push our statistics further from the bounds of the prescribed demographic norms and thereby risk bringing down upon our heads the wrathful vengeance of the Justice Department, the New York Times, and Greta Van Susteren. ‘ [Dunphy 2001] This is not racism per se, but it is still a form of racism in which people are still differentiated according to the race they are, and not seen as uniformly equal as we are meant to be.And because of this racism, the criminal investigation process is affected, this could possibly disrupt the entire social environment in which we live in, the implications are just too great. ‘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. ‘ [Jefferson et al.
1776] The above phrase is taken from The Declaration of Independence which was agreed upon and signed by the founding fathers of The United States of America.With America seen presently as the world’s foremost superpower in terms of both military and economy, if they would take the first step by eliminating the particular section in their census which asks what race the individual belongs to, there would then be no official classification of the races in America and this would then mean a slow recovery to where all men would be seen as the same and as equals regardless of skin colour or other physical differences.