Is race an illusion?

<p>I was watching this documentary and it talked about how race is more of a social construct than a biological one. Scientifically there is only one race and that is the human race, so to put into perspective races do not exist. So why do you think many people judge or put people into categories solely on race rather than anything else. For example some say asian americans are inherently smarter because of their race, some people also say blacks are not as smart as their white counterparts because of their race but they are more athletically inclined. If you see an asian and a black person, in the room, you might not know it consciously but you immediately associate certain qualities for the black person and certain qualities for the asian person. Or if you see a white person and a black person walking together, you automatically assume the black person is poorer and the white person has more money(not everyone assumes that though). But in fact that is not true, one has as much difference in dna between a white person as an asian or black person. This was concluded when in the documentary a white guy and a black girl took a dna sample and found only a three base difference, she had the same amount of difference with her african american counterparts as well. So what do you think? Btw you could look up the documentary on youtube.</p>

<p>As for intelligence, it's probably because Asians are known to work harder in the US, because of CULTURE. African Americans, on the other hand, have parents who don't discipline their children as much in terms of Education as an Asian would. (I don't know many black parents who threaten to disown/physically beat their kids if they got a B+). </p>

<p>It's just culture-based. Asians are not smarter, but since environment has a lot to do with affecting intelligence, maybe it's because Asians grew up having to study all the time, thus their brains adapted to critical thinking and information-retention since childhood.</p>

<p>The same thing goes with the White/Black stereotype with wealth. It's all a cultural bias thing.</p>

<p>I don't see how something being a social construct makes it an illusion. Race matters because we made it matter. Until we live in a world where racism has been eradicated, ignoring race is not going to help anyone. That said, knowing race matters is not the same as attributing qualities to someone before knowing them because of their race.</p>

<p>As AceAites said, the difference in races are the result of environment, or culture.</p>

<p>I think it depends on where you live...I think the U.S. overthinks race-we are all humans in the end</p>

<p>Sent from my SPH-M910 using CC</p>

<p>there are definitely scientific differences between races, like, in anatomy, we learned that you can identify a person's race by looking at their skeleton or hair samples. but yeah, most everything else, like intelligence or wealth are based upon nurture. but at the same time, it could be one of those things where one race is more inclined to a specific action (like asians and school, blacks and athletics), but that's only so much so as you can say that there are differences in gender, where guys are stronger/faster/better at math: there are exceptions.
so really, there are cultural differences but that doesn't necessarily mean that those are the rules.</p>

<p>I think Asians are the smartest because they're very independent people.</p>

<p>


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<p>I agree, and it's disappointing to see this kind of collectivism exist in our world today. And I don't see the whole race issue going away anytime soon ... many still think of Obama as our "first African-American President," we use race to benefit some racial groups at the expense of others in the college application process, we have National Achievement Scholars, etc. </p>

<p>See? We're still bunching people together by race - and that's at the heart of racism.</p>

<p>Meh, biologically-speaking, each race has a characteristic susceptibility to particular diseases (e.g. blacks and sickle cell anemia, Asians and stomach cancer, whites and skin cancer) due to a certain way in which their biological and immune systems are built...so I don't think race is solely dependent on culture and I don't think race is an illusion.</p>

<p>This is a great thread. The respectful and inquisitive tone is wonderful.
Your thoughts would be of interest to this thread as well:
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/1228264-race-college-admission-faq-discussion-9-a-42.html?highlight=tokenadult%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/1228264-race-college-admission-faq-discussion-9-a-42.html?highlight=tokenadult&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Sickle cell is not a racial trait, it's the result of ancestors living in malarial regions. In addition race does not account for genetic variation in humans. So you may think sickle cell anemia may be something accounted to only blacks, that is not the case either.</p>

<p>And not all Asian countries place emphasis on education! Look at Cambodia for an example.</p>

<p>^^I said susceptibility, not trait....lrn2read</p>

<p>I watched a similar documentary in one of my history classes last week. Was that the same documentary where the African-American cross-country runner was announced as being valedictorian (I think her name was Gorgeous) at the end?</p>

<p>Why did you say just blacks are more susceptible, why don't you say people living in the mediterranean region where malaria is more rampant? See that's my point, you may not know it but that's how you subconsciously classify people by race.</p>

<p>lol you're ignorant, aware yourself before you talk next time please</p>

<p>Sickle</a> Cell Anemia Disease Profile</p>

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The disease occurs in about 1 in every 500 African-American births and 1 in every 1000 to 1400 Hispanic-American births. About 2 million Americans, or 1 in 12 African Americans, carry the sickle cell trait.

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<p><a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/2/l_012_02.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/2/l_012_02.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>
[quote]
A gene known as HbS was the center of a medical and evolutionary detective story that began in the middle 1940s in Africa. Doctors noticed that patients who had sickle cell anemia, a serious hereditary blood disease, were more likely to survive malaria, a disease which kills some 1.2 million people every year. What was puzzling was why sickle cell anemia was so prevalent in some African populations.

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<p>
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Researchers found that the sickle cell gene is especially prevalent in areas of Africa hard-hit by malaria. In some regions, as much as 40 percent of the population carries at least one HbS gene.

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<p>Sickle cell anemia is more prevalent in areas with malaria, but demographically-wise, those of African descent are generally more susceptible to the sickle cell anemia trait than those of other racial descent.</p>

<p>Sickle</a> Cell Anemia (Sickle Cell Disease) Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatments on MedicineNet.com</p>

<p>
[quote]
Sickle cell anemia is one of the most common inherited blood anemias. The disease primarily affects Africans and African Americans. It is estimated that in the United States, some 50,000 African Americans are afflicted with the most severe form of sickle cell anemia. Overall, current estimates are that one in 1,875 U.S. African American is affected with sickle cell anemia.

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<p>It isn't just people living in the Mediterranean region. Sickle cell anemia affects those of African descent primarily and disproportionately.</p>

<p>Sickle cell anemia doesn't affect <em>only</em> Mediterranean regions and <em>only</em> areas with malaria. Such a geographic location and surrounding simply <em>increase your susceptibility</em> to sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia is more related to racial descent than to environment, and there's more evidence, indicating that sickle cell is a racially linked trait, from where that came from.</p>

<p>I knew all this before. This does not mean its because of their race, what you put there means nothing....Africans in general lived in those places where malaria is rampant and therefore their immune system built up a defense against it. It had nothing to do with their race, it had everything to do with where they lived and how they evolved!</p>

<p>Pretty sure it is because of their race. The definition of race itself is "a large population or group of people with distinct heritable phenotypic characteristics, geographic ancestry, physical appearance, and ethnicity." Africans lived on the African continent and whatever fitness benefits that they gained to resist against any disease native to their geographical environment is therefore characteristic of them as a race. And as long as the sickle cell trait is passed on, along with the genes that trigger its susceptibility, limited to a disproportionate number of those of African descent even in areas without the presence of malaria, it is still logical to say that it is a racially-linked disease.</p>

<p>HSMCCP I'm not going to continue arguing about this with you, there is no such thing as race scientifically. There is only one race, the human race. The reason why they are carriers of this disease is because of how they evolved and their region in which they lived. Done, end of story......</p>

<p>
[quote]
The reason why they are carriers of this disease is because of how they evolved and their region in which they lived. Done, end of story......

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<p>They did it together. They also passed on the sickle cell trait together. Initially the concept of race may not have been valid because, yes, it just so happened to be the region that they lived in---but it's the generational accumulation of biological susceptibilities, phenotypic characteristics, and means of resistances to certain diseases, as they have evolved, that distinguishes and differentiates Africans from those of other racial groups in terms of this susceptibility to inheriting the sickle cell trait, biologically and pathologically speaking. Now, more broadly applied, it is also the generational accumulation of not only biological susceptibilities, phenotypic characteristics, and means of resistances, but also physical traits, ethnic compositions, and cultural customs that distinguishes and differentiates Africans from those of other large populations of people that have these distinctive markings -- from the Asians, the Caucasians, and so on. It simply is fallacious and illogical to say "race is an illusion" and characterize it as a human construct when it simply isn't. It's why Africans, Asians, Caucasians, etc. have different facial structures, skin colors, etc. from one another. Pathology is merely one facet of explicating racial differences and thus the validity of the presence of race.</p>