Some of you know I have been on a crusade to eliminate the use of the word race outside scientific discourse, because of its erroneous and pernicious hand in ethnic prejudice.
When an issue comes up such as the Charlottesville clashes and the like, I post a few paragraphs on this.
Invariably the idea gets approval, but people continue to use the word, and there are always one or two of you who push back on insignificant grounds, citing semantics and lingual tradition or maybe revisionism.
On Youtube I have even been told that I am wrong in supporting the scientific and social consensus; those are opinions in disguise of the true ethniphobes and xenophobes, I think.
The thing some of us don’t understand is if you want people to get along, it should make you happy that the genome project a few years ago proved what scientists knew all along, and that is that we are one species (“race”). Why this fact doesn’t excite all of the good hearted people and encourage them to see the problem with the word race, I cannot fathom.
So when I meditate on it, I come to these conclusions about why:
1. Some are afraid of losing their special status as “black,” “white,” “Korean,” whatever.
2. Others are afraid of being lumped in with everyone else (another angle on number 1).
3. Some feel it is a semantic difference (when it clearly is not), and just don’t understand what I and others are saying. They obviously think a change in language won’t affect the problem. To me, this is like saying we should continue using the “N-word,” because it does no harm.
4. Some feel the phasing out of the use of the word race will erode their political and social agenda which more than being about concerns about prejudice, I suspect involve false pride.
As far as the issue of prejudice — institutional or otherwise — is concerned, I feel this is not true. No one is whitewashing the history these days unless they are white supremacists, which I obviously am not, and my call for the use of other words besides and in place of “race” should prove that.
‘Race’ in non-scientific discourse just makes it easier to incorrectly assert that people are permanently different. How does that advance the agenda of equality?
5. This is the most disturbing and another version of number 1: Some want to continue to assert their superiority so insist there are actually different races. This is the position science deniers are in for the sake of fossil fuel profits, pretending global warming is a hoax, and of course it is as equally evil, because it obscures the truth and perpetuates suffering.
Just remember: believing in seperate races among humans is science denial and a major cause of the problem.
Also remember that if you refrain from using the word ‘race’ and its derivitives, and you use species, instead, you will see what is so wrong with ‘race.’
When you want to refer to an ethnicity, a culture, a nationality, you can still do that, just leave biology out of it — because that’s not only incorrect, it’s bigoted. Then you’ll see there are no grounds for using ‘race’ without asserting your belief in its fiction — which makes one a “racist,” like being a believe in the living Elvis, only that’s harmless; thinking others are a different species just because of their skin or skeletal variation is incorrect — and has been hurting people for hundreds of years.
Photo Copyright Carl Atteniese 2018