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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Are Blacks a "race" or a "people"?

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By Francis Holland

Are Blacks a "race" or a "people"? A "race" is a group separated from the rest by their distinct genetic characteristics, while a "people" is a group distinguished from the rest by geography, history, sociology, culture and superficial visible characteristics.

If Blacks are a "race," then it remains forever possible that our unique genetic characteristics are, in some way, inferior to whites' genetic characteristics. However, if Blacks are a "people" that is in all essential ways identical to whites genetically, and distinguished only by geography, history, sociology, culture, ethnicity and superficial visible characteristics, then it is quite impossible to argue that whites are genetically superior to Blacks.

In fact, a "race," by definition, is significantly genetically different from other "races," just as the eugentics advocate, James D. Watson, has argued. Otherwise the use of the word "race" at all is superfluous and, in addition, simply wrong.

James D. Watson, a Nobel Prize winner for his part in the unravelling of DNA who now runs one of America's leading scientific research institutions, drew widespread condemnation for comments he made ahead of his arrival in Britain today for a speaking tour at venues including the Science Museum in London.

The 79-year-old geneticist reopened the explosive debate about race and science in a newspaper interview in which he said Western policies towards African countries were wrongly based on an assumption that black people were as clever as their white counterparts when "testing" suggested the contrary. He claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade. Blacks Partly to Blame for Continued False Belief in "Racial" Inferiority
At this time, genetic science has not demonstrated any significant difference between whites and Blacks that equals or exceeds the differences between whites and other whites. Since science does not compel or even permit Blacks to conceive of ourselves as a separate "race" biologically, it is really a matter of our own self-definition whether we continue to insist that we are "racially" different. However, our self-definition will help to determine our place in American and other societies. More HERE

AAPP: Great post by Francis Holland. He always provides thoughtful discussion.

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