The article by Loring Brace titled Race Is A Four-Letter Word (Article 4.2) is another strong indictment of racism. The author presents a detailed analysis of the evolution of physical trait differences among regional groups and comes to the same conclusions as that of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). There is overwhelming scientific proof to dismantle any concrete notions of race, for such a classification is technically nonexistent. What the author suggests through his chosen title is that ‘race’ as a term is inherently abusive, for it is an artificial conception. This view is in agreement with the historical analysis of race given by AAA. In this backdrop, those who insist on segregating people on the illusory lines of race face a heavy burden of proof. This point is reiterated again in the reading titled Does Race Exist? (Article 4.5) by George W. Gill.
As a panel member responsible for giving direction to race-related policies in the country I would make it a priority to create awareness of such telling facts. It is a sad fact that despite mounting scientific evidence racial stereotyping and discrimination is as rampant today as it ever was. In light of this imbalance, it is imperative that the government take proactive steps in educating the general public. The need of the hour is nothing short of a sweeping change to dominant myths and misunderstandings surrounding race.
Finally, it is not an exaggeration to claim that there are moral implications. Beyond the well acknowledged social, political and economic motives for using race in daily life, there is the fundamental question of human dignity. American history provides robust proof that ‘separate but equal’ does not work. So to fully realize equality in society and public policy, we must purge the idea of race in the future. But this is not to say that historical justice and compensation should not be attempted. It is imprudent to abandon affirmative action programs because they are concerned with race. To the contrary, affirmative action should be seen as the beginning of the end of race and racism in modern societies. Upon the achievement of this goal depends the prospect for social harmony in the future. The immediate task is to disabuse ourselves from notions of ‘race’ so that we can eradicate ‘racism’ in the long-term.
- Nina G. Jablonski and George Chaplin, Article 33: Skin Deep, Annual Editions, pp. 169-172.
- Biological Anthropology: Concepts and Connections, Chapter 10
- C. Loring Brace, “Race” Is a Four Letter Word, Issue 4 – Is the Division of People by Race Scientifically Valid?, Roundtable Viewpoints, Article 4.2, pp. 151-171.
* George W. Gill, Does Race Exist?, Issue 4 – Is the Division of People by Race Scientifically Valid? Roundtable Viewpoints, Article 4.5, pp. 195-198.
* AAA’s Statement on “Race”, Article 4.6, Issue 4 – Is the Division of People by Race Scientifically Valid?, pp.199-201.
- AAA’s Race: Are We So Different?: http://understandingrace.org/