Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

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Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

Beliefs about race and ethnicity influence our cultures, politics, and relationships.  What is race?  What is ethnicity?  This group explores those concepts.

Location: Global
Members: 234
Latest Activity: on Monday

Welcome!

Racism and the effects of ethnocentrism are alive and well in the 21st century.  Racism and humanism are incompatible by definition. 

 File:BlueMarble-2001-2002.jpg

The most human, and humane, thing that we can do is acknowledge and support the humanity of people who are different from ourselves.  Curiosity about what makes us human, by necessity, includes curiosity about our human ethnic heritage.

 

We are incredibly enriched by immersing ourselves in a diverse world.  We are intellectually and emotionally impoverished when we exclude others who are not our mirror image.

 

This discussion group includes many topics about race and ethnicity.  Feel free to comment to new threads, or resurrect old threads, if any spark your interest.

 

My 2 cents. Daniel W.

 

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Comment by Daniel W on August 13, 2009 at 11:36am
Dallas,
There are many African American museums around the US, where these and more uplifting images can be found. In fact - you probably already know about the museum in Dallas. Doing a google image search on the topic of slavery brings forth 8,800,000 matches. Important lessons, to be sure. There is also modern slavery - according to this US government report in 2002, at least 700,000 and possibly up to 4 million human beings were bought and sold in the previous year. I don't have more recent statistics. Sometimes I think that the world would be better off without homo sapiens.
Comment by Ralph Dumain on August 6, 2009 at 5:46pm
The video is good as far as it goes. It is addressed to the young and stupid, not my generation. I'm more used to the old and stupid, and I don't care much for the hiphop generation. In any case,, it's important to examine this contemporary culture of cynicism, vacuous playing with cultural codes, and irony devoid of substance. Crossover racial identification might have had its merits in the past, but it's become a parody of a parody, like everything else in American culture. If one wants to engage identity and friendship now, a much more critical approach is needed.
Comment by Daniel W on July 25, 2009 at 8:24pm
Responding to Dallas' posting of a photo below, showing an albino Black man (I realize the contradiction in terms, but identity and melanin don't match here), here is a video regarding ambinism in S. Africa. (Sorry, embedding was turned off for this video).

1 in 4,000 people in subSarahan Africa is Albino. In addition to the medical consequences (skin cancers), superstition leads to murders of albinos.

Comment by Jo Jerome on July 24, 2009 at 12:03am
"Mad black woman" as in angry, stir-crazy, or devilishly clever?
;-)
Comment by Daniel W on July 22, 2009 at 11:05pm
Welcome and please jump right into the discussions!
Comment by animus on July 22, 2009 at 5:45pm
Can a mad black woman join this group? LOL just dogging around!!!
Comment by sophia on July 21, 2009 at 2:15am
Despite of absence of color He got a great attraction.
Comment by Daniel W on July 12, 2009 at 7:18pm
Nano,
Thanks a lot for your comment. I just noticed it! It's very rewarding to read that.

At first I wondered whether any one would pay attention. So far there have been a lot of great discussions. Your input, and that of other contributers, has been great, reasoned, thoughtful. I hope that we can keep growing the group and expanding the conversation.
Comment by Joshua on June 29, 2009 at 11:46pm
The significance is human driven, as is every significance. We all determine differences and we behave accordingly. My only point is that to deny them isn't going to solve any problems at all whatsoever. Education is the only key. There are differences. Only an idiot would try to deny that. They are so pronounced that right or wrong they drive us into different neighborhoods, different institutions, different careers, and different cultures. Just as any other animal in the field, when approaching humans I would look for trends. Are A and B different, how often do they breed with one another, do they have different survival patterns, do they have different habitats. Are they geographically separated. The last portion is becoming obsolete, but everything else is still valid.

Ok, here is an example of the error I am trying to overturn.

Person A: "There are races."

Person B: "There are races, and race A is better than race B."

Person C: "There are no races."

now person C is trying to be humanitarian, but in reality they are creating a false dichotomy which will only lead to the inevitable failure of their argument. Because their argument lies in falsehood, it can never be complete and can never completely revoke arguments A and B.

The argument I am looking for is Person D: "There are obviously races. Historically we have recognized them. Phenotypically they are obvious. Socioeconomically they have devastating effects, and personally I find them to be ultimately non-vital to the moral fiber of a person; however they exist. The fact that they exist is no endorsement of supremacy in one form or the other. All of us, ultimately are individuals answerable at the end of the day to our own consciousness alone. Any trends which may seem racially correlative are in fact merely coincidental. It is our greatest duty to one another to investigate the truth about race and its effects to better understand the power relationships involved and correct them."
Comment by Ralph Dumain on June 29, 2009 at 6:03pm
I'm not aware of any taboo of discussing the biological aspects of race, or more accurately, of diverse populations. The point is that "race"--the trivial phenotypical characteristics used to establish the pretense of superiority or inferiority of given groups--is of no intrinsic biological significance whatever. You need to check your own junk science.

As for the history of racism, it's difficult to pinpoint an exact specification of an imputed biologically based racism, since secular biology, divorced from supernaturalist superstitions, is a historically recent phenomenon. Rebecca Goldstein nonetheless thinks that the Spanish Inquisition had something like a biological conception of race in its persecution of Jews. Pseudoscientific biological racism basically developed in tandem with real biology, as occult qualities were stripped away from the scientific world-picture.

As interesting as the strictly biological characteristics of population are, what relevance to they have to this group, which is sociological in focus, i.e. on the social facts of various ethnic and racial groups in the world?
 

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