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Thread: Is race a social construct?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    True, but a social invention we cannot, as a society, reasonably rid ourselves of.
    Speaking for myself, I could easily rid myself of the idea. So I'm not sure why it would be difficult for others to do so as well.
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  2. #32
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlGuy View Post
    I think evolution says humans are part of the apes grouping, so considering apes there would be some divisions. Are there divisions of modern humans, no I don't think so but there are probably variations based on historical associations with non-human types. How important or not that seems is less scientific than political though.
    Apes and humans do have a relatedness. Not sure there's a direct, single ancestor creature for both species, though.

  3. #33
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Speaking for myself, I could easily rid myself of the idea. So I'm not sure why it would be difficult for others to do so as well.
    Because irrational hatred of strangers based on their appearance is a fairly common coping strategy for humans.

  4. #34
    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Yes.
    Yes. It's just a fancier word for TRIBE.
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  5. #35
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Yes, and if there were any other humanoids now living other than homo sapiens, you could probably argue successfully for a division into subspecies.

    But there aren't.
    We have reason to think that there may have been, though, as recently as just 12,000 years ago, at just the end of the last Ice Age. Careful analysis of the human genome is revealing signals that there may have been more 'primitive' hominids still living at that time in such locations as West Africa, the western part of China, and possibly in island Southeast Asia. The story of human evolution is becoming more and more fascinating. See the latest issue of New Scientist magazine, if you have access to it, for a very interesting article on this.
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  6. #36
    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Because irrational hatred of strangers based on their appearance is a fairly common coping strategy for humans.
    Yep! Which can and has for millennia been overcome by PROXIMITY, normative social dynamics including language, and the biggy, MATING.
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  7. #37
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertariat720 View Post
    So are you okay with Rachel Dolezal or anyone else identifying with any specific race, if it is just that, a social construct?
    I think it’s stupid and pathological, but I can’t do much about it. It’s (obviously) incredibly dishonest, but also it’s a slap in the face of everyone she fooled. Sort of like that woman who became an advocate for 9-11 bereaved who lost her fiancÚ a week before the wedding, but later turned out to be a complete fraud with no connection to 9-11 at all. Or someone who makes up a military past who hasn’t got one.

    It’s the kind of lie where you can be offended by it, but at the same time you just have to wonder how they got to a point where they felt the need to concoct a new past. If I learned that a friend of mine had done this, I would almost be embarrassed to have discovered it. It’s that weird.

    But anyway, she was stealing a social status, not a genetic code. For whatever reason, she wanted people to believe she had a different upbringing, different experience growing up, different social “battle scars”. I don’t really see a way for someone to “change race” and have any chance of being accepted without being completely dishonest.
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  8. #38
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassy View Post
    Different races does not = different species.
    It does, IF the speaker asserts there is a biological science basis for classifying humans this way.

  9. #39
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    I think it’s stupid and pathological, but I can’t do much about it. It’s (obviously) incredibly dishonest, but also it’s a slap in the face of everyone she fooled. Sort of like that woman who became an advocate for 9-11 bereaved who lost her fiancÚ a week before the wedding, but later turned out to be a complete fraud with no connection to 9-11 at all. Or someone who makes up a military past who hasn’t got one.

    It’s the kind of lie where you can be offended by it, but at the same time you just have to wonder how they got to a point where they felt the need to concoct a new past. If I learned that a friend of mine had done this, I would almost be embarrassed to have discovered it. It’s that weird.

    But anyway, she was stealing a social status, not a genetic code. For whatever reason, she wanted people to believe she had a different upbringing, different experience growing up, different social “battle scars”. I don’t really see a way for someone to “change race” and have any chance of being accepted without being completely dishonest.
    She claims she had a horrible, insular, fundamentalist upbringing, and this seems to be true. That she rescued her adopted black siblings, suffering not just as she did but also suffering from extreme cultural alienation, which also seems to be true.

    But.....

    She did not address the kids' needs directly. She just chose to masquerade as a black woman and pretend the kids' lives had been free of this deprivation.

    Even worse, she abuses these very same kids by using them as props in her incessant struggle for public acceptance. She has really harmed these kids, all of whom have been subjected to severe bullying once her hoax was revealed.

    Bad parents and damaged children are not a satisfactory excuse for all the harm she has done.
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  10. #40
    olguy OlGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Apes and humans do have a relatedness. Not sure there's a direct, single ancestor creature for both species, though.
    Oh yes there has to be a single ancestor. But what prompted this topic for me was recalling Stalin's thought of combining Chimpanzees and humans to make a soldier. A perfidious idea and enough said on the subject.
    Thanks from BigLeRoy

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