T Nation

What Is Race?

We have a thread that asks the question “What Is Racism?”. I feel that really cannot be answered without asking yourself…what is race in the first place…especially in the 21st century. Thoughts?

I know that outward appearances categorize me as a white man. But I feel no kinship or connection to other “white men” based on race. I’m southern, Scots Irish, my ancestors came over around 1800. I feel no more connection to a New Yorker of Italian Descent, or a Midwesterner of German descent even though they are “white” than I do to someone from Louisiana of African descent or a Californian of Korean descent.

In short, place means far more to me than race.

I understand that it is different for people of African descent, because even though Africa is larger and more diverse than Europe, their ancestors were all brought over in the same manner, the slave trade, and endured the same hardships in this country. So they have far more in common with other African Americans, than I have with say someone of Polish descent from Pennsylvania or any damned yankee from New England.

a group of people gathered together for a common reason, whether it’s geography, persecution, religion and so on. They are given a title then they breed with the others of their group forming a race of people. It can’t be based off skin color because whites would have no identity so it is typically based on physical characteristics. Panamanians are good example we vary from black to white but are all from the same place just gathered together by abandoned slaves, spaniards, indeginous people, and a embedded US military.

just the way I look at it, but thats the opinion of the bastard son of a adopted immagrant so like I know anything about even my own race.

[quote]Cpl. Mongo wrote:
a group of people gathered together for a common reason, whether it’s geography, persecution, religion and so on. They are given a title then they breed with the others of their group forming a race of people. It can’t be based off skin color because whites would have no identity so it is typically based on physical characteristics. Panamanians are good example we vary from black to white but are all from the same place just gathered together by abandoned slaves, spaniards, indeginous people, and a embedded US military. just the way I look at it, but thats the opinion of the bastard son of a adopted immagrant so like I know anything about even my own race.[/quote]

Interesting you bring up Panamanians…this makes me think about the people of that region…Brazil…Puerto Rico. Wide range of people especially of African Spanish decent…but yet they don’t classify like we do in the US. Here its African-American…or black…but to them,they are Brazilian…Puerto Rican. And share the same history of slavery…hell,Brazil had more slaves than the US.

yeah to them its different my uncle (a black pan.) gets very offended if he is called African-American or black in his mind he is a Latino, and my aunt (blonde hair blue eyes) also hates being classified as white. So in my family race has always been where your from not what you look like. I think their lack of classifying is the results of Spanish pride, we are taught to be proud of our heritage as Spanish people so you forget that you are black or white or whatever, that and they aren’t making any special treatments for you based on what happened to your mom and dad it still the third world after all.

It doesn’t matter what race truly is. What matters is how society perceives it. There are many people who would classify as “black” but who can pass for white and as such will never experience any racism that is usually thrown towards black people in this country.

That means appearance is what most focus in on and it is what allowed an entire country to degrade an entire group of people socially and individually.

None of this can be overcome until both sides admit fault.

As you can see from the many threads that have surfaced, that isn’t going to happen. Fingers are pointing everywhere but at the mirror.

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
Cpl. Mongo wrote:
a group of people gathered together for a common reason, whether it’s geography, persecution, religion and so on. They are given a title then they breed with the others of their group forming a race of people. It can’t be based off skin color because whites would have no identity so it is typically based on physical characteristics. Panamanians are good example we vary from black to white but are all from the same place just gathered together by abandoned slaves, spaniards, indeginous people, and a embedded US military. just the way I look at it, but thats the opinion of the bastard son of a adopted immagrant so like I know anything about even my own race.

Interesting you bring up Panamanians…this makes me think about the people of that region…Brazil…Puerto Rico. Wide range of people especially of African Spanish decent…but yet they don’t classify like we do in the US. Here its African-American…or black…but to them,they are Brazilian…Puerto Rican. And share the same history of slavery…hell,Brazil had more slaves than the US.[/quote]

Brazil just instituted affirmative action in universities for blacks. There are racial divisions there also. There’s a secessionist movement in southern Brazil.

[quote]Cpl. Mongo wrote:
yeah to them its different my uncle (a black pan.) gets very offended if he is called African-American or black in his mind he is a Latino, and my aunt (blonde hair blue eyes) also hates being classified as white. So in my family race has always been where your from not what you look like. I think their lack of classifying is the results of Spanish pride, we are taught to be proud of our heritage as Spanish people so you forget that you are black or white or whatever, that and they aren’t making any special treatments for you based on what happened to your mom and dad it still the third world after all.[/quote]

Thats what I love about those countries…I’m classified as African-American or black…but I bet I have more European ancestry than some “white” people. My neighbors are Panamanian…really nice people. It was funny when their father visited…and mind you…I’m more “red” than I am “black” and my wife is half Japanese…he was intent on making us Latino…he was so dissappointed when realized we were not…lol. Gotta love that pride.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
Cpl. Mongo wrote:
a group of people gathered together for a common reason, whether it’s geography, persecution, religion and so on. They are given a title then they breed with the others of their group forming a race of people. It can’t be based off skin color because whites would have no identity so it is typically based on physical characteristics. Panamanians are good example we vary from black to white but are all from the same place just gathered together by abandoned slaves, spaniards, indeginous people, and a embedded US military. just the way I look at it, but thats the opinion of the bastard son of a adopted immagrant so like I know anything about even my own race.

Interesting you bring up Panamanians…this makes me think about the people of that region…Brazil…Puerto Rico. Wide range of people especially of African Spanish decent…but yet they don’t classify like we do in the US. Here its African-American…or black…but to them,they are Brazilian…Puerto Rican. And share the same history of slavery…hell,Brazil had more slaves than the US.

Brazil just instituted affirmative action in universities for blacks. There are racial divisions there also. There’s a secessionist movement in southern Brazil.[/quote]

Interesting…now would you say that its racial divisions are on the same level as it is here in the US??

[quote]Professor X wrote:
It doesn’t matter what race truly is. What matters is how society perceives it. There are many people who would classify as “black” but who can pass for white and as such will never experience any racism that is usually thrown towards black people in this country.

That means appearance is what most focus in on and it is what allowed an entire country to degrade an entire group of people socially and individually.

None of this can be overcome until both sides admit fault.

As you can see from the many threads that have surfaced, that isn’t going to happen. Fingers are pointing everywhere but at the mirror.[/quote]

Yeah…thats pretty much were I was heading with this. Views of race…discussion of race gives me the picture of two people stuck in a revolving door…and blaming each other for being stuck.

What is Race? I don’t know. A superficial obsession of a species that should be intelligent enough to know better?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
What is Race? I don’t know. A superficial obsession of a species that should be intelligent enough to know better?[/quote]

Then why is that we do not? How did we get to to this “superficial obsession?” What caused it? Is it a result of the long list of things that we should know better??

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
Then why is that we do not? How did we get to to this “superficial obsession?” What caused it? Is it a result of the long list of things that we should know better?? [/quote]

I think this “superficial obsession” is based on a hardwired evolutionary survival trait. We are naturally suspicious of anyone that is unfamiliar, whether they look different, dress different, or speak different. Historically speaking, if they aren’t from your tribe then there is a good chance they might try to kill you and take your stuff.

The trait itself isn’t necessarily good or bad, and it isn’t something we can just wave away. Intelligent people ought to be able to recognize it for what it is and deal with it appropriately.

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
Sloth wrote:
What is Race? I don’t know. A superficial obsession of a species that should be intelligent enough to know better?

Then why is that we do not? How did we get to to this “superficial obsession?” What caused it? Is it a result of the long list of things that we should know better?? [/quote]

Blame it on the animal brain side of our minds, I suppose. “Hey we look much like each other. We should together fight the different looking folk for the best watering holes and hunting grounds.”

What is race?

I do not like definitions that rely on genetic description because these can become quickly obfuscated once a gene pool becomes less isolated. I like the idea of race being defined by tribal association.

Like plants, animals that breed in isolation will express the same physical traits which is why we typically associate race with physical features; however, there are other traits that we can associate to tribes besides what their members look like. I think we can group these attributes under the blanket term, culture – for example, religious practices, dietary habits, organization, etc.

It is real hard for me to comprehend the notion of “racial purity” or “racial superiority” when race is understood in this manner.

[quote]Uncle Gabby wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
Then why is that we do not? How did we get to to this “superficial obsession?” What caused it? Is it a result of the long list of things that we should know better??

I think this “superficial obsession” is based on a hardwired evolutionary survival trait. We are naturally suspicious of anyone that is unfamiliar, whether they look different, dress different, or speak different. Historically speaking, if they aren’t from your tribe then there is a good chance they might try to kill you and take your stuff.

The trait itself isn’t necessarily good or bad, and it isn’t something we can just wave away. Intelligent people ought to be able to recognize it for what it is and deal with it appropriately. [/quote]

Interesting

It’s where one car goes faster than the other and crosses the finish line first.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

"…It is real hard for me to comprehend the notion of “racial purity” or “racial superiority” when race is understood in this manner.[/quote]

I agree with that.

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
Cpl. Mongo wrote:
a group of people gathered together for a common reason, whether it’s geography, persecution, religion and so on. They are given a title then they breed with the others of their group forming a race of people. It can’t be based off skin color because whites would have no identity so it is typically based on physical characteristics. Panamanians are good example we vary from black to white but are all from the same place just gathered together by abandoned slaves, spaniards, indeginous people, and a embedded US military. just the way I look at it, but thats the opinion of the bastard son of a adopted immagrant so like I know anything about even my own race.

Interesting you bring up Panamanians…this makes me think about the people of that region…Brazil…Puerto Rico. Wide range of people especially of African Spanish decent…but yet they don’t classify like we do in the US. Here its African-American…or black…but to them,they are Brazilian…Puerto Rican. And share the same history of slavery…hell,Brazil had more slaves than the US.

Brazil just instituted affirmative action in universities for blacks. There are racial divisions there also. There’s a secessionist movement in southern Brazil.

Interesting…now would you say that its racial divisions are on the same level as it is here in the US??
[/quote]

I don’t know.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
Big_Boss wrote:
Cpl. Mongo wrote:
a group of people gathered together for a common reason, whether it’s geography, persecution, religion and so on. They are given a title then they breed with the others of their group forming a race of people. It can’t be based off skin color because whites would have no identity so it is typically based on physical characteristics. Panamanians are good example we vary from black to white but are all from the same place just gathered together by abandoned slaves, spaniards, indeginous people, and a embedded US military. just the way I look at it, but thats the opinion of the bastard son of a adopted immagrant so like I know anything about even my own race.

Interesting you bring up Panamanians…this makes me think about the people of that region…Brazil…Puerto Rico. Wide range of people especially of African Spanish decent…but yet they don’t classify like we do in the US. Here its African-American…or black…but to them,they are Brazilian…Puerto Rican. And share the same history of slavery…hell,Brazil had more slaves than the US.

Brazil just instituted affirmative action in universities for blacks. There are racial divisions there also. There’s a secessionist movement in southern Brazil.

Interesting…now would you say that its racial divisions are on the same level as it is here in the US??

I don’t know. [/quote]

oh?..OK.