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Old 08-29-2007, 07:09 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Frieda View Post
?

every word is a made up word

i'm trying to grasp the USA concept of racial distinction

just wondering to which group the people that live in pakistan/india belong to, as well as north africans..

to be honest, i don't understand this system at all, what's it's purpose anyway? why would you want to register someone's race?
Could ask Heckle or Darwin I guess.

Historically there were 4 races red yellow white black (those German scientists always classifying stuff)

Then in the 1970s cultural socialists added Hispanic which would be Spanish Indian - red brown people from the East Islands, Central and South American Native as opposed to Spanish European, white people who invaded those regions.

Another sub-category would be Asian Islanders like Hawaiians and Spanish Asian Islanders like Philippinos.

Where ever Europeans landed a boat and mated with the locals you'll find a distinction.

Native Americans/Canadian and Inuit, formally Eskimos, would depend on the tribe and date of arrival.

Now they pretty much use the classification of race in the US to keep track of the equality of employment, education, housing and more recently medical information. One big giant melting pot! Some people think everyone should have an equal share in what's cooking in the pot and since the European migration, starting with Columbus that eventually formed the US of A only white Europeans were considered human beings; surprisingly some people still feel that way, on both sides. Long history of working that one out. Race still hold weight when it comes to the treatment of people in the US and the world, but it is also used as a political tool. Right or wrong depends on the situation.

The Middle East aka Near East, is a mish mosh of Indian Chinese Persians (aka Iranians) Turks (which is a mix of a mix) and North Africans (which is a mix of a mix of a mix) - most middle easterners after the fall of/migrations from Mesopotamia were nomads or settled elsewhere (becoming mixes), until they discovered oil. Then everyone started sitting down where they stood and calling themselves something or other. Like the family or Saudi tribe - they named the place where they sat after themselves.

Last edited by Anna : 08-29-2007 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:26 PM   #47
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isn't this race system just too complicated to maintain??

i mean, the real races like you describe (and what i was taught in geography/history class) don't make sense at all if you try to place them in the USA thingy (which i wasnt taught at school).

the way you describe it, it has become a culture, folklore maybe, something to be proud of? am i right?

distinction based on race seems of the past to me, i thought distinction based on religious views was more fashionable these days.. people fight wars over that nowadays anyway. fascinating.. i wonder what will be the next subject?
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:29 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Frieda View Post
i'm trying to grasp the USA concept of racial distinction
the answer depends heavily on whether you mean the american people or the american government.

the american government defines race as in topcat's post. in that case those listed fall under "other."

the american people, i would say, would certainly agree that it's ludicrous to limit the racial definition to so few options. however i would also say that most americans would decide that indians are in a distinct race but others in that region (probably including those from north africa) are "middle eastern."

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to be honest, i don't understand this system at all, what's it's purpose anyway? why would you want to register someone's race?
it's strictly voluntary and typically used in employment circumstances as a means for for companies to staff a more ethnically diverse group. typically the self identification section also asks for gender and whether or not you are a military veteran. again, to serve the same purposes. other places you find this is on the census and standardized tests, when the government is trying to gather statistical data.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:43 PM   #49
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:45 PM   #50
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Several months ago, it was confirmed that bigotry within the human race begins in infancy. Babies at ages as young as six months begin showing preferences and adversions based upon color.
It is no wonder to anyone that most hate spiders, and we all love butterflies.
I truely think being racist is an instinctual reaction. One of course, that we can strive to over-come thru our awareness, but can never truely defeat.
Afterall, you're all 'only human'
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:46 PM   #51
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Quote:
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…distinction based on race seems of the past to me, i thought distinction based on religious views was more fashionable these days..
I agree.

Unfortunately, it seems like anti-Islamicism is the fashionable bigotry of the US at the moment. But, there are other varieties that still flourish…
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:05 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frieda View Post
isn't this race system just too complicated to maintain??

i mean, the real races like you describe (and what i was taught in geography/history class) don't make sense at all if you try to place them in the USA thingy (which i wasnt taught at school).

the way you describe it, it has become a culture, folklore maybe, something to be proud of? am i right?

distinction based on race seems of the past to me, i thought distinction based on religious views was more fashionable these days.. people fight wars over that nowadays anyway. fascinating.. i wonder what will be the next subject?
It's more culture, economics and medical. The US has a troubled history, the lines are fuzzy. Regardless, it has many political underpinnings.

divide and conquer works.

Last edited by Anna : 08-29-2007 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:31 PM   #53
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Several months ago, it was confirmed that bigotry within the human race begins in infancy. Babies at ages as young as six months begin showing preferences and adversions based upon color. It is no wonder to anyone that most hate spiders, and we all love butterflies. I truely think being racist is an instinctual reaction. One of course, that we can strive to over-come thru our awareness, but can never truely defeat. Afterall, you're all 'only human'

this theory seems to have a few holes in it since of the five senses newborns experience sound, smell, touch and taste before color site and focus. I don't think I'd call it bigotry either perhaps, discrimination. Of course the ability to discriminate is an important survival skill.

Who on earth "confirmed" that we are born bigots?
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:59 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Frieda View Post
stephi, according to your thingy i would be.. english

and people from spain would be italian

and people from the middle east would be iranian?


but now the north africans don't fit in!
Nay, in this graphic (notice that the boxes, i.e. 'races' are just another definition, only here roughly aligned to genetic differences and - actually pre-modern time! - geographical context) just some exemplary ethnic groups are drawn in. The Dutch and German dots should be somewhere near the English one (CJ that OK if we dot ourselves there? ) and Spanish and Italian dots should also be close. North Africans (also close to Spanish dot - Caliphate history and all) are either Caucasian or African, actually these boxes (and all the others) should have overlap regions imo.

Well and there are two points that disturb me in this scheme too (although it makes more sense, also in that way that if you start following the red line from the African box it roughly fits with the spread of first humans Africa --> Europe/West Asia --> East Asia --> Pacific/Australia/America):
The maximal genetic difference (that is the longest distance of these red lines) is only like 10-15% I read and these also affect only rather minor genes, like the ones for skin tone, hair structure/colour variety, density of body hair (guess who's the hairiest of the crew - us pink ones ) and such things like the worse alcohol metabolism of Amerindians or that with Africans the recessive genes causing sickle cell anaemia are more often. Most of these differences come from the time when our ancestors started wandering out of Africa, in very small populations, some thousand people or so, thus genes 'got lost', mutated in different ways and so on. The rest is due to climate/sun intensity. Also a lot of scientist say that 'race' simply does not exist.
The other thing is with this ethnic groups. Take for example the English (applies for any other too): Some thousand years ago those people who formed the prototypical Englishman belonged to many different ethnic groups: Picts, Angles, Saxons, Norse etc. And just like that the prototypical Englishman is constantly changing through modern day immigration, so the dot should slowly shift (or do the boxes melt together as the global village becomes more and more reality?)

Like some other posters said I think putting people in religious/cultural boxes is becoming more common today. Or what I experienced (particularly on that other board with majorly North Americans posting there, but I guess such opinions are not really confined to N.A.s) is the transfer/mix of the 'race' notion with the 'religion'/'culture' notion (for example that Mid Easterns are automatically assumed to be practising Muslims and Muslims are termed 'brown people' - or worse...) - and way too often with all the stereotyping/prejudicing/arranging people into static, monolithic blocks according to some common criteria they share.

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Old 08-30-2007, 07:02 AM   #55
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Just F everybody's I, this is the American Anthropological Association's official statement on race (the italics are mine):

In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within "racial" groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species.

Physical variations in any given trait tend to occur gradually rather than abruptly over geographic areas. And because physical traits are inherited independently of one another, knowing the range of one trait does not predict the presence of others. For example, skin color varies largely from light in the temperate areas in the north to dark in the tropical areas in the south; its intensity is not related to nose shape or hair texture. Dark skin may be associated with frizzy or kinky hair or curly or wavy or straight hair, all of which are found among different indigenous peoples in tropical regions. These facts render any attempt to establish lines of division among biological populations both arbitrary and subjective.

Historical research has shown that the idea of "race" has always carried more meanings than mere physical differences; indeed, physical variations in the human species have no meaning except the social ones that humans put on them. Today scholars in many fields argue that "race" as it is understood in the United States of America was a social mechanism invented during the 18th century to refer to those populations brought together in colonial America: the English and other European settlers, the conquered Indian peoples, and those peoples of Africa brought in to provide slave labor.

From its inception, this modern concept of "race" was modeled after an ancient theorem of the Great Chain of Being, which posited natural categories on a hierarchy established by God or nature. Thus "race" was a mode of classification linked specifically to peoples in the colonial situation. It subsumed a growing ideology of inequality devised to rationalize European attitudes and treatment of the conquered and enslaved peoples. Proponents of slavery in particular during the 19th century used "race" to justify the retention of slavery. The ideology magnified the differences among Europeans, Africans, and Indians, established a rigid hierarchy of socially exclusive categories underscored and bolstered unequal rank and status differences, and provided the rationalization that the inequality was natural or God-given. The different physical traits of African-Americans and Indians became markers or symbols of their status differences.

As they were constructing US society, leaders among European-Americans fabricated the cultural/behavioral characteristics associated with each "race," linking superior traits with Europeans and negative and inferior ones to blacks and Indians. Numerous arbitrary and fictitious beliefs about the different peoples were institutionalized and deeply embedded in American thought.

Early in the 19th century the growing fields of science began to reflect the public consciousness about human differences. Differences among the "racial" categories were projected to their greatest extreme when the argument was posed that Africans, Indians, and Europeans were separate species, with Africans the least human and closer taxonomically to apes.

Ultimately "race" as an ideology about human differences was subsequently spread to other areas of the world. It became a strategy for dividing, ranking, and controlling colonized people used by colonial powers everywhere. But it was not limited to the colonial situation. In the latter part of the 19th century it was employed by Europeans to rank one another and to justify social, economic, and political inequalities among their peoples. During World War II, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler enjoined the expanded ideology of "race" and "racial" differences and took them to a logical end: the extermination of 11 million people of "inferior races" (e.g., Jews, Gypsies, Africans, homosexuals, and so forth) and other unspeakable brutalities of the Holocaust.

"Race" thus evolved as a worldview, a body of prejudgments that distorts our ideas about human differences and group behavior. Racial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human species and about the abilities and behavior of people homogenized into "racial" categories. The myths fused behavior and physical features together in the public mind, impeding our comprehension of both biological variations and cultural behavior, implying that both are genetically determined. Racial myths bear no relationship to the reality of human capabilities or behavior. Scientists today find that reliance on such folk beliefs about human differences in research has led to countless errors.

At the end of the 20th century, we now understand that human cultural behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. No human is born with a built-in culture or language. Our temperaments, dispositions, and personalities, regardless of genetic propensities, are developed within sets of meanings and values that we call "culture." Studies of infant and early childhood learning and behavior attest to the reality of our cultures in forming who we are.

It is a basic tenet of anthropological knowledge that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn any cultural behavior. The American experience with immigrants from hundreds of different language and cultural backgrounds who have acquired some version of American culture traits and behavior is the clearest evidence of this fact. Moreover, people of all physical variations have learned different cultural behaviors and continue to do so as modern transportation moves millions of immigrants around the world.

How people have been accepted and treated within the context of a given society or culture has a direct impact on how they perform in that society. The "racial" worldview was invented to assign some groups to perpetual low status, while others were permitted access to privilege, power, and wealth. The tragedy in the United States has been that the policies and practices stemming from this worldview succeeded all too well in constructing unequal populations among Europeans, Native Americans, and peoples of African descent. Given what we know about the capacity of normal humans to achieve and function within any culture, we conclude that present-day inequalities between so-called "racial" groups are not consequences of their biological inheritance but products of historical and contemporary social, economic, educational, and political circumstances.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:11 AM   #56
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Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within "racial" groups than between them.
Ah, it's even less than I read (on Wiki I think)!

The last paragraph of what you posted is crucial I think. No matter according to what people differentiate each other (think about classes/castes for example) it's very often to make the group you put yourself into outstanding in some way.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:15 PM   #57
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I think I'm racist against pure bloods...but I don't know any so it makes my racism easier to deal with and also harder to prove.

I prefer mutts, who can trace their muted jeans back enough to know their great grand fathers profession and such...and I ask too.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:35 AM   #58
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I think I'm racist against pure bloods...but I don't know any so it makes my racism easier to deal with and also harder to prove.

I prefer mutts, who can trace their muted jeans back enough to know their great grand fathers profession and such...and I ask too.
i have nothing against pure bloods as long as they are not in house of slytherin.

eta:
ahem..sorry bout that...

no what i meant to say is that, yes, it makes sense to be attracted to mutts. They are less prone to expressing recessive genes that can cause strange afflictions.

Vive les mutts !

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Old 08-31-2007, 05:06 PM   #59
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[nerd emoticon]
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:52 PM   #60
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^^^^^^^^^^

Great site
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