The Only One
The only race. The seemingly inborn desired to be considered a superior race is based on a glaring fallacy.
Physical anthropologists generally speak of three general racial classifications of humans — Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. While human beings might be classified such based on diverse physical appearances, the word “racial” needs to be excised from the phrase “racial classification.”
Although humans are sometimes divided into races, the morphological variation between so-called races is not indicative of major differences in DNA. The DNA of any two human beings chosen at random generally varies by less than 0.1 percent. This is less genetic variation than other types of hominids (such as chimpanzees and orangutans), leading some scientists to describe all humans as belong to the same race — the human race.
What is commonly called racism is an attitude of superiority over and degradation of some group of human beings with physical and/or ethnic characteristics differing from one’s own. It is like a black standard poodle thinking she is intrinsically superior to a white toy poodle. The American Kennel Club recognized one breed: poodle. There is variation within the species, but only one species.
There is only one species of human being: homo sapiens. Racism could be defined as discriminating against any group within the human race to which one feels superior, or which one distains for whatever reason.
Ethnicity is the term for the culture of people in a given geographic region, including their language, heritage, religion and customs. To be a member of an ethnic group is to conform to some or all of those practices. Ethnic discrimination is a more descriptive term for many historic mass discriminations, such as that directed toward Irish immigrants to the U. S. in the latter half of the 19th century.
I have been in about twenty countries around the world. My son has been in over one hundred and fifty of them. We both found the same thing: people are people. And most of them pretty much like us: nice, caring, hospitable . . . mostly concerned about having adequate nutrition, a decent place to live, and living in peaceful security.
It’s the human race. And it’s the only one.