The other day, while teaching a lecture class, one of us mentioned in passing that the average African American, according to a 2014 paper, is about 24 percent European and less than 1 percent Native American. A student responded that these percentages were impossible to measure, since “race is a social construction.”So he complains about race all the time, says race does not exist, and uses DNA to trace racial ancestry.
Given our country’s history of scientific racism — and all of the horrible crimes and abuses that African Americans have been subjected to in the name of science — the fact that race is a social invention and not a biological reality cannot be repeated too much. However, while race is socially constructed, genetic mutations — biological records of ancestry — are not, and the distinction is a crucial one.
To be fair, we really can’t blame this student for being confused. To varying degrees, we have all inherited a muddled understanding of race, ancestry and phenotype from the Enlightenment
Monday, March 07, 2022
Race is a Social Construct, Explained
I mentioned that Black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was equating Black rights with lies about Black criminals on a NY Times video. Now has has aa nonsensical NY Times op-ed about defining race: