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  • Writer's pictureMichael Sales

Our Colorful Tapestry

From the incessantly tragic and pathetic number of race-based crimes on a worldwide basis, skin color makes a huge difference to a lot of folks.

The scope of intolerance and the willingness of people to lie about their prejudice is an important subject, but not my concentration here.

Reality check from the Anthropocene:

Genetically, race doesn't exist.

Rather, my point is that, genetically, race doesn’t exist.

This is one of the emergent realities of the Anthropocene, and one that is ferociously rejected by millions and millions.

What I long for:

The Brooklyn-based Anthropocene I want to emerge is multiracial and multicultural. Facing climate change, our planet and our species need all the help, all the varieties of intelligence, and all the wisdom it can get. We would be sooooo much better off if we truly embraced our colorful human tapestry.

Anti-racist multiculturalists like me long for a reality in which the genetic truth of race’s irrelevancy is recognized and discarded. At a planetary level, we face weighty matters, and it is time to move on from antiquated, politicized racial explanations. Time, place, and circumstances all influence social outcomes and conditions. They are determinative factors. Race is not. Skin color is mixed in with these other factors, but it is inconsequential when paired with these other social forces.

Of course, if one is disadvantaged in time, place, and circumstance because of racial prejudice, race matters a great deal. But it is meaningless when the root causes of social outcomes are analyzed.

Many sources support my assertion that race is red herring. Harvard’s 2017How Science and Genetics are Reshaping the Race Debate of the 21st Centuryis an example.

Reviewing a compilation of studies, this summary article states that:

"There is no evidence that the groups we commonly call ‘races’ have distinct, unifying genetic identities… In the biological and social sciences, the consensus is clear: race is a social construct, not a biological attribute…. Despite the scientific consensus that humanity is more alike than unlike, the long history of racism is a somber reminder that throughout human history, a mere 0.1% of variation has been sufficient justification for committing all manner of discriminations and atrocities."

Some of the comments on the article reminded me of how difficult it is for some to accept these conclusions:

"Mixing with different types who evolved in different environments can greatly change your children’s composition. Like brain size, IQ, impulsivity, and likelyhood (sic) of committing violent crime."

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