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Fountain79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:46 PM
Original message
What is white???(race)
Often it intrigues to think how the term "white" can be so fluid in how it is defined. I'm sure 150 years ago the Irish, Italians, etc were not considered white, but today are. Most people don't consider Indians, Arabs, and Persians white but really the only features that distinguish them is dark skin, which isn't always because I have met some very fair skinned Indians, Arabs, and especially Persians. Is what we call white an actual race or more dependent on who is within the group that holds political power in this country?
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Fountain79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Personal example...
I am half mexican-half white. Which in itself is strange to say because I have no indigenous feautres apart from my darker skin.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I half hispanic because of my Chilean mother, but
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 03:55 PM by Cleita
my late 100% Irish husband, born in Ireland, was several shades darker than me, yet his daughter (by another woman) could pass for Swedish.
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Akim Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Hispanics can be white, too (it depends how close they are to Spain). n/t
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Uhm, that wasn't my point.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 04:05 PM by Cleita
My point was that some people of European decent and of an ethnic purity that might go back thousands of years like my husband and therefore considered white, could in fact be darker skinned, than an ethnicity that is supposed to be darker like my mother's.
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Akim Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. There is no such thing as "ethnic purity" except for the Basques...
who have their own distinct blood type (found in no other people).
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Not even them. They too are mixed way back in time.
I think I qualified what I said by saying that Irish have been pretty well isolated for thousands of years from mixtures of blood from other continents,like America, Africa or Asia, so that they should be pretty ethinically pure from the standpoint of being white or what people think is white. It doesn't mean that this standard is true. It's just something to illustrate a point that you really can't define race that easily.

Now I'm gone. I know all about the invasions of vikings, British and the Spanish armada survivors that ended up on the Irish shores so don't bother to tell me about it. Incidentally, my grandfather was descended from Spanish Basques, who immigrated to southern Chile and intermarried with the natives there.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
65. The Basques aren't "ethnically pure" at all
Cavalli-Sforza -- and his Basque grad students -- discovered that there are at least two major (and several minor) components to the genomes of their Basque subjects. The "distinct blood type" is simply the high occurrence of Rh-negative blood. It appears that the particular mutation started among the early Basques; "how early?" is a matter of debate.

The oldest, and most scientifically interesting set of genes are the ones that predispose the Basques to rh-negative blood. About 15% of the Basque populations of Spain and France are, in fact, rh-negative. Similar patterns of genetic uniqueness are present among other "cultural isolates" like the Ainu in northern Japan.

And the Basques have long had the right idea about ethnicity. What makes a person Basque is Euskaldun -- which means, "having Basque" -- as an identity characterized by one's language. The idea of racial Basque ethnicity -- Euskotar -- is quite new; their ancient cultural tradition was inclusive rather than exclusive (though invading their land was certainly ill-advised). Most Basque people are, of course, proud of their unique culture and heritage; and like the Jews and the Roma ("Gypsies"), the Basques have played a major role in European history.

--p!
Rh-positive. Not a Basque. Merely dated a Basque-American.
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Akim Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. There are also the "Black Irish" (descendents of Spanish sailors cast...
on Irish shores during the wreck of the Spanish Armada). Of course, the so-called "black Irish" really aren't black, just much darker than the very fair Celts.

These "black Irish" are considered the handsomest people in Ireland.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. And so my husband was, very handsome.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 04:26 PM by Cleita
FYI though, Spain is still in Europe, which classifies them as white, but what is called a Mediterranean type which includes Italians, Greeks and yes Arabs not just Spaniards. Your true Celts had red hair for the most part and the blonds come from Viking raiders who settled there, but they are all still European!
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
90. And the pigshit Irish are pink with frecks.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. HIspanic is an enthnicity, not a race
No matter what La Raza says.
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Akim Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. You are absolutely right.
I think that the organization "La Raza" uses this as a "catch-all" phrase literally, meaning that many different races have fused in the Americas to create the unique admixture known as Latinos. In this context, "la raza" signifies diversity as much as it does uniqueness.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #20
53. It's not even that. It's a label the census department put
on people who speak Spanish and could be of mixed race, whether white, African American or Native American. In the last century Asians have entered the mix. So to be hispanic you could be any of those or all of them as long as you look like you should be able to speak Spanish. In my case it's Spanish, French Basque and Amerindian on my mother's side and Northern European and Amerindian on my father's side. We all spoke Spanish as well as English but for some reason or other my dad isn't included in the Hispanic classification. So you can see it's all bull, but that was my point anyway.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. I can tell you even fifty years ago, Italian wasn't quite
considered white. I remember my classmates sneering about our darker classmates of Italian descent, usually from So. Italy and what we would consider Mediterranean today, smelling of garlic and olive oil, like it was a bad thing.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. I checked with Mirriam- Webster online.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 03:55 PM by Kajsa
and they gave the definition under #2

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/white


2 a : being a member of a group or race characterized by light pigmentation of the skin b : of, relating to, characteristic of, or consisting of white people or their culture c : marked by upright fairness <that's mighty white of you>
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. There is no white race. There is low melanin to absorb more Vit D
This was an evolutionary adaptation for any group living at far northern latitudes since there were long dark winters which put children at risk for rickets. Due to the Gul Stream, extreme northern latitudes of Europe were inhabitable, so more "white" races are from Europe than from other parts of the globes, but you can find light skinned people everywhere.

The races are caucasian, negroid and asiatic, I believe. I would have to look it up.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Thank you.
Anthropology has shown us that there are no "races" but only levels of melanin. "Race" is a completely social construct.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. No, that's not true.

Race is a perfectly valid biological concept.

This is important because, for example, when my (sephardic Jewish) grandmother had breast cancer the rest of her female relatives were put on to special screening programs for it on account of their race.

There are all sorts of groups of inherited characteristics - skin pigment, and bone structure, and hair and eye colour, and facial structure, and I'm sure plenty of others that I don't know about - that correlate together strongly. There's a great deal more to it than just skin pigment - come to that, there are numerous examples of different ethnic groups with the same level of melanin but no other genetic connection stronger than each has with other, differently-pigmented groups - the australian aborigines and some of the african negroid races, or some european whites and some asian groups, for example.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Wow. Just wow.
No, the rest of her female relatives were screened because of their shared DNA, not because of their "race".

There is no appreciable biologic difference among the ethnic groups. Take the hood off, you'll see better.





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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. There is the 'human race' and there are lizard people who talk about race.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 05:20 PM by Swamp Rat
:D

This anthropologist agrees with you. :hi:



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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I love you, SwampRat
lol

You know what, I didn't go to Gombi because THEY DIDN'T HAVE DAYCARE.

:hug:

:grouphug:
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Jensen Donating Member (866 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. Swamp Rat you are one of the good things I love about DU!
Since in my family there is the pale Spaniards to the African look I have for years stated I was human in every application or Govt form which I'm sure drives them bunkers ! Also my children's school records claim then as Human! Maybe if we had more humans in the world there would be PEACE!

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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #34
92. Amen!
:hi:

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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #28
37. The lizard person says hi.
It's the first time I've been called that, although I've been called other ruder things in the past.

I'd do you a little waving smiley, but I don't know how to.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Are you a lizard person?
Since you say that you are a lizard person, I'll take your word for it. :hi:


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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Well, I sometimes talk about race, so by your classification I am.
My blood seems reasonable warm to be, but who can tell.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. "Race" is a social construct/fiction.
Since I am not a "racist," I am not open to debate on the matter - there is nothing else to say.


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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. If you're not interested in debate on the subject,
then why bother posting on it?

Do you have any evidence that the correlation between skin tone, facial structure, physical build, hair type etc is purely a social construct? If so, I'd love to see it; if not, I'd suggest revising your views post haste.

Acknowledging that race *exists* does not make one a "racist" anymore than admitting that there are two genders makes one a sexist, or denying that Jews are mythical beasts makes one anti-semitic.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Posting a reply to a friend on a message board does not imply a desire
to debate.

No need to revise my post, nor will I suggest you do the same.

I have no interest in discussing your beliefs.


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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. Race is indeed a social construct. There is a very good issue of Nature
Genetics that uses data from the Human Genome project to demonstrate just this.

The issue came out in November 2004. It is volume 36, number 11.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. Can you give me a link, please?
As far as I can tell from http://www.nature.com/nature/archive/index.html?showyea... - , in November 2004 Nature was publishing volume 432, not volume 36, and at a cursory examination none of the articles from that month seem to fit your description, so I think I'm looking in the wrong place.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. All my links are through the university so are subscription only. Here
are the citations I used in my class two years ago.

Tishkoff, S.A., & Kidd, K.K. (2004). Implications of biogeography of human populations for 'race' and medicine. Nature Genetics, 36 (11), S21-S27.

Jorde, L.B., & Wooding S.P. (2004). Genetic variation, classification and 'race'. Nature Genetics, 36 (11), S28-S33.

Tate, S.K., & Goldstein, D.B. (2004). Will tomorrow's medicines work for everyone? Nature Genetics, 36 (11), S34-S42.

Rotimi, C.N. (2004). Are medical and nonmedical uses of large-scale genomic markers conflating genetics and 'race'? Nature Genetics, 36 (11), S43-S47

Mountain, J.L. & Risch, N. (2004). Assessing genetic contributions to phenotypic differences among 'racial' and 'ethnic' groups. Nature Genetics, 36 (11), S48-S53

Parra, E.J., Kittles, R.A., & Shriver, M.D. (2004). Implications of correlations between skin color and genetic ancestry for biomedical research. Nature Genetics, 36 (11), S54-S60
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. OK, I've got some of those, now, thanks.

http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/index.html has them all, if you want to give out a non-subscription link in future.

But what they're arguing is *not* that there is no biological basis for the notion of race, but that it's at best debateably useful as a descriptor of genetic distance, which is a far less controversial claim, and one I'm quite willing to accept.

"Therefore, ancestry, or even race, may in some cases prove useful in the biomedical setting, but direct assessment of disease-related genetic variation will ultimately yield more accurate and beneficial information." - Jorde and Wooding.

"Under these circumstances, assumptions about genetic contributions to group differences are unfounded. In the absence of detailed understanding, 'racial' and 'ethnic' categories will remain useful in biomedical research." - Mountain and Risch

"You have created an error" - Rotini... well, nearly all of them are available there...

"Race is just a social construct" is clearly *not* what these people are arguing.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. I think in the case of African Americans, the issue of genetic distance
becomes so great that the concept of race becomes virtually meaningless. For example, African Americans have very high rates of hypertension whereas West Africans (the area from African from which most African Americans descent) have very low levels of hypertension.

Much of the meaningful genetic variation is related to geography of origin, which is an imperfect correlate of what most people think of as the divisions of races.

Here's a fun anecdotal story about African Americans and "race":

http://www.alternet.org/story/16917 /

Black Like I Thought I Was
By Erin Aubry Kaplan, LA Weekly. Posted October 7, 2003.

Wayne Joseph is a 51-year-old high school principal in Chino whose family emigrated from the segregated parishes of Louisiana to central Los Angeles in the 1950s, as did mine. Like me, he is of Creole stock and is therefore on the lighter end of the black color spectrum, a common enough circumstance in the South that predates the multicultural movement by centuries. And like most other black folk, Joseph grew up with an unequivocal sense of his heritage and of himself; he tends toward black advocacy and has published thoughtful opinion pieces on racial issues in magazines like Newsweek. When Joseph decided on a whim to take a new ethnic DNA test he saw described on a 60 Minutes segment last year, it was only to indulge a casual curiosity about the exact percentage of black blood; virtually all black Americans are mixed with something, he knew, but he figured it would be interesting to make himself a guinea pig for this new testing process...

<snip>

But when the results of his DNA test came back, he found himself staggered by the idea that though he still qualified as a person of color, it was not the color he was raised to think he was, one with a distinct culture and definitive place in the American struggle for social equality that he'd taken for granted. Here was the unexpected and rather unwelcome truth: Joseph was 57 percent Indo-European, 39 percent Native American, 4 percent East Asian -- and zero percent African. After a lifetime of assuming blackness, he was now being told that he lacked even a single drop of black blood to qualify.

<snip>


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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. By most categorisations,
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 08:28 PM by Donald Ian Rankin
aren't there multiple racial blocks as wide as "Caucasian" or "Mongoloid" native to Africa, so "African-American" would be a fairly wide category, not to mention that (although I'm not a geneticist) I would be surprised if there weren't enough generations between the original importation of Africans to America and now for considerable genetic drift.

Clearly, it's *not* the case that everyone belongs to exactly one racial group, by any stretch of the imagination - there are sub-races of racial groups, and most people nowadays have ancestors from multiple racial groups and subgroups, and so forth.

But the very fact that people can test like that proves that the notion of race isn't meaningless, even though the question "what race is this person" may well increasingly often not have a clear or meaningful answer.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. The problem is the categories aren't constructed genetically they're
constructed socially. We don't decide who is in what racial category based on genetic profiles but based on our perceptions. Those social perceptions are a function of the larger society. That is why the same individual will be categorized as "black" in one setting but "white" in another.

My classes tend to included students from many different countries/cultures, and we have some fascinating discussions about race. For example, students from South America don't understand why we in the US lump all "Hispanics" together as their perceptions of racial groups is so different from our own.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #62
77. Thank you for the links, moc. I haven't thought or read about
this for years now. Time to update. :)
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #41
76. Correct.
There is no such thing as "race," outside of the minds of people who have created a barrier between themselves and others. It does not exist in nature.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #41
84. races = subspecies = varieties = clusters of variations
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 03:51 PM by aikoaiko
I'm not sure why you think the human species is different from the other species on this planet, but they are number of useful cetegories which we call races (or subspecies, or varieties, or clusters of varying traits) among other species.

People get hung up on the word, but race just refers to clusters of variations among certain traits that have evolved over time. Races are fuzzy categories, not a discrete ones. With increased migration, these traits are becoming more diffuse, but still, races are recognizable.

Of course because of the way people treat (i.e., discriminate against) other races, race has social and political importance as well as biological importance.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #84
89. Is race as strong as subspecies?

The difference between negros, caucasians, aboriginals and mongoloids is considerably less than that between, say, tamworths, wessex saddlebacks, gloucester old spots and berkshires.

I'm not a taxonomist, by any stretch of the imagination - I don't even know what the formal standard for something to be a "species" is - but my impression is that species > subspecies > breed > race > subrace, in general.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. race and subspecies are synonyms, breeds are man-made races

Breeds imply artificial selection where as race and subspecies are typically used in natural selection context. Races and subspecies are simply defined morpholgically (look different, but can still produce offspring that can reproduce). Different species are defined as animals that either don't and can't produce offspring that can produce offspring.

As a historical aside, the full title of Darwin's little book is "The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. No, that's simply wrong.
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 05:33 PM by Donald Ian Rankin
They were admitted to/used in (I forget the details) a program that they would not have been used in even though they shared DNA with a breast cancer sufferer had they not been members of the sephardic jewish race, because there is something medically interesting (again, I don't know the details) about breast cancer afflicting that race.

Sharing DNA with a specific breast cancer sufferer was a factor. So was their race.

Of course, a race *is* just shared DNA, so in that sense you're right.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. If "race" is shared DNA, then there are countless "races", right?
No, I am not wrong.

"Race" was debunked decades ago. It is a social construct used to oppress groups of people. And, apparently, it is largely sucessful.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. All race is a function of shared DNA
Nearly all functions of shared DNA are not race.

Race is a biological reality, not a social construct. There may well be associated constructs that are used to oppress people, but that's neither here nor there. If you think it's been "debunked" then you must be looking at the subject very selectively indeed, I suspect - I am sure that articles "debunking" the notion of race as a biological function have been published, but they certainly haven't been widely accepted, and nor will they be, when they're so clearly wrong.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. You have it exactly backwards. And, we're not going to agree. n/t
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #36
63. FUGGEDABOUTIT, Sfexp
You be talkin to a Brit who got a vested interest in "bloodlines." We who know we also be "blood related to the Queen" through the I-Lands realize our backrounds are SO DIVERSE that the very concept of race is moot. It's just something light-skinned folks cling to, to validate their warped sense of superiority. "Colorism" is such a truly FUBAR meme.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #63
69. That's a) ludicrously stupid, and b) very offensive.

I don't have any vested interest in "bloodlines" (beyond the fact that my mother is a particularly high breast cancer risk); the idea that I care about being related to the Queen is *breathtakingly* silly (I'm a republican, for one thing; half my ancestors are European jews an most of the rest are either Welsh or Scottish, for another).

The claim that I'm arguing that race is biologically valid notion to validate my sense of superiority; i.e. because I'm a racist, is extremely offensive, and has no evidence to support it whatsoever. *Your* post is bigotted to the point of racism; none of mine have been.

I've never alerted on a post before, but I'd suggest that you apologise or I will alert on yours.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #69
72. Before you get your knickers in a twist
I suggest you FIRST re-read my post to be sure you understood it correctly as you clearly did NOT grasp to whom I was referring. (Hint: other than the first sentence it wasn't YOU! For clarity, it would have been wiser of me to have left a bigger space).

Second, my response was to Sfexpat, who has experience with my snarky sense of humour and is also well-acquainted with the directions in which such preoccupations with "race" travel, particularly in the U.S. and to no one's benefit.

Third, I have no idea whether you're a racist or not. Do you? (BTW, loved your post #56)! :rofl:

Fourth, I'm descended from the Huggins Clan. Perhaps we have some common ancestors. :hug:

Your threat has a familiar ring to it; I've claimed no such things as they relate to you personally but the Mods decide these things.


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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #69
78. I will apologize for giving you nothing but my opinion -- that was rude.
moc corrected that and if there is interest, one could go read around.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. YOU are completely innocent in this exchange, Sweetiekins
I accept full responsibility as the guilty party whose post elicited the demand for an apology.
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #35
49. The vast majority of genetic variation is within races, not between them.
Masatoshi Nei, premier population geneticist, Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, Penn State 91% of genetic variation within races and 9% between races Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, 1987, Columbia University Press.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. Good post. Race isn't just a social construct.
The Wiki article on race says only 16% of biologists consider race to be a social constuct. There was a recent article (Rosenberg, 2005) that showed that populations arrange thenselves genetically into several clusters that are very similar to the races of traditional physical anthropology. The idea that race was simply a social construct was data from the 60's and 70's using a small number of "classical" traits like blood groups that seemed to indicate that there was little clustering of populations, now with the power of modern computers to analyze lots of data we now know that populations DO form clusters.

The "race is a social construct" people can get downright nutty; when it was found that some drug worked better in African-Americans then in other populations the "social construct" people insisted the data must be wrong. :eyes:
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. Don't let your professors catch you quoting Wikipedia as a source!
:rofl:
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moc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. Race can be a social construct and still give rise to physiological
differences.

You should not confuse genotype with phenotype.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #19
75. Sort of proves the point...
that race is a social construct, isn't it.

Blue-eyed caucasians are more likely to get skin cancer than brown-eyed caucasians. But you don't call blue-eyed caucasians a different race than brown-eyed caucasians.

A white European person might have more in common genetically with a black African than, say, that African might have with another black person in Africa. Yet they're considered the same race.

Thus, race IS a social construct.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #75
86. No, that proves that *races* are social constructs, not *race*.
Clearly, the decision where to put the dividing lines is fairly (although not completely) arbitrary; however, the spectrum they're diving up isn't.

"Turquoise" and "Mauve" are social constructs; "Colour" isn't. A human society created in isolation from all others would certainly divide up the colours differently in terms of which groups they had specific words for, but they'd still almost certainly have the notion of "colour". Race is the same.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. Seems like you're backtracking.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #87
88. No, that's what I've been arguing all along.
My point has always been that the notion of race has a biological basis, and isn't just a social construct; that hasn't changed.

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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #14
83. According the social constructionism all concepts are constructed.


So what is your point. Of course categories are socially constructed. That doesn't have muchto do with their relative usefulness.

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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. Admittedly I have not kept up with it, but there used to be three
Caucasoid
Mongoloid
Negroid

Are those terms/concepts even in use anymore?
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. No.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
43. You forgot a few
Australoids (Australian Aboriginals, Melanesians)
Aethiopoids (Most populations in Ethiopia, Northern Sudan, and Somalia)
Capoids (The Bushmen of Southern Africa)
Pygmoids (The African Pygmy peoples)
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Iniquitous Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. I have said something similar.
Pale skin is a genetic mutation, an adaption for absorption of vitamin D. Human life began in Africa if a sunny warm climate. My ancient ancestors did not have pale skin and blonde hair by any means.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
74. There are four, and it's caucasoid.
Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid, Australoid (primarily Australian Aboriginies, but including many relic populations across Asia). The four haplogroups don't really represent races (though there's an obvious correlation) but instead represent skeletal/structural differences resulting from geographic isolation. There may actually be two or three more small groups in Africa

FYI, all of the whites on Earth are descended from a very small group of people. The current belief is that a very small group of brown caucasoids from central Asia migrated into Europe just before the last period of glaciation began. When the ice age started, the European peninsula became largely isolated from the world. The combination of small population, geographic isolation, and vitamin D deficiency allowed evolution to lighten their caucasoid skin in a relatively short period. The ice age cut off most of Europe to fishing and other alternate sources of vitamin D as well...those with severe deficiencies died, while those with lighter skin didn't. They probably lightened considerably in just a few generations.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. Zappa put it best
"there's a whole lotta times I wish I could say I wasn't white."
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. The only race is the human race, IMO
Because those "racial characteristics" like nose shape, skull shape, tooth shape, and even skin color can be found in various populations throughout every racal stereotype people come up with. Ask any forensic anthropologist.

In other words, the popular concept of race is wrong.

Most people confuse it with ethnicity, something that IS very important.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Ethnicity is also something that's not very important in
some cases, and malleable. It's important during a person's lifetime, but not for much more than social reasons.

Take almost any ethnicity and trace it back, and you find nothing. Some have great time depth, but the meaning's shifted quite a bit as various groups left and departed it. Others have no history.

Take Filipino. Or American Indian. Or Mexican. Or even French. All nice ethnicities, but not of great time depth.

There's quite a bit of research on ethnogenesis, what binds people together so they have a sense of ethnic commonality. Unfortunately in the last 15 or 20 years it's gotten politicized and much of the work is nearly pointless, mostly advocating for one group or another or arguing for greater dignity for a third group or to make claims against a fourth group. But still there's some useful stuff there.

The popular concept of race is unfounded, unless you like prototype semantics. Easy to deconstruct prototype semantics, but the deconstruction is vacuous; one can deconstruct the concept of 'chair' or 'child' in the same way, but that doesn't mean they're not useful concepts in some situations, and that the realia don't exist.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. You don't have to go back 150 years...
In 1904, New York nuns brought forty Irish orphans to a remote Arizona mining camp, to be placed with Catholic families. The Catholic families were Mexican, as was the majority of the population. So, the town's Anglos, furious at the "interracial" transgression, formed a vigilante squad that kidnapped the children and nearly lynched the nuns and local priests. The Catholic Church sued to get its wards back, but all the courts, including the Supreme Court, ruled in favor of the vigilantes.

The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction tells this disturbing and dramatic tale to illuminate the creation of racial boundaries along the Mexican border.

The irony is that the orphans were shipped west and placed with Mexican families in part because, in New York, the Irish were not considered a "white race".

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067400535X/sr=8-1/qid=...

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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. One of the best illustrations I have heard
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 04:15 PM by achtung_circus
and I can't for the life of me remember where, goes something to the effect that it is possible to walk from the Cape of Good Hope to Lapland and be unable to say HERE is the dividing line.

We meld into each other, that's what genes and people do.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. It's easier to think in terms of regions
European, Asian, African, South American, IMO. South America has a lot of mixing with local natives and black people, so some people there are closer to being "white" than others. White is associated with European, Russian, and Western Asian heritage, but for many, it isn't so simple.

Jewish people are an ethnicity and cultural group, but not a nationality or race. Most Jewish people are Caucasian, but not all. Arabs are considered white I guess - just with darker skin.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
27. Great link
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Kaleidescope Cassie Donating Member (180 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. Cool link!
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
26. Yet another dying superstition
If you've ever read any of the recent (since 1985) work on genetics, you'll know that the concept of race is a dying superstition.

First, the genetic difference between any two individuals of the same "race" (however defined) is as great, or greater, than between any two "races" (however defined). For example, there is probably more genetic variation between Sean "P-Diddy" Combs and Morgan Freeman than the Freemans and the Barrymores -- or the royal family of Cambodia (the Sihanouks), for that matter.

The recent discovery of a "genetic bottleneck" around 75,000 years ago makes our common relationship even closer. The prevailing idea is that when the supervolcano of Toba (in Indonesia) exploded, it devastated the world's climate for almost a decade, causing nearly all the humans alive to die. Maybe as few as a thousand were left, mainly in southern Africa. This bottleneck drastically reduced the variation between different groups. What we call "race" is something that, at one time, would have scarcely passed as a family variation. But the disaster left only a few families alive -- from the same area, yet. The gene pool (so-called) shrunk from the size of a lake to a puddle.

And it's only been the last 18,000 years or so that we've been the only humans on the planet. We shared the world with Neanderthals, Floresenes, and various types of Erects and Habilines. All have been of the genus Homo, and all have been fully human. If you saw one alive, you wouldn't think s/he wasn't a "human being" in the sense of being H. sapiens. Because that, indeed, would be the only real difference.

You know those Geico ads with the insurance exec apologizing to the offended "cavemen"? There's more truth to that than most people realize.

Race is a superstition, and racial difference is a fairy-tale. We are all one "race", and I say that without a trace of well-intentioned-liberal-altruism. No, it's a scientific fact, Jack -- the idea of race is as modern as the stone adze, and is about as useful in the construction of a supercomputer.

--p!
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
54. Nice post!**nm
*
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Kaleidescope Cassie Donating Member (180 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
31. I am pale pink, with freckles. Is that a race?
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #31
40. Hey, I think I'm a member of that race ...
... At least that's what my children (their father Indian, me Irish-Scot heritage) tell me.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #31
56. Not yet, I think.
But if you can find someone else pale pink with freckles, have children with them, and ensure that all your descendants only have sex with pale pink people with freckles then it could become one. On your marks, get set, breed!
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #56
82. Donald, Donald, Donald...
The only way to "ensure" that would be infanticide. Have you never heard of recessive genes? :eyes:
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #31
60. I am brown-skinned with freckles.
So is my brother who has a lighter skin tone than I. He STOPPED TRAFFIC in Africa. A friend an I decided to mess with folks' heads, held our heads together and asked how one could tell we were sisters. We embarrassed MANY before someone noticed the similar pattern of freckles across our noses. :rofl:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
44. Anyone from Western Eurasian, North African, and Northern South Asian...
...populations.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
58. The race is Caucasoid, and I think Arabs, Persians and India Indians
are all included in that. Mongoloid and Negroid and Australoid are the others.

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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
61. I suppose it depends
There are people of mixed ethnicities who call themselves white but don't look white to most white Americans. Then there are people of mixed ethnicities who call themselves Asian, American Indian (usuaully their tribe), Hispanic, or black who look white to most white Americans. I have known a few people who seemed white when they were in a group with other whites and seemed their other ethnic group when in a group of people of that ethnicity. I suppose that if an ethnic population has lived in genetic isolation for many generations we can speak of race. Many of us aren't so "pure" and I think that is a good thing, not a bad thing. When it comes down to it, race as a category is a social construct.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
64. I'm half Yeti, half German
It doesn't get much whiter than that.

:nuke:
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. Half-Yetis (Yetinsyny) have exactly 13013 genes
That was discovered on July 5th, 1998, in a backwater laboratory in suburban Dallas -- although it was strongly suspected in a cheap motel in 1953 in suburban Dallas by a certain drill-bit salesman.

What's a Yetinsyny? If that's not a race, well, ya just ain't been runnin'!

Now, watch this drive ...

--p!
Sub-G Clench #555, Class of 1983
The Church of the Fullness and Hardness of "BOB" in Connie
(and other questionable money-making enterprises)

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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
67. Is Barack Obama black? Or is he white?
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 09:30 PM by kineta
Why is Barack Obama 'black' when his mother is white - wouldn't it be just as valid to call him white? Why is Tiger Woods black when his mother is Asian?

Who decides? The person in question and what they most identify with, or how people perceive the person. And ultimately, should it matter?
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Akim Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #67
68. The Archaic Ante-Bellum Slave Code Formula Still Defines Race in U.S.
The U.S. still adheres to the archaic ante-bellum slave-code formula that one drop of "black blood" makes you black.

This was actually the law in most Southern states until recent times: If one of your 64 great-great-great grandparents was black, that made you black, too. In the days of slavery, this meant that even if you "looked white" you could still be regarded as black and kept in slavery.

Visitors to the Jefferson estate often complimented the grand old hypocrite on his "beautiful sons" which so much favored him: the fair skin, red hair, and pointed nose. But these boys were not his sons: they were his slaves. They had that drop of "black blood" that prevented them from enjoying the "inalienable rights" that their father spoke of (or their great-uncle, because Jefferson's white nephews also forced themselves on the same black woman).

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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #68
73. Perhaps we should adhere to that nationwide
"If one of your 64 great-great-great grandparents was black, that made you black, too."

Then we'd be "a black nation", since that probably includes most americans. let's skip the slavery part though.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
70. Hmmm... People from Iceland???
Now THEM'S some real WHITE folks!!! They be very cool too, least all the ones I've met! :silly:
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iamthebandfanman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
71. Don't call me white
Don't call me white, Don't call me white

The connotations wearing my nerves thin
Could it be semantics generating the mess we're in?
I understand that language breeds stereotype
But what's the explanation for the malice, for the spite?

Don't call me white, Don't call me white


I wasn't brought here, I was born
Circumsized, categorized, allegiance sworn,
Does this mean I have to take such shit
For being fairskinned? No!
I ain't a part of no conspiracy,
I'm just you're average Joe.

Don't call me white, Don't call me white


Represents everything I hate,
The soap shoved in your mouth to cleanse the mind
The vast majority of sheep
A buttoned collar, starched and bleached
Constricting veins, the blood flow to the brain slows
They're so fuckin' ordinary white

Don't call me white, Don't call me white


We're better off this way
Say what you're gonna say
So go ahead and label me
An asshole cause I can
Accept responsibility, for what I've done
But not for who I am
---------------------
gotta love good ole Nofx
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
80. In America, it implies an absence of ethnicity
which is of course impossible. The power of "white" culture derives from its claim that it is not a culture. By calling itself "white" instead of the specific ethnicity that it is, WASP culture strives to place itself beyond criticism while belittling others. Light-skinned people who adopt Anglo-Saxon morals and mannerisms are progressively admitted to the definition of "white" over time.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. Thank you, Jed.
An astute and succinct observation.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
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