Race: An Empty Category? Essay

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Race: An Empty Category?

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
--Albert Einstein

What is race? How many races are there? What are the genes that separate each race? How many genes are there? What do evolutionists, scientists, or anthropologists have to say about race? And even more importantly, what role does race play in your life? When I was a young girl of about 6, I had a friend of a different race who was particularly interested in answering the unsolved mysteries of our world. She explained to me that she was made "some place different than white girls." I took a good look at the both of us and determined that this must be correct. As I grew older, I felt ashamed and
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Interestingly enough, those who rest on opposite sides of the spectrum, (those who are racists and those who are race conscious and considerate,) have one thing in common: they acknowledge race as an important distinction between human beings. With a new awareness of the historical development of race, and a close look at the biology of human beings, we may feel compelled to ignore our classifications of race all together. This seemingly simple step is not only exciting on the level of racial equality, but on so many different levels of humanity that are waiting to be touched by this. This will not only change what types of variation among human beings are most important to define, but it will change the way we see ourselves, and the way we imagine ourselves perceived by others.

Unlike culture, race is actually a relatively new concept. Documentation of ancient civilizations shows us that social distinctions based on skin color or physical appearances were rare and simply not a preferred way of describing others. The ancient writings and customs of the Egyptians and Kushites, along with the relationship between the Greeks and Romans, show that color was not always and obstacle in dividing society. "They distinguished people according to customs and religion; not race." (3) It was not until the 16th century that we became race conscious, which may have derived as a

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