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Ms. Bowles
Posts: 20

Questions to Consider:

Please use the following quote and questions as a guide for your post. You can choose to focus on two of the question sets, or to incorporate several of them into your response. Please be sure to include a response to question set 3 though.

1. Why might the ideas of race ‘science’ have been appealing to so many Europeans and Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? What did it do for them? What are some of the related socio-psychological ideas that can help to explain its appeal?

2. Once the pseudo-scientific ideas of race crept into policies and laws in the United States, what was the impact? How and where do these impacts still reverberate today?

3. Are the pervasive ideas of race ‘science’ and racial differences still with us in society, even though we know the methods and the findings used to prove these differences were so incredibly flawed? Why and how do these ideas still persist? What can be done to counter this ‘new’ racist ideology?

Word Count Requirement: 500-750 words

Sources to Reference:

Please refer to the ideas, either using a quote or paraphrasing, from at least one of the sources in your response. You should also refer directly to your peers’ projects on the impact of race ‘science’ on US laws and policies.

Is Race Science Making a Comeback?

The Unwelcome Revival of Race Science

The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism

Rubrics to Review:

LTQ Rubric

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

The Prevalence of Race "Science" in Society Today.

The ideas of race “science” have been appealing to so many Europeans, and Americans, in the nineteenth, and early twentieth, centuries, because of the favor it had over them. Since most of the dominant European, and American, groups of people were of the white race, it allowed for the ideas of race “science” to be in their favor, for the thoughts of race “science” were based around uplifting those of the white race, and suppressing all other races. Some related socio psychological ideas that can help to explain its appeal can be the ideology of “Us Vs. Them,” and the Critical Race Theory, both of which uplifted the white race, and suppressed others, by creating the idea that the white race was of superiority, and is at the top of their idea of a racial hierarchy.

The pseudo scientific ideas of race crept into policies, and laws, in the United States, with a subconscious impact of negativity. Law makers were aware of their racially biased laws, such as the Gentleman’s Agreement, and The Chinese Exclusion Act, and the laws were put in place to ensure the racial separation of people of the Asian race. In the article The Unwelcome Revival of “Race Science, by Gavin Evans, it connects the socio psychological theories associated with the justification of an individual’s poor decisions. Evan states, “If you believe that poor people are poor because they are inherently less intelligent, then it is easy to leap to the conclusion that liberal remedies, such as affirmative action or foreign aid, are doomed to fail.” The laws that were, and still are, put in place in the United States, that are racially biased, all spawned from socio psychological theories, for everyone wants to feel good about themselves, even if they are aware of their poor decisions. These impacts still reverberate today in the ways in which there are many racial biases when it comes to jobs, schools, and everyday life, even if these racially biased laws are not in act anymore. Racial biases that have spawned from socio psychological theories, and continue to impact the ways in which people see themselves, and others, today.

The pervasive ideas of race “science,” and racial differences are still with us in society today, as they were pointed out in our in class presentations. In a presentation about Redlining, the ideas of how some neighborhoods are classified as bad, and they do not get enough funding, and the granting of loans. The methods of Redlining are completely flawed, for they do not give the proper resources to communities that need them. In the article The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism by Ramin Skibba, the author states how the ideas of race “science,” are completely flawed, and the people that originated these ideas were aware that they were immoral. Skibba states, “Mainstream scientists, geneticists and medical researchers still invoke race and use these categories in their work, even though we have been told for 70 years that they have no biological meaning, that they have only social meaning.” The ideas still persist today, but there are efforts to try to lessen the prevalence in racial biases within our society, today. The society in which we live in is based upon racial biases, which makes the task of accomplishing a world that is free of racial biases, and racial segregation.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

The Impacts of Race ‘Science’ in the Modern World

Europeans and Americans believed that they were part of the superior race of the world. This was obviously false; however, the ideals of race “science” supported their beliefs. Along with being the “superior” race, Europeans and Americans felt as though they were “obliged” to “civilize” groups of people who were deemed inferior to them. This was seen with the creation of The Indian Residential School System in America as well as Canada. The objective of these “schools” were to assimilate Native American children into society, but this was false. The actual truth behind the creation of this system was that it wanted to erase native American culture completely. Europeans and Americans blindly believed in race “science” because it benefited them as it gave them a “valid” reason to colonize other countries and blatantly ignore their rights as human beings. The Berlin Conference is a prime example of this since it was a discussion between the western countries about the partitioning of Africa. This conference led to the mistreatment of many African tribes specifically the genocide of the Herero people by Germany. Race “science” gave these colonizers “justification” for their terrible actions and further incentive to “civilize” the world.

The United States of America prided itself on being a land of freedom, but this just was not the case. People of color were treated as second class citizens and were forced to endure policies and rulings such as Plessy vs. Ferguson. Plessy vs. Ferguson was an important Supreme court case that legitimized the “separate but equal” doctrine for public facilities. The public facilities offered for people of color were inferior in service and accommodations which appealed to the idea that white people were the superior race. Although the United States claimed that all citizens were equal their laws proved that this was not the case. Segregation emphasized the pseudo-science belief that people of different races should be classified differently. Race “science” gave white Americans “justification” for going against the Constitution. In modern America people of color continue to be segregated through the separation of neighborhoods. People of color are often affected by redlining which favors lower class white neighborhoods over lower class black neighborhoods. Furthermore, the lack of opportunities and privilege are still precedent in today’s society for people of color. An example of this is how people of color are more likely to be wrongfully imprisoned. This can be tied back to the Convict Lease System. This system used a loop hole in the 13th amendment to gain free labor. Those who were targeted were people of color because they were viewed as “sub-human.” Today there is a higher percentage of people of color incarcerated because they do not have the privilege of being able to navigate the justice system.

Believe it or not, race “science” ideals are still prevalent in society, although the methods used to prove these differences were incredibly flawed. White supremacist groups continue to be active today and even perform protests. Although the KKK may not be as prevalent as it once was there are still people who are part of the far-right terrorist organization. These ideas still exist because there are still major divides between races. In the article, “Is 'Race Science' Making A Comeback?” Shereen Marisol Meraji states, “I've read genetics textbooks on race that say race is all silly — we should all let it go and live in this kind of colorblind world. Well, no, because that's not the world that we live in. These things matter, because that boy when I was 10 years old did not throw rocks at me because of genetics.” Racism has been embedded into society for so long that it will not just fade away even though this “science” has been debunked. To counter the revival of this ‘new’ racist ideology is to keep it from infiltrating politics. Race and politics should not be intertwined because everyone should be treated equally. If this is not done then racist rulings and laws can be passed and the United States will go back to how it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 12

The Supposedly Superior Species

Humans are a unique species. We are the only species that learned how to industrialize, build, laugh, and cry while walking around the Earth with such unique physical features. Out of all 8.7 million species, humans rule the world. I don’t mean this in a domination narcissistic way but in a factual way. I mean, look around; there isn’t a monkey driving a car in your neighborhood or an elephant designing the architectural structure of the upcoming complex. The psychological advancements of humans make us see other species as less intelligent or inferior. But there are humans that look differently from each other. Race has been used to separate humans from each other in a physical sense and in a mental sense. If we’re such a superior species, how can we root against each other? The answer to this question is found through history. In order to hate a member on your own team, you have to convince yourself that they truly aren’t on your team.

Some race science theories said that people who weren’t white were simply of another race. It’s truly an imbecile idea for such a cognizant species but that was how white people thought. This idea made it much easier for them to reduce their dissonance and find reasonings behind their mistreatment of people of color. Europeans and Americans used this as their gateway to being even more racist than they had previously been. The funniest part about this is that people don’t see that they do this too in their own way. Let’s demonstrate this with a different example. “If you believe that poor people are poor because they are inherently less intelligent, then it is easy to leap to the conclusion that liberal remedies, such as affirmative action or foreign aid, are doomed to fail” (The Unwelcome Revival of Race Science). When you see a poor person on the street your mind could go in one of two ways: “let me find some change for them” or “They’re going to use my money for drugs since they’re on this path downhill.” If we separate them from society or our vision of what a civilized person looks like, we will be bound to treat them differently. Race science was basically a way to “factually” reduce dissonance.

It didn’t just help them justify racism but it also gave them reasons to imperialize and treat nations and their land like a slice of pizza. Africa is a giant continent filled with different animals, cultures, and history. But that didn’t matter because they weren’t human. Since they’re not a normal human species we can cut their continent into slices for the dominant race to look after. Does that make any sense whatsoever? Africa was not a meat lover's meal nor was it a place that needed to be stripped of their culture. The idea of the “White Man’s Burden” made it seem like people of color were animals and white people were the zookeepers. No person deserves to be treated differently because of how they look because at the end of the day, people are people. The importance of humans are found in places way deeper than skin. It comes from compassion, empathy, sympathy, laughter, and all the emotions we exhibit.

It would bring great joy if this could conclude with the idea that all of these ideals were left in the past but they weren’t. It’s seen in the way some people have to think of names for their child that won;t get them discriminated against or in the way that at the age of 4 years old some kids have to be taught how to interact with the police. The impacts of race science are everywhere and you have seen them. The impacts of race science don’t go nameless. We can see them through George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, and more. There aren’t enough pages to list the amount of lives that were taken or ruined based on the idea that their lives meant less. Humans are supposed to be the astute species but we stop ourselves from growing when we stick people into bubbles depending on how they look. Living in a world where the legacy of racism disappeared shouldn’t look like a dystopian idea in someone’s mind and it’s unfortunate that racist ideas will continue to find themselves in our minds and homes. It’s hard to find peace when a list of names gets added onto this list of unjustifiable ended lives. Although it’s incorrect to say racism is over or that we’ve left these ideals in the past, we can say that as people we shouldn’t stop fighting.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

White people’s cognitive dissonance in the oppression of people of color generated race ‘science’. The belief that people of color were genetically inferior allowed for justification of racial oppression. Race ‘science’ justified policies such as redlining that discriminated against people of color, particularly Black people. And these policies led to disadvantages that, despite the absence of the laws, still exist to this day. These impacts include Black people‘s higher risk for diabetes, which is due not genetic differences, but to the prevalence of food deserts in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

The idea that people of color were genetically inferior to white people aligned with prior held beliefs and systems. Race ‘science’ didn’t lead to race-based slavery - that already existed. Instead, it kept white people in power, justified slavery and other systems of oppression, and prevented them from ending sooner. Had scientists of the time discovered that people of color were in fact superior, those beliefs would never have taken off the ground, because white people held the power in society. Nothing makes the reality that race ‘science’ was created to sustain white people’s power more evident than the fact that race ‘scientists’ in each country found their people to be the most intelligent, the most emotionally developed, and the most moral. If the French found the French to be the best, the Americans found the Americans to be the best, and the English found the English to be the best, how can you look at race ‘science’ as unbiased and completely based on scientific fact?

Race ‘science’ upheld systems of oppression, it didn’t create them, and that’s why, even though the science has been disproven, racism and the effects of race ‘science’ still prevail. In the Guardian article, ‘The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’’, author Gavin Evans points out how race ‘science’ penetrates many people’s thoughts in modern society. Black people make up the majority of incarcerated people. If you can say that this is because Black people are more likely to commit crime, then you don’t have to face the reality of the unjust prison system. You can continue to believe that America is a utopia and treats everyone the same regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Racism and race ‘science’ allow the people who benefit to live an ignorantly blissful life, while others suffer.

Behappy19 said that countering racism in society stems from countering racism in politics. While I agree that racism most definitely impacts politics, which in turn impacts society, I think that, even if racism was removed from the government, it would still prevail in society. Just because racism would be absent from the laws doesn’t mean that people would forget their biases and prejudices. Racism has been so ingrained into our society that I don’t know if it will ever be absent from the U.S.

In the article, “Is ‘Race Science’ Making a Comeback?”, interviewee Angela Saini explains that the genetic differences that we in the U.S. see as racial (such as the varying risk for sickle cell disease) are actually geographical. I appreciated this explanation, because, while learning about how the concept of race being entirely made up, I wondered about this.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

How do we fix the broken system?

The ideas of race ‘science’ were appealing in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because they gave white people a ‘scientific’ justification to oppress people of color and to provide themselves with more power. In every single law that was presented, and that is attached to the United States governmental system, there is racism weaved in between the lines, no matter how hard we have worked to eradicate that. This is traced all the way back throughout history, but one of the reasons that the laws continue to favor white people is because they believed, and were given reason to believe, that they were superior. People of color were seen as animals, told that they did not belong in the United States, and that they were physically wrong. Putting this ideology into the heads of people significantly lowered their self-esteem, but also left them little opportunity and thus they were pulled much farther behind than white people. For example, in the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Mexican repatriation, and many more, white people dehumanized and oppressed them because they thought that they were “taking jobs.” In reality, many of them were born in America and were just trying to help their families. However, this is still seen in our country today. All the time, immigrants face racism and xenophobia with the claims that they are taking “American jobs.” Trump used this idea and was a major contributor to the xenophobia in this country. To counter this, it is essential that we remain educated, doing assignments like these in school, but also implementing what we have learned and viewing our communities through this lense. In addition, there is a significant amount of redlining in Boston, where the idea that “black people are not capable of managing loans” has been carried through the years, and is rooted into the system of loans and insurance today. During the presentations, there was not one presenter who did not mention that the oppressed group was being targetted because white people throught they were an inferior species. Race ‘science’ was what led them to do such horrific things to them.

Recognizing privilege and using that to uplift people of color, as well as hearing and listening to their stories, is one way that white people can help. According to Angela Saini, race has a “biological impact” because it “impacts people’s bodies, minds, [and] affects how they live and how they grow.” The ideas of race ‘science’ are still implemented because there are still scientists who have biases, and these biases are incredibly hard to get rid of, especially when it is a bias that someone has grown up with throughout childhood. This is why it is ever so important that we, as a society, reverse the effects of Agassiz and other race ‘scientists’ as much as we can, starting with recognizing the effects that it has had in our neighborhoods and communities and checking our own privilege.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10


The ideas of race science were appealing to Europeans and Americans because it reduced their cognitive dissonance associated with their racist actions and beliefs. White people wanted to preserve their superiority over other races (superiority complex) and they believed race science justified their actions. These white people acted so controlling over other races because they were actually insecure, and their cruel actions stem from a place of weak self-esteem and sense of identity. In other words, white people act superior because they are scared of feeling lesser than anyone else, so in order to get ahead, they create race science to give them a reason to feel better about themselves.

There was a wide variety of different impacts each policy/law had on society. For the Gentleman’s Agreement and the Chinese Exclusion Act, they led to a decrease in the immigration of Japanese and Chinese people to the US. They isolated Asians already in the country from the rest of American society based on the idea of polygenism and/or being separate but equal. The annexations of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were all based on the idea of the white man’s burden. This idea was published only a little over a century ago, and it is the belief that white people have the duty to civilize the other races because they are savages and not as developed as the white race is (they are not capable of governing themselves). It is connected to race science in that it believes all non-whites are inherently inferior to white people and their race is the cause of their lower intelligence and skill levels. The convict lease system, which was essentially a continuation of slavery, is also connected to race science in that they used the white man’s burden and arguments of race science to justify their actions (ex. Black people are completely different species, they are inferior to whites, and they need to be kept in check).

Although they have been “debunked,” the beliefs of scientific racism and differences between races are certainly still with us in society. Racial discrimination can be seen all over the world, such as police brutality targeted towards Black people, sinophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic, racial profiling/stereotyping, bullying on the basis of race, and microaggressions. These ideas remain prevalent in society because it is propelled by the instinct to categorize people as “us versus them.” They begin to think about how the “us” is superior to the “other,” which establishes a hierarchy, so then they begin to dehumanize and treat the “other” badly in order to affirm their belief that they are superior. Applying this to the idea of race, white people identify with their own race, then classify everyone else as inferior and as completely different species of human (the main idea of race science). This helps them justify their actions of segregation, enslavement, colonization, etc. Although this is not the common belief in the present, the effects of these beliefs and the actions of white people are knitted into the fabric of American society (systemic racism, wealth gap, etc.).

One statement I resonated with was “recognizing privilege and using that to uplift people of color, as well as hearing and listening to their stories, is one way that white people can help,” which was stated by pigeondrivesabus. I agree with this because white people should not be speaking on behalf of minorities and should instead use their privilege to spread the voices of people of color. In order to help counter racist ideology, critical race theory should be taught in schools, and issues concerning race need to be discussed with clear definitions. It should be a working discussion with real action involved. Also, race, racism, and the history of it all should not be swept under the rug to rush in a new era of color-blindness and a non-racial society. Saini says in Is Race Science Making a Comeback? “... race is real in society. It's real in politics. It's real in the ways that we treat each other. It's visceral because we have made it visceral in our everyday lives, and it has a biological impact because of that.” I agree with her statement because although race is a social construct, it matters because we have made it matter, and has devastating effects that are hard for privileged people to see. The hierarchy we have constructed has led to racial disparities in basically all aspects of society. So really, we have fallen into our own trap, and this complex issue is something that takes everyone’s strength and effort to fix. But I believe we will be able to fix it, even if it does take a long time!!

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Throughout American history racist policies, laws, and social systems influenced by race ‘science’ have inspired, inflamed and exacerbated racist, anti-immigrant, and pro-colonizer ideas. Every single presentation on different race ‘science’ influenced policies in class was linked by a common thread, that of othering and demonization of non-white people due to a desire by those in power to remain in power, and by those with economic success to maintain that stability. These ideas continue to persist in the modern day in the distinctions made in society regarding citizenship, American identity, and cultural belonging.

Pseudo-scientific ideas of race have crept into policies and laws in the United States since the country's inception. After the abolition of slavery, pseudo-scientific ideas of race were widely used to lower the social standing of those who were newly emancipated. This manifested in highly arbitrary property, vangracy, and suffrage laws which were meant to restrict land ownership, economic mobility, and voting rights for Black people. These policies remained the norm for over 50 years and set a difficult precedent for treatment of people of color in the United States long after the laws were removed. In 2023, people of color continue to face struggles with health, education, and incarceration which can be directly traced back to these policies.

Evidently, the idea of race now is deeply embedded in our society. In that sense, race is very real, and is something that deeply impacts every single person on a daily basis. As Angela Saini said on the NPR Code Switch podcast, “We can't biologize blanket ideas about who people are, because these are socially constructed ideas. I think it's deeply dangerous, because it falls into the same trap that the people who invented race in the first place wanted us to fall into. The people who hardened these categories wanted us to believe that we are fundamentally different. We are not fundamentally different.” Saini demonstrates how we should acknowledge race, but only as something that has become a way of distinguishing, grouping, and separating each other socially, not as something that is innate in the biology of each and every individual.

Gavin Evans’ article “the unwelcome revival of race science” provides an excellent example of what Saini is warning against. The article states that there are many on the right who “like to use pseudoscience to lend intellectual justification to ethno-nationalist politics.” He explains that “If you believe that poor people are poor because they are inherently less intelligent, then it is easy to leap to the conclusion that liberal remedies, such as affirmative action or foreign aid, are doomed to fail.” With this rhetoric, modern day policies which are meant to absolve the lingering effects of old harmful systems of ideas are being attacked using those same ideas. Once again, people are trying to biologize ideas of race because they feel threatened in their own privileged position in society. Thus, race ‘science,’ though debunked, continues to serve as an incredibly harmful justification for racist arguments that seek to prevent the advancement of those previously oppressed in society. Race science continues to serve as barrier in the way of improvement in our world, and people must more actively work against these systems to prevent them from continuing to cause harm.

Posts: 10

Racial 'science' in society

Like most ideas in the 19th and 20th c., race ‘science’ is really appealing because of how easy it is to use it to justify imperialism. As mentioned in The Guardian article “who like to use pseudoscience to lend intellectual justification to ethno-nationalist politics.” For instance, in the Dawes Act, it would be easier to just say “Oh these indigenous people are inferior so we can take and live on their land”, rather than having to cope with the moral implications of taking someone's land without any sort of explicit permission. This ‘science’ really only let the divide between the ‘whites’ and the ‘others’ grow as it justified everything that they had been doing in the past. This can be linked to cognitive dissonance, as it could be used as an excuse to avoid responsibility and ultimately cope with these ideas. When these ideas began to affect policies in the US, it impacted arguably, the entire world. The first impacts can be seen in the US itself. Jim Crow laws began to pop up everywhere in the South, which continued racism and segregation towards black people while also setting up economic disadvantages that are still seen today. Other impacts also occurred in US territories, such as the Philippines. Simply because they were Filipino, they were denied US citizenship and were racially discriminated against during the great depression. Not only did this make the Philippines economically disadvantaged, but also caused the political system to be very unstable and corrupt, even to this day. Finally, globally these policies allowed Europe to continue evil policies in colonies and territories. An example of this is the genocide in Namibia of the Herero and Namaqua people. The ideas of race ‘science’ allowed the colonists to commit horrible acts of violence and abuse. Something that also occurred during this genocide, the concentration camp called ‘shark island’; links the idea of race ‘science’ with this genocide as they used prisoners of war in said studies to try to prove race ‘science’. As much as we want to separate ourselves from race ‘science’ in this modern day society, it is incredibly hard, if not impossible. Much of it still reverberates in society today, such as minorities being more likely to be incarcerated, segregated neighborhoods and economic disadvantages for people of color, and native Americans not getting back their native lands. These ideas still persist because they are so ingrained in society that nearly everyone subconsciously participates in them. It's a sort of paradox, where when a racial law is put in place, people of a race are put at a disadvantage, then because they are disadvantaged might attempt to do illegal things to have an advantage, or turn to coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol. Then the general public sees that the people of that race are falling into what the ‘science’ predicted and starts believing in it. To combat this, we could attempt to take away disadvantages in society using methods such as affirmative action, but unfortunately the issue is more complex than just that. The least we can do is combat stereotypes that stem from racial ‘science’ using actual studies backed by real scientists that are peer reviewed.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Impacts of Race 'Science' in the United States Then and Now

Race “science” ideas have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. European and white people have believed themselves to be more sophisticated, smart, and civilized; and race “science” helped justify that. Europeans and Americans believed these race “science” ideas because it favored and benefited them. White people needed justification for the horrible things that they'd been forcing people of color and people of other “inferior races” to do for years and years. The “Us vs Them” ideology makes us want to choose sides and prove that our side is better, when really we’re all the same human with only skin deep differences.

Pseudo-scientific ideas of race have been integrated in many US laws and policies, and they are still apparent today in so many ways. The impact of these laws was detrimental for anyone who wasn't white. There were policies and laws put in place to forcibly take away human rights and dehumanize people. These practices can be seen by The Jim Crow Laws and The Chinese Exclusion Act. The Jim Crow Segregation Laws were put in place and preached the idea “separate but equal”, but by no means were the lives of Black people equal to those of White people. The general scope of this policy was that White and Black people should always be separated, whether it were in schools, parks, water fountains, or on a commute. The Black schools, bathrooms and general areas where they were allowed to be were in horrible conditions compared to the white areas. Not only that but Black people were forced to give up their voting and human rights by violence and hostility against Blacks. In the Chinese Exclusions act, it was normal to think of Chinese as “endangering the US” which is why there was a ban on immigration to the United States. Propaganda was also a way that white “scientists” got people to believe in these “race science” ideas. For example in the Jim Crow South it was normal to see horrible stereotypes of Black people depicted as violent and mindless, which is why violence against Black people was deemed as ok and necessary.

During this time, other pseudo-scientific ideas about race also included texts such as “The White Man's Burden”. This piece of writing told people that the horrible things being done to people of “inferior” races was okay, because it was the white man's duty to help civilize these races. This can be seen in the Indian Residential schools system and the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887. In the Indian Residential School system, Native American children and adults were taken to a school where they learned how to become white. Students were forced to assimilate to the white lifestyle, by making them become christian, and forcing them to learn how to act in a white society. They would dehumanize these people even more by taking before and after pictures, in which they were literally whiter in the after photo. Even in the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887, Native Americans had their land stolen and sold to white people. This ideology shows that Americans didn't believe they had a right to their own land and they needed to better it by stealing it.

Although these practices have since been eradicated, they are still apparent in the US today through generational trauma, corrupt white people, and the government. People still continue to be segregated through neighborhoods and school systems. In a majority Black and lower class neighborhood, the conditions can be seen as unfair as they don't receive enough funding for cleaning, schools and other basic necessities. Not only do black people face discrimination through legal systems, they also have to live with the fear that comes with being black. Some children are taught from a very young age how to communicate and interact with police men and women, and it is very sad that it's a necessary measure in many places. Even though the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups aren't as apparent today, there are some people that still identify with these groups, and so they aren't completely eradicated. Generational trauma can cause anger in young children, as they see their parents and grandparents still infuriated on how they were treated. People with generational trauma are more likely to have less hope, low self esteem, and generally view the world in a sad way. To conclude, pseudo-scientific ideas about race are still apparent today in the US, and they affect many people. We shouldn't stop protesting and fighting for what's right, until we can all love each other equally and stop putting groups of people into one box.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Impacts of Race 'Science' in the United States Then and Now

Over the last 100 or so years, the United States and many other countries around the world have come a long way in terms of erasing pseudo-scientific ideas and influences from their laws and governments. However, these ideas still persist in many ways, even though they might not be terribly obvious on the surface of a country. While they were in use, pseudo-scientific ideas about race bled into American society and affected many significant events of American history. Because of this, these ideas are now a part of American history and still have a prevalent effect on the lives of millions around the country today. Although the racist policies of the past are no longer in place officially, there are many who choose to act as though they still are, perpetuating racist ideas and racist actions into the present day and into the foreseeable future. In addition to this, the widespread use of the internet gives people who believe in racist ideas a platform to spread their ideas and misinformation to millions of people who otherwise would have been unaffected by them, and there is next to no way to stop them from doing so because of the very limited amount of restrictions there are to posting things on the internet and the outrage that would occur if such restrictions were to be put in place. The only way to counter the spread of these ideas across the internet is to oppose them with posts of antiracist topics and to spread antiracist ideas more quickly and widely than racist ideas can be spread.

Racist ideas can also have been founded in the past and then carried into the present just because they never died out. An example of this is that during the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, there was a stereotype that Chinese people were very hardworking and were willing to work for a much smaller salary than your average American worker, because people were afraid of losing their jobs to Chinese immigrants. This stereotype is still seen and referenced today, and you can even see and hear many jokes about it, leading to people being desensitized to these stereotypes and allowing them to create even deeper roots in American society. Even though the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed 80 years ago, stereotypes still exist from that era today, showing how even after they are no longer relevant to the inner workings of society and government, racist ideologies will persist in other forms.

Pseudo-scientific ideas about race are very useful to people who are looking to spread hate in society. They give them an easy way to justify racist ideas to themselves and others, and convince people using false science that people of other races are inferior to them. This has been true for a long time, and was even the reason that pseudo-scientific ideas began to be used by European and American powers in the first place. If a country can justify its conquest and mistreatment of the people of another country using “scientific” methods, people will accept it much more easily than if they just said that they were abusing another group of people because they wanted to. It creates a sort of “us” vs. “them” idea in society if people feel like foreigners are fundamentally different from them and therefore deserve to be subservient to their country, making people believe in their country’s terrible actions much more easily.

Overall, pseudo-scientific ideas about race are certainly still an infectious part of today’s society because certain groups are aware that by perpetuating these ideas, they are put at an advantage and that is an advantage that they don’t want to lose. As long as we continue to give these groups privilege and advantage because of things they cannot control, pseudo-scientific ideas won’t go away.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Lasting Impacts of Race ‘Science’ in the United States

The ideas of race ‘science’ have been appealing to so many Europeans and Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries due to the exploitation of other races. Due to race science there was justification to finding others “inferior,” and white people were able to use this to their advantage. The ideas of race science are described in the article by Jess Kung, Gene Demby, and Shereen Marisol Meraji titled, “Is Race Science Making a Comeback?” In the article it states there were “different species or different breeds as humans” and there might be a “racial hierarchy between us.” Tying into the white people feeling superior, and allowing a type of “justification” of the oppression of other races. This leads to the justification of imperialism, because white people perceived other races as “subhuman.”Meaning, in their eyes, these races should be cared for. The ripple effect of race ‘science’ is still prevalent in today's society. This can be seen in many laws and policies including the annexation of Puerto Rico. This country was annexed in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, and was justified through this race ‘science.’ The Puerto Ricans were forced to assimilate to American Culture, and their smaller farms were taken over by big sugarcane industries. The Americans believed they could do more with the island because they thought of the inhabitants and inferior to them. They believed they needed to help those who were not white because they could not thrive on their own. Tying into the ‘science’ because they believed white people had bigger brains and therefore were smarter than the other races. The work at the sugar plantations was also deplorable, and this was justified through white people believing other races were “subhuman” and they were the superior species. As mentioned before there was justification for imperialism and colonization, so the United States thought they could “help” Puerto Rico. This ended with Perto Rico gaining a bad economy with no sovereignty which is still prevalent today. The United States allows this to continue, even though the justification was from the pervasive ideas of race ‘science’ society, because these citizens pay federal taxes and give goods to the mother country. Another example of this is the Chinese Exclusion Act in the United States, which gave justification for deporting Asian Americans. The ‘science’ helps exclusion because they were believed to not be of the same intelligence. Therefore, the white people should not have their jobs taken by ‘inferior’ competition. This still echoes today as well with the racism targeting Asian Americans. For example, during Covid-19 when there had been severe hate towards these people. With this hate targeting certain racial groups it allows for a ‘new’ racist ideology.Explaining what ethnic nationalists cause people to believe is shown in the article, “Is Race Science Making a Comeback?” Where they state, “They play on these assumptions and stereotypes and the lack of education that we have around these issues, and they make us believe that identity is biological, when identity is cultural.” Expanding off of this is what can be done to counter this ‘new’ racist ideology. That is, we do the opposite. The country needs to be more educated on the topics of race and the ‘superiority’ caused by race science. Society should learn from this history, which is still around, in order to make a change to the laws and outcomes.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Lasting Impacts of Race 'Science' in the United States

Race science is something that has been prevalent since 1000 years ago, it is something that has shaped our society although we try to change that narrative and disregard it. Race science; the idea that “we are different species or different breeds as human beings and that there might be a racial hierarchy between us” (Kung, Demby, Meraji). This idea was so appealing to so many Europeans and Americans in the nineteenth century, the idea that there are superior races and there is a hierarchy that one must follow because of this common practice of segregation and categorization. Race science was an excuse for Europeans and Americans to continue to indulge in their immoral practice of treating those that were different from them with violence and disrespect. The idea that they are better and more refined than others is what was so appealing about this topic, so appealing to the point where they used “science” to justify this way of thinking. Others, those without a proper education, and those who couldn’t read followed these narratives because they were so prevalent in their society. They had to find some sort of answer for why people were so different from each other, and because the idea of genes and genetics hadn't arisen yet, they believed the ideas that prominent scientists conjured up: the idea of race science, an idea that was there to distinguish and segregate. In the presentations of all my classmates, this recurring pattern that Euroepans and Americans believe that they are better than any other race, that they are more civilized and can therefore do what they please is a constant. Race science allowed them to forcefully take land from others because they believed they were superior, it allowed them to justify mass killings and genocide, it allowed them to continue to racially profile and promote this idea of “otherness”.

Although ideas like this have been tried and have been debunked, it seems like race science still plays a part in our society to this day. Even though people have tried to disregard this idea of “race” because it is not biological and therefore cannot be valid, it is still something that occurs in our society everyday. “It's real in politics. It's real in the ways that we treat each other. It's visceral because we have made it visceral in our everyday lives, and it has a biological impact because of that” (Kung, Demby, Meraji). How is this idea still relevant even though we have tried centuries to let go of it? Yes, we are all different, that is something that is concrete, but, how is it that people continue to believe that “different” means less intelligent, less deserving of respect, lesser in every way? The answer is simple, it has been ingrained in our entire society since it was first introduced. There have been countless movements trying to push away this idea of racism and discrimination that has stemmed from race science and still nothing has changed. Although we can continue to try and counter this new idea of racist ideology, I think that is something that may never change. I believe that no matter how much we urge people to understand that race science is not real, that there is no hierarchy, they will continue to believe so because it has been ingrained in our society for centuries on end. We have been constantly trying to push this agenda into the minds of racist people for decades and yet nothing has changed. As much as we as a society would hope that the world would be without race science, racism, segregation, and discrimination, there is this harsh truth that it is something that is not going to change. It is sad and cruel, it is extremely disheartening, but we have gotten to the point in our society where there is no chance of return.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Impact of race science LTQ

Ideas of race science were appealing to Europeans and Americans because these findings justified the world views of these groups by manipulating the human tendency to differentiate between groups of people and favor their own group over others. These ideas also were appealing because they seemingly coincided with the fact that Europeans and Americans had the largest influence on the geopolitical climate during the 19th and 20th centuries. From a socio-psychological standpoint, "scientific findings" that proved the superiority of the white race were so appealing to Europeans and white Americas because they played on our tendency to favor the group that we are a part of and believe there is something special or better about it that sets it apart from all others. Obviously, if there are scientific findings apparently proving that your group is superior, you are more likely to believe them because people like being validated and are naturally inclined to believe that their group is better. Pseudo-scientific ideas about race also would have been appealing to Europeans and Americans because they justified the existence of institutions and systems that oppressed non-white people and kept white people on top. Again, humans inherently seek validation and like to feel powerful, but in addition to this, science being used to justify these immoral systems would have reduced cognitive dissonance and made people feel less immoral more doing things that perpetuated the oppression of non-white people on an individual and systemic level. The way white Americans and Europeans treated non-whites was very obviously immoral so in order to stop cognitive dissonance and maintain a positive and righteous self-image, white Europeans would have readily accepted "evidence" that justified their mistreatment of racial groups. An example of this would be Jim Crow laws, which separated white from black and basically made the African American population second class citizens. The system was clearly in place to maintain white superiority and "science" was used to demonstrate this superiority and justify oppression.

Aside from the socio-psychological factors, race pseudoscience would have been appealing to Europeans because it seemed to reflect the geopolitical climate during that time. European and North American states dominated the world stage through imperialism already instilling a nationalistic sense of superiority so scientific findings that reflected these powers' dominance would have been all the more believable.

Pervasive ideas of race science and racial differences are still prevalent in society and form a basis for race relations today. While most people may not explicitly subscribe to scientific ideas that "prove" the superiority of one group or another, these old ideas have certainly influenced people to assign different characteristics to different groups of people creating harmful stereotypes. An example of this could be the effects of race science on black people throughout American history. Race science was previously used to justify the oppression of African Americans and because of this oppression black Americans are more likely to be affected by poverty today. Instead of attributing this to generations of oppression, people attribute this to some characteristic inherent to African Americans that causes them to be this way. Although we have basically proven race is a social construct, the concept still holds a lot of weight in modern society because of its massive influence on the course of history and the effects of those historical events on the world today. An article by Ramin Skibba states that "Mainstream scientists, geneticists and medical researchers still invoke race and use these categories in their work, even though we have been told for 70 years that they have no biological meaning, that they have only social meaning." Even though race has been proven to be fake, it's had such an influence on the state of our world today that we are in many ways forced to categorize people by race in order to see the impact that race has had on different groups of people, so that we can address these issues.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Race Science Never Left

Racism has been prevalent since human history began. However, the nail in the coffin was the imperialism and colonization by White people that created a system so ingrained into everything that it seems to be unbreakable. From Africa to the Americas, the Europeans stopped at nothing to get their hands on truly any piece of land they could find. The monetary value was enough to keep them motivated, but what about the guilt that came from abusing and stealing from all of these innocent people? Of course, they would have never considered that they were wrong, but it must have been something inevitable that caused them to do this.

The introduction of "Race Science," these pseudo-scientific theories that were extremely untrue, helped to justify the cognitive dissonance that these colonizers and slave owners were faced with. Their Christian religion that they used as a weapon said that it was wrong to kill someone, so they therefore wanted to prove that these people they subdued were not people at all. People misused Darwin's theories to make it seem like White people had somehow evolved further than Black people, and that White people were a different species that was more superior. These scientific methods and theories were all flawed and proven to be untrue, but that surely did not mean they wouldn't continue to create horrible disparities in the world.

Today, we see pseudo-science's effects in so many different places. We see it in the police force that so often abuses and kills lack people solely based upon their race. We see it in the justice system that incarcerates Black people for minor offenses that White people get away with. We see it when people of color are deemed untrustworthy and are not able to get loans to buy houses. This "Redlining" creates vast social and financial disparities that are prevalent today." In a classmate's presentation the statistic was brought up that 2/3 of the Black people that live in Boston live in Roxbury, Dorchester, or Mattapan. Even though Boston is a blue city it is the 19th most segregated city in the world, and most people are not able to recognize that at all.

Race Science is also used as a political weapon modernly. In "The Unwelcome Revival of "Race Science," Gavin Evans writes that the pseudo-scientific theory of Black people's being smaller makes it easier for people on the right wing to jump to the conclusion that any action to fix racial disparities are useless. These ideas are so ingrained into our society, and it adds to other issues such as xenophobia. Believing that people from other countries are beneath white people dehumanizes them, and leads people to ignore such things as immigration issues which were particularly a point of attention under the Trump presidency.

As for what can be done to combat the horrible system the world is stuck in, the only possible solution is to look at every aspect of society and analyze how racism has a factor in it. It might seem like most things about how the world works are devoid of racial disparities, but if you look closer you can see how deeply "race science" has influenced our country.

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