posts 31 - 45 of 53
xoxogossipgirl
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 12

Originally posted by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on October 22, 2023 16:32

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 Even though the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed 80 years ago, stereotypes still exist from that era today, showing how even after they are no longer relevant to the inner workings of society and government,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.

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I love how you emphasize the current pervasive ideas that spawned from these pseudo-scientific ideas. We mustn't fall into the trap that forces us to think that these ideas were only used in the 19th and 20th century because we can see them right now. We can see them in the school system, the work system, police brutality, and more.

cbgb1946
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Bingus_the_cat on October 22, 2023 14:58

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.

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I really like how you described how when racial laws are put into practice, it is like a "paradox;" it really summed up the twisted nature in which discrimination laws are put into place, and how even the "best" people of society, turn a blind eye to them. I appreciate the recognizing of potential drug and alcohol abuse, due to being at a disadvantage within society. The connections that were made, regarding segregated neighborhoods, and economic disadvantages, effectively display the ways in which race "science," and laws that have stemmed from it, play into our society, today. This reflection well articulates how the ideologies of race "science" are still in play within our society today.

crispycokecan16
boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Originally posted by xoxogossipgirl on October 21, 2023 18:36

I completely agree with this point about white people being zookeepers, it's a great analogy to show how they believed that they needed to tame or train the native peoples in their own homes. They probably thought of themselves as zookeepers as well, "we have to help these poor animals, we have to save them." Save them by killing, abusing, and stealing from them? Yeah, that makes total sense. These people lacked the simple human empathy and compassion that you mentioned, and as we all know the color of your skin should not dominate who you are as a human being.

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.



リーパー
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by souplover on October 22, 2023 10:34

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.

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It is interesting that you brought up that "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". It really goes to show how this 'science' exists only to reinforce beliefs and shelter those who follow them. The science is less of a science and more of a stabilizing foundation off of which racists can build their ideologies.

dolphinsanddogs53
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 2

Reply

Originally posted by behappy19 on October 21, 2023 14:33

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.








I agree with your comment on how Europeans and Americans used these race "science" ideas to "validate" that what they were doing was right and that they had the "responsibility" to "help" other peoples. Like you said, it was very clear in how white Americans worked around the Constitution just to be able to do the things that they did, such as implementing the "separate but equal" idea into social life. Adding on, this was also clear in the justification used for Puerto Rico and the Philippines; just because Puerto Ricans and Filipinos looked different than these white Americans, these white Americans believed that they could just take over these places and implement their own set of rules because they believed that it was their "job", since they were supposed to "help" others. However, it's clear to many that they were, indeed, not helping these poorer societies and were, instead, ruining them and using them just for the benefit of the white Americans.

xoxogossipgirl
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 12

Originally posted by supercoolguy5000 on October 22, 2023 23:42

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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Using colonialism and imperialism as the nail in the coffin is so accurate. There's a difference between thinking in a racist way and acting in a racist way. They didn't take a moment to appreciate the lives of those they were taking because of the color of their skin.

Mapa307
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

"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."

To build off of this, a great example of continuing race "science" is the mantra of "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps," built on the idea that all people in America have the same opportunites, and therefore, success is determined only by how hard one works. The history of racial oppression and genocide in the United States undeniably argues otherwise, but this mantra has still become a popular political slogan in politics. Becuase of the prevalence of race "science" today, many conversations regarding reparations or even just racial oppression first become an argument over whether racial oppression and disadtavtage really exists. This is counter-productive, and use by some politicians as a way to avoid reparations.

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nicehair85
Posts: 11

Originally posted by behappy19 on October 21, 2023 14:33

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.







I agree with the part about groups of extremists such as the KKK. I forgot to mention that in my post because i believe these groups are a great example of how the ideals continue to exist in our time.

cherrycola
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by coolcat16 on October 22, 2023 16:11

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.

I really like the idea that we should not stop protesting or fighting for what's right because that is something that we have been doing continuously and it does a lot to spread awareness. I also like all the examples that you put in this post like "The White Man's Burden" and how it applies to everything that we have been talking about. I heavily agree that these ideas are still prevalent today and I love the examples that you put in! Like unfair education, discrimination through legal systems, I found all those examples to be quite impactful because those are serious issues that we face to this day that society has tried to fix with boycotting and protesting, which we should not stop doing in order to help solve these issues. Overall, I agree with basically everything you said and I really liked this post!

pinkavocados
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by behappy19 on October 21, 2023 14:33

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.








I'm not sure if race and politics can ever be separated because they are so intrinsically linked. I think that race needs to be acknowledged, not as a positive or negative but as a reality of our society which affects many people. Politics should not discriminate based on race, but they should acknowledge race and the continuing effects of racist policies and politicians should actively be working to counter these lingering issues.

Bingus_the_cat
US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by cranberryjuicelover6000 on October 23, 2023 07:32

For hundreds of years, humans have tried to use race “science” to justify acts of violence against certain racial groups. This has been present around the world, but most notably in America and Europe. The reason it was so appealing to these groups was because these teachings allowed for their racist acts to be excused and accelerated, all while hiding behind the word “science”. Significant people in the science world like Louis Aggassiz, who previously established themselves as remarkable in their field, used their platforms to say that non-whire people were inferior to white people and therefore deserve to be treated that way. They did this as a way to reduce their cognitive dissonance by justifying their wrong actions. These race theories became more and more popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries to the point where their principles crept into United States Law and Policy. An example of this was the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907. This policy was targeted to Japanese Americans because of growing tensions between the two countries. It stated that “all aliens were ineligible for citizenship” which was a way to dehumanize Japanese people. The law also made for white people to stop shopping at Asian American shops which caused a great racial divide between the two. This directly mirrors the teachings of pseudo-scientist Louis Agassiz and his ideas that races should be kept separate because they are “different species”. A similar example of this was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which marked the ten year ban of Chinese workers coming over to America. Race “science” played a large role in this law because the United States otherized Chinese people and labeled them as not human. This made for racism of Asian Americans to be excelled and then justified. Both of these examples still have impacts on America today in the form of racism against Asain Americans, sparking nationwide movements like the “Stop Asian Hate” movement as an aftermath of the racism Asian Americans faced following the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though it is known that the methods and the findings of this pseudo- science is incredibly flawed, the impacts still are seen today. In The Guardian, they account the people who weaponize this propaganda as “‘alt-right’, who like to use pseudoscience to lend intellectual justification to ethno-nationalist politics”. It is a perfect mirror of how race “science” was used in the past to how people still use it. Similar to the past, they justify their racism by saying “poor people are poor because they are inherently less intelligent” (The Guardian) and not actually seeing facts of things like systemic racism being the root of a lot of poverty. To combat this spreading of fake ideals, people can educate themselves about America's past and how it influences the world today. However, this can be difficult when many of the people perpetuating this misinformation blindly follow the ideology. It is important to view the world and face its difficult history. Then, look at society and begin to analyze how racism plays such a large part. Being able to identify the root of that racism in terms of United State’s law and policy, America can start pushing back against the harm they have done and continue to do.

The fact is that race 'science' has been a root of US law and policy is increasingly looking more and more true. I believe that we can draw parallels between these ideas having a comeback and the increase of the far-right ideals in recent elections. We must find some way to combat this and finding exactly where this 'science' is allowed in modern policy would be the best option for the US to continue in relative peace and equal prosperity.

tatertots
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

And so, the Rich Become Richer

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Europeans and Americans were obsessed with one thing. Power. How’d they go about it? Colonizing every piece of land that wasn’t theirs. Everything they did went towards the cause of benefiting themselves. Gaining more money. More land. More power. When race ‘science’ emerged, this gave them the excuse to justify their power. Xoxoxogossipgirl is exactly right, it’s a way to “factually” reduce cognitive dissonance. The ugly truth and greed conflicted with the image of themselves. These whites were supposed to be ‘great’, and they could not face how heinous their acts of violence were. In a country that claimed to fight for life, liberty, and justice, these actions directly conflicted with their morals. Race ‘science’ was able to confirm their beliefs of white supremacy, and provided the delusion that rather than harming these minorities, they were so inhumane that they needed to be ‘saved’ by these white people. Any sort of person of color was considered closer to a neanderthal than human, despite the fact that these human beings had so many commonalities with these white people (Douglass). They were not a separate species at all. These pervasive ideas have since crept into policies and laws in the United States and severely impacted minorities. These impacts have since reverberated throughout history, and even still today. Despite knowing ‘better’ today and knowing these ideas were incredibly flawed, these ideas still persist because white people have always been people in power. They were back then, and still are today. In a system that has benefited them for so long, it’s hard to simply change when these ideas go back for hundreds of years. It should also be considered that in a system that benefits a certain group of people, why would they want to change what works for them? It is one thing to be aware, and another to change. The people in power are the only ones with the ability to initiate change, but if a majority in power don’t want change, then these minorities continue to face an unjust systemic battle that goes beyond hatred. It’s a lack of human rights.

Slavery is one example of these pseudo-scientific ideas creeping into laws and policies that still are ongoing today, just executed in a different manner. Slavery was free labor that dehumanized black people, ripping them from their origins and culture, in order to profit white people. They were not only used, but abused physically and mentally. They were treated as animals because they were seen as animals. From the ridiculous studies of comparing skull sizes between Africans and Caucasians (Morton), these ideas all ‘supported’ white supremacy. These people were not smart enough, so white people were doing them a favor. White people were doing them a favor, coming to save them, because Africans could not think for themselves. They needed to be tamed and cared for. In actuality, they simply hated people with dark skin because they were different. Caucasians needed proof of superiority to fuel their ego, and put these black people to use in a system that would profit them. Slavery was then transformed to systems and laws like the Convict Lease System. Even though slavery was no longer permitted, the essence of it was kept through different means. Laws, like the 13th Amendment, could not even protect them. Another example, being redlining. It kept the essence of segregation. Areas are still separated between whites and minorities. Minorities in these areas have less access to better homes, better education, better working conditions, better everything.

These scientific ideas are now proven to be social constructs and have nothing to do with genetics. There is no science behind these ideas. Saini is exactly right when she expresses that “'scientists in other fields have the freedom to study race, she writes, but with that freedom comes responsibility. They can’t afford to leave room for misinterpretation” (The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism). Race cannot be simply ignored, but with the use of studying race or using it in context, then one must “fully understand what they mean, be able to define them, and know their history” (The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism). These terms have been taken out of context and used to fuel hateful ideas throughout history, so it is important to use them properly and knowledgeable. Though the phrase “I don’t see color” has good intentions, it’s important to recognize our differences. It pertains to one identity, as well as recognizing all the unjust people faced as minorities. Doing so, moving forward, people are able to combat racist idealology.
bumblebeetuna
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by xoxogossipgirl on October 21, 2023 18:36

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.

I find your analogy to how we treat the homeless really useful for understanding how people viewed other races during the 19th and 20th centuries (or even some people today!) We group homeless people in a totally separate category of people, ignoring their complexity and humanity and only seeing the bad in them. Your sentence "If we separate them from society or our vision of what a civilized person looks like, we will be bound to treat them differently" affected me because I definitely ignore homeless people sometimes when I walk by, because its easier to just act like they're not human than accept how badly they've been treated. I like how you frame racism as a cycle of oppression and justification that feeds each other. I think it's really important to always remember race science came AFTER horrible treatment of Black people or other POC, showing how it was "a gateway" to be more racist, not a valid explanation of why they would start dehumanizing others.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by cherrycola on October 22, 2023 18:54

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.

Post your response here. It is accurate how you said race science was a way to justify immoral thinking. White Americans and Europeans needed something to base their racist ideas off without sounding like just biased opinions so they used science to gain a mass of people to believe them. The belief of White people being more civilized was used to benefit themselves by using this idea to remove non-whites from a certain area. They used these ideas to justify the mass killings and genocides throughout the land and reduce their cognitive dissonance.

behappy19
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by xoxogossipgirl on October 21, 2023 18:36

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.

I love how you used metaphors and examples to get your point across and it made me view the concept in a different light. I agree with what you said about looking beneath the skin. This reminds me of the distinction between the physical and metaphysical which are philosophical concepts. The physical is represented in a reductionist point of view which for much of the United States's history people had. They reduced others to the color of their skins instead of like you stated looked deeper. I agree that racism can not just simply be ended because it is so ingrained into our society, but as more people become aware of its serious consequences hopefully we will never stop fighting against it.

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