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Thread: Racial classification - Is it racism or racialism?

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    Racial classification - Is it racism or racialism?



    Some people argue that dividing humans into racial categories is scientific racism. How should people be classified then? What do you propose?

    Some scientific categories include:
    Semitic, Indo-European, African, Middle-Eastern, Caucasian, Mongoloid etc.

    How useful are these categories really?

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    They are not useful.
    All humans are of the same race.

    I am a Celtic European, my wife is from Greece or Roman.

    I am R1b, my wife is J2 (yDNA)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    They are not useful.
    All humans are of the same race.

    I am a Celtic European, my wife is from Greece or Roman.

    I am R1b, my wife is J2 (yDNA)
    Thank-you for sharing Reinaert. I would think that being Celtic matters to you otherwise you would not have gone to the trouble of finding out what your haplogroup is.

    Racial stratification is a scientific term but most people simply call it racism because it divides humans into categories and this highlights our differences using terms less offensive such as phenotype or appearance instead of race and skin color.

    I know that without the terms 'Germanic, African or Celtic' we would have great difficulty explaining our theories to one another. Population geneticists use racial stereotyping on a daily basis, are these stereotypes accurate or are these so-called ethno-linguistic classifications an attempt to uplift some and suppress others? Just a thought ..

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    And an interesting thought. I, personally, loathe racial classification but how is a group of people to be described without using it in one for or another? And it is disappointing (and annoying) that instead of highlighting our similarities, the great and wonderful advances in genetics has been hijacked by many to underscore their own nationalistic and racial purist agendas.

    MMmm, there is much food for thought in this thread. I need to think on it and get back later in the day...

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    why does purity have to be a bad thing? am I evil for preferring women of my own kind?
    why is race denied when it is plainly visible?
    there's nothing wrong with racial classification or talking about race in general

    sometimes "racism" can be a good thing, do you greeks wish your ancestors would have mixed with turks and there be no more turks or greeks but only some new turco-greek mutt population?
    purity doesn't have to be a bad thing
    I am glad there are separate nations instead of just one.

    I hope this makes you think a little

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    They are not useful.
    All humans are of the same race.
    That's a contradiction of term. If humans are a single race, what species do they belong to ? Apes ? That would presuppose that we can mate with chimps and gorillas, which we can't. The term 'race' is used as a category to subdivide members of a same species into phenotypically different groups, usually the result of long separate evolutions, as can be observed between Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid people. There are of course many intermediary sub-races, and countless of ethnic groups within racial groups. Denying that humans can be classified in races, sub-races and ethnic groups amounts to rejecting scientific classification of humans. It is as bad as negating evolution.

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    The question is rather why does someone want to divide people into racial categories? But each time I ask this question the only answer I get are rolling eyes and pitiful head-shakes. Well, actually I can answer that question for myself: because people have the innate drive to do this!
    It has basically three functions, first of all it serves as a simplifying cognitive economy, in order to get along with reality which would be too complex and complicated without these classifications. Secondly it provides an own identity, which the individual was unable to find without. It is supposed to answer the questions where do I come from and what is my mission for the future? And third, it is a way of describing, explaining and predicting inner sentiments and judgements with numbers and scientific facts, which could not have been expressed in a different unemotional way.

    DUH!
    Last edited by Mzungu mchagga; 18-08-11 at 17:02. Reason: used wrong english words

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    The question is rather why does someone want to divide people into racial categories? But each time I ask this question the only answer I get are rolling eyes and pitiful head-shakes. Well, actually I can answer that question for myself: because people have the born drive to do this!
    It has basically three functions, first of all it serves as a cognitive economy, in order to get along with reality which would be too complex and complicated without these classifications. Secondly it provides an own identity, which the individual was unable to find without. It is supposed to answer the questions where do I come from and what is my mission for the future? And third, it is a way of describing, explaining and predicting inner sentiments and assessments with numbers and scientific facts, which could not have been expressed in a different unemotionally way.

    DUH!
    It is interesting how we find two contrasting approaches to this question. Mzungu mchagga and Antigone are good examples. Mzungu mchagga immediately felt the need to highlight the utilitarian aspects in this way distancing himself from the human aspect. Antigone appeared emotionally drawn to the human aspect and needed time to express what she was feeling.

    Utilitarianism vs. Humanism

    Which one do you subscribe to? Is it possible to profess both or is this hypocritical?

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    Sometimes has been discussed the same here. I think different races exist, since some characteristics are perfectly apreciable (plain observation) and genetic works are showing this with numbers and graphics. Nothing bad on it.

    Are useful at a descriptive level, and if we are interested to know how this ramifications appeared, we must first of all do the pertinent identifications (reports). It's part of the human background, like it or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milovan View Post
    why does purity have to be a bad thing? am I evil for preferring women of my own kind?
    why is race denied when it is plainly visible?
    there's nothing wrong with racial classification or talking about race in general

    sometimes "racism" can be a good thing, do you greeks wish your ancestors would have mixed with turks and there be no more turks or greeks but only some new turco-greek mutt population?
    purity doesn't have to be a bad thing
    I am glad there are separate nations instead of just one.

    I hope this makes you think a little
    Well the insecurity makes me want to laugh anyway, but sorry Milovan, you are barking up the wrong tree. I may live in Greece, am married to a Greek but am not of Greek ancestry myself.

    As I said, and from my experience, the racial purity angle is BS.

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    Well, what I wrote is to amplify the idiocy of "races".
    I am a Dutchman from the south.
    We already live in Brabant for maybe 3000 years, and I had my YDNA tested simply because I volunteered because a historian asked me to. To me it was a surprise that I had YDNA R1b P312. And my wives family had YDNA J2.
    So, it doesn't matter at all.

    Until a year ago, I always thought I was from Frankish origin.
    At school we were told there were 3 tribes in The Netherlands, Frisians, Saxons and Franks.
    Brabant was Frankish.
    That turned out to be a mistake.

    See the Brabant YDNA project.
    I participated in that project.

    And about the Celts.
    You can't even say the Celts are a race.
    Just tribes with the same culture, that may have had different DNA.
    The same goes for the Germans. (I mean the tribes, not the people of Deutschland/Germany)

    I think the word "race" is wrong. There is only 1 human race.
    The YDNA tells us very clear, that all humans share the same forefathers!
    How can there be different races?

    RACE <------- OBSOLETE WORD

    Only to be used for fast driving cars and such.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    It is interesting how we find two contrasting approaches to this question. Mzungu mchagga and Antigone are good examples. Mzungu mchagga immediately felt the need to highlight the utilitarian aspects in this way distancing himself from the human aspect. Antigone appeared emotionally drawn to the human aspect and needed time to express what she was feeling.

    Utilitarianism vs. Humanism

    Which one do you subscribe to? Is it possible to profess both or is this hypocritical?
    More classifications? But why does a person have or need suscribe to one or the other? I understood perfectly what MM has expressed and agree with his observations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone View Post
    More classifications? But why does a person have or need suscribe to one or the other? I understood perfectly what MM has expressed and agree with his observations.
    Does the usefulness of racial classification make it okay in your mind then? Do you agree with MM and say that it doesn't matter when people role their eyes or feel get upset, it is what it is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knovas View Post
    Sometimes has been discussed the same here. I think different races exist, since some characteristics are perfectly apreciable (plain observation) and genetic works are showing this with numbers and graphics. Nothing bad on it.

    Are useful at a descriptive level, and if we are interested to know how this ramifications appeared, we must first of all do the pertinent identifications (reports). It's part of the human background, like it or not.
    Don't pretend that the description doesn't get you fired up sometimes. Otherwise why do the research?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milovan View Post
    why does purity have to be a bad thing? am I evil for preferring women of my own kind?
    why is race denied when it is plainly visible?
    there's nothing wrong with racial classification or talking about race in general

    sometimes "racism" can be a good thing, do you greeks wish your ancestors would have mixed with turks and there be no more turks or greeks but only some new turco-greek mutt population?
    purity doesn't have to be a bad thing
    I am glad there are separate nations instead of just one.

    I hope this makes you think a little
    You are confusing diversity with racial classes, diversity is a part of nature whereas people look at things and say they belong in this or that box. You don't label diversity, it's all around us and some are better able to adapt to changes or differences. Classifying people is when one person makes a judgment based on another person's racial features, or what he may perceive to be racial features.

    Your statement that 'sometimes racism can be a good thing' and 'some new '... mutt population' is a joke right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    The question is rather why does someone want to divide people into racial categories? But each time I ask this question the only answer I get are rolling eyes and pitiful head-shakes. Well, actually I can answer that question for myself: because people have the innate drive to do this!
    It's part of human nature to categorise, organise, label, differentiate... That's how we managed to develop civilisations and sciences. If we give hundreds of racial names to dogs, who are basically just one species like humans, why shouldn't we do it for humans ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    Until a year ago, I always thought I was from Frankish origin.
    At school we were told there were 3 tribes in The Netherlands, Frisians, Saxons and Franks.
    Brabant was Frankish.
    That turned out to be a mistake.
    Because your Y-DNA is Celtic you assume that you have not inherited anything from Frankish ancestors ? That's plain ridiculous.

    Btw, Frankish or Celtic are not words that refer to races, but ethnicities. Races are much broader. One could place all Europeans and Middle Easterners under the same race. The problem is to know where to put boundaries. There is obviously a gradient in genetic admixture from North-West Europe to India via the Middle East. Dravidian Indians are obviously a distinct race from Europeans or Middle Easterners. But what about Pakistanis or Indian Brahmins, for instance ? They are good examples of intermediary races.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Because your Y-DNA is Celtic you assume that you have not inherited anything from Frankish ancestors ? That's plain ridiculous.

    Btw, Frankish or Celtic are not words that refer to races, but ethnicities. Races are much broader. One could place all Europeans and Middle Easterners under the same race. The problem is to know where to put boundaries. There is obviously a gradient in genetic admixture from North-West Europe to India via the Middle East. Dravidian Indians are obviously a distinct race from Europeans or Middle Easterners. But what about Pakistanis or Indian Brahmins, for instance ? They are good examples of intermediary races.
    Racial categories include factors such as:
    Heritable phenotype
    Geographic ancestry
    Appearance
    Culture
    Ethnicity
    Socio-economic status
    Genetic diversity (HG)

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    Sometimes, because of the researcher and strange agendas we can find something wrong/strange while reading the report. This is not new.

    I consider the question is already answered in my post. But I can tell the same from the opposite side: if we don't want to know anything about us, it's enough forgetting the differences we can observe. But denying the fact does not help, the only question is if we want to face it, find the explanation, correlations between world regions...or not.

    I enjoy so much with genetics and, fortunately, things are going in a way I like. We know that humans are not so different from each other but, at the same time, it's posible to make some divisions and expalin quite good how is it possible to find different looks taking the migration out of Africa as reference. Of course, racism has nothing to do here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's part of human nature to categorise, organise, label, differentiate... That's how we managed to develop civilisations and sciences. If we give hundreds of racial names to dogs, who are basically just one species like humans, why shouldn't we do it for humans ?
    That doesn't contradict to what I've said. I didn't claim that humans can not be categorized, I was simply asking why we do it and you basically repeat it again. And I don't think I have to explain why categorizing people is yet somewhat more emotionally loaded than categorizing animals or plants. Dogs, unlike humans, were bred to races in order to fulfil a certain task in the end, and had to be kept pure in order to rise their usefullness and thus their value. And I believe that the vast majority of people who are obsessed with racial categories transfer this principle on humans.
    In real nature purity means incest and on the long run closer to extinction.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Hear hear!

    There is only one human race, although there are different cultures.
    That's the main point!

    In my village live kids who came from different regions all over the world, when they were young.
    They speak the same dialect like me, they have the same culture.
    A black man that speaks Brabant dialect is a man from Brabant.
    Language and culture are much more important than skin color or DNA, like I told you before.

    The Dutch from the Holland provinces are strange to me.
    They talk very strange.
    So they are not Dutch anymore..
    (Dutch means literally.. People that speak your language.. Dutch word "duidelijk" means "clear/understandable")

    I have worked in my career with people from all over the world, and the only thing that is important is that people have to learn to speak the language of the country they live in. Otherwise they don't make it.
    It has nothing to do with race, or skin color.

    Only language and culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Because your Y-DNA is Celtic you assume that you have not inherited anything from Frankish ancestors ? That's plain ridiculous.
    No, it isn't, and you should know that.
    The Franks were passing The Netherlands and Belgium on their way into France.
    Frankish remains are very rare in The Netherlands.

    The only thing that makes sense is some remains of a court in Nijmegen. Valkhof.
    It could have been a resting place of Charlemagne.

    http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valkhof

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorianfinder View Post
    Does the usefulness of racial classification make it okay in your mind then? Do you agree with MM and say that it doesn't matter when people role their eyes or feel get upset, it is what it is?
    But he didn't say that it doesn't matter. He merely questioned WHY people get upset over the issue of racial classification, and gave some fairly insightful answers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    The question is rather why does someone want to divide people into racial categories? But each time I ask this question the only answer I get are rolling eyes and pitiful head-shakes. Well, actually I can answer that question for myself: because people have the innate drive to do this!
    It has basically three functions, first of all it serves as a simplifying cognitive economy, in order to get along with reality which would be too complex and complicated without these classifications. Secondly it provides an own identity, which the individual was unable to find without. It is supposed to answer the questions where do I come from and what is my mission for the future? And third, it is a way of describing, explaining and predicting inner sentiments and judgements with numbers and scientific facts, which could not have been expressed in a different unemotional way.

    DUH!
    Also, is the need for racial classification something even more instinctive? At the basic level, man is a pack animal and with no natural weapons (i.e man is not particularly fast, nor strong, nor has big teeth, nor claws, nor any venom etc for self protection) living in a group or tribe was necessary to man's survival as a species. Co-operation as a group meant added security, safety, greater success at feeding ourselves, the ability to protect hunting grounds/territory from outside incursion plus the ability to more successfully raise and protect the young.

    Is this where the idea of race was born, that them and us mentality? But, as already said above, there is much confusion between what is race and what is culture. If we all came out of Africa then, by definiton, we are one race or one species. Evolved into many different cultures certainly but only one race, mankind.
    Last edited by Antigone; 19-08-11 at 09:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone View Post
    He merely questioned WHY people get upset over the issue of racial classification, and gave some fairly insightful answers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    people have the innate drive to do this ... it is a way of describing, explaining and predicting inner sentiments and judgements with numbers and scientific facts, which could not have been expressed in a different unemotional way.
    It is called rationalization not insightful at all. He simply distanced himself from the emotional aspects.

    He got it wrong IMHO, a natural drive does not make people angry (role eyes or upset). Human nature is to associate not dissociate? To form relationships and to bond with others comes from a basic human drive, not to classify, predict, use numbers, scientific facts and all that snottiness.

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