Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race
Sunday, March 19, 2017 6:25 PM
1. Race is a modern idea. Ancient societies, like the Greeks, did not divide people
according to physical distinctions, but according to religion, status, class, even
language. The English language didn't even have the word 'race' until it turns up in
1508 in a poem by William Dunbar referring to a line of kings.
2. Race has no genetic basis. Not one characteristic, trait or even gene distinguishes
all the members of one so -called race from all the members of another s -oalled race.
3. Human subspecies don't exist. Unlike many animals, modern humans simply
haven't been around long enough or isolated enough to evolve into separate
subspecies or races. Despite surface appearances, we are one of the most similar of all
4. Skin color really is only skin deep.Most traits are inherited independently from
one another. The genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes
influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or forms of
intelligence. Knowing someone's skin color doesn't necessarily tell you anything else
about him or her.
5. Most variation is within, not between, "races." Of the small amount of total
human variation, 85% exists within any local population, be they Italians, Kurds,
Koreans or Cherokees. About 94% can be found within any continent. That means two
random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian.
6. Slavery predates race. Throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved
others, often as a result of conquest or war, even debt, but not because of physical
characteristics or a belief in natural inferiority. Due to a unique set of historical
circumstances, ours was the first sla