Monday, March 08, 2010

It's racist to ask your ethnicity, unless you're the government

What's your race?



Joe Markowitz said...

"American" is not a race. In fact, scientifically speaking, the whole concept of "race" is outmoded and inaccurate. When asked to fill in questionnaires asking my race, I prefer to answer: "human."

Fletch said...

As usual Joe, we basically agree, but reality must intrude.

I find it troublesome that humans must force each other into groups to make it more convenient for them to generalize. That kind of division leads to hate, and hate against a group of people for some general reason, instead of individuals for individual reason is the kind of hate that leads to genocide.

I agree that we all should think of ourselves as individuals, and refuse to fall into the trap of forcing each other into convenient pigeon-holes, but we-- as a human race-- are obviously not ready to do that yet.

If you put two humans in a room and wait a week, they'll become friends to some degree. But if you put four humans in a room and wait a week, they'll pair off, and figure out reasons to hate the other two. Then, if you put six humans in a room and wait a week, they'll separate into two groups, and go to war with the other for their resources, then two of the remaining three will connect with each other more the last, and shun him until he kills himself or is killed by them. Then the two will remember the value of company and become uneasy friends. It's a shame, but it's just the way we're wired.

Until we can all agree on the congenital defect of our race, and fight it with education, dire warnings, and societal pressure, it's just not going to change.

As an aside, how many generations must a country be occupied by a people before the name of the country it becomes a race/ethnicity? Chinese people are from China, and their race is Chinese, so how many generations until the race of the people from America becomes American?

But will you allow me this bit of jingoism? I think the problem from which this country suffers stems from not enough unity, not too much.