Genetics play a huge role in our daily lives, yet, the general public do not know much about them at all except that human beings are different and that there are different races. This cultural reality is mislead and incorrect. Politics, medicine, society, culture, and human behavior all have racist undertones. Science today is unraveling the genetics behind racism, revealing a shocking discovery: human beings of all races have the same genetic makeup, that is, every individual is different in the same way regardless of the pigmentation of their skin (see the Human Genome Project). Scientists in the past have come to this same conclusion, scientists such as Charles Darwin himself. He believed all humans should be treated as a single species. But why does society refuse to accept the true essence of the Human Genome Project? Are human beings inherently racist? Is everyone just fearful that they could be wrong? Maybe. All I know is, that I believe Western thought is stuck in old and entrenched ideas because society does not believe in or understand science. Race is just part of our socially constructed world. We must not stay silent on this issue.
Judy Stone said in her lecture that there is no biological or scientific ‘race.’ There is just ancestry spread throughout the world and each individual has ancestry spread through many continents. As a result of these different ancestries, different populations have different vulnerabilities dependent on the genes they carry. For example, different diseases (like sickle cell anemia) affect different populations – but a lot of times this is just due to their societal and cultural influences, not necessarily genes.
Studies show that human beings (homo sapiens) have been migrating around the globe for many thousands of years and evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago. This migration has mixed our genes from the start. Over a long period, different species evolve from this genetic mixing: introducing distinct populations. Even still, these populations have WAY more similar genetic makeups than different.
Racism has been structured and taught for so many years. It will be extremely difficult to completely unravel these teachings. No matter if you are racist or not, everyone’s lives are affected by racist teachings of the past (and even now!) People must understand there is no connection between what we call ‘race’ and intelligence and health. This must be the new thought spread throughout our society. We must dissipate the cultural reality and replace it with the biological one. This goes for all scientific and genetic understandings – and we must first begin with becoming a more scientifically literate society.