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What is "race"? Show more Show less

Race is one way humans classify one another. Race may be based on ancestry, skin color, hair type, or other physical or non-physical features. Yet, views of how humans are classified can differ person-to-person and even country-to-country. Scientists and modern geneticists have begun to find that humans of different "races" may have more in common with one another than they do with humans within the same "race." At the same time, many people look at the racial disparities in education, wealth, and health in the U.S. and conclude that there must be a biological, natural reason why Black Americans and Latinos are less-educated, poorer, or more affected by COVID-19 than White Americans. The debate of "what race is" has important - and perhaps dangerous - implications across society and between individuals.

Race is a biological reality Show more Show less

Humans are different from each other - physically, culturally, linguistically, psychologically. Proponents of race as a biological reality view such differences as anchored in genetic differences at a group level. Black people, white people, Jewish people, etc have certain key characteristic that make them unique and different from others.
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People are identified by physiological features which categorize them into races

Outward appearance and ancestry - which are biological and unchangeable - define a person's race.
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The Argument

In the culturally diverse United States, people often identify one another's race based on skin color. Identification based on skin color is easy for U.S. Americans to do because of the migration and colonization history of North America. The idea that outward physical appearance determines one's race is also prevalent in South Africa and the U.K.[1] One study has shown that children as young as 3 months old in the U.S. begin to racially categorize people. [2] The idea that physiological features, such as skin color, determine race is woven into societies and taught to children at an early age.[3] [2]

Counter arguments



[P1] Races are defined by outward appearance or other physiological features.

Rejecting the premises

People may categorize someone as a certain race by outward appearance, but that person may not identify with that race (e.g. golfer Tiger Woods)


Further Reading



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This page was last edited on Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 07:08 UTC