Mapping the world's opinions

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What is "race"?

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

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.

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. Explore

Some races are genetically predisposed to outperform others

Racial disparities exist because of biological inheritance and genetics. Explore

Race is a social construct

Just by the fact that "race" is defined differently by so many people shows that race is a social definition not based on fixed, biological causes.

There is no scientific evidence that humans are biologically divided into races

Scientific advances have allowed scientists to better understand human populations and migration. Explore

Racial categories are specific to time and place

Racial categories vary across time and places all over the globe which is evidence that race is a shifting, social construct. Explore

Race is self-identified, self-determined, and subject to change

Race is a part of one's identity that only the individual has the full potential to discover, expand, and determine. As people transition through different phases of life, understand aspects of their culture, and develop new meanings of race, they can also identify their race differently. Explore

Race is a social reality with biological consequences

Social realities can influence one's environment, which in turn has biological effects.

A person's environment - and therefore, biological makeup - is influenced by social and cultural circumstances

This page was last edited on Monday, 27 Jul 2020 at 15:09 UTC