Is race biologically real? Or is it just a social construct?
In 1912 most Western scientists would have said yes, race is real, a fact of nature. They took it for granted as “obvious”. But in 2012 most geneticists and biological anthropologists would have answered no.
What seems to have changed their minds:
- The Holocaust made “race” seem like a dangerous idea now that white people were getting killed. Many scientists began to question it.
- Advances in genetics made race seem arbitrary, subjective and, at best, skin deep. It did not match what genes did.
- The rise of colour-blind racism in the US, which seeks to address the issue of race by – not seeing it!
- Out of Africa – once it became clear that humans came from Africa, not Europe or North Eurasia, scientists did not trade their white supremacism for black supremacism. Instead it was: “Race does not matter!”