Friday, June 20, 2008

What is Race?

When I was in high school in the 1950s, I was taught that there are five human races, which already creates a destructive sense of division among humans that is an illusion; biologically there is only a single Human Race --

Even now that it is known that all humans descend from a common ancestor in Africa, it is not automatic, common knowledge that all humans belong to one race only -- Statements such as "Is Obama Black enough?" should cause everyone to laugh immediately. Certain physical appearances, or susceptibility to various diseases, etc., attached themselves to certain human groups as they grew in early times in widely separated areas. And, of course, a wide variety of cultures are attached to people who look one way or another. But it would be better for human sanity and world peace if those cultures were not identified as belonging to a separate "race." This view will be a long time coming, but I think we should be self-correcting all the time -- as when Buckminster Fuller tried to get us to remember that "sunset" indicates a view of the world that has been corrected. What we call "sunset" is more accurately (and therefore more supportive of sanity) "evening earth-turn."

NOTE: Someone has objected to this entry, saying that the term for the collective human race should, in the language of the science of biology, be "SPECIES -- homo sapiens sapiens." I am ignorant of the scientific terminology, and if I am using vocabulary wrong, I am happy to have that pointed out. However, what I am addressing is the use of the word "race" by the mass of people, the word they use for collective humanity, not "species." It is the word "race" that has been used to justify a thousand crimes, including horrifying lynchings, etc., and notions that some humans are genetically superior to other humans. It may be that the human race is using the wrong term and should be speaking of "the human species," but use of the proper scientific vocabulary is a secondary concern, a matter for later education, when there is a primary concern of masses of humans killing each other for the lack of comprehending their common humanity. If any other reader of this entry has something they want to say about the vocabulary, I welcome your contributions. END OF NOTE.

Equally, I wish the separate "religions" could drop the term "religion" as each religion, no matter how much they talk about tolerance and being ecumenical, believes there is One Truth, and it resides with them. For those of us who have to suffer the organized violence of the believers, and the rigidity of their code moralities, it would be a step forward if the same thing happened with religions as with "races" -- Their separateness is an illusion -- especially to those of us who feel they are not different at all in their central mission, to give themselves over to domination by a constant and strenuous denial -- called belief -- or to put it more positively, as I can find fun in this too, that there is essentially no difference in exploring the numinous -- balancing invisible wheels in the air, and sometimes getting them to turn, as in my "religion" the Creative Arts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr Taylor teaches us how to attain deep inner peace - easily, simply, without drugs, anytime we want it. Forgive me for doing everything I can to be sure everyone reads this book and sees this video, but I think all of us benefit and in the larger sense, if everyone reads this, our world will benefit in a very large way.