Race Defined

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Article 18 Draft Official Statement on "Race" 341 Words The premise of the article, Draft Official Statement on "Race", by the American Anthropological Association is that "race" is a term invented by certain Western Europeans. The cultural characteristics assigned to different populations were used to benefit the group(s) who wished to maintain power. The distinctions were made during the colonization of different parts of the world, and even in 20th century Europe.

According to the article, individuals and populations vary in visible distinctions such as skin, size, and features. The differences occur gradually over geographical regions. These variations do not indicate that races are different species, because interbreeding is not only possible, but has taken place throughout history.

A statement that slave owners invented "race" as a means to justify the continuance of slavery is unsettling. The European settlers, not only heightened the differences between the transplanted slaves, they also extended their categorization to the native Americans.

The Nazi's in Germany continued this type of degradation. These examples infer that people from different cultures can be ranked according to their heritage.

Because of continued characteristics by media and other sources, I am somewhat negligent in my education of different people. Most of my experience has been with people from the same socioeconomic background. I may harbor some prejudice because of lack of exposure.

People need to be educated that no one is born with cultural traits. No group of people can be identified as "pure". Humans have the ability to learn any language or behavior. Realizing these facts is an important step toward erasing prejudices in our society.

The world is becoming more connected by business and technology. It is important for everyone to evaluate other cultures to learn differences and the reasons for them. How people are...



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