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How to Argue with a Racist smashes race myths that plague society

A cry for identity

The term “race” is widely used but isn't scientifically valid. Race is a social construct. For many, it is a desire for identity and belonging.

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How to Argue with a Racist smashes race myths that plague society

How to Argue with a Racist smashes race myths that plague society

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2232147-how-to-argue-with-a-racist-smashes-race-myths-that-plague-society/

newscientist.com

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Key Ideas

A cry for identity

The term “race” is widely used but isn't scientifically valid. Race is a social construct. For many, it is a desire for identity and belonging.

Ancestry

  • We are more closely related than we think. A family tree isn't the most scientifically accurate metaphor: Trees branch out while family trees contain loops, for example, as a result of first cousins having children.
  • The commercial genetic tests remain scientifically unconvincing.

Racist beliefs

The core of many racist stereotypes is that race is a biological classification.

  • We are told that race is a social construct, only to have scientists carelessly mention both race and ethnicity in their research papers.
  • The majority of geneticists think genetic differences between ethnic groups are meaningless regarding behavior or innate abilities. But scientific papers still show genes for complex traits, like intelligence, are along racial lines.
  • Race science is pseudoscience, but genetics and evolutionary research are tied up with race.

    SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

    Ancestry testing

    DNA-testing is done by millions of people all over the world to analyze their DNA and find out where they originate.

    Targeted marketing for DNA home-testing kits shows models under the banne...

    DNA home tests

    Some problems arise regarding DNA home tests about what happens after the results of land.

    • Storage of sensitive genetic information. An open-source DNA testing site was recently used by the police to identify a killer.
    • Emotional side effects after receiving confusing or life-changing results.
    DNA home test variances

    Many who have done a DNA home test begin to question their family heritage and wonder if they might have been misled. However, taking DNA tests from different companies reveal wildly varying results. There are a few reasons for this: 

    • The companies are only looking at very recent DNA samples, from a relatively small group, in one specific database.
    • The databases are skewed towards different parts of the world. Some have more American customers and other more British or Australian customers.
    • These companies don't ask about the genetics of the past, and which of those past inferred genetic clusters we get our ancestry from.
    • We probably inherit very few genes from our ancestors. DNA is inherited in “chunks” that break up the further back in time you go.
    • There are ancestors from whom you inherit no DNA.

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    Human DNA is a Puzzle

    In genetic ancestry testing, even identical twins who have virtually the same DNA may or may not get the same results.

    Different DNA companies can show different results, in the case of twins...

    A Booming Business

    Consumer genetic testing is expanding as more than 26 million people have taken this kind of test, according to the MIT Technology Review.

    The First Step

    DNA tests are still considered estimates, due to imperfect data.

    When a person wanting to give the test provides the DNA sample through the saliva, the company checks for variance in the saliva, as 99.9 percent of the DNA is the same in humans.

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    Idea 1: White Privilege Doesn’t Exist
    Idea 1: White Privilege Doesn’t Exist

    Jordan Peterson describes race as “post-modernist“ and claims that “white privilege” is instead “majority privilege” in a country founded by a white majority. 

    In doing so he over...

    Idea 2: The Left And Identity Politics

    Peterson believes that neither sides of the political extremes, right or left, represent the values of the majority and have gone too far on their demands. 

    Idea 3: On The Existence Of God

    Peterson believes that currently what makes someone a believer in God or not is not clearly defined. 

    “Belief” and “God” are very generic terms and deriving meaning from them is nearly impossible. 

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    Cognitive Bias
    Cognitive Bias

    Cognitive Bias is a predictable pattern of mental errors where we misperceive reality and move away from the most likely way of reaching our goals.

    These mental blind spots...

    Unconscious Bias

    Unconscious bias refers to unconscious forms of discrimination and stereotyping. Unconscious bias often leads to discrimination, be it deliberate or unintentional.

    Unconscious bias is different from cognitive biases. Cognitive biases relate to our brains' particular wiring, while unconscious bias refers to perceptions between different groups and are specific to different societies.

    How to Reduce Unconscious Bias
    • Recognise that the unconscious bias is a systemic issue. Internal cultures need to be checked and addressed first.
    • There is no shame or guilt in unconscious bias. Unconscious bias stems from our tendency to categorise people into social groups and often doesn't match our conscious values.
    • It takes a series of conversations and interventions to prevent and protect against unconscious bias.
    Voting in the 1700s

    For decades, only white property holders would have the right to vote in the United States. Moreover, some states even made sure that only Christian men had this vote.

    Voting in the 1800s

    Even though during the Reconstruction period, after the Civil War, individuals were supposed to be allowed to vote no matter their race, in the following decades many Southern states, by means of poll taxes or literacy tests, would still limit the right to vote of the African American men.

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    In 1920 women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment to the American Constitution.

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    The meaning of bridging differences
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    Bridging differences means finding ways to create positive dialogue and understanding across race, religion, political ideology, etc.

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    Bridge-building does not mean that you always agree with the other person or find common ground with them.

    • Bridging starts by recognizing that the other person or group has their own needs, tastes, values, goals, and worldview. Bridging happens because someone feels they have been heard and understood.
    • The key to bridging is that you don't dehumanize a member of another group. You don't see them as less worthy of health and happiness when you disagree with them.
    Bridging differences is not about persuasion

    Bridging differences is not to convert people to your ideological position.

    Bridging is trying to understand someone else's perspective. It requires asking them questions and seeing the world through their eyes.

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