Race: Reality and Denial
- Race: Reality and Denial
By Richard McCulloch
Website contains graphics and article is best read at above website.
(A shorter version of this article was published in the Winter, 2002 issue of The Occidental Quarterly at http://theoccidentalquarterly.com/vol2no4/rm-race.html)
In July of 2001 I went to see the movie Cats and Dogs. I arrived early enough to see the advertisements that are shown before the previews, and was surprised by one that boldly stated, "Wake up. Race is a myth. Racism is real. www.endracism.org." The effect was surreal. How could this Orwellian falsehood be on the screen? I had encountered examples of racial denial for almost a decade, but mostly on the fringes, in places not noticed by the masses, in obscure publications and websites. But seeing it on the silver screen made it seem so mainstream, so acceptable, so normal.
As an American of Northern European (Nordish) ancestry who loves my race and wants it to be preserved, I have long been concerned by its declining prospects. But sitting in that theater the continued existence of my race seemed more uncertain than ever, for nothing is more certain than that the political purpose of race denial is to become a self-fulfilling prophecy and cause the end, if not of every race, most certainly of my race. How can it be that the existence of that which I love and wish to preserve is being denied in this mainstream setting? How can it be possible that this mid-American audience is being given a powerful message that the object of my love and devotion does not exist, is not real, and that it is not acceptable to believe that it does exist?
If this message is now appearing on the screen of a movie theater, what is the message in the education system? The current "politically correct" teaching on the subject of racial reality is represented by the highly acclaimed 2003 PBS documentary series Race: The Power of an Illusion, and its matching website at http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00-Home.htm, produced by Larry Adelman and widely distributed and used throughout the education system. The essential message of this series is found in its ten points, or "quick facts," which are discussed in order below. The title of the series reveals its conclusion and message, that race is an illusion, not real, and a harmful illusion at that. In its December, 2003 issue Scientific American had an article on the subject which essentially supported the now "politically correct" position. The deceptive nature of this semi-orchestrated campaign is symbolized by the cover illustration. Of the six female faces supposedly representing individuals from different races only one face is real, a real person, the one of the Nordish blue-eyed blonde in the upper right corner. The other five faces are computer-generated modifications of the real face and not real examples of any race, although they are represented as such. The deceptive effect is to minimize the real differences of race by "nordicizing" all the races, making them appear to be much more similar to the Nordish race than they actually are.
How did all this come to pass? The denial of racial realities is nothing new. It has been around at least since the time of Franz Boas. It is the degree of denial that is new. Denying racial reality has taken many forms over the last century, escalating in degree as the cultural dominance and control of its promoters has grown. There has been denial of many racial differences, especially the mental differences that cannot be seen. There has been denial of the scope and magnitude of racial differences in an attempt to minimize them. There has been denial of the consequences of multiracial conditions, particularly racial intermixture and its racially destructive effects. Now it is the very reality and existence of the different races, of tangible things that can be seen, that is denied.
Given the history of escalating race denial over the preceding century, we should have expected this development. We should have seen it coming. Perhaps when we each first came across a claim that races were not real we dismissed it as incredulous nonsense not worthy of concern or response, as something no one would take seriously. But we should have taken it seriously. Now it is approaching a position of politically correct dominance in the media and academia, with all that this means. The very belief in the existence of different races is now in some quarters being equated with racism, and from there reductionist logic and causation link it ultimately with genocide. In such quarters they beg their argument by explicitly stating that the reality of race must be denied in order to end racism and prevent genocide. [Note #1]
It is a sad commentary on our worsening situation that the reality of race is even doubted, much less increasingly denied by the dominant culture. The denial of race is actually just the latest escalation in the efforts by the currently dominant multiracialist power structure to preempt, block and prevent consideration of Nordish racial interests and the real issues that confront the Nordish race, including the ultimate issue of racial preservation or survival. We have long been familiar with other tactics used for the same purpose which include, but are not limited to:
1. The minimization or trivialization of racial differences to portray them, and race itself, as having no meaning, importance or value, and thus as not worth preserving. The claim that race does not exist, or is not real, is the ultimate form of this tactic.
2. The claim that the Nordish race is already mixed. This is asserted both for the Nordish race as a whole and for specific individuals who do not appear to be mixed, although these claims are usually not specific or substantiated by evidence. These claims are presented as proof that racial mixture does not harm the Nordish race or its existence in any way, so it is not a threat and opposition to it is unjustified.
These tactics are really a cover or smokescreen to evade the real issues of Nordish racial interests, especially racial preservation. I have found that, when pressed, those who claim the Nordish race is mixed are those who want it to be mixed, and those who deny race are those who do not want race to exist, or at least do not want the Nordish race to exist. For it is the Nordish race, the race and racial type and traits of the peoples of Northern Europe, that they are specifically concerned with, and that is the central focus of their promotion of racial denial and mixture. The Nordish race is the race that the race deniers really do not want to exist, whose existence they want to destroy, and whose existence they therefore deny, even to the extent of denying the existence of race in general.
But these assertions are more than just wishful thinking by those who wish the Nordish race did not exist. They are also a means of wish fulfillment, a self-fulfilling prophecy, by preventing consideration of ultimate Nordish racial interests, for the traits that are minimized, trivialized, demeaned and denied, and by these tactics threatened with destruction, are the traits of the Nordish race. It is really the existence of the Nordish race that is being minimized, trivialized, demeaned, and denied, and the purpose of all these tactics is to prevent, evade and avoid consideration of the fact that the Nordish race is threatened with destruction. Denying the reality or existence of a race, or a people, greatly facilitates their destruction and reduction to non-existence.
I have been involved in many discussions, debates or arguments concerning the reality of race since my website (www.racialcompact.com) went on the internet in early 1998. Some of my arguments with race deniers have been direct, one-on-one exchanges. These have usually ended after my antagonists explicitly admitted their support, and even their desire, for Northern European extinction. [Note #2] More recently my involvement in these arguments has tended to be indirect, as visitors to my site who have used the material they found there in their own exchanges with race deniers have sought my advice and assistance.
These arguments usually follow a similar pattern. The race denier begins with attempts to discredit the traditional methods of racial classification, especially racial typology based on phenotype or physical appearance, the combination of all one's physical traits. Next they attempt to discredit the traditional racial divisions that are based on these methods of classification. The purpose of this is to create confusion, ambiguity and uncertainty about race. A definition of race is usually lacking from their argument, either because they do not know how to define it, or because they know that an accurate definition of race would refute their argument. Finally, when enough confusion and ambiguity has been created, they deny the reality of race. But if you press the matter it usually becomes clear that the real issue for them is not the methods of racial classification, nor even the reality of races -- the apparent focus of their argument -- but the issue of racial preservation, and especially the issue of Northern European racial preservation. So when all is said and done, the ultimate issue for them is the same as it is for me, the preservation of the Northern European peoples and their racial types. The difference is that they are against Northern European preservation and I am for it.
A common tactic of the race deniers is to demand proof of the reality of race, without setting a standard of what would constitute sufficient proof. This is related to their avoidance of an objective or accurate definition of race. Proof begins with an accurate definition, and it is the key to an effective refutation of the race denial argument.
So, what is this thing called race? To start at the beginning, the word race refers to the different geographic populations of humanity that share a common ancestry and can be distinguished from each other by an inherited combination of morphological traits, i.e., by genetically determined physical appearance or phenotype. Race thus refers both to populations and to the phenotypes that are associated with these populations and by which they are identified. These populations and phenotypes existed for many thousands of years before the word race became the common term to refer to them. Thus the definition of the word race is, quite simply, those populations and phenotypes to which it refers. This is, admittedly, circular logic, like Gertrude Stein's "a rose is a rose is a rose." But the existence and reality of things that are tangible, material, physical, and visible, that are clearly obvious to operable senses, is normally accepted as self-evident and not requiring external proof, as the proof is self-contained, in themselves. Reasonable people do not question their existence, or require proof of their reality based on some arbitrary standard. If the existence of something is denied, and the object is presented, its existence must be admitted. To deny the existence of something that is visibly present is unreasonable. The object that is denied by race deniers, race, is visibly present in abundance, both as individuals and as populations, far beyond any reasonable requirement.
The Evidence for Racial Reality
But if more proof is asked for, what kind of proof is required for the reality of race? What standard of proof is reasonable? If concrete proof is not enough, and the proof of abstract logic is required, the best proof is a convergence of proofs -- proof from different and independent lines of evidence that converge in mutual and consistent support for the same conclusion. Among the convergent lines of evidence that are consistent in mutually supporting the reality of race are geography, history, phenotype, evolutionary theory, forensic science and, most recently, genetic studies.
Races are geographically real. They are geographical populations, with a geographic distribution. They are, or were until recent times, geographically separated from other races. Their origin and existence is connected to a specific geographic region they have historically inhabited. The connection of geography and race is seen in the strong correlation between the degree of racial difference and the geographic distance separating the original habitats of the different races. The geographic connection occurs because races are breeding populations forming a common gene pool and stable racial environment over many generations, and before modern transportation advances this required that the native homeland of the race be geographically limited and compact. The continuation or preservation of the race also required geographic separation from other racial elements to prevent intermixture or replacement that would alter or destroy the race. This meant that other races had to be excluded from its geographic range, that its possession of its native homeland had to be racially exclusive. This exclusivity did not have to be total or absolute, but sufficient to create and preserve the race. Although migrations of racial elements outside of their original homelands have occurred, especially in the last five centuries, often intermixing with other races to create intermediate forms, the populations that remain in the original homelands act as control groups or standards of reference for racial classification and study. Emigrant populations that expanded the geographic range of their race into new habitats, and restricted their reproduction within their own race, continued to be of the same race as those in the native homelands, and in their racial heritage and origins they remained identified with those homelands. These geographic populations are facts on the ground, existing in the real world, in their own part of the world exactly where one would expect to find them, there for all to see. They are facts that can be observed and measured as part of objective reality, marked by their distinguishing physical characteristics or racial phenotype. National Geographic magazine, in its long history of publication, has published countless articles that irrefutably document the geographic connection, distribution, and reality, of race.
Races are historically real. The major races of Europe, Asia and Africa that we know today, as well as many of their subraces, are documented in the written historical record from its beginning over three thousand years ago, and in the artistic record over a thousand years earlier. The races of the Americas, Australia and the Pacific enter the historical record from the moment when the first Western explorers found them. From the dawn of history to our own time the existence, geographic location, distinguishing physical features and movements of these races have been a recognizable part of the historical record. Races are also prehistorically real. Modern pre-historians, anthropologists and archaeologists have pushed our knowledge of the modern races back thousands of years before the beginnings of written history. It is clear that the races we know today have existed, in a continuum of generations, for many thousands of years.
Races are phenotypically real. Phenotype, the physical part of race that we can see, and so must admit that race is at least that if nothing more, is tangibly and visibly real. It is also the visible proof that race is inherited, that it is genetically transmitted from generation to generation with scientific consistency and predictability. This means that race is genetically real, determined by the genes, that it is in the genes and from the genes, which means that race is a biological phenomenon, and biologically real. Phenotype -- the genetically inherited and determined traits of physical appearance -- is also the definitive racial identifier used to classify race. Every race has a certain range of different phenotypes or racial elements within its population. But there is no phenotypic overlap between the major racial divisions of humanity. If you took three groups of one hundred individuals each from Nigeria, England and China -- with each group being representative of their native populations the average person would have no difficulty identifying which group was which. Even if they were all mixed together, the average person would have no difficulty separating them by phenotype into their correct racial category with complete accuracy. However, phenotypic overlap is often found between the racial subdivisions within the major racial divisions. If you took three groups of one hundred individuals each from three different subdivisions of the Caucasian racial division, represented by England, Italy and Syria -- with each group being representative of their native populations -- the average person would again have no difficulty identifying which group was which. Although there would be some phenotypic overlap between the English and Italian groups, and between the Italian and Syrian groups, each group would contain a large majority of phenotypes that would be rare or absent from the other groups. If the groups were mixed together the average person would probably be less than completely accurate in separating the English from the Italians, or the Italians from the Syrians, but it is likely that he would be completely accurate in separating the English from the Syrians. Phenotype proves that race is real. But it also shows that part of that reality is that race is a continuum, marked by many subdivisions with subtle gradations of racial change that correlate with spatial and temporal distance.
On page 211 of their book Race: The Reality of Human Differences (2004), authors Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele explain the role of phenotype in racial classification. Unlike those biologists who make politically correct denials of the scientific reality of race without providing any standard of what is required for race to be considered real, Sarich and Miele do provide us with standards for race for non-human species that are accepted by biologists. There is no accepted genetic standard as genetic knowledge is still too incomplete (as the authors point out, until very recently dogs could not be genetically distinguished from wolves), but there is a long-accepted phenotypic standard based on "sorting accuracy." Basically, by this standard, if the biologists who specialize in the study of a species can sort two different populations of the species based on phenotype or physical traits with 75% or more accuracy they are considered to be separate races. The authors point out that although races, unlike species, are not discrete, so some phenotypic overlap is to be expected of them, the fact is that there are at least twenty human populations that can be phenotypically distinguished from each other with a sorting accuracy of 100%. By the actual standards applied by biologists to non-human species, that of 75% or more sorting accuracy, there are literally hundreds of separate human races. The authors state that most people could even achieve close to 100% sorting accuracy in distinguishing the populations of Athens and Copenhagen. I would add that most people could also probably achieve a greater than 75% sorting accuracy in distinguishing the indigenous populations of London and Paris. So it is only by hypocritical double standards, applying different standards to the human species than non-human species, that biologists can deny the reality of human races. This standard allows the authors to state: "if we employ a straightforward definition of race -- for example, a population within a species that can be readily distinguished from other such populations on genetic grounds alone (that is, using only heritable features) -- then there can be no doubt of the existence of a substantial number of human races."
In my discussions with race deniers I find that they almost never provide an accurate definition of race, and usually no definition at all, so my first step is to both demand and provide an accurate definition. Sarich and Miele note this problem when they begin "this trip out of political correctness and into reality" by providing an accurate working definition of race, as follows: "Races are populations, or groups of populations, within a species, that are separated geographically from other such populations or groups of populations and distinguishable from them on the basis of heritable features" (page 207).
Evolutionary theory supports the reality of human races. It assumes that the extent of biological variation within a species correlates with the extent of its geographic range. The greater the geographic range the greater the degree of biological variation. Race is biological variation. The human species has had a hemispheric geographic range for perhaps 100,000 years and a global geographic range for at least 10,000 years, and displays the high degree of biological variation that evolutionary theory expects and predicts from such a widely distributed population. Biological variation is the driving force behind evolution and the creation of new species. It is caused by the separation of populations by geographic distance or barriers. It would be inconsistent with evolutionary theory if the human species, with its unsurpassed level of geographical population separation, did not display a highly developed degree of biological variation, developing or evolving into different races. There is a logical progression to evolution. It is continuous, from phylum to class to order to family to genus to species to race. It does not stop with species. It creates races, which develop in turn into new species. Race is the evolutionary stage of a population before it becomes a different species. To deny it is to claim that evolution has stopped.
Forensic science supports the reality of the human races, and can racially identify race from skeletal remains with great accuracy, as described by forensic scientist George Gill: [Note #3]
The "reality of race" depends more on the definition of reality than on the definition of race. If we choose to accept the system of racial taxonomy that physical anthropologists have traditionally established -- major races: black, white, etc. -- then one can classify human skeletons within it just as well as one can living humans. The bony traits of the nose, mouth, femur, and cranium are just as revealing to a good osteologist as skin color, hair form, nose form, and lips to the perceptive observer of living humanity. I have been able to prove to myself over the years, in actual legal cases, that I am more accurate at assessing race from skeletal remains than from looking at living people standing before me. So those of us in forensic anthropology know that the skeleton reflects race, whether "real" or not, just as well if not better than superficial soft tissue does. The idea that race is "only skin deep" is simply not true, as any experienced forensic anthropologist will affirm.
Race is genetically real. Genetics is the newest branch of evidence to support the reality of race. Ironically, genetics is the line of evidence that race deniers favor, in fact it is often the only one that they will accept, in the belief that it supports their contention that race is not real. In reality, and in spite of the obligatory protestations to the popular press by geneticists to the contrary, race does exist in the genes and is genetically determined. There are also many genetic differences between the races in genes that are not determinative of race. There are countless genetic studies that show racial differences in the frequencies of different gene sequences and genetic traits, although the term population is commonly used as a euphemism for race.
The primary reason that race deniers claim that genetics proves that race is not real is the percentage of genetic differences between the races. They claim that the percentages are too small to constitute different races. They do not say what standard is applied to determine what percentage of genetic difference is required to constitute a race, only that the difference between human populations is too small. But no percentage of genetic difference has ever been asserted as a basis for racial classification. Indeed, until the last two decades scientists and laymen alike had little idea what the percentage of genetic differences was between races, or between species. When they make this argument, race deniers do not mention that the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees is also much smaller than the layman would tend to expect. Most genetic studies show a genetic difference of 1.24% to 1.7% between humans and chimpanzees, with the most commonly cited figure being 1.6% [Note #4]. But this represents far more than the genetic difference between races. It is more than the genetic difference between species, and even more than the genetic difference between genera. It represents the genetic difference between taxonomic Families, because humans and chimpanzees are in different biological Families. Humans are in the Family Hominidae (of which they are the only surviving species) and chimpanzees, our species' closest living relatives, are in the Family Pongidae.
What are the percentages of genetic differences between the human races? Perhaps the best study to date on this subject is that of Masatoshi Nei and Arun K. Roychoudhury (1993) [Note #5]. Nei and Roychoudhury use a different methodology than that of L.L. Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1988) which in their opinion "introduced unreasonable branching patterns into phylogenetic trees," a reference to Cavalli-Sforza's grouping of Northeast Asians in the same cluster with Caucasians rather than with Southern Chinese and Southeast Asians. The following percentages of genetic differences between human populations and the phylogenetic tree below are from their study. The chimpanzee percentage is added for context and a standard of comparison.
If one were to spatially visualize the first column of the above scale, with a German standing at a distance of 20 feet from an Englishman, a Finn would stand at a distance of 50 feet, an Italian at 70 feet, a northern Indian at 200 feet, a Japanese at 610 feet, a North American Amerindian at 760 feet, a Nigerian at 1,330 feet, and a Chimpanzee at 16,000 feet. The greatest percentage of genetic difference is .176% between Nigerians and Australian Aborigines. This is 11% of the genetic difference of 1.6% between humans and chimpanzees, different biological Families whose ancestral lines are believed to have separated 5-7 million years ago. [Note #6] The .133% genetic difference between the English and Nigerian populations is 8.3% as large as the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees. The .061% genetic difference between the English and Japanese or Korean populations is 3.8% as large as the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees. Seen in this context, these are very significant genetic differences. It is also worth noting that for both the English and the Japanese, representing Europeans and Northeast Asians, the greatest percentage of genetic difference is with the Nigerians, and that the degree of this difference, .133% for the English and .149% for the Japanese, is very similar. By comparison, the English and Japanese degree of difference from the Australian Aborigine population, .122% for the English and .062% for the Japanese, is very different, with the English-Australoid difference twice as great as the Japanese-Australoid difference. The phylogenetic tree below graphically illustrates the genetic relationships of the different populations.
Phylogenetic tree (above) for 26 representative human populations from Nei and Roychoudhury (1993). The major divisions of human populations are Africans (A), Caucasians (B), Greater Asians (C), Amerindians (D) and Australopapuans (E).
This phylogenetic tree shows that genetic studies group the populations of humanity into superclusters and clusters that are consistent with the traditional racial divisions and subdivisions, providing genetic proof that race is real and that the traditional racial classifications are accurate. The political statements made by geneticists to the popular press to the effect that their studies show that "race is not a valid scientific concept," or that "race has no genetic or scientific basis," should be seen in this context and perspective. Such politically motivated statements cast doubt on the integrity of the scientific process as practiced by these geneticists, tending to discredit their studies.
A secondary genetic argument of the race deniers is attributed to Harvard professor Richard Lewontin, who first proposed it in 1972. This is the claim, based on a standard measure of variation known as "Wright's fixation index" or FST, that only 15% of human genetic variability is racial, or between different populations and unique to each race, while 85% is non-racial or race neutral, between individuals and common to every race, presumably from the beginning of the modern human species. Lewontin and others have used this measurement to argue that the variation between different human populations is too small to justify classifying them as different subspeces or races, with the implication that the Nordish part of the 15% of genetic variability that is racial is expendable for the achievement of a world in which race, or at least the Northern European or Nordish race, does not exist. This claim is really a value judgment, and one which has been increasingly adopted as politically correct by the academic community, consistent with its ongoing Boasian agenda to minimize, trivialize and deny the importance or reality of race and racial differences, and thereby delegitimize and discredit racial preservationist concerns. It is repeated as point 5 of the 10 points in the PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion, discussed below. But those who make this value judgment, beginning with Lewontin, fail to provide a standard for the FST measurement for context and comparison. This is for good reason, as Lewontin's value judgment is not supported by, or consistent with, the FST measurement system itself, but contradicts it. Addressing this issue, the degree of variation between different human populations, the inventor of the FST measure, the late Sewell Wright, stated emphatically that "if racial differences this large were seen in another species, they would be called subspecies." (Nicholas Wade, Before the Dawn, 2006, pp. 191-193.) And in fact this is the case, as the populations of many other species with levels of variation similar to that found between different human populations are classified as subspecies. (see http://www.goodrumj.com/RFaqHTML.html)
Finally, there is also the question of whether the FST measurement system is really the most accurate method of measuring the variation between populations. Sarich and Miele (Race: The Reality of Human Differences, p. 169) detail Harry Harpending's 2002 calculation showing that the true proportion of human genetic variability that is racial is 32.5%, not 15% as measured by the FST system, upon which standard the "Lewontin fallacy" is wrongly claimed to be based:
First is the 15 percent that is interpopulational. The other 85 percent will then split half and half (42.5 percent) between the intra- and interindividual within-population comparisons. The increase in variability in between-population comparisons is thus 15 percent against the 42.5 percent [not 85 percent] that is between-individual within-population. Thus, 15/42.5 = 32.5 percent [as opposed to 15/100 = 15 percent]
The cumulative effect of theses converging lines of evidence should make it clear beyond any reasonable doubt that race is real. But before we come to the conclusion that the claims of the race deniers are beyond reason, some of their more common arguments should be examined.
Arguments for Racial Denial
(1) The genetic ignorance argument. We do not yet know what genes are actually involved in determining racial differences, or how they do it. Race deniers use this to claim that race is not genetically real. Yet no one can reasonably dispute that race consists of inherited traits, transmitted by parents to their children, and inherited traits must be genetic traits, as the only means known by science to transmit inherited traits is through the genes. Also, we do not yet know what genes are involved in causing many diseases that are known to be inherited, yet because we know they are inherited we know they are caused by genes, and the search for these genes is the purpose of most genetic studies.
(2) Argument by trivialization. This argument admits the reality of population differences, both physical and genetic, but claims they are of no importance and are not great enough to qualify as racial differences. This argument attempts to make the issue of racial reality a subjective value judgment, and belittles the biological variation that exists between the diverse human populations as being of no value or importance, and not a legitimate matter for concern, love or devotion. Basically, this argument asserts that the only human traits that are valuable or important are those traits shared by all humans in common, while racial differences, those traits that are unique to particular populations and not shared by all, are of no significance.
(3) Argument by false definition. Race deniers frequently confuse race and species in their argument, setting a standard for race that is the same as the standard for species, implicitly applying the definition of species to race. Since humanity is one species, with no different human species, it is then argued by false definition that there are no different human races, defining race out of existence. The distinguishing difference between species and race, of course, is that species cannot interbreed, or at least do not interbreed under natural conditions, while races can and do interbreed when there is extensive contact between them. Race deniers wrongly use the existence of hybrid or racially-mixed individuals and populations, which prove that the different human populations interbreed and are therefore races rather than species, as proof that all humans are of one race, not different races, confusing race with species and defining race out of existence. As one recent study states:
If biological is defined as genetic then a decade or more of population genetics research has documented genetic, and therefore biological, differentiation among the races.[I]t is difficult to conceive of a definition of 'biological' that does not lead to racial differentiation, except perhaps one as extreme as speciation. [Note #7]
An example of the effort to define race out of existence can be found on the website of Palomar College. [Note #8] It sets up a strawman, a false definition and very narrow and strict standard of what constitutes race, allowing it to deny the reality of race on the grounds that human variation does not meet that standard or definition:
"Most physical anthropologists would agree that this human variation is not now sufficient to warrant defining separate biological races, varieties, or sub-species. However, it very likely was in our prehistoric past."
But if races did exist, were real, in our prehistoric past, when did they cease to exist and stop being real? What happened to them, that caused them to no longer be races? How did it happen? When did it happen? What is the standard that determines what degree of human variation is sufficient to warrant defining separate biological races, for race to be considered to be real? When was this standard created, and who created it? What standard, if any, did it replace? Did the reality of race ever depend on a standard set by physical anthropologists? Was not the term "race" common usage to refer to identifiable populations and individuals, and defined as those identifiable populations and individuals, long before physical anthropology existed? And if the use of the term race to refer to identifiable populations and individuals predated the existence of physical anthropology, how and why should physical anthropologists presume to redefine it out of existence? Or is it not that races have changed, but that the racial composition of academia has changed, that classrooms, student bodies, campuses and faculties have been multiracialized, and that this multiracial environment discourages any expression of racial consciousness and identity, even the belief that race is real, as racially divisive?
So, how should race be defined? As with other things that exist, an accurate definition of race is one that describes it as it is, as it really is, as it really exists. The definitions of race in the encyclopedias and dictionaries that I grew up with described something real, race as it really is, and by those definitions race exists and is real. Race and the reality of race have not changed. It is the definitions of race that have changed, as the race deniers attempt to change the definition of race to redefine it out of existence. If race does exist as described in earlier standard definitions, but does not exist as described in the new definition of the race deniers, that means that the new definition is wrong and does not accurately describe the reality of race, not that race is not real. An accurate definition describes something as it is, not by some abstract concept of what it should be, and then declare that it does not exist when it does not match that concept. Race is not an abstract concept but something that is tangibly and visibly real. The race deniers who say they do not believe in the "concept" of race know this. They know what the common usage of the term race refers to, what the accurate definition of race is, and what we mean when we refer to race. They know what we are talking about, and they know it is real. But the race deniers are too clever by half. They know the only way they can deny race is to create a false definition under which race does not exist, and by which they can pretend to refute the reality of race. The reasons for their success in this argument, like their motives, are political, not scientific.
(4) Argument by false methods of racial identification and classification. Similar to #3 above, this argument claims that the traditional typological methods of racial identification and classification based on morphological traits or phenotype is arbitrary. It contends that other methods would yield very different results, classifying different types as measured by these different methods into groupings that differ from the traditional racial groupings, making them meaningless and arbitrary. Blood groups, for example, are not distributed in a manner that coincides with the traditional racial groupings. But the traditional methods of racial classification by racial typology or physical appearance are not arbitrary for the simple reason that they are based on, reflect and are consistent with the real geographic populations of humanity, as they really exist, and therefore with objectively observable and verifiable reality. They are the traits that differ between these real populations, the differences in physical appearance by which these populations can be accurately distinguished and identified, and by which they are and have been accurately distinguished and identified for millennia. Those traits that are not distributed in a manner that coincides with real populations are not valid methods of racial identification in the real world.
(5) The continuum and differentiation arguments. This is an argument based on the real complexity of race, that refutes the many simplistic concepts and systems of racial classification and then pretends that it has refuted the reality of race. The reality is that race is a complex of multiple continuums with gradations of intermediate, hybrid or mixed types (called clines) between the distinct types at the ends of the continuums. These clines are geographically distributed in clinal zones located between the regions inhabited by the distinct types. Race deniers argue that these intermediate, mixed or clinal types make scientifically accurate differentiation between the races impossible. Dividing lines between races in the intermediate ranges of the racial continuums are often difficult to determine and appear arbitrary, especially in simplistic classification systems that attempt to fit all human populations into a few major races. The race deniers exploit this complexity to discredit the accuracy of the simplistic classification systems and then deny the reality of the complexity. But the existence of continuums or clines, rather than disproving the reality of race, is actually a characteristic of race and thus serves as proof of its reality. If there were no racial continuums or clines there would be no intermediate forms, no interbreeding between the races, and humanity would be divided into species rather than races. Without different races there could be no continuums or clines between them, so the existence of continuums is proof of the existence of races. As stated in the study cited above, "The existence of such intermediate groups should not overshadow the fact that the greatest genetic structure that exists in the human population occurs at the racial level." [Note #9]
(6) The scientific obsolescence argument. This argument claims that the idea of race is based on a false, outdated and obsolete concept of science from a previous era, e.g., the "colonial era," the 17th century, etc. In other words, it says that belief in race is backward, outdated and "old-fashioned," an adjective that has great weight with those who like to see themselves as advanced thinkers. It cites false beliefs or myths about race from those earlier eras that are easily refuted as proof of this claim, and by refuting these false beliefs pretends that it has refuted the reality of race. Every branch of science has suffered from many false beliefs and theories during its history. Physics, biology and medicine began in the 6th-4th centuries B.C. and each has had a long history of false beliefs and theories, yet these sciences are still recognized as valid. They are not regarded as obsolete because of discarded false beliefs.
(7) The social or political construct argument. Race deniers and deconstructionists often claim that race is a social or political construct that has no biological or genetic reality. This argument includes the claim that the idea of race was created in America, with the first contact of Europeans with other major races and the subsequent centuries of their political and social inequality, and that America exported its concept of race to Europe and the rest of the world. This argument (which shares some ideas with #6 above) often gains credence from biologists and geneticists who try to avoid the political controversies surrounding race by claiming it is not relevant to their studies. But it collapses when confronted with an accurate definition of race and the most basic evidence of racial reality. The irony is that the idea that race is not real has itself been socially and politically constructed during the last several decades. The following newspaper article from 1996 shows this process of construction and many of the race denial arguments and techniques, with my comments in brackets: [Note #10]
WASHINGTON -- Thanks to spectacular advances in molecular biology and genetics, most scientists now reject the concept of race as a valid way to divide human beings into separate groups. [What 'spectacular" advances? Genetic studies show the validity of race, and other sources claim that "most scientists" accept that validity.] Contrary to widespread public opinion, researchers no longer believe that races are distinct biological categories created by differences in the genes that people inherit from their parents [Argument #1 above. Not inherited from parents? No scientist is quoted as saying this.]...."Race has no basic biological reality," said Jonathan Marks, a Yale University biologist.Instead, a majority of biologists and anthropologists, drawing on a growing body of evidence accumulated since the 1970s, have concluded that race is a social, cultural and political concept based largely on superficial appearances. "In the social sense race is a reality. In the scientific sense, it is not," said Michael Omi, a specialist in ethnic studies at the University of California at Berkeley. [Argument #7]
The idea that races are not the product of human genes may seem to contradict common sense. [Races not the product of genes? As in the similar statement above, no scientist is quoted as saying this.] "The average citizen reacts with frank disbelief when told there is no such thing as race," said C. Loring Brace, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan. "The skeptical layman will shake his head and regard this as further evidence of the innate silliness of those who call themselves intellectuals." [The pre-emptive argument, #13 below]
The new understanding of race draws on work in many fields. "Vast new data in human biology, prehistory and paleontology...have completely revamped the traditional notions," said Solomon Katz, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania. This is a switch from the prevailing dogma of the 19th and much of the 20th century. During that period most scientists believed that humans could be sorted into a few...inherited racial types [The obsolescence argument, #6 above]....As recently as 1985, anthropologists split 50-50 when one of their number, Leonard Lieberman of Central Michigan University, asked in a survey if they believe in the existence of separate biological races....As a sign of the change, Lieberman said most anthropology textbooks published in this decade [the 1990s] have stopped teaching the concept of biological race....[T]he revised concept of race...reflects recent scientific work with DNA...."We are beginning to get good data at the DNA level," said a Yale geneticist, Kenneth Kidd....[which]"support the concept that you can't draw boundaries around races." [The continuum argument, #5 above]
Most of the arguments for race denial are present in this report. The two statements that race is not genetically inherited from parents, and is not the product of genes, are central to the contention that race is socially or politically constructed, not biologically constructed, and thus not biologically, genetically or scientifically real. No scientist is actually quoted in this report making these statements, but they are placed amid quotes from scientists, creating the impression that this is what scientists say. If the claim is true that race is not inherited from parents and ancestors, transmitted consistently from generation to generation, then it is not genetic or biological, and the contention that it is socially or politically constructed will stand. But if race is inherited from parents and ancestors then it must be genetic, and if genetic it is biological, genetically and biologically determined and constructed, and cannot be socially or politically constructed. If race is seen at the level of individual phenotypes it is obvious that it is consistently inherited from the parents and ancestors. The inheritance of race is so consistent that obvious exceptions to it might not even exist.
So what is the source of the contention that race is a social and political construct, created by the social and political environment and not by inherited genes? This contention is very similar to the theory of Lysenkoism, and this similarity reveals its common source. Trofim Lysenko (1898-1976) was a Soviet biologist who theorized that environmentally acquired characteristics could be inherited. This theory, by denying genetic determinism, supported the possibility of achieving an egalitarian utopia by environmental engineering. This coincided with Marxist ideology, so Lysenko's theory became biological dogma promoted and enforced by the Soviet government. The result was that Soviet biology was hampered in the study of genetics, the real means of inheritance, and fell behind the rest of the world. The current contention that race is not genetically determined, not biologically real, but is socially or politically constructed, derives in large part from the same ethno-racial source, and the same political motive and purpose, as Marxist ideology. In fact, race denial is even more radical in its rejection of reality than Lysenkoism. In pursuit of its egalitarian vision it does not merely claim that race can be altered by the inheritance of environmentally acquired traits, but that race is not inherited in any biological sense at all, that biology and genes have no role in its construction or creation. It contends instead that race is totally constructed (created) by environmental factors (i.e., political and social factors). The Marxist ideological tradition is the logical source of this contention.
This Marxist connection is given further support by the ethnic dynamics of race denial. The victim of race denial is the European races, and especially the Northern European race. It is they, and only they, who are actually threatened with dispossession and destruction by multiracialism, a process assisted by race denial. The beneficiaries of race denial, those who want to "abolish the white race" -- in the terms of Noel Ignatiev, a long-time Marxist-Jewish activist for both Marxism and the destruction of the European races under cover of the Marxist theory that races are social classes rather than biological populations -- are non-Europeans. Their classic Marxist revolutionary goal is to overthrow, dispossess, destroy and replace the European race, and in Marxist fashion they define it as a social class, socially constructed, rather than a race. Their class enemy, the oppressive and privileged "social class" that they want to abolish, is the "white" race. In the context in which they use the term, "white" refers only to the European peoples, and especially the Northern European peoples. There always was an ethno-racial agenda behind Marxism, and the Marxist-Jewish promoters of that agenda have caused great harm to the European peoples over the last century. [Note #11] Noel Ignatiev proves that this anti-Northern European Marxist racial agenda is still operating against the interests of the Northern European race.
Since the 1960s the racial agenda of Marxism, and the Marxist political "Left," has become more obvious. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century the "Left" identified the aristocracy and "bourgeois capitalists" as the "class enemies," "exploiters" or "oppressors" to be overthrown by revolution and destroyed. In the late twentieth century it increasingly targeted the "white" race as the enemy, as an oppressive and evil racial elite that must be overthrown by any means necessary. Consistent with this view, the "Left" has revealed a distinctly anti-Northern European bias, causing it to single-out the Northern European race for marginalization, devaluation, dispossession and extinction. By the end of the 1960s this bias had become explicit, as illustrated by the following account concerning the militant Weatherman faction of the Students for a Democratic Society:
I remember going to the last above ground Weatherman convention, and sitting in a room and the question that was debated was, "Was it or was it not the duty of every good revolutionary to kill all newborn white babies." At that point it seemed like a relevant framing of an issue, the logic being, "Hey look, through no fault of their own these white kids were going to grow up to be part of an oppressive racial establishment internationally, and so really your duty is to kill newborn white babies." I remember one guy kind of tentatively and apologetically suggesting that that seemed like it may be contradictory to the larger humanitarian aims of the movement, and being kind of booed down. [Note #12]
By the end of the 1960s Racial Marxism, focused on race rather than class, was explicit. Perhaps it was too explicit. So it sought cover by disguising itself in the classic Marxist jargon of class struggle, only now the class enemy was the "white" or Northern European race, redefined as a class. In defining the Northern European race, or "white" race, as a social class, Racial Marxists theorized that the "white" race was politically and socially constructed by its position as a privileged and oppressive social class exploiting other classes that were socially defined as non-white. According to this theory the "white" race did not exist genetically or biologically, but only as a ruling social class. Those who were members of the ruling class were "white" while those who were not members were non-white. By this theory the "white" race only exists when there is another class defined as non-white that is politically and socially below it that it rules and oppresses. Also according to this theory the "white" race only came into existence when Europeans made contact with non-European peoples during their conquest and colonization of the Americas, and established themselves as a ruling political and social class over the native and other non-European peoples. The Europeans then became "white" and the non-Europeans became non-whites. The concept of race was then socially and politically constructed in the Americas to legitimize and secure the ruling position of the "white" social class.
This theory is blatantly simplistic in its reduction of race into two groups: "white" and non-white. The peoples of East Asia and Central Africa certainly regard themselves as different races, as do the native peoples of the Americas. But the Racial Marxists cannot admit any differentiation other than "white" and non-white. To do so would refute their definition of race as socially constructed classes. Also, the European races did not change biologically, genetically or racially in the 16th or 17th century Americas when and where they began to exist in close contact with other races for the first time. European-Americans of the 17th and 18th centuries were not biologically, genetically or racially different from their pre-16th century European ancestors, or from their European contemporaries. Irish-Americans of the 20th century were not biologically, genetically or racially changed from their pre-16th century Irish ancestors, or from their contemporaries in Ireland. The dialectic of Racial Marxism claims the "white" race only came into existence with the colonization of the Americas by Europeans in the 16th and 17th centuries. But what historical race inhabited Europe in the Middle Ages and before if not the "white" race, the biological ancestors of the people now classified as "white?" If this were simply a matter of semantics, with Racial Marxists using the term "white" for class rather than race, and using other terms for racial classification, their argument would have some credibility. But what they say is that race is socially and politically constructed, that this began in the Americas in the 16th and 17th century, and then spread to Europe and the world.
It can be argued that the awareness of human racial differences began in the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries as the different races first came into contact. But the different races existed, were real, long before they came into contact with each other. The contact did not create the races. It created awareness and knowledge of the different races, and that led to the study and classification of race. Contrary to the theories of Racial Marxism, America did not create race, nor did it give race to Europe. America created multiracialism, different races living together in close contact in the same territory, and in the second half of the 20th century multiracialism spread to Europe, largely through the efforts of the Racial Marxists. In the America of previous centuries the existence of different social classes based on race restricted and slowed the process of racial intermixture that is the logical consequence of multiracialism. But in the second half of the 20th century, largely through the efforts of the Racial Marxists, the social class barriers between the races that restricted intermixture were attacked and largely removed, making it possible for the full consequences of multiracialism -- Northern European racial destruction through intermixture -- to be realized. Race denial is part of this process of Northern European racial destruction, conceptually destroying the Northern European race to promote its physical destruction.
The social and political construct argument is not about social class but about race. It is not about science, but about politics, racial politics. It did not originate from any scientific discovery, but from the rise of multiracialism and the racial transformation it is causing. It is not motivated or driven by scientific interests, but by the ethno-racial interests of the rising non-European groups. Those who make this argument are not destroying or abolishing a social class. They are trying to abolish or destroy the Northern European race.
Race is biological, a creation of genetics, biology, nature and life. It is biologically constructed through evolution by the same process of divergence that has created all the diversity of life. The legal status of being a citizen of a multiracial country is politically and socially constructed, a creation of men and their laws rather than biology and nature. This is nowhere more evident than in a mass multiracial naturalization ceremony in which a racially mixed group of applicants become naturalized citizens. The applicants of different races can change their citizenship and national status by a simple legal procedure. But their race is determined by their genetic inheritance from their ancestors, and cannot be changed.
(8) The argument that the individual variation within populations is greater than the variation between the averages of the different populations or, put another way, that most human variation occurs between individuals rather than races. This is another attempt to minimize the significance and value of racial differences. But it compares extremes with averages, and the traits it compares are not the traits that are racially definitive, not traits that characterize any real geographic population, not the traits by which we identify races and distinguish them from each other.
(9) Argument by intimidation. This is often the first method of argument, hoping that the opponent will cower and retreat before a verbal onslaught of insults, threats and accusations, and that a substantive argument would not need to be made. If it fails, and the more substantive argument also fails, it is also often the argument of last resort as the race denier reverts to it.
(10) Argument by distortion. Race deniers frequently distort, falsify or misrepresent the arguments for the reality of race, including racial definitions and systems of classification, in part to create a strawman that can be easily refuted, and in part simply to cause confusion.
(11) One-sided argument. This is the milieu in which race denial thrives and in which it has been promoted, an Orwellian intellectual milieu of de facto censorship in which the arguments of racial denial are stated as simple fact and no counter-argument, challenge or rebuttal is permitted. Given that many, if not all, of the race denial arguments are fallacies that could be easily refuted, this is probably also the milieu required for race denial to succeed. The above newspaper article is an example of this technique, making many questionable statements that are not questioned because the report is completely one-sided.
(12) Begging the argument. The theater advertisement mentioned at the beginning of this essay is an example of this, the claim that the reality of race has to be denied in order to end racism. According to this argument, those who believe in the reality of race are perpetuating and abetting racism and giving aid and comfort to its practitioners. If one is opposed to racism and wants to end it, this argument begs, one must deny the reality of race. As forensic scientist George Gill observes:
Those who believe that the concept of race is valid do not discredit the notion of clines. Yet those with the clinal perspective who believe that races are not real do try to discredit the evidence of skeletal biology. Why this bias from the "race denial" faction? This bias seems to stem largely from socio-political motivation and not science at all. For the time being at least, the people in "race denial" are in "reality denial" as well. Their motivation (a positive one) is that they have come to believe that the race concept is socially dangerous. In other words, they have convinced themselves that race promotes racism. Therefore, they have pushed the politically correct agenda that human races are not biologically real, no matter what the evidence.
Consequently, at the beginning of the 21st century, even as a majority of biological anthropologists favor the reality of the race perspective, not one introductory textbook of physical anthropology even presents that perspective as a possibility. In a case as flagrant as this, we are not dealing with science but rather with blatant, politically motivated censorship. [Note #13]
(13) Pre-emptive or anticipatory argument. As in the quote of C. Loring Brace in the above newspaper article, this technique anticipates the normal reaction to the argument and pre-empts it by stating it first. This advance statement is simply presumed to refute the anticipated reaction although it does not actually address or answer it.
(14) Argument from authority. When attempting to convince people that what they see with their own eyes is not real, does not exist, and is not to be believed, it helps to be supported by supposed experts and authorities who are presumed to have superior knowledge of the subject. Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Emperor's New Clothes" is the classic description of this technique, and the growing denial of the reality of race, supported by statements from scientists who are the supposed experts and authorities, proves that he did not exaggerate. The above newspaper article is an excellent example of this technique. Yet much of the racial denial by the scientific community is intellectually dishonest. Scientists still study race at the genetic level, only they do not use the word "race," using the word "population" instead. The geographic populations they study, which they prefer in native and unmixed (i.e., racially pure or distinct) form, are of course races, and have been referred to as races for centuries. But modern scientists do not study racial phenotypes, the traits that identify and define race, that are race, and therefore should not be regarded as experts or authorities on racial typology or identification. Their ability and knowledge in this area may be no greater than the average person. Yet one does not need to be an expert to recognize race by phenotype. Everyone does it, including the scientists who say that race is too ambiguous to recognize. All of us racially identify every person we look at, automatically, unintentionally and involuntarily. This is natural, a fact of nature. We all have the important ability to recognize our own kind and distinguish it from other kind. Given the focus of this ability, it is very accurate at distinguishing our own kind or race from other races, and less accurate at distinguishing other races from each other. We know our own kind, our own race, best. This is where the so-called ambiguity of racial identification by phenotype is found. But the people of other races are able to distinguish their own race from other races with great accuracy. Their racial identification is not ambiguous to them, but as distinct and real as our race is to us.
The scientists who deny the accuracy of racial typology use it to racially identify people in their everyday lives, outside of their specialty, as much as the rest of us. So why the denial of something they have done all their lives? Why the claim that what they do all the time cannot be done? Most of the same scientists who now deny the reality of race made no such denial, and found no difficulty or ambiguity in racial identification, twenty or thirty years ago. So what has changed? What has happened to cause the scientifically recognized races of thirty years ago to now be denied? What discovery or addition to knowledge has proven that race does not exist? What proof was and is required for the reality of race, and why? What is the standard for race to be real, by what definition of race, and who set that standard and definition? It seems that the supposed experts about race are trying very hard to be ignorant of race, to know nothing about race, to deny race, to make themselves believe that race does not exis<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)