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What is Race?
Posted By AfriDigiDiva on January 11, 2009 | Edit  

On the surface it seems as though the answer would be simple. Most of us older than 40 were taught that there were three races of humans - Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid. This had been the prevalent mindsent for centuries. You were either Black, White or Asian. If you were of "mixed raced", then you were considered the less dominate race. So even if one parent were black and the other Asian, you were considered black because Asians were considered black.

And we won't get into the "one drop" rule that dominated the South and gave us a new vocabulary –mulatto, octaroon, quadroon and the like. Basically, if there was one iota of the thought of the possibility that there was someone in your family who might have been black or had blackness in them, then you were black.

Here's what's wrong with that old premise. We grew up. Well most of us grew up. You see for those born after 1968, you have always been either AfroAmerican or African American. It wasn't until the 1970s that your group became full-time black. Now either is interchangeable. Those of us before 1968, we have been black, negro, colored, darkie. Even now if I run across an older person not of color, I'm not quite certain what I would be called. Negress has been my favorite. It seems the deeper into the south we dive, the less politically correct we are. Somehow, in the deep "dirty south", we have always known where we stood.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • AfriDigiDiva, I so understand your delemma America has been a melting pot, American’s are viewed as mongrols to the rest of the world whom are by all standards are pretty much purer bloodlines than we are in America.  

      I think that race labling exists in all cultures but I too like MrsLorid have so many mixed races, so mixed and my children even moreso, when we are asked what our race is... we dont like to be labled a color.

      I think Color lables are what is partly wrong when your asked what race you are in America, its almost become a MUTE point since we are all so mixed. They make you check the box if your mixed and have a lighter skin tone as caucasian when you dont feel that lable is correct.

      Im Cherokee, Scottish / Highlander, Italian, Irish, jewish, french, German and English.  Maybe more way back.

      My daughter has same with more Bohemian and my son has More Cherokee, and is related to Booker T Washington. Also with Nicaraguan genetics.

      My oldest daughter has african blood as her grandfather was from Lousiana and a Mullato or so labled at the time.

      I think, once we take the color / name lable off the questioniares, then we are all equal, as I hate to even answer that question whats your race what is your nationality ??? It litterally takes me forever ...

      I usually end up after going through my entire geneology in my head, answering that question as a write in.. Im anAmerican, because I am that for sure.  Race equals a color needs to stop as its just not true in America you could have black skin and be a mixture of many nationalities.

      New immigrants in US have an easy time as they are Chinese or, India, or Italian, etc. but wait a couple of generations thier children will be scratching thier heads too on how to fill in that question or race, even the nationallity question is a difficult one for me.

      I think we need to all be Americans and stop the color / nationality lables.  I too feel totally uncofortable with it.

      And by the way, mixed culture in the science of genetics are your strongest Genes.

      In science the genepool dimminshes in a one race society and adding additonal genes to any genepool will create a stronger offspring. So I hope that answers your question of what is weaker or stronger, the genes are stronger mixed that is a scientific fact.

      President Elect, Barrack Obama, said something that really struck a cord with me.  When he was buying a dog for his daughters he said,  I would prefer to have a mixed breed dog, A MUTT LIKE ME.  Here was our future President calling himself a Mutt in front of the world, whom already view us as a nation of mongrols.  And he is right.. Im a Mutt too and so are most American’s, with exception to new immigrants.

      Yes, in America we are for the most part Mutts and Mongrols and Mixed cultures so AfriDigiDiva, I hope too that finally this Color / name for nationality /  lable stuff will go away at least in this country. As its an old way of identification and a highly inaccurate way to catorgorize we as a people today in this country since we are so blended.

      Thanks for sharing your blog.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • Bfly OMG ive missed you girl, how was your move ?  

      And I concur with you and would like to add my own genetics to it too what you said, as American Indian’s also would try to act and look white so they would not be discriminated and there are still many elders, in my family that will not say they are Cherokee for fear of being discriminated against.  

      MrsLorid, you have such a sweet heart and I love your dream.  Afrodigdiva great post.  And Bfly is a great geneticist and can get to the root of your heritage.. as she is just a wonderful reasearcher and fascinated with heritage as I am.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • This is so strange in some ways I grew up in an almost entirely white town and then in the 70's we had an influx of Asians who had British passports – left over from the Great British Empire – it was almost all Pakistani. But at school we had Polish / Ukrainian / Italian friends as they were all refugees after the war.... We had no conflict where I lived I can't speak for other parts of the country – my mother learnt Polish / Ukrainian then Urdu /Gujarati / Punjabi as her workforce changed at the factory  so she could speak one to one with her staff while they found their feet.
      My mother had a big sign on the factory floor which was translated into all the languages which said "We are not born with prejudice – we learn prejudice and prejudice isn't taught here"
      My family are 100% Irish.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jan 24, 2009
    • I have lived in the south all my life...born and raised here.  This is how I see it as a white person.  We are all children of God.  All of us.  He loves us all...no matter what you look like.  He made these so call races...for a reason.  It was his plan...and I don’t argue with the plan.  But...we are all to strive to live in peace.  

      I can’t be held responsible for what my ancestors did or didn’t do toward others that were different from themselves.  I hate that black people were treated the way they were but I really get disturbed when a black person throws in my face how their ancestors were treated and how hard they have struggled. For the most part a lot of black people today did not experience what their ancestors did but sometimes act as if they did.  Do I think that black people still are not treated fairly from time to time?  Absolutely but I also think many other people are not treated fairly either.  

      Until we remove the box that requires you to check your race...and until we remove affirmative action....will we truly never move forward.  

      It needs to be that no matter where you came from...you are treated with respect (as long as you are respectful) and you have earned your place (such as education..experience).  

      You will always have people who are racist.  And believe me they come from all walks of life...not just white people either.  So for me...I WANT EQUAL...but it works both ways. I work with a black woman that is so racist that is blows my mind.  And I’m thinking to myself....this is one reason we will never move forward.  You see it’s on both sides.  

      You don’t deserve a job just because of your color or you shouldn’t have to have a quota of a certain race to be in compliance.  This is where is has to STOP!!!  

      That’s all I know....but I have very good friends of many different walks of life......

      I really don’t know how to improve it...but it’s got to come from everyone.....I just wish we could all live in peace and get along.  It’s so much easier to live.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jan 24, 2009
    • Teek..you are exactly right!!  We will all have to answer for how we treated others.

      But you know...I find this interesting.  I have been reading the Old Testament of the Bible and even there....people were judged by where they came from.  I think this is where it all started with the conflicts in the middle east as well.  And look how peaceful it is there?  

      When I get to heaven I’m going to ask God about all of this...I would love to know exactly how he felt.



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