The Difference Between Us: Race – The Power of an Illusion 1 (Notes)

--> there is not a single genetic marker that is found in everybody of one race and in no one of any other race
--> race is not based on biology but more of an idea that we ascribe to biology
--> can populations be bundled in to groups we call races? If so, then how many races would there actually be? 
--> in terms of genetics, there is actually a small amount of variation from human to human regardless of individual attributes (genetically, we are among the most similar of species) 
--> only one in every thousand nucleotides is actually different (penguins have twice the amount of genetic differences than we do)(fruit flies have ten times as much)
--> if other races were to be so genetically different than the majority, then it would make sense that they exist at the bottom of social order (and is often used as an excuse)
--> Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro was a very influential text when it came to the downward fall of the African American race in relation to genetics (and created the extinction thesis: the theory that African Americans were to go extinct) 
--> Hoffman ignored the effects of poverty and social neglect on health
--> Because of this text, people did not see the need to improve the status of this lifestyle as "their extinction was inevitable; encoded in their blood"
--> Racial purification was one aim of the Eugenics movement 
--> group of people called the wind tribe due to their White, Native American, and Negro Ancestry 
--> The Nazi propaganda machine pointed out that their eugenic policies were entirely consistent, and in fact, derived from ideas of American Race Scientists
--> "The Negro athlete excelled because he was closer to the primitive. It was not so long ago that his ability to jump and sprint was a life and death matter to him in the jungle."
--> "You cant say that Negros have some special characteristics that make them more fit as runners"/ "There is not one single physical feature including skin color, which all our Negro champions have in common, which would identify them as Negro"
--> what is Black in the United States is not the same as what Black is in Brazil or West Africa
--> In a few genes that control the color of melanin in our skin, different alleles (different mutations) occurred that were positively selected, so that many of us with very light skin lost the capacity to make dark melanin
--> Theories state that the different levels of dark melanin are based on the needs of the people in certain regions to obtain the healthy amount of vitamin D into their skin
--> there is a continuous change in skin tone that comes with distance 
--> any two people in the same race can be as different from one another as they are to people of another race
--> Humans have not been separated from each other long enough to create separate sub-species

Lecture 4

Race: The Power of Illusion v.2 Topics
--> What was Thomas Jefferson's 'suspicion'? (1781)
--> Religion + Wealth as common social distinctions
--> Slavery: Identifiable (racialized) cheap labor source
--> Slavery became equated with blackness (social status + race) 
--> How did 'ordinary' whites become complicit with thee white racial narrative?
--> The distinction between 'unassimilable' blacks (emphasizing 'biological' race) v. 'civilizing' Indians (emphasizing culture)
--> What happened with the Indian Removal Act (1830)?
--> What is Manifest Destiny?
--> What kind of role did science (i.e., Agassiz, Morton) play in conceptualizing race?
--> What is the white man's burden?
--> The emergence of white racial identity as American unity 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and its racial discourse

Contemporary Conceptualization of Race
--> "A race can be defined as a group of people who (1) are generally considered to be physically distinct in some way, such as skin color, hair texture, or facial features, from other groups and (2) are generally considered by themselves and/or others to be a distinct group." (Farley, 1995)

The Four Ways Race Has Existed in our History
--> (1) Race as a 'scientific' concept (black, white, yellow, etc): This concept has led to so-called scientific racism (biological characteristics are linked to behavioral characteristics)
--> (2) Race is a socially constructed political concept: The basis of racial discrimination 
--> (3) Social category & identity (popular usage): This is how we use race in our everyday life. It might not be consistent with how the U.S. Census or sociologists define race.
--> (4) 'Biological' race and genetics, DNA, etc.: different kinds of people based on medical science

--> Racism is the belief that certain groups of people are innately, biologically, socially, and morally superior to other groups, based upon what is attributed to be their racial composition.
--> The assigning of attitudes, behaviors, and abilities to individuals or groups based on skin color; includes the institutional arrangements that privilege one group over another and the ideological apparatus that perpetuates and makes those arrangements possible.

Individual Racism
--> It involves individual hatred, racial prejudice, discrimination, and more importantly intention of the individual.
--> Racism stems from individual prejudice, and is a more psychological way of looking at racism. It ignores structural advantages that some groups receive from the social arrangement.
--> 'Racism by Intent' : If your intention cannot be proven, you're off the hook. This is relevant to what we call disparate treatment in legal context.

Structural or Systemic Racism
--> focuses on institutional power and group position
--> seeks social structural sources of racism by looking at racial biases embedded in such phenomena as the inertia of customs, bureaucratic procedures, impersonal routines, laws, or unequal distribution of resources
--> 'the institutional arrangements that privilege one group over another' : Our society is structured in certain ways that give advantage to a group(s). Once such arrangements are established, it is difficult to change (due to the second component listed below)
--> 'the ideological apparatus that perpetuates and makes those arrangements possible' : In other words, we justify how our society is structured as if the arrangements are normal and the system is, in fact, fair.
--> 'racism by consequences' : this view of racism suggest that those who benefit from the racist system are "racist" 

--> discrimination refers to only social acts (behavior), not attitude (that would be prejudice)
--> discrimination can be legal or illegal
--> (Legal) Jim Crow segregation, the drinking age, age to receive driver's license
--> An example of discrimination at the societal level would be The Holocaust

Merton's Typology
--> 'the prejudice discriminator' : This is someone who we normally call a 'racist' for doing racist things to other people. 
--> 'the unprejudiced nondiscriminator' : This is something we all strive to become. We don't hate anyone and don't discriminate against anyone.
--> 'the unprejudiced discriminator' : Can you be unprejudiced and still discriminate against someone? 
--> 'the prejudiced nondiscriminator' : A racist hiding his/her prejudice and following normal procedure.