Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Loving Day Recalls a Time When the Union of a Man And a Woman Was Banned

Loving Day Recalls a Time When the Union of a Man And a Woman Was Banned - Washington Post

Black Men in Interracial Relationships - Washington Post

Race is a social construct. Scientist have known this for quite some time, but society’s view is only slowly changing. Remembering the history of miscegenation laws is important to gauging to what degree this type of thinking, while no longer law, still pervades our society.

As a scientific backdrop, R.C.Lewontin, a Harvard Zoologist offers the following conclusion in the recent article, Confusions About Human Races?. ”There has been a constant pressure from social and political practice and the coincidence of racial, cultural and social class divisions reinforcing the social reality of race, to maintain “race” as a human classification. If it were admitted that the category of “race” is a purely social construct, however, it would have a weakened legitimacy. Thus, there have been repeated attempts to reassert the objective biological reality of human racial categories despite the evidence to the contrary.”

But what is really at the root of this social distinction that resulted in behaviors and laws to set or keep people apart? Survival is an instinctive zero-sum contest, where for every ‘winner’ there is a ‘loser’. For roughly seven thousands of years, homo sapiens have chosen their comrades-in-survival, by how they look. It is part of our evolution.

But the zero-sum nature of living has changed from the simple binary of life or death, to having more or having less. This is all the more complicated by steady leaps in human development with the last one being ‘critical thinking’ of 2,500 years ago. Socrates lead the activities that have eventually brought us to understand the magnitude of our sameness, even as we fight to remain ignorant.

Our clinging to ignorance is fueled by insecurity, but this insecurity fuels our advancement, as well. As we appreciate our progress, against our set backs, we should know that one without the other is quite impossible. We see that no group is immune from either side of this dynamic, if the angle and focus of our lens is true.

James C. Collier


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