Race Irrelevance and the Confusion of America

By Antoine “King Toine” Wright, September 5th, 2022.

For some time now this blog has been advocating for the removal of the word race, which is used to classify and characterize humans of various ethnicities. The claim has been made as well as substantiated that the word race has an inaccuracy, its inappropriate and ineffective manner in which it is used to perform. Again, for the record, race is the term that includes all human beings–as in the human race. The use of race in regards to color or geography is useless because it simply adds to confusion rather than making clear the relationships of all human beings. People with black skin complexions and those with white, brown, tan, pink and other complexions are all part of the same race; their ethnicity and culture however, will vary.

In an effort to underscore the problems caused by our use of the term race we can call to attention to a recent article written by Jeff Jacoby from the Boston Globe. In his article “Irrelevant Race Criteria”, Jacoby makes the following statement: “Spend a while with the census search engine and you could be forgiven for thinking that the nation’s racial composition has never been defined with such pinpoint accuracy”. To this statement he also added ” In fact, the nation’s racial composition has probably never been defined with less accuracy, and the margin of error is widening. Why? Because of the growing number of Americans who render the government’s racial categories so meaningless”.

What Jacoby means by the last statement is that because of a person’s multi-ethnic ancestry, there is no category available on an identity space with the exception of “other”. They are identified for example as University of Maryland students (or student) who is “Hispanic” but the government agency that tracks down births and deaths, would pronounce the person as Asian or Hispanic. The birth certificate from the state of Maryland omits race altogether, so we can readily see the problems using the term causes.

Jacoby makes the statement, “Though most Americans may still think of themselves as belonging to a single race, the multiracial population is surging. Racial boundaries are more permeable and easy to ignore more than ever before”. One might be willing to agree, accept for the simple reason that the same mistake is made by the government–accepting the word race as legitimate and accurate. If we as a society accept the fact that all race in identifying people of different ethnicities and cultures as belonging to a separate race.

Jacoby takes notice of the changing complexion of society with respect to what he calls interracial marriages or new marriages that that have increased during the 1960’s to 2008. The problem with using the word race is clearly shown in Jacoby’s comment that “The Census Bureau currently recognizes 63 possible racial labels, but that taxonomy is as limited and as artificial as the one in an earlier age that subdivided Americans into the categories of “white”, “Japanese”, “Chinese”, “Negros”, “Mulattoes”, “Quadroons”, ‘Octoroons” and “civilized Indians”. By what logic for example, did the 2010 questionnaire classify Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese as separate races, yet placed Scandinavians, Arabs and Slavs as “White”?

As been stated many times here, as well as doing my research, the word race was forced to perform a service for which it was not suited. To make matters worst, accompanying the use of the word race is the assumption that a separate biological uniqueness is accorded. For example, if someone is identified as being of the Korean race, then that race would be interpreted as not belonging to the family of human beings who identify themselves as white? What the Census Bureau and the government have done is compound the confusion by retaining the word race instead of using the words ethnic or ethnic groups.

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