Re: Abolish the term "race" (fwd)

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Wed, 11 Oct 1995 11:07:00 -0400

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 00:21:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ralph L Holloway <>
Newgroups: bit.listserv.anthro-l
Subject: Re: Abolish the term "race"

While we are at it, let's also get rid of words like "distinct" and
"pure", and in particular turn our backs on that human propensity to
classify the world around us, one of the ways the brain tries to make
sense of a welter of impressions and sensations that comes into it. Is
the human brain "hard-wired" to "classify" phenomena into packets of
structured information that it can process, reprocess and retrieve and
reprocess again and again? There are lots and lots of words that carry"bad
baggage", and much of christianity might be a prime candidate for the
expulsion. I'm not at all sure the problem lies in the word "race" as
much as it lies in the cultural attitudes associated with perceptions of
human differences and variation, which most frequently occupy the level
of belittlement, demonization, xenophobia, contemptiousness, and outright
ignorance. I'm worried about thought police, frankly.
Ralph Holloway.